The Advantages of Virtual Bookkeeping

Virtual bookkeeping means freedom and efficiency; freedom from client visits and having your tools of the trade close at hand.

If there is one thing we learned from the 2020-21 Pandemic is that effective work can be done without a commute and travel.  We all became adept at using online communication to do our job and maintain relationships.  This, of course, includes providing bookkeeping services.

So, how is it done?

First, I’m assuming you are a trained bookkeeper with accounting software.  Although QuickBooks Online (QBO) isn’t the only software to use, it is one of the better ones that can be mastered as a QuickBooks Specialist.  It permits downloading transactions from the client’s bank account directly into the software so that you don’t need to rekey much of the data.  The software is even able to assign a category to common charges and income items.

Getting the source data and backup is probably the most complicated process.  There are a few things you can do:

1)      For income, as much as possible, the process should be computerized in a fashion that you can access.  If that’s not possible, a snapshot will work.

2)      For expenses, train the owners and anyone that works with invoices/credit card charges to send you a snapshot of any documents.  These pictures can be attached to the QuickBooks charge as backup.

3)      If you will be preparing the payments to vendors, have the invoices sent to your address or emailed to you.

Once all the information is entered into the accounting software, you can print all reports into a pdf document and email them, as an attachment, with a note of their contents, concluding with an invitation to call you if the client should have any questions.

Using a document management system to exchange documents and pictures, such as eFileCabinet will reduce paper and time.

Having an in-person meeting once a quarter is a nice touch, if practical.  This will enable you to sell your services, seek any recommendations for new clients, and refresh your professional relationship.

To learn more about how to start and run a successful virtual bookkeeping business, be sure to check out Universal Accounting’s Professional Bookkeeper program as well as the Virtual Bookkeepers Roadmap.

Branding Your New Accounting Business On a Tight Budget

As an accountant, you know the importance of setting a budget and sticking to it. Starting your own accounting business will require a disciplined adherence to a budget, and one of the things you need to fit into that budget is branding. Your company’s brand is best described as how your customers feel when they think about your company. No matter what type of brand you’re going for, branding your company is the way you shape how those customers feel. Here are a few things to keep in mind when you’re branding your new accounting company while staying within a budget. 

First, the Name

Your new company has to have a good name that’s easy to say and remember and gives a potential customer an idea of what you’re all about. Many accounting firms just take on the names of their owners, and that’s an acceptable practice; it’s a sign of credibility in the industry and gives you some legitimacy. However, consider coming up with a different name that includes one of these keywords relating to accounting:

 

  • Accounting
  • CPA
  • Bookkeeping
  • Firm
  • Taxes

 

These words will help your online branding by helping your business rank higher on SEO, especially if you can find a way to include one or more of them in your company name. 

Create Your Logo

Your logo is an integral part of your brand. If you’ve branded correctly, seeing your logo should make your customers feel certain emotions, often without them even realizing it. Accountants usually have a professional type of logo; luckily, LogoCreator.io has a variety of templates for almost every industry, so you can make your very own logo without being too outlandish or unusual for the rest of the industry. People like to see some uniqueness, but you still want them to realize that you’re an accounting firm. 

 

Part of creating your logo is determining your company’s color scheme, another important factor that will help guide any promotional items you might have made to distribute, your website design, or even the interior of your offices. You don’t have to spend money in this step, but it is important to consider what colors you want people to associate with your company. Certain colors are also more or less associated with certain emotions; you can find out more about that here

Keep Your Marketing On Brand

Now that you have a name and a logo, you can start marketing your company. You will probably want to consider getting on at least a couple of social media platforms, and you might even consider starting a blog on various accounting topics. You have expertise that other people are looking for, and especially in this field, starting a blog can help build your reputation as an expert accountant. Blogs also give you a good amount of content to share on your social media profile, which helps drive traffic to your site. If people in your area are already used to visiting your site for valuable information, that makes them that much more likely to seek out your services too.

 

However, remember that your content and marketing should be on-brand. This means you need to find a voice and tone for your posts, one that doesn’t clash with what you want your business known for. If you need help figuring out a good voice for your branding, you can find some helpful information at Column Five Media.

 

Branding really involves getting people to feel a certain way when they hear about or see your business. It’s the face of your company, and it should be something you put some thought and effort into. Branding your accounting business on a budget isn’t difficult; it just takes some thought and planning to get right. 

 

All of this complements the process to become the premier accounting firm in your area. Contact us today to see how we can help you with your accounting business.

:Written by Kristi Horton

How to Become a Bookkeeper: An Overview

Bookkeeping has been a critical part of our world, from the importance of record-keeping for early trading cultures along the Silk Road to helping to anthologize information throughout the Industrial Revolution and the rise of capitalism. All along the way, we have had bookkeepers manage accounts, produce reports, monitor spending, track revenue, invoice, and serve other vital organizational needs. Bookkeepers are essential.

It is important to distinguish between a bookkeeper and an accountant; bookkeepers record daily financial transactions for a business, whereas an accountant’s job is to interpret the financial transactions. As a bookkeeper, you will use software to process spreadsheets and record the entirety of the financial data.

There is a lot of appeal to becoming a bookkeeper today, especially compared to how bookkeeping has changed with the rise of technology. One of the main reasons that bookkeeping is an excellent option for a career is that you can work remotely if desired. Many companies have shifted to remote work to accommodate the global medical crisis, but there is a slim percentage of other remote full-time jobs that would provide better pay than working as a bookkeeper. Another appeal of becoming a bookkeeper is the ability to pursue a career in the world of accounting without a mandatory college education.

Education

If you’re interested in starting your career as a bookkeeper, you will need to meet some fairly typical standards for education, starting with a high school diploma or GED.  Do not be intimidated by getting your GED. No matter what your age, there are programs designed to help you succeed. Attending a university is a great experience, but most companies do not require it when hiring bookkeepers. However, an associate’s or a bachelor’s degree in business administration or accounting does allow you to work for employers who expect a higher level of education.

You need to be savvy and confident in math skills and problem-solving, have thorough attention to detail, and be highly organized to be a thriving bookkeeper. There are plenty of other options in the world of information than traditional education via a college or university as long as there is a strong will to learn. If you are particularly self-motivated, you can obtain a lot of the same information through textbooks pertinent to accounting, but the cost of this literature is usually relatively high.

The more you are willing to invest in your future career, whether monetarily or temporally, the more desirable results you will find. At Universal Accounting School, you’ll have access to personalized assistance.

Training

To become a trained and well-prepared applicant, you will want to familiarize yourself with accounting software. We offer a Professional Bookkeeping certification designed in response to the increasing demand for small business bookkeepers. Using our educational content, you can become a self-taught bookkeeper in a relatively short time, depending on your schedule and how much time you are willing to put into the process. If you are willing to invest in your future within this field, starting with our Professional Bookkeeper certification course is a step in the right direction and is compacted into a few lessons. This course is designed to take three to four months, and you will be able to start looking for work after you complete the course.

If you are eager and have taken steps to prepare yourself, entry-level bookkeeping jobs are pretty ubiquitous in our society, as businesses are everywhere, and they all require the attention of bookkeepers. Many full-time starting positions will offer a training period of up to six months to get their employees up to speed on the software they use, their clientele, and other factors that contribute to their work environment.

Work Environment

There is no better training than direct experience. Although it can be intimidating to find work in the large world of business administration and accounting, many employers are willing to train individuals who are committed to becoming successful bookkeepers. Confidence, a positive attitude, and a plethora of applications will eventually land you a position with a company.

After you are hired as a bookkeeper for the first time, you should plan to stay with a company long enough to become a professional in your field. That amount of time can look very different to different people, but typically, new bookkeepers will want to spend a few years with the same company. However, this does not mean you should continue to offer your time to an employer that does not see your potential and help you reach it.

You might want to become a freelance bookkeeper, which is a common transition for many long-term professionals. This option is appealing to many because freelancers set their own rates and schedules, and have more deeply connected relationships with their clients.

As a freelance bookkeeper, you will be setting your rates and working for multiple clients simultaneously. Clients expect a range of services, including the ability to oversee payroll, solve wage and deduction management calculations, and manage accounts receivable, loss reports, and expenditure reports, so you will need to be highly organized and well-rounded in your capabilities.

Should You Become a Bookkeeper?

If this information resonates with your goals, you should not hesitate to step on to that path, doing everything in your power to succeed. You do necessarily need to commit to higher education, and the timeline for becoming a working bookkeeper is very flexible. Review the programs we offer, then contact us to discuss how we can help you succeed.

A Successful Accounting Firm

When Steve Eckman started his accounting practice he had much to be proud of. Quality services helping small businesses. After working with Universal Accounting Center the practice then took off and is thriving. It is more than just accounting, bookkeeping and tax, it is helping small business owners.

After building a successful accounting practice Steve Eckman shares some thoughts about the journey and what has made the difference for him.

When reflecting on the successful tax practice Bill Brough shares some of his insights.

Listen to Bill Brough as he describes his Successful Tax Practice. Consider his likes and preferences as you start and build your practice.

Become a Profit & Growth Expert

Building Your Accounting Practice Not only must you offer quality accounting services at a fair price, you must also illustrate why you have the best people to outsource your clients accounting and bookkeeping needs. The best way to accomplish this is by distinguishing your qualified staff as the best in the area.

Certifications and designations can represent the expertise of you and/or your staff in offering specialized accounting services. It also shows your firm’s commitment to being the best in the market.

Often within the accounting community itself there is confusion between what is accounting, and what is bookkeeping. Forget the lay person and let’s have a candid discussion. What services should you offer?

Some choose to refer to bookkeeping as write-up work, it’s bookkeeping.

* Disclaimer, unfortunately there are some states where the terms accountant and accounting have been regulated such that regardless the services offered only CPA’s or degreed accountants can refer to themselves as such. This is no different than a doctor doing the work of a nurse and still referring to themselves as a doctor. If you are paid to be a nurse, and you do nursing, your a nurse.

When working with small businesses there are specific accounting credentials and or designations that represent qualified accounting services.

Professional Bookkeeper, PB
* Proficient in the day-to-day accounting procedures in small business
* Accounting, Bookkeeping, Write-up services

QuickBooks Specialist, QS
* Certified in the use of QuickBooks as a bookkeeper

Professional Tax Preparer, PTP
* Certified in the preparation of both individual and business returns

Successful Graduates

Jon Schofield has an especially interesting story. After working for years as a professional accountant for big companies and ultimately as a controller for a large corporation, he desired a change. More specially, he wanted to own and operate his own business.

Regardless of his 16 years of experience as a professional accountant, Jon realized that he didn’t have the training or knowledge to serve the small business sector, and in order for his new business venture to work, he needed to be well-versed in small business accounting. That’s when Universal Accounting’s Professional Bookkeeper Program became very appealing. Far from a get-rich-quick scheme, the principles taught in the course gave him a step-by-step process for building a profitable business. It took some work to get there, but Jon now reaps the rewards of what he describes as “the best decision I made in my career”: starting a business with the Professional Bookkeeper Program.

I sat down with Jon one day and asked him some questions. Here’s some insight into Jon’s success:

Why did you take the Professional Bookkeeper Course?

There were a number of things that Jon had become unfamiliar with in the course of his corporate career, and a number of small business accounting tasks that he didn’t even know how to do. “Even though I had had a lot of experience it was not necessarily the type of experience I needed to be a small business accountant.”

What were your goals?

“I approached it with the idea that it was certainly a good second job, and if things worked well I could make it go as a full-time career. I wanted to make it work, but in my mind I wasn’t sure if I could make it work.”

How has your life changed for the better since starting your own accounting practice?

Jon enjoys the flexible work schedule that comes with owning your own business. He also appreciates determining the work he will and will not do. He says, “I now have enough work to pay my bills so that I can be more selective and take higher paying jobs.” Jon currently makes $45 to 50 dollars per hour.

 

How Much Could You Make?

Let’s do the math. We’ll assume the low end when offering just bookkeeping services, consider a graduate who earns approximately $300 a month per client (an average amount).

20 clients X $300.00 = $6,000 per month. That’s $72,000 per year.

You Don’t Need a Degree to Start Your Own Practice

A bewildered university student once approached me. She had heard the most “off-the-wall” comment from one of my graduates. This student had told her that you didn’t have to have a university degree to start a bookkeeping service.

That piqued her interest. She explained that she was a single mother that had working on an accounting degree at a local university for more than two years. Her whole purpose for getting the degree was so that she could do books for small businesses from her home. The cost of going to school wasn’t only financially draining, but the stress and time away from her kids was starting to negatively impact her parenting. Isn’t it interesting that she was getting the degree for her family, but getting there was damaging to the family.

Furthermore, she was getting nervous. She explained that she was now a junior in the accounting program at the University, and realized that she didn’t have the foggiest idea how to set up, or maintain a set of books for a small business. And the further she went into college, the further she was getting from small business issues.

I explained to her that anyone that understands accounting can do books for small businesses on a contract basis. Probably, all she would need was a business license, and for a few dollars she could pick that up. To say she got excited is an understatement!

A few weeks later I got a letter from her, wherein she commented that she was well underway to reaching her dreams.

We have received hundreds of phone calls, letters, and emails, from past graduates about the high quality of our articles, services, and teaching materials. Read on to see what our graduates have to say about us.

Thousands of successful bookkeepers have proven that our system works! Be our next success story!

Hear Real-World Success Stories

Click on any of the names below to hear graduates of the Professional Bookkeeper Program rave about how it gave them the skills and marketing know-how to start their own successful accounting and bookkeeping services. If they can do it, so can you!

Victoria Richardson
Victoria Richardson

Scott Irvins
Scott Ivins

Rebecca The
Rebecca The

Jon Schofield
Jon Schofield

When you’re ready to start your own success story, enroll in the Professional Bookkeeper Program. In less than 60 hours you could be on your way to owning a lucrative practice with satisfied clients of your own. Don’t delay your success another day. Enroll now!