To begin or launch your own accounting business, you will need more than just numeric expertise, financial knowledge and a strong passion for problem-solving. In addition, you must know your niche, plan your business model, establish your objectives, utilise marketing, and ensure that the necessary legal documents are in place.
So, how do you go about becoming a successful accounting business owner? This blog post will provide everything you need to guide you on starting an accounting business from scratch right from day one!
Starting From Scratch: Here’s Your How-to Guide
Phase 1: Planning Your First Steps
Decide On Your Niche or What Services To Offer
Focusing on quality more than quantity will make you more efficient. That’s why deciding on your niche before opening your new business start-up accounting is vital. You must determine what services you want to specialise in and offer your potential clients. Likewise, choosing your niche is not only a great way to enhance your skills and become an expert in a specific field, but it will also prevent you from taking on too much work.
Below are some examples of accounting niches or different services you can choose to specialise from:
- Bookkeeping: involves recording and tracking financial transactions of a company on a daily basis and making reports out of it
- Auditing: the process of inspecting or checking financial reports and statements to ensure if they are accurate or valid
- Cost Accounting: examining a business’s cost structure (variable and fixed costs) by collecting cost information and assessing the efficiency of cost usage
- Tax Accounting: as the name suggests, it focuses on preparing tax documents, formulating tax plans and advising clients on taxation issues and matters
- Forensic Accounting: deals with investigating legal cases and incidents such as embezzlement, fraud, financial manipulation, business disputes, evasion, money laundering and bribery.
- Financial Accounting: supervises business transactions and tracking of financial history
- Fiduciary Accounting: handles clients’ financial circumstances associated with estate entity, property and guardianship
- Managerial Accounting: provides business consulting services like forecasting, budgeting and cost analysis
- Accounting Information System: designed to collect and display accounting information that helps business executives and leaders make sound decisions.
- Financial Controller Services: responsible for overseeing all accounting operations and leading a business in strategic financial planning.
Which of these services do you enjoy doing the most?
Select a Business Structure
Choose what’s best for your accounting business because your selected structure will reflect your registration requirements, personal liability and taxes. Examples of business structures are Sole Proprietorship, General Partnership, Limited Liability Company (LLC), C corp, and S corp.
Create a Business Plan
A business plan is an overview of your plan of action, which includes every detail from the starting point all the way to the destination or your goals. Knowing where to start or where to turn for guidance can be difficult without a business plan.
A well-crafted business plan must have the following parts: Executive Summary, Company Description, Market Research, Products and Services, Marketing Strategy, Logistics and Operations Plan and Financial Plan.
Phase 2: Forming Your Business
Meet the Necessary Legal Requirements
Like any other business, securing legal requirements such as permits and licenses is necessary. Make sure you have prepared the required documents or paperwork in advance so you can operate legally and the government laws can protect your firm.
For instance, you will need to get an Employer Identification Number (EIN). This will make it legal for you to hire employees, collect taxes from your clients and open a business account which is a requisite for most banks.
Acquiring your permits and licenses will build your credibility in the eyes of your prospective clientele.
Fund Your Business
You’ll have to set aside some funds when you open an accounting firm; however, take note that it shouldn’t be too expensive, especially if you’re starting a small business accounting. There are plenty of financing options, such as bank loans, small business loans, home equity loans, friends and family loans, crowdfunding, credit cards, and self-fund via your savings.
Utilise The Right Accounting Tools
Take advantage of today’s accounting tools which are often simple to use, affordable and come with convenient automation and integration features to simplify your accounting tasks. An excellent example of this is an accounting mobile and web application, MoolahMore, that offers a quicker and smarter cash flow analysis and forecasting. It also integrates with other leading accounting software Xero, Quickbooks, and MYOB.
Set Your Rates
It can be tricky to price your services if you’re just setting up in the industry—you’ll need to spend time on research.
However, we recommend applying a value-based pricing technique for setting your rates. With this pricing model, you are charging according to the value your clients see in your services. It is cost-efficient because you’re getting the best deal for your time and money while keeping your clients satisfied with your service. Thus, it also prevents you from short-changing yourself.
Phase 3: Generating Clients
Develop a Website
In today’s global and digital world, one of the best ways to build an online presence for any business setting like your accounting firm is through a website, as people surfing the Internet can easily find you. However, making your business stand out amongst all the others is easier said than done. And that is why you should spend quality time planning your website. You can refer to the following pointers below:
- Make it a habit to check the website of your competitors. It will give you an edge to challenge what’s already done and pinpoint the unique elements you should integrate into yours that will set your website apart.
- Determine what necessary content they usually put on their website. For instance, did they include the bios of each of their employees? And most importantly, do they also have blog posts that tackle the concepts of accounting? It will be an excellent way to showcase your expertise to the public.
- To drive traffic to your business website effectively, it must comprise a stylish and neat design, interactive functions and a solid online presence. But doing this requires a skilled and experienced professional, which IT outsourcing companies best provide. So consider hiring a trusted service provider like The Lead Enquiry that can connect you to the best web designers and developers.
Make Use of Digital Marketing
Truth be told that you can never have a successful business if you don’t have any clients to work with. And to generate potential clients, you will need to market yourself effectively. That’s when the power of digital marketing comes in, and you can do this in several ways.
- Kick-start your digital marketing project by targeting social media ads to people who live near where you operate. Although these will get a smaller audience than broadcast marketing, they will still be more likely to sign up as customers.
- Leverage local search engine optimisation (SEO) for a chance that your website will appear on the first search engine rankings page, which can help you gain more local traffic.
- Remember social media. You can start by creating your Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn pages for free. These are engaging platforms to promote your services to a broader audience and interact with your clients. Of course, as you get more established, you can hire someone to manage and maintain your social media presence while diverting your focus to your other business operations.
- Explore online marketplaces since it’s primarily exclusive spaces for selling your services and finding potential leads.
Network With Other Professionals
As an owner of an accounting firm, your services are in demand from other professionals. So in raising your profile, be agile and confident in joining various accounting societies. Likewise, connect with other professionals and networking groups by sending them formal email letters.
And there you have it! With these guidelines in mind, you can certainly create a successful accounting business that will provide you with both income and satisfaction!
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