Start and Run a Bookkeeping Business

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Overview

Learn the skills to make your bookkeeping business thrive! Written in the step-by-step style that has made the Start & Run series the best of its kind, this indispensable guide addresses issues specific to a bookkeeping service, such as how to assess which clients are profitable and when to involve a professional accountant. By following the principles Angie Mohr outlines and using the worksheets that accompany this book, you will be well on your way to owning a successful bookkeeping business. You will learn...
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Start & Run a Bookkeeping Business

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Overview

Learn the skills to make your bookkeeping business thrive! Written in the step-by-step style that has made the Start & Run series the best of its kind, this indispensable guide addresses issues specific to a bookkeeping service, such as how to assess which clients are profitable and when to involve a professional accountant. By following the principles Angie Mohr outlines and using the worksheets that accompany this book, you will be well on your way to owning a successful bookkeeping business. You will learn how to: assess whether running your own business is right for you; decide whether to work from home; market your services cost-effectively; manage your workload and cashflow. Whether you are just starting your own business or wanting to expand an existing business, this book will show you how. It includes chapters on hiring and managing employees, staying competitive, and planning for business growth.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781551806419
  • Publisher: Self-Counsel Press, Inc.
  • Publication date: 12/28/2005
  • Series: Start and Run A Series
  • Edition description: 1st Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 192
  • Sales rank: 697,864
  • Product dimensions: 8.32 (w) x 9.89 (h) x 0.41 (d)

Meet the Author

Angie Mohr is a chartered accountant and certified management accountant. She is the managing director of Mohr & Company Chartered Accountants and Business Consultants.Mohr has previously written four books for Self-Counsel. Her books help business owners understand their business better.

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Table of Contents

INTRODUCTION xv
1 GETTING STARTED 1
Assess Your Skills and Goals 1
Why Bookkeeping? 4
Approaches to Starting Your Business 5
Building a business from scratch 5
Buying an existing business 6
Setting Up Your Own Books 7
Choosing Your Accounting Software 8
Level of support provided by the local firm 9
Developer’s track record of performance 9
Software’s ability to fit the business 9
You’ll Need a Business Plan 10
Consider Your Exit Strategy 12
CONTENTS
v
Selecting External Advisers 15
Questions to Ask Advisers 18
Finding a Board of Directors 18
Know Your Competitors 19
2 FINANCING YOUR BUSINESS 21
How Much Money Do You Need? 21
Start-Up Costs 22
Cash to Provide Liquidity 23
Get Your Personal Finances in Order 27
Credit History 27
Debt Management 28
Retirement Goals 29
Insurance 29
Sources of Financing 31
Internal Resources 31
External Resources 31
Your Relationship with Your Banker 33
3 PRICING YOUR SERVICES 35
Provide a Menu of Services 35
Clients’ Fear of the Clock 38
Pricing Strategies 38
Cost-based pricing 39
Pricing based on your competition 39
Pricing based on the market 40
Pricing based on value 40
“Productize” Your Services 41
4 CLIENT MANAGEMENT 49
Tracking the Work 49
Work In and Work Out 50
Handling Client Records 51
Tracking Turnover Time 52
Managing Peaks and Valleys 54
vi Start & run a bookkeeping business
Contents vii
Planning for Time Off 54
A Word about Client Confidentiality 55
Tracking Your Clients 56
Add Up Your Clients 57
Compute Frequency of Visits 57
Calculate Average Billing per Client 58
Assess Client Quality 59
5 BUSINESS TOOLS AND EQUIPMENT 63
Communication Options 63
Telephone system 63
Fax machine 64
Cellular telephone 65
Personal digital assistant (PDA) 66
Computer System 66
Computer 66
Software 67
Printer 68
Scanner 68
Photocopier 68
Filing System 68
Office Furniture 69
Vehicle 70
Resource Library 71
6 WORKING FROM HOME 73
Financial Considerations 73
Nonfinancial Considerations 74
The neighbors 75
The on-call syndrome 75
The convenience 76
Willpower 77
Tracking Your Home-Office Expenses 77
Step 1: Calculate business use 78
Step 2: Apportion your expenses 79
Repair and Maintenance Expenses 80
7 ORGANIZING YOUR OPERATIONS 83
Setting Hours of Operation 83
Booking Appointments 84
Quoting Jobs 86
Managing Work-in-Progress 88
Invoicing Clients 89
Establishing Credit Policies 90
Terms of sale 91
Credit decisions 91
Payment methods 92
Handling Collections 93
8 MARKETING AND PROMOTION 95
Finding Your Niche 95
Pricing Is Key 97
Competing on price 97
Competing on value 98
Presenting Your Best Self 98
How you dress 99
How you answer the telephone 99
How you decorate your office 100
Advertising with a Purpose 101
Should You Have a Website? 103
Keeping Your Current Clients Happy 104
9 HAVING EMPLOYEES 107
Hiring 101 108
Building a job description 108
The laws of the land 109
Attracting quality employees 111
Interviewing potential candidates 112
Employee Compensation 114
viii Start & run a bookkeeping business
Contents ix
Determining market rates 114
The importance of benefits 115
Performance-based compensation 116
Firing Employees 118
10 FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT 125
Budgeting 101 125
Projecting revenue 125
Projecting expenses 126
Fixed and Variable Costs 128
Fixed expenses 128
Variable expenses 128
Why Is Cost Behavior Important to My Business? 128
Break-even point 129
Capacity 130
Basic Ratio Analysis 131
Solvency or liquidity ratios 131
Asset and debt management ratios 133
Profitability ratios 135
Key Performance Indicators 136
Receivables Management 139
Payables Management 140
Tracking due dates 142
What to do if you fall behind 142
11 GROWING YOUR BUSINESS 145
The Three Methods of Business Growth 146
The Concept of Leverage 147
Tracking Your Business Growth 148
How to attract new clients 148
Ways to sell more to clients 149
Sell to clients more often 149
12 PLANNING FOR SUCCESS 151
The Planning Cycle 151
Step 1: Make a plan 152
Step 2: Get control 153
Step 3: Focus on growth 155
Step 4: Fine-tune your business 155
Step 5: Plan some more 157
GLOSSARY 161
SAMPLES
1 Business Plan Outline 13
2 Cash-Flow Report 25
3 Cash Inflows 26
4 List of Services 44
5 Client Termination Letter 61
6 Fixed Price Agreement 87
7 Client Satisfaction Survey 106
8 Process Documentation 110
9 Employment Advertisement 113
10 Employee Evaluation Form 120
11 Weekly Flash Report 154
12 Monthly Planning Meeting Notes 156
13 Performance Highlights 157
14 Management Discussion and Analysis 158
WORKSHEETS
1 Skills Assessment 3
2 Evaluating Accounting Software 11
3 Planning Your Exit Strategy 16
4 Vehicle Expenses 72
5 Home-Office Expenses 81
6 Budgeted Income Statement 127
x Start & run a bookkeeping business
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted November 25, 2009

    Very happy with this book!

    I have worked as an accountant for 12 years. When I was laid off earlier this year I decided to go into business myself. I had a few clients but couldn't seem to get my business to take off.

    I was considering throwing in the towel and finding a regular accounting job when I found this book.

    I am so happy I bought it. Very good information.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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