Starting your own accounting business from home can be a rewarding experience, particularly if you'd like to schedule work around your family. But starting an accounting business will take more than talent. It requires marketing, personal fortitude, and dedication.
As an accountant or bookkeeper, you possess knowledge that is necessary for business. In the beginning, you’ll spend more time marketing and advertising your business than you will doing accounting work. And once you find customers, you will need to accommodate their schedules and be flexible in their accounting needs.
Purchase accounting software, such as QuickBooks or Peachtree, which are popular with small businesses. If you have expertise in another package, you can get that also.
Work on tutorials for the accounting software. Customers will expect you, as the accountant, to know more than they do. For example, QuickBooks has as a site where you can communicate with other users and develop expertise in the software.
Decide specific services to offer. Small business owners are looking for accountants who will record the daily transactions, perform bank reconciliation, set up a proper general ledger, perform payroll, and produce financial statements.
Research the competition. What do other home based accounting businesses charge? You can use Craigslist, an Internet search for home based accountants, and accounting software marketplace boards.
Register a domain name for your business and build a Web site. There are several sites, such as Register.com, 1and1.com, and Godaddy.com that offer domain registration and free build-it yourself Web site packages.
Submit your Web site to the major search engines—Bing, Yahoo, Google, and Ask—using the Web master tools. From the browser search bar, enter "Ask webmaster tools," and follow the instructions.
Once you have built your Web site, advertise on Craigslist, at the marketplace sites for the accounting software you have purchased, and any other site you believe will be profitable.
Prepare your accounting business for flexible work. Register with LogMeIn.com. LogMeIn will allow you to set up access to your clients’ computers (with their permission). This will make it easier to work for small business owners who may have day jobs and run their businesses on the side.
Set up a business blog. You can write short articles a few times a week on business topics. In the blog design, include a link to your accounting Web site. Submit the blog to the major search engines. Use LinkedIn and Facebook to submit your daily blog topics.
Pennee Struckman has been actively writing in business for 20 years. She has been published in "Real Estate Experts" magazine and the books "Dawn of Silence," "Best Poems of 1997" and "Best Poems of 1998." Struckman holds a B.S. in business, Suma Cum Laude, from Columbia College. She majored in accounting and minored in computer science.