The thought of starting your very own bookkeeping business can be a little bit intimidating at first. This is even more true when you through in all the essential tools and applications on top of everything else.
Keep in mind that these are not meant to overwhelm you but to make your life easier! The more you know about the tools and applications required for your bookkeeping business ahead of time, the better off you will be.
The good news? There is an easy way around with bootstrapping right out of the gate when starting up on limited funds. In other words, you won’t have to dive in and get everything from the beginning. Bookkeeping can be a very budget-friendly business when you may not have a lot of additional money to start out with.
While bookkeeping is the most profitable small business that you can start with some of the lowest start-up costs around, there are still some start-up costs involved.
If you are brand new to the world of bookkeeping and are doing a little research to find all the costs that are involved then you have come to the right place.
Outside of paying for the classes, there are some other things that you are going to need. You will need to make sure that your equipment is up to par and current and, will more than likely, have to invest a little bit of extra cash to buy a few of the necessities to run your bookkeeping business efficiently.
Essential Tools And Applications For Your Bookkeeping Business
Fast Internet And Up To Date Computer
So you may be thinking that everyone should already have a fast internet connection these days, right? And to a certain extent, you would be right. The days of dial-up are long gone and technology is only making the internet faster and faster.
Although that may be the case, you still need to look into the speed that you are getting through your provider.
Many internet providers these days have different packages and speeds. It is going to be very important to ensure that you have a fast connection.
This also includes making sure that your computer is up to par. You may have to consider upgrading to a new one if you find that your current one is lagging behind at times.
There is a method behind my madness here. You have to remember that I’m not simply talking about becoming a bookkeeper, but a VIRTUAL bookkeeper.
The last thing that you are going to want is to have a lagging computer or internet connection ruin an online face-to-face conversation with a potential client. What do you think your chances of obtaining a new client would be if your Skype or Facetime meetings are continuously buffering or freezing up?
Make sure that your internet and computer are updated and upgraded! This is YOUR business so this is your first step to treating it as such.
Face-To-Face Is Key
As I hinted to above, this is the main reason you are going to want that fast and dependable speed. You are going to want to depend on Skype, Zoom, or Facetime to be able to effectively communicate with your clients.
Although you are running a virtual bookkeeping business, it is still essential to have that face-to-face contact with them.
This is simply going to increase the trust level between you and your client. Put yourself on the other end for a moment.
If you were the client and you didn’t even know what the person handling your small business finances even looked like would that hinder your comfort level a little bit? You need to provide them the opportunity to have that “office visit” where they can look you in the eyes even though your business is virtual.
Invest in a 10 Key
Invest in what? It’s called a 10 Key. It is simply one of those calculators that has the tape at the back of it that prints out your calculations. I know, I know it’s 2022, technology should replace things like that. And your right… to a certain extent.
You are going to want to use your 10 key to double-check your work. You never really want to rely 100% on technology to trust your numbers.
On top of that, you may realize that you would much rather use a 10 key as opposed to some app. It’s nice to have the numbers on paper right there in front of you.
Scanner App or Scanner
When you are first getting started, you can simply start with a scanner app that you can use to take pictures of documents and send them to yourself. These are effective in bootstrapping your bookkeeping business as you are first getting things off the ground.
Eventually, it is going to be a good idea to invest in a good scanner.
All the applications that you use for your business must be cloud-based. This allows you to communicate and share in real-time.
I want to stay away from mentioning specific applications in this post since technology moves so rapidly. Just know this these cloud-based apps are going to be a must!
This is also essential so that you are not downloading any important documents onto your computer. You simply keep all of that “in the cloud”, where it is safe!
Bank Level Or Military Level Security
Speaking of safety, you are going to want top-notch internet and cloud-based security for your bookkeeping business as well. I know what you’re thinking, “this simply doesn’t seem very safe”.
In reality, having these security features online is much safer than having documents printed out on a desk. Nobody has to hack a stack of papers to gain financial information. They can simply grab them and run (you don’t want this to be an option).
Now when I am speaking about bank or military level security, what I am referring to is bit encryption. You are going to want at least 128-bit encryption, but I recommend 256-bit encryption. This gives you the same level of security as the big boys.
The main application that you are going to want is either Xero or Quickbooks Online, or better yet both (become a jack of all trades)! These two applications are what are going to make you a professional bookkeeper.
You have probably heard of Quickbooks before and chances are that this is what many of your clients will be familiar with. I should mention though that Xero is excellent and much more user-friendly for both you and your clients. You will probably just master one before the other, which is fine, but eventually, if you can learn both you can better accommodate whatever your clients are already familiar with.
The next application that you are going to want is called Google Apps For Work. Now, this is awesome because it includes your email, your calendar, your word processor, your spreadsheets, your slide presentations, and your forms.
If it’s needed in an office setting, it’s there, and one of the real beauties about this is that it’s very cheap. It is only going to run you five dollars a month per user. It also includes 130 gigabytes of storage.
We all know that security is of the utmost importance in your business so you are also going to need something to protect your passwords.
You can’t write down passwords since this is a breach in your security protocol as a virtual bookkeeper so you need an application to handle that for you. In this case, I would recommend RoboForm which is going to set you back about $10 a year.
Now we don’t want someone to be able to steal our computer, plug into your hard drive, and steal client information, right?
So the next application you are going to want is Filevault or Symantec Endpoint Encryption depending on whether you use a Mac or PC. This is another reason we want to keep everything cloud-based but this also makes for a great selling point to potential clients so that they know their information is safe in your hands.
And lastly, you are going to want to be protected as you are surfing and downloading online as well. This is where Bitdefender comes into play and is also a crucial element to running a safe business for your clients.
At the time of this writing, it was $45 but is essential to keep you and your client’s information safe.
Is That It?
Yes I know, there is a lot there! And yes, there are other things that go along with starting up your own bookkeeping business but it’s important to know what to expect going into this, don’t you think?
So how do you tie all of this together? Where do you go to get all this information broken down for you?
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I know I threw a lot of information at you but I assure you that with this course you will be walked through all of it and in the end, everything will make complete sense.
If you have any questions, comments or concerns don’t hesitate to drop a comment below and I will be sure to get back to you ASAP!