How to Get Bookkeeping Clients: An Easy Step-By-Step Guide

Whether you’re a newly minted entreprenåeur diving into the world of freelance bookkeeping or a seasoned bookkeeper looking to grow your business, finding clients can be a tough job. This is especially true following the long-term impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, which drove a majority of businesses online and left many bookkeepers scrambling to develop their online presence.

But don’t be discouraged! Building up your client base may seem like an impossible task at first, but with the right tools under your belt, you’ll be attracting new clientele in no time. Today we’ll take you through the best strategies to get new bookkeeping clients.

Five easy steps to get bookkeeping clients

Step one: Identify your audience

Before you can start your search, you’ll need to know what kind of client you’re looking for. Identifying your target market will not only help you find your most ideal clientele, but also help them find you in the long-run!

To do this, you’ll need to decide whether you are looking to specialize in a specific industry or provide services to a more general client base. There are benefits to both – sticking to a specific niche service (i.e. payroll) or industry (i.e. retail stores, restaurants) helps potential clients determine whether you are the right fit for them, while remaining in the generalist pool widens your scope of prospective business.  

Step two: Develop your online presence

There are a plethora of social media platforms available to help craft your online presence, so how do you choose which one is right for your freelance bookkeeping business?

Facebook

We recommend you start with Facebook. Facebook offers a number of great tools to support freelance business owners. If you haven’t already, you’ll want to take a moment to check out Facebook Business Pages. You can use your page to promote your service offerings, share useful bookkeeping tips and relevant posts, and grow your following.

If you already have existing clients, it’s a good idea to encourage them to visit your page and leave a review – it will help generate positive feedback about your services and attract new business. Make sure you also include links to any other social media platforms or external websites where new and existing clients can find you in the “About” page.

LinkedIn

Another great resource is LinkedIn, otherwise known as the world’s leading business social networking site. With over 722 million users, there are many reasons why LinkedIn is the go-to site for professionals looking to build their network. Help clients find you by interacting on posts and in relevant groups, or take the first step and reach out to potential clients to introduce yourself. If you’re having trouble getting started, Hootsuite has a great guide to help you create an attractive page.

You may also want to look into creating a Twitter, blog, podcast or YouTube channel where you can share helpful bookkeeping knowledge and tips, showcase your skills and establish your reputation as an expert. And don’t forget to re-share your content on your other social media pages!

Step three: Get certified with an accounting software

In the world of freelance bookkeeping, it’s difficult to stand out amongst the thousands of other qualified professionals out there. Set yourself apart by getting certified by your accounting software of choice. Most people will be familiar with QuickBooks, so we recommend joining the QuickBooks ProAdvisor program. This is a completely free way to let your clients know that you’re an expert user of QuickBooks’ products. Being added to QuickBooks’ Find-A-ProAdvisor Directory will also help generate a few leads every month.

Step four: Network with professionals

The struggle to find clients isn’t unique to bookkeeping – all professionals in the service industry will go through this at some stage in their career. This also means that all professionals will likely understand the value of a referral. By building relationships with local professionals in similar or complementary industries, you will open yourself up to an even wider avenue of opportunity.

Once you’ve made the connection, what comes next is totally up to you:

Offer to trade referrals – Perhaps your new professional connection knows someone looking for a freelance bookkeeper. You can repay the favour next time – working together to grow your business is a win-win strategy!

Offer subcontracting – If you’re starting out and looking to gain some experience, reach out to some well-known local bookkeepers and offer to take on some of their workload. This is a great way to get your name out there and potentially find your first client.

Offer referral incentives – You may want to reach out to professionals and offer complementary services in order to give them a taste of your offerings. Satisfied clients are likely to want to spread the word of your great work within their own networks – especially if you offer discounts or additional services in return.

Step five: Attend public speaking events

A great way to establish your credibility and build your reputation as a reliable bookkeeper is to share your expertise at business-related events such as conferences, seminars, business training sessions, trade shows, and webinars. Public speaking may feel intimidating at first – but fear not. If you start by volunteering for smaller guest-speaking opportunities, you can gradually grow your presentation skills until you feel ready to attend larger-scale conferences.

If you enjoy public speaking, we also suggest starting your own webinar. You’ll want to speak on relevant topics that you have experience in. For example, you may want to educate your audience about receipt management – a task that can easily get out of hand without the right tools. This is the perfect chance to introduce and walk your clients through any useful, bookkeeping-related software applications, such as Shoeboxed — a receipt management application that turns your receipts and business documents into digital format. This will not only help your clients manage their own businesses easier, but also streamline your bookkeeping process in the future!

Once you’ve chosen a topic, make sure you do your research, include numerous interactive opportunities and create engaging visuals so your audience will want to attend your future events. To garner an audience, reach out to your existing client network and promote your event on your social media pages. This is a great (and free!) opportunity for current and future clients to tap into your expertise.

Get started – Start searching for new bookkeeping clients!

Phew – you made it to the end of our guide! With all of these strategies in hand, you’re almost ready to take on the task of getting new clients for your freelance bookkeeping business. Before you embark on your journey to success, we want to remind you that you do not need to use every method we’ve suggested – especially not all at once!  You also don’t need to do steps 2 to 5 in order.

Give this article another read, think about which methods will work best for your business goals and then, when you feel ready, get the ball rolling. You can do this!


About Shoeboxed

Shoeboxed is a receipt management application that turns your receipts and business documents into a digital format in just one click by taking a picture straight from your smartphone or scanning a pdf. It automatically extracts, categorizes, and human-verifies important data from your receipts so that you can go over and check your records anytime with ease.

Shoeboxed ensures you always have your receipts securely stored and ready for tax purposes. More importantly, Shoeboxed helps you track mileage using your phone’s built-in GPS for unmatched ease and accuracy. Access your Shoeboxed account from your web browser or smartphone app. Stay audit-ready with Shoeboxed for FREE now!

Advanced Bookkeeping for Freelancers: Benefits and How to Get Started

If you’re a bookkeeping freelancer who’s new to this industry or looking for a way to advance your career, having an Advanced Bookkeeping certificate would be a good kick-start. The Advanced Bookkeeping certificate helps you achieve your career goals by providing the professional knowledge and skill set required to perform an accounting job role. Gaining this certificate can help you become a professional bookkeeper and allow you to more effectively run your business. 

This article will explain the Advanced Bookkeeping certificate in detail, from its definition, benefits, and how to get started. 

Benefits of gaining an Advanced Bookkeeping certification

Advanced Bookkeeping is a unit in the AAT Advanced Certificate in Bookkeeping and Advanced Diploma in Accounting. The assessment’s purpose is to test learners’ advanced bookkeeping skills to the extended trial balance stage so they can compile final accounts for various types of businesses.

Some of the main benefits of completing the Advanced Bookkeeping assessment are the following:

Advanced Bookkeeping certification is universally accepted

The Advanced Bookkeeping certification is a symbol of excellence all over the world. It is recognized worldwide as a proof of professionalism and is highly demanded in the accountancy sector. 

The Advanced Bookkeeping course is also the most up-to-date and provides practical exposure and guidance for a successful bookkeeping career. This certification gives future bookkeepers a chance for some good career opportunities and the ability to solve the real-world issues of any business undertaking.

Build up an impressive resume for freelancers

Financial management is the backbone of every business and the main part of organizational growth. The demand for accounting and financial expertise is increasing across all industries.

Completing the practical business-focused Advanced Bookkeeping course helps you develop essential bookkeeping skills, such as managing accounts, finances, budgets, and cash flow. 

This certification helps build an impressive resume with the professional level of excellence employers look for. These certifications increase the chances of getting hired by a reputed organization.

Gain the knowledge and skills that employers need

The Advanced Bookkeeping course gives you a much broader range of knowledge and skills, more than you’re likely to be able to gain from work experience alone. Having the ability to be more adaptable and flexible gives access to a wider range of opportunities. As a bookkeeping professional, you’ll have greater resilience and confidence in handling change.

Bridge your career gaps

Even if you’re taking a gap from university or work, gaining this certification is still a good choice. It helps you to build up knowledge and skills. It will fill the gaps and boost the confidence to apply for the jobs.

Increase your potential earnings

If you are working in the finance sector and looking for further career progression in the field, having an Advanced Bookkeeping qualification can bring you additional opportunities. Advanced accounting and bookkeeping techniques from the course encourage you to apply for top position roles. 

Below are some common jobs and expected salaries for each level. 

  • AAT Access Level 1: Through this level, you can earn up to $14,600 per year as a clerical assistant or cashier
  • AAT Access Level 2: When you’re at level 2, you’re capable of earning $23,790 – $26,840 per year as an account clerk, finance assistant, or account administrator. 
  • AAT Access Level 3: Completing this level can help you earn up to $35,000 per year by performing as a ledger manager, senior bookkeeper, or accounts manager. 
  • AAT Access Level 4: This is the highest level, which makes you capable of earning $39,040 – $51,850 by performing on the job roles like tax supervisor, VAT accountant, commercial analyst, payroll manager, senior financial officer, cost accountant, or assistant financial accountant.

How to get started with the Advanced Bookkeeping course

You don’t need a bookkeeping background or bookkeeping skills to get a start in the Advanced Bookkeeping course. Since Advanced Bookkeeping is a unit in the AAT Bookkeeping course, you can start from the entry-level and scale up gradually. 

No specific age or location is required to start the AAT course. The only requirement is your strong desire to start a career in the accounting sector.

You can start with any qualification depending on your existing skills and experience. If you already have some accounting experience, you can use the AAT Skillcheck to determine which qualification is right for you.

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Moreover, the cost of the Advanced Bookkeeping course is reasonable. It shows your dedication and commitment to improving your career. Your invested proper focus, funding, and time for the course will result in great opportunities, high salaries, and clear career paths.

Investing in education can bring you more value than expected if you’d like to follow a freelance career. Having the crucial skill set and qualifications can help you attract more clients and valuable contracts. 

The bottom line

Learning and self-development are like an expedition. Whether you are a student searching for a career start or improving your professionalism to handle more challenging tasks in your current job, having an Advanced Bookkeeping certificate would be a good start.

With the qualifications, you will be able to achieve your professional goals, discover your capabilities, and open your mind. You’ll find confidence and desire to explore new opportunities that are now within your reach.

Don’t forget to subscribe to the Shoeboxed blog for more helpful bookkeeping knowledge and best practices for freelancers! 


About Shoeboxed

Shoeboxed is a receipt management application that turns your receipts and business documents into a digital format in just one click by taking a picture straight from your smartphone or scanning a pdf. It automatically extracts, categorizes, and human-verifies important data from your receipts so that you can go over and check your records anytime with ease. Shoeboxed ensures you will always have your receipts securely stored and ready for tax purposes.

Access your Shoeboxed account from your web browser or smartphone app. Stay audit-ready with Shoeboxed for FREE now!

What Are a Bookkeeper’s Responsibilities?

Bookkeepers are essential for any business. The core function of a bookkeeper is data collection and data input of a business’ accounting cycle. However, a bookkeeper’s responsibilities can vary significantly from business to business. So, if you’re considering hiring a bookkeeper for your small business, it’s important to understand a bookkeeper’s responsibilities to find suitable candidates as quickly as possible. 

Reconciling entries to balance subsidiary accounts

Account reconciliation after each financial month or quarter is crucial for companies and individuals. This allows them to check for fraudulent behavior and avoid accounting information problems by ensuring each transaction adds to the required final account balance.

The amount of each transaction needs to be compared to the amount shown as entering or exiting the relevant account throughout the documentation review process. For example, small business owners can sometimes dismiss small expenses or use their business cards to pay for their personal expenses. The resulting unusual bank statements can cause trouble with the IRS, so to avoid this, a bookkeeper will verify credit card activity with receipts and make adjustments if needed.

Maintaining a balanced general ledger

A general ledger is the cornerstone of a process used by bookkeepers to record and arrange accounting transactions necessary to generate income reports for the company. 

The transactions are subsequently closed or reported to the general ledger, and the bookkeeper prepares a trial balance, which serves as a summary of the balance of each ledger account. The trial balance is reviewed for faults and modified by posting additional required entries before being utilized to construct the income reports.

The bookkeeper collates and analyzes general ledger transaction information at several tiers to create financial statements, net income, balance sheets, cash flow, and other financial reports. This assists business owners, corporate management, auditors, shareholders, and other participants in continuously assessing the financial operations.

Preparing a trial balance for the accountant

A trial balance is a list of all the accounting journal balance sheets. It helps to verify that a debit registered in one accounting system is balanced with another account in the credit. A trial balance also serves as the foundation for creating the cash flow statement, the income statement, and the statement of cash flow.

Bookkeepers must first finish or “balance off” the ledger accounts to produce a trial balance by displaying each closing amount from the accounting records as a debit or credit balance. The sum of the ledger accounts should always match the sum of the credit accounts. 

Monitoring for variances from the projected budget

A budget variance is a recurring metric used among authorities, organizations, and individuals to assess the difference between budgeted and actual statistics for a particular accounting area. 

A favorable budget variance denotes positive variations or benefits, while an unfavorable budget variance denotes negative variance, indicating losses or shortages. A favorable variance occurs when revenue exceeds budgeted levels or expenses are lower than expected, while an unfavorable variance happens when the income falls far short of the estimated budget or expenses exceed expectations.

Budget variations can occur as a result of both controlled situations (such as a poorly planned budget and labor costs) and uncontrollable situations (such as a natural disaster.)

If there is a significant difference, bookkeepers will examine the financial records to find the cause. Then, they will decide whether to rectify the situation or not. However, if a significant disparity continues over a longer time, the business owner needs to review their planning approach.

Collecting and organizing financial data

Bookkeeping is the branch of accounting that handles the gathering and organizing of financial data. This implies that the bookkeepers’ responsibilities include collecting, arranging, and filing all financial data for your organization.

A bookkeeper is responsible for managing:

  • Invoices/receipts
  • Payroll records
  • Bank and credit cards statements 
  • Tax forms and other tax-related documents

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The bottom line

Understanding a bookkeeper’s responsibilities will assist you in finding a qualified bookkeeper for your business. However, if you’re new to running a business and short on resources, you can try handling these tasks by yourself. 

To achieve that, you can consult with a bookkeeper professional, take up some bookkeeping courses, and rely on accounting software. And Shoeboxed can help you with that!  

About Shoeboxed

Shoeboxed is a receipt management application that turns your receipts and business documents into a digital format in just one click by taking a picture straight from your smartphone or scanning a pdf. It automatically extracts, categorizes, and human-verifies important data from your receipts so that you can go over and check your records anytime with ease. Shoeboxed ensures you will always have your receipts securely stored and ready for tax purposes.

Access your Shoeboxed account from your web browser or smartphone app. Stay audit-ready with Shoeboxed for FREE now!