book-keeping service

A home-based book-keeping business is a service to small businessmen who have no time or the expertise to keep sufficient records for themselves.

For example, a plumber or piano tuner can make more money plumbing or tuning than doing their book work. As a result, they need someone to do that for them.

Clients drop off their receipts and sales slips for posting to a ledger or computer data bank. The client is provided monthly statements and information for his yearly taxes, plus any other contracted services.

Not all small businessmen can afford or even need a lawyer or professional accountant. Many simply need someone to keep track of their day-to-day operations so they can tell where they are financially and stay out of trouble with the Receiver of Revenue.

The book-keeper is legally obligated to accurately and honestly reflect client profits that come to his or her attention.

Although it is quite possible to start a book-keeping service with hand-kept records, a really profitable operation will eventually require a computer.

With one, some practice and a good records-keeping programme, you will learn to operate a surprisingly complex book-keeping service.

You will be able to personally handle at least 10 times the volume of records.

Business computers can be leased at fairly reasonable rates, and good used systems are becoming more plentiful every day. Prices are also dropping for really good systems.

A major potential problem area must be addressed here. Smart computers back up their important disks. There are just too many things that can happen to a disk.

Clients are charged for your time for daily posting, for reports they receive, plus any additional services or information they may require, such as yearly totals for tax computation.

Fees for these are usually based on operator time, computer time (different rates), plus the number and type of reports. Hourly charges vary depending on the locality, account size, and the degree of your expertise.

A book-keeping service is similar to a word-processing service in that accuracy is extremely important and business connections are especially beneficial. Join the chamber of commerce or Rotary as that is where to find potential customers.

Have quality stationery, business cards and brochures. Be visible in community business- related affairs (charity balls, cook-outs, fund-raisers).

Place an ad in the service section of the paper and mail out brochures describing your service to businesses in your area.

The home book-keeping business can be expanded with the addition of specialised or alternative computer programmes and, or more terminals for more hired assistants.

Also, by adding a tax service or service to train employees for other businesses. When you lose a client that gets his own system, he will often need expertise to get started, and who knows his situation better than his "old" book-keeper?

When you become really proficient, check with the store that handles your type of computer and inform them that you are available for business consultation.

You can also increase your business by expanding your capabilities. Take extension or commercial (even correspondence) courses in accounting and income tax.