Startup Bookkeeping 101: An Introductory Guide

bookkeeping business startup checklist

I don’t have a ton of suggestions here as there are so many models and it depends on if you’re a Mac or PC person. Based on whether you go with Xero, QuickBooks Online, or both, the next thing you’ll want to do is get certified so that you actually know how to use the software. If you expect to find new clients in different geographical regions, consider getting a local number in addition to a toll-free number. While some companies use Slack with their clients, I typically advise against that in most cases.

Those taxes aren’t taken by the government directly—they’re taken out by the employer, who is then responsible for sending employees’ taxes to the IRS. In certain industries, you’ll need licenses and permits in order to operate legally. This usually applies in industries where there’s a risk of damage to the customer—think construction, hair salons, and financial consulting. Go over basic business information with the client, explain what you need from their side in order to execute within the right timelines, and go over the workflow process and the next steps. Answer any questions and make sure the client agrees with everything.

Small Business HR Checklist

For instance, Thomson Reuters makes its CS Professional Suite of tax and accounting software available as hosted online solutions and designed its Onvio products to run entirely in the cloud. Between running the day-to-day operations, managing employees, and keeping up with paperwork, it’s no wonder that so many small businesses fail to keep track of their finances. Seychelle is a Maryland-based personal finance writer and business owner. She’s passionate about helping others out of financial pitfalls she’s already dug herself out of.

  • It’s a good idea to check in with it regularly to ensure that your records are accurate.
  • Yes, in addition to all the tax forms you’ve already filed, you’ll need to file some annual ones as well.
  • I want to be self employed in my proffession but one who fits in the 21st century technology.
  • Now that we’ve provided you with a roadmap to get your bookkeeping business started, I want to challenge you to pick a date for when you would like to be ready to take that first client.

Choosing a business structure can be a tough decision for the new business owner. There are several solutions when it comes to accounting for small business. You can hire a bookkeeper, do accounting by hand, or use accounting software. The business name you choose is the first impression potential customers get of your company.

Product & service classification

If you have not prepared a budget, compare your current year-to-date P&L with the same prior period, year-to-date income statement to identify variances and make adjustments. The majority of these records you should store for at least three years in your documents. However, there are some records you may keep longer than three years to provide information for potential questions. It is better to be safe than sorry when it comes to proving your business to the IRS.

  • Once again, make sure you do your research and only hire a reliable, proven candidate.
  • In fact, working from home is even easier with modern technology and software solutions that help bring vital aspects of your daily workflow into one dedicated (and usually online) space.
  • Small business insurance is an important part of any startup checklist.
  • In addition, you must also secure a state (EIN) which can be acquired from the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue.
  • COMPANY NAME, established in 2004 by OWNER’S NAME, is a two-person CPA firm which provides tax services, management and cost consulting services.
  • Whether you are behind a few months or years, the reality is that poor bookkeeping practices will cost you a lot of money — both now and in the future.

They help small-business owners get a handle on their cash flow — one of the most important barometers for a healthy business. They will also often help businesses produce crucial financial statements such as the profit and loss statement and balance sheet. Accounting software like QuickBooks can help you generate financial reports, manage taxes, and take care of other small business accounting tasks. This kind of software can make your life as a business owner much easier. If you’re still feeling uncertain, don’t be afraid to speak with a professional bookkeeping service about securing their help.

Customs & duties management

You can also use our free paycheck calculator to figure out what you need to withhold from each paycheck. Whether you have a seasoned or new business, brick and mortar shop, or online store, you need to handle numerous monthly accounting tasks. Managing your cash flow is critical, especially in the first year of your business. Forecasting how much cash you will need in the coming weeks and months will help you reserve enough money to pay bills and your employees and suppliers. Plus, you can make more informed business decisions about how to spend your cash.

It is definitely beneficial to have prior experience working in a finance-related field so you can provide quality service to your clients. Bookkeeping is a profitable business to start for those with an eye for detail and a head for figures. Taking on the responsibility of assisting other business owners with their bookkeeping needs will become a part of your daily routine. Practice management software is arguably the most important piece of bookkeeping software in your own accounting practice. You’ll need something that tracks your tasks, deadlines and provides for one central place to communicate on work. There’s a reason why I stopped most other marketing activities to focus on blogging as a primary strategy to find new clients after my first year of starting a cpa firm.

The Ultimate Guide to Starting a Bookkeeping Business in 2021

No matter what, ensure every meeting has a clear agenda shared with the client well in advance. Make sure you have a signed contract before beginning any work on the client. You will want to follow up with the client to collect any signed documents and payments if necessary. A welcome package of information could include an engagement letter, a proposal, a project description, an executive summary, a company overview, and a cost summary. A welcome email is an excellent way to thank the client for their business and let them know you look forward to working with them to achieve their goals. Get the app list, reasons why they rock and my top tips and tricks.Plus, you’ll get my weekly Top 5 email curating helpful, innovative content for your modern firm.

bookkeeping business startup checklist

COMPANY NAME, established in 2004 by OWNER’S NAME, is a two-person CPA firm which provides tax services, management and cost consulting services. COMPANY NAME serves small businesses (under $5 million in revenue) in the Puyallup, WA area, primarily in service industries. COMPANY NAME plans to add additional services to its suite of services to better serve its current and future clients. Are you considering starting a Bookkeeping Business and you’re in need of a bookkeeping business plan PDF? Because of the relatively low overhead costs, bookkeeping businesses can be profitable if they have a steady flow of clients and can manage their expenses effectively. The profitability of the business also depends on its size, the number of clients, the level of competition in the market, and the pricing strategy.

Chapter 2 – Create a Productized Service Offering

Before you choose your business name, make sure someone else isn’t already using it, lest clients get confused. Also, run the name by a few people to see the impression they get of it. Once you have your finalists, run the names through your secretary of state’s business name database to make sure it’s available.

  • That doesn’t mean you need to monitor it constantly, but it’s a good idea to have a monthly and quarterly routine.
  • With the SBA’s guarantee, it can be easier for new companies to secure bank loans.
  • By catching up on your bookkeeping, you will get a clear picture of your business, be able to make sound decisions and avoid stiff penalties from the IRS.
  • Decimal handles all the accounting concerns for your small business, including bookkeeping, payroll, bill pay and even technology setup and support.
  • This is your company’s federal tax identification, which will be necessary to pay taxes and open a bank account, apply for business licenses, and hire employees.
  • You may also need a dedicated workspace or office where you can work undisturbed.

They’re the two most important financial statements, and you’ll need them in every scenario where someone wants insight into your startup’s finances. For example, it might be best to perform a bank account and credit card reconciliation and enter all cash transactions each month. Once a quarter, you could then review your financial statements and make adjusting journal entries as necessary.

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