Tips for Starting a Bookkeeping Business From Home

Bookkeeping can be an exciting and rewarding profession, so if you’re good with numbers, you could take it up a notch by starting a bookkeeping business from home. Doing your job well, like keeping accurate records of a company’s financial transactions, is important, but so is ensuring the success of your business. So here are some tips for building a successful home-based bookkeeping business.

1. Understand the job of a bookkeeper

There’s more to the job than just recording financial transactions. As the business owner, you’ll have to:

  • Pay bills on time on behalf of the company you’re working for.
  • Keep track of money that’s going in and out of the company.
  • Make sure the company’s financial records are accurate and up-to-date.
  • Make sure everyone gets paid regularly.
  • Perform bank reconciliations.
  • Create financial reports.
  • Print cheques.
  • Produce invoices.
  • Work with various accounting and payroll systems.
  • Maintain inventory records.
  • Promote your business online.

2. Learn bookkeeping skills

Here are the skills you’ll need as a bookkeeper:

  • Strong analytical and problem-solving skills.
  • Numerical accuracy and diligence.
  • Data entry skills.
  • Good communication.
  • Good organisation skills.
  • Attention to detail.
  • Be disciplined, patient and dedicated.
  • Be able to work both independently and in a team.

You can learn bookkeeping skills by undertaking a Bookkeeping course.

3. Know the pros and cons of being a bookkeeper

Knowing the pros and cons can help you prepare for the highs and lows of running a bookkeeping business.


  • You can set your own schedule.
  • You can decide how much you get paid.
  • You can choose who you work with.
  • You can work with people all over the world.


  • There could be significant liability issues.
  • You need to take measures to ensure all client data is kept secure.
  • It could be expensive to purchase and update various accounting software.

4. Be aware of the legal requirements related to being a bookkeeper

As a bookkeeper, your main duty is to record all of a company’s financial transactions to help them prepare their Business Activity Statement (BAS). The BAS is a tax report that companies send to the Australian Taxation Office during the year.

If you want to provide BAS services for a fee, you must be registered as a BAS Agent with the Tax Practitioners Board. To become a registered BAS Agent, you’ll need to have the following:

  • Professional Indemnity Insurance with standalone creditable policies.
  • A qualification of at least Certificate IV in Bookkeeping, like the ICI Diploma of Bookkeeping.
  • 1,400 hours of work experience supervised by a BAS Agent.
  • 15 hours of continuing education every year.

5. Create a business plan

When creating your business plan, you need to think about a few different things. Firstly, you’ll need to decide on who you want your customers to be and what regions you want to service, be it local, national or international. After you’ve done this you can determine what solutions you’re going to provide to these customers, and how you’re going to deliver these solutions. You should also consider whether you want to employ anyone else to work with you or whether you’ll run your business alone.

6. Identify your ideal client

Do you want to serve real estate companies or construction companies? By specialising in an industry, you can target your marketing to just one audience.

Once you know who your ideal client is, you can then put together specific solutions for them. Try combining relevant services into packages and offering them to your client so they can pick the service level they want. Then you can work together to customise the package to their needs.

7. Set up your business

You don’t need a lot of things to get started. A computer, a mobile phone, and an Internet connection are the three main things you need. Along with the right software and apps, you can work with people around the world wherever you are.

There is two software you’ll need as a bookkeeper. The first one is online accounting software. This will allow you to look at accounts at the same time as your client, so you can talk over the phone and reduce the number of meetings you have. The software also allows automatic data entry, bank reconciliation, and payroll. The second piece of software is a practice management software. This will allow you to manage workflows and get your business in order.

8. Market your business

You can market your business by creating a website and social media accounts. They should communicate clearly who you are and what you do.

To attract potential clients, your website must show your passions and personality and include information you want people to see. You need to make potential clients want to contact you over another bookkeeper.

On the other hand, social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn can also help you reach potential clients. They should also clearly outline the services you offer.

Start your journey as a bookkeeper today

Getting a proper education in bookkeeping is the first step to ensuring the success of your bookkeeping business. Then once you’ve got your business up and running, putting a lot of effort and hard work into it can increase your chances of success.

Interested? Check out the International Career Institute’s Bookkeeping course and enrol today!

Online, career focused education that suits your lifestyle.

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Gladys Mae


Gladys Mae serves as the General Manager and Head of Student Services at the International Career Institute. Gladys holds a degree in Mass Communication - Broadcast Media from the University of San Jose-Recoletos. She joined ICI in 2010 and has over the past 12 years been instrumental in providing leadership and guidance to staff and students alike. Prior to joining ICI Gladys led a multifaceted career with key roles in the banking and business process outsourcing industries.