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Business Ideas for Home - Bookkeeping Services

What Does It Take to Start a Bookkeeper Home Business?

By Ron Dicker

(LifeWire) - Overview of the Bookkeeping Services Business

With so many people looking for business ideas for home, why not start a business of your own to do light accounting and provide bookeeping services for those entrepreneurs? Bookkeepers keep financial records and are proficient in single-entry ledger work for small businesses. Bookkeeping services clients provide their receipts and invoices for bookkeepers to post on paper or in a computer file. Many self-employed bookkeepers earn between $25 and $40 and hour, but that can vary with location and work load. Some bookkeepers offer services that are related to bookkeeping services, like tax preparation, increasing their earnings potential. And some bookkeepers might take on bigger clients, which might mean having to prepare more sophisticated financial reports.

The bookkeeping profession and bookkeeping services are expected to grow by 12% through 2016, according to the Occupational Outlook Handbook, published by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. No formal education or training is necessary, although certification from the American Institute of Professional Bookkeepers couldn't hurt. The median wage for bookkeepers is around $31,000, but it is not unheard of for determined self-starters who network, advertise and do good work in a bookkeeping services business to earn six figures, making this among the more potentially lucrative business ideas for home.

Pros of a Bookkeeping Services Home Business

  • Many entrepreneurs aren't good at handling their money -- that's where you come in.
  • It's a welcoming profession because by handling the bookkeeping you are relieving a client of perceived drudgery.
  • Bookkeeping services can be a true at-home business.

Cons of a Bookkeeping Services Home Business

  • The occasional slippery client may ask bookkeepers to omit certain transactions that come to your attention. You will not last long in the bookkeeping business if you skirt the law, experts say.
  • Family demands at home could be distracting.

What You Need to Get Started in a Bookkeeping Services Home Business

  • A love of numbers, meticulousness and honesty along with basic bookkeeping practices.
  • Ability to network and drum up business.
  • Membership with your local chamber of commerce - highly recommended as a source for new business and for projecting a professional reputation.
  • Business cards and a website, along with testimonials and references from satisfied customers (you can't show a portfolio of your ledger work)
  • A computer with the necessary spreadsheet and accounting software to handle the tasks you want to offer.

Bookkeeper -- Real-Life Example Business Ideas for Home:

Former controller Steven R. Hinds writes in the American Institute of Professional Bookkeepers newsletter that he began his own business by charging just $10 an hour for bookkeeping and tax preparation. After gaining 10 clients in the first six months, he now earns between $25 and $200 an hour, boasting more than 100 clients. That nets him $150,000 a year.

Becoming an independent bookkeeper is also something that works well on a freelancing basis. See the Freelancing Guide for more information.

LifeWire, a part of The New York Times Company, provides original and syndicated online lifestyle content. Ron Dicker is a New York-based freelance writer who covered sports for the New York Times from 1996 to 2005.
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