How to Start a Bookkeeping Business – What Services Can You Provide?

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When starting a bookkeeping business you may not think about offering anything other than bookkeeping services. This could reduce your revenue in the long run as clients turn more and more to people who can provide multiple areas of value to their business.The more you can offer increases the value you represent to the client.

For example, you may have experience writing processes and procedures. This is valuable not only for the bookkeeping function, but in other areas of the business. Most business owners are looking for improvements in any processes and procedures. If you can identify areas where there are duplicate processes or can fine tune the systems to improve efficiency, your role suddenly becomes an improvement to the bottom line, not just an expense incurred for compliance.

Another area of expertise may be in the area of risk analysis and internal control. Highly experienced bookkeepers understand the importance of financial controls, segregation of duties and best practices. This also allows the bookkeeper to improve the value provided to the client by identifying risks in the organisation and improving ways to minimise the risk to the business. If you can save the business owner from a fine, penalty or even an audit due to lack of compliance with legislation, you are a valuable asset to the business.

Payroll is often a requirement for a bookkeeper to perform. This however can be expanded beyond the payroll generation and compliance with associated items such as work cover, superannuation,payroll tax and tax. You may have deeper experience in human resources or staff management. Depending on the requirements of the client and the business size, there may be opportunities to offer additional HR type services beyond basic payroll and compliance services.

IT skills and experience could form an additional area of expertise. For example as part of the asset register, depreciation or budgeting process you may have the opportunity to look at the infrastructure or software used by the business. If you have the skills and experience, it may be an opportunity for the client to go cloud based, or online with software or even select more appropriate software for the entity.

Many small enterprises need experience in multiple areas but they may not have the budget for specialist services. This is where you can add more value to your service offerings. I am not suggesting you are suddenly a Jack or Jill of all trades, especially if you have not had exposure to these types of tasks. However looking beyond the traditional bookkeeping services may help you not only increase your revenue but the perceived value of your service.


David Cohen

Rachel Cohen: Rachel is a sustainability consultant who blogs about corporate social responsibility and sustainable business practices.

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