We live in the era of technological innovations, and this has fostered the idea of self-employment in many industries. The accounting industry has many bookkeepers now looking for avenues to become independent and work on their terms. If you fall into any of these categories -- budding bookkeeper or an experienced one trying to switch to self-employment -- you are at the right place.
Let's examine how you can become a self-employed bookkeeper and become successful at it.
Choosing Digital Tools
As opposed to some people's ideas, digital bookkeeping tools won't make the job of bookkeepers obsolete. While it is true that a few business owners use some good digital tools to carry bookkeeping for their business, this is only sustainable for a while. When the business starts to grow, they are quick to transfer the responsibility to a professional bookkeeper. Some don't even venture into it from the start, they feel it's too tedious and time-consuming. Don't get it wrong, some businesses are actively using these online tools on a long-term basis, however, you'll find many companies willing to hire a professional bookkeeper.
The main way digital tools will benefit you is the ease it gives your work. You can attend to reconciling bank transactions and running payroll faster than usual. This allows you to work with multiple clients at a time.
Other helpful digital tools are communication equipment and channels which are most helpful since you'll be working remotely. Video communication tools and instant messaging platforms are essential digital tools to utilize.
Creating a Plan
A bookkeeping business plan is necessary for your career as a self-employed bookkeeper. You must structure your journey so you don't get stuck in the middle. You must know which industry to work in, services to offer, tools to use, and important precautions to take.
Choosing an Industry
You are likely asking yourself, "who will my clients be?'' It's best to decide which industry and type of client to work with from the start. It helps you to decide based on your experience. Perhaps you've worked with IT contractors in the past and you have a good knowledge of the field or you've rendered services to start-ups in the past, your evaluation helps you to know where your strength lies. Of course, as a new bookkeeper, you may choose to focus on a particular industry and offer services only to clients in the same field.
Services to Offer
Each customer will require unique services, yet you must define the basic ones that you offer. The knowledge of the services you offer aids in choosing the type of tools to acquire. Some of the services you choose to offer may include the filing of invoices, data entry in accounting software, paying suppliers, payments on behalf of the company, getting late payers to pay, working on VAT returns, reconciling bank records, and developing books for the end of year accounts.
As you do your duties, you must know when to draw the line between the services expected of you, and those of an accountant.
Preparing a Start-up Cost
You'll need tools even if you choose to work from home. A computer set, printer, cabinet, and access to reliable software. These are essentials and you may still include other things to facilitate your work. Sometimes you may need to get an office space.
Setting Your Pricing and Packages
After deciding the services you will offer, put a price tag on it based on packages or any other options you may choose. The point is to prepare the price of your services beforehand. Of course, you can be flexible but it's best to have something planned. It includes how you want to get paid, either hourly or per task.
Precautions to Take
As a self-employed bookkeeper, there are associations you can join to get updates that will benefit you. Such associations will inform you of the certain bodies to register with and things to avoid to prevent legal troubles.
To become a self-employed bookkeeper requires good planning. Whatever industry you plan to work in, don't underestimate the power of experience. As you strive to acquire enough experience to thrive and become successful, remember to offer excellent services always.