Are you considering launching your own bookkeeping agency business but frustrated by the overwhelming preparation and planning involved? We understand that the process can be daunting, especially if you're new to the industry. However, the bookkeeping industry has been growing steadily in recent years, culminating in a projected compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5.7% from 2021-2028, according to So, if you're interested in starting your own bookkeeping agency, now is the perfect time to dive in.

Here's the ultimate guide on launching a bookkeeping agency business in 10 easy steps. The success of your business largely depends on your ability to develop a solid foundation, secure funding and launch it in a timely manner. Without further ado, let's get started!

  • Conduct market research: As with any business, it's crucial to conduct thorough research to ascertain if there's a market need for bookkeeping services. You can start by analyzing the industry trends, identifying potential competitors, and determining your target market to find your niche.
  • Estimate startup costs: Next, you'll need to estimate your startup costs to create a budget. This will include costs associated with office space, equipment, software, insurance, advertising, and hiring staff. Estimate your costs as carefully as possible because underestimating can lead to dire situations that could lead to the collapse of your business.
  • Write a business plan: This is a critical step when launching a bookkeeping agency business. A business plan is a crucial tool that outlines your objectives, goals, and strategies. It's also an essential document for securing funding and attracting investors. It's important to ensure that your business plan is well thought out, comprehensive, and achievable.
  • Develop a financial model: Your financial model will help you determine your revenue streams, expenses, and overall profitability. This will help you understand and create a financial plan that will sustain your business for the long haul.
  • Secure funding: Once you've identified your startup costs and developed a sound financial model, it's time to secure funding. You can set up a bank loan, acquire angel investors, or set up a government grant to finance your business.
  • Obtain necessary permits and licenses: Before you can start providing bookkeeping services, you must obtain all necessary permits and licenses required by law. This includes acquiring a tax identification number (TIN), employer identification number (EIN), and complying with local state and national regulations.
  • Find vendors and suppliers: Research and reach agreements with vendors and suppliers from whom you will purchase the necessary equipment, software, and other supplies to run your business effectively.
  • Establish online presence: Create a business website to advertise your services, build your brand, and enhance your online visibility. This can be done through social media, Google My Business, Yelp, and other networking platforms.
  • Recruit and hire managers and employees: Employ skilled bookkeepers with the training and knowledge required to provide quality services to clients and help expand your business. Hire key managerial positions for the smooth-running of the business.
  • Market services: Advertise and promote your services through word of mouth, creating SEO optimized content, paid advertising, and networking events. Ensure that your sales strategies align with your target market and values.

With these ten steps, you can launch a bookkeeping agency and build it into a successful business. Remember to plan, conduct thorough research and keep your business values at the forefront of your decisions. Good luck!

1. Conduct Market Research

Before starting any business, it is essential to conduct proper market research. Market research is the process of gathering information about potential customers, competitors, and industry trends. It helps in understanding the target market's needs, preferences, buying behavior, and competition. Here are the steps you need to follow to conduct proper market research.

  • Identify your target market: Determine the market segment you want to serve. Identify their demographics, psychographics, and geographic location.
  • Research your competition: Find out who your competitors are and how they are targeting your target market. Analyze their strengths and weaknesses.
  • Identify your Unique Selling Proposition (USP): Determine what makes you stand out from the competition. Develop a message that communicates your USP.
  • Analyze industry trends: Scan industry reports to identify trends, opportunities, and threats in the market. Keep an eye on regulatory changes that affect the industry.
  • Test your business concept: Before investing too much in your business, test your concept by creating a minimum viable product, conducting surveys, or doing a focus group.

Tips & Tricks:

  • Use online tools like Google Trends and keyword research to understand customer needs and interest in your service.
  • Visit trade shows, expos, and conferences to network with industry professionals, learn about the latest trends, and get ideas for your business.
  • Engage prospective customers in conversation to learn more about their needs, wants, and pain points. This insight will help you develop a product that resonates with them.

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2. Estimate Startup Costs

Before starting any business, it is fundamental to estimate the startup costs. In the case of a bookkeeping agency business, you have to consider all the expenses related to office space, equipment, employees, marketing, and legal requirements.

  • Office Space: Depending on the size of your business, the cost of the office space may vary. In general, you can rent an office space for $1,000 per month.
  • Equipment: You will need a computer, printer, stationery, and bookkeeping software. The cost of the equipment may vary, but you can expect to pay around $2,000.
  • Employees: You will need to hire bookkeepers and administrative staff. The cost of employees depends on the state you are operating in and their experience. In general, the cost of an employee is around $3,500 per month.
  • Marketing: You will need to invest in marketing your business to attract clients. The cost of marketing may vary, but you can expect to pay around $1,000 per month.
  • Legal Requirements: You will need to register your business, apply for licenses and permits, and consult with a lawyer. The cost of legal requirements may vary, but you can expect to pay around $2,000.

The total startup costs for a bookkeeping agency business would be around $9,500 per month. This cost may vary depending on the size of your business and the state you are operating in.

Tips & Tricks:

  • Consider starting your business from home to minimize office space expenses.
  • Invest in bookkeeping software to streamline your accounting processes.
  • Outsource tasks, such as marketing and legal requirements, to reduce costs.

Estimating the startup costs is essential to create a budget, secure funding, and ensure the sustainability of your bookkeeping agency business. Make sure to factor in all the expenses and keep track of your finances to maximize profits.

3. Write A Business Plan

Writing a business plan is an essential step in starting any business venture, including a bookkeeping agency. It serves as a roadmap, outlining the mission, goals, strategies, and anticipated financial projections. Here are the key chapters to include in your bookkeeping agency business plan:

  • Executive Summary: This section provides an overview of your business, including the services you offer, your target market, and your competitive advantage.
  • Company Description: Here, you should describe your bookkeeping agency's legal structure, ownership, and management team. You should also outline your unique selling proposition and explain how your services will benefit your clients.
  • Market Analysis: This section should provide an in-depth assessment of your target market, including demographic and psychographic data, as well as industry trends and competitive analysis.
  • Service Offerings: Here, describe your bookkeeping services, pricing strategies, and any additional services you plan to offer in the future.
  • Marketing and Sales: In this section, outline your marketing strategies, including how you plan to reach and engage potential clients, as well as any sales strategies or promotions you plan to utilize.
  • Financial Projections: This section should include your startup costs, projected income statement, balance sheet, and cash flow statements for the first three years of operation.
  • Funding Requirements: Here, outline any initial funding you will require, including startup costs, working capital, and any additional funding needs.
  • Operations: In this section, outline your day-to-day operations, including staffing needs, office space requirements, and any equipment or technology needs.
  • Risks and Challenges: Finally, describe any risks and challenges your bookkeeping agency may face, including industry-specific challenges and any financial or legal risks.

Tips & Tricks:

  • Keep it Concise: While a comprehensive business plan is important, it's also important to keep it concise and avoid getting bogged down in unnecessary details.
  • Know Your Numbers: Accurate financial projections are critical to the success of any business. Take the time to develop realistic projections based on accurate data.
  • Seek Outside Input: It can be valuable to seek feedback and input from others, including industry experts, advisors, and potential investors.

By taking the time to write a comprehensive business plan, you can increase your chances of success and make informed decisions as you launch and grow your bookkeeping agency business.

4. Develop A Financial Model

Developing a thorough financial model is crucial to the success of any business including a bookkeeping agency. The model will provide a clear understanding of the cost of running the business, expected revenue, and profitability. Below are some key steps to follow when creating a financial model.

  • Identify all start-up and ongoing costs: It is essential to identify all the costs that will be incurred when starting the business as well as ongoing costs such as rent, utilities, and wages. This information can be obtained by researching industry standards and consulting with professionals in the field.
  • Forecast revenue: Based on your market research, identify the potential revenue streams for your bookkeeping agency. This can include bookkeeping fees, consulting fees, and any other value-added services you may offer. Use conservative estimates, and always have a plan B.
  • Prepare a break-even analysis: A break-even analysis is an essential component of any financial model as it will help you determine the point at which your business will become profitable. It will help you identify the minimum number of clients or sales required to cover your costs.
  • Create a cash flow statement: A cash flow statement will outline the money that will be coming into the business and the money going out, providing an estimate of the daily, weekly, and monthly cash needs of the business.
  • Estimate profitability: Finally, based on your revenue forecasts and break-even analysis, estimate your potential profitability. This will be the ultimate test of the sustainability of your business.

Tips & Tricks:

  • Do not underestimate your costs. Be sure to include all possible expenses and add a buffer for unexpected costs.
  • Assume a reasonable level of utilization. Do not assume that you will have 100% capacity from day one.
  • Be realistic about the timing of cash inflows and outflows. Consider the time it takes to invoice clients, collect payment, and pay your bills.

Developing a financial model may seem like a daunting task, but it is an essential part of starting and managing a successful bookkeeping agency. By identifying costs, forecasting revenue, preparing a break-even analysis, creating a cash flow statement, and estimating profitability, you will be in a solid position to take your business to the next level.

5. Secure Funding

Starting a bookkeeping agency business is an excellent idea. In the early stages, proper funding is essential to ensure your business's success. Even small businesses need financing to establish themselves properly and expand over time. This section will provide you with all the necessary information for securing funding for your bookkeeping agency business.

  • Personal Investment: First and foremost, invest your own money in your business. It is one of the best ways to get your business started as personal investment instills confidence and shows investors that you are serious and dedicated.
  • Crowdfunding: Crowdfunding has become a popular way to raise money for business ventures in recent years. You can use different websites for crowdfunding such as Kickstarter, Indiegogo, or GoFundMe, and make your bookkeeping agency business idea go viral.
  • Bank Loans: You can also opt for bank loans to finance your business. The bank will evaluate your credit score, financial standing, and the viability of your business plan before giving you a loan. Ensure that you have a solid business plan before applying for financing, and project revenues and profits realistically.
  • Angel Investors: Angel investors are wealthy individuals who provide financing to businesses in exchange for ownership equity. These investors are often looking for higher returns on their investments than traditional investment opportunities provide.
  • Small Business Administration: The Small Business Administration (SBA) offers several loan programs for small businesses. However, you must meet several criteria to qualify for an SBA loan, such as being a for-profit venture, having a defined business plan, and meeting requirements for business size.

Tips & Tricks

  • Before seeking outside financing, evaluate how much money you will need to fund your bookkeeping agency business startup costs and how much will be required to sustain running costs for the first few months as profits may come in slowly.
  • Always prepare a sound and comprehensive business plan: if you can, start with a basic plan and make updates along the way as you establish your business for the long term.
  • Find an advisory board or mentor to gain insights into the financing or investor realm and unearth possible benefits to improve your business model.

Securing funding for your bookkeeping agency business can be challenging at times. However, with the right approach and guidance in place, you can successfully obtain the necessary funds and take your business to new heights. Remember, careful considerations and a solid business plan are critical for lenders and/or investors to have trust in your business model.

6. Obtain Necessary Permits And Licenses

Before opening a bookkeeping agency, it is essential to obtain the necessary permits and licenses to ensure compliance with local and federal regulations. Failure to do so can lead to penalties or even the closure of the business. Here are some of the permits and licenses needed:

  • Business License: This is a permit issued by the city or county where the business is located. It is required by all businesses to operate in a specific location.
  • State Business Registration: Depending on the state, businesses may also need to file with the Secretary of State's office to register their business.
  • Employer Identification Number(EIN): This is a unique nine-digit number issued by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and is used to identify businesses for tax purposes. It is necessary when paying employees or filing taxes.
  • Professional License: In some states, bookkeeping agencies may need a professional license to operate legally. Check with the local or state licensing board for the specific requirements in your area.

It may also be necessary to obtain specific permits for the location of the business, such as zoning permits or health department permits if the agency will have employees or clients visiting the premises.

Tips & Tricks:

  • Research the specific permits and licenses needed in your area before starting the process.
  • Keep all permits and licenses up to date and renew them on time to avoid penalties.
  • Consider hiring a professional consultant to assist with the permit and licensing process if it becomes overwhelming.

Overall, obtaining the necessary permits and licenses is a crucial step in the process of opening a bookkeeping agency. It is essential to check with the relevant local and federal agencies to ensure compliance with all regulations and avoid any legal consequences down the road.

7. Find Vendors And Suppliers

One of the crucial steps in starting a bookkeeping agency business is finding reliable and trustworthy vendors and suppliers. You need to make sure that you have access to the necessary resources and services to provide quality services to your clients. Here are some tips and guidelines to help you find the right vendors and suppliers:

  • Research: Do thorough research of all the potential vendors and suppliers. Look at their reputation, experience, and reviews from other clients.
  • Reach Out: Contact them and ask for quotes, services, and products they offer.
  • Compare: Compare their quotes, experience, and reputation with each other.
  • Visit: Visit the vendors and suppliers to see their facilities personally and ensure that they maintain high standards.
  • Contracts: Make sure you have written contracts and agreements that detail all the terms and conditions of your partnership.

Tips & Tricks:

  • Tip 1: Building a strong relationship with your vendors and suppliers can lead to better deals and business opportunities.
  • Tip 2: Always maintain a backup plan and secondary sources for crucial resources to ensure smooth business operations in case of a vendor or supplier failure.
  • Tip 3: Be clear about your expectations and requirements to avoid any future misunderstandings.

Remember, the right vendors and suppliers can make or break your business, so do not make any compromises for quality and reliability.

8. Establish Online Presence

In today's digital era, having an online presence is crucial for any business, including a bookkeeping agency. By establishing an online presence, you can reach a wider audience, establish your authority, and increase your chances of success. Here are the steps you need to take to establish your bookkeeping agency's online presence:

  • Create a Website: Your website will be the cornerstone of your online presence. It should be well-designed and easy to navigate. Be sure to include your services, pricing, and contact information on your website.
  • Engage on Social Media: Social media can help you build brand awareness and connect with potential clients. Choose the social media platforms where your target audience is most active and post regularly.
  • Write a Blog: Writing blogs on your website will help you showcase your expertise and provide valuable information to your clients. Be sure to use relevant keywords and topics in your blog to attract organic traffic.
  • Offer Free Resources: Providing free resources such as eBooks, webinars, and templates can help you establish yourself as a thought leader and attract potential clients to your website.
  • Utilize SEO: Search engine optimization is an essential aspect of any online presence. Conduct keyword research and optimize your website and blogs accordingly to rank higher on search engine results pages.

Tips & Trics:

  • Ensure your website is mobile-friendly, as a majority of internet users access the web from their smartphones.
  • Create a Google My Business account to improve your local search rankings and increase your visibility on Google Maps.
  • Invest in paid advertising such as Google Ads and Facebook Ads to reach a larger audience and drive traffic to your website.

By following these steps, you can establish a strong online presence for your bookkeeping agency and attract potential clients. Remember to regularly update your website and social media platforms with fresh content and engage with your audience to build trust and establish your authority in the industry.

9. Recruit And Hire Managers And Employees

Recruiting and hiring efficient managers and employees is crucial for the smooth functioning and growth of your bookkeeping agency business. Here are the steps to follow-

  • Define job roles and responsibilities: Before starting to recruit, define the job roles and responsibilities clearly. This will help you hire the right candidates who have the necessary skills and experience.
  • Post job openings: Post the job openings on online job portals, social media, and your website. You can also network with industry peers to find potential candidates.
  • Review resumes and conduct initial screening: Review the resumes and shortlist the candidates who fit the job requirements. Conduct initial screening through phone calls to check if they meet your expectations.
  • Conduct interviews: Conduct face-to-face or video interviews to assess the candidate's skills, experience, and knowledge. Ask relevant questions that help you understand their proficiency in bookkeeping and accounting.
  • Check references: Before making an offer, check their references to get feedback on their previous work experience and performance.
  • Making an offer: Once you have identified the right candidates, make an offer that is in line with industry standards and your budget.
  • Onboarding: Once the new hires join, provide them with the necessary training and orientation to get them up to speed with your business processes and expectations.

Tips & Tricks to Hire Managers And Employees

  • Use behavioral questions during the interview process to understand how the candidate deals with challenges and works in a team.
  • Offer competitive salaries and benefits to attract and retain top talent.
  • Consider hiring a professional recruiter to help you find the best candidates.

With the right hiring process in place, you can build a team that is the backbone of your bookkeeping agency business. Remember to keep an eye on the training and development needs of your employees to keep them motivated and engaged.

10. Market Services

After completing the initial stages of starting your bookkeeping agency business, it is time to focus on marketing your services and getting clients. Here are some steps to help you successfully market your bookkeeping agency business.

Step 1. Know Your Niche

Identify your target market and determine the specific services that you are going to offer. By specializing in a specific niche, you will be able to provide tailored services to your clients, giving you a competitive edge and making your business more attractive to potential clients.
  • Identify the industry you will focus on, such as real estate, construction, or healthcare.
  • Determine the services you will offer, including bookkeeping, payroll processing, tax preparation, or financial reporting.

Step 2. Create a Professional Website

A professional website is essential in today's digital age. Your website is your online storefront and should reflect the professionalism of your bookkeeping agency business.
  • Choose a memorable and relevant domain name.
  • Create a visually appealing and easy-to-navigate website.
  • Include detailed information about your services and pricing.
  • Provide client testimonials or case studies to showcase your expertise.
  • Make sure your website is mobile-friendly.

Step 3. Leverage Social Media

Social media is a powerful tool that can help you reach potential clients and build relationships with existing ones.
  • Identify the social media platforms your target market is most active on, such as LinkedIn or Facebook.
  • Create business accounts and profiles across all relevant platforms.
  • Post regularly and engage with your followers.
  • Use social media advertising to target potential clients.

Tips & Trics:

  • Focus on providing value and sharing industry insights rather than just promoting your services.
  • Plan your social media content in advance and use a scheduling tool to save time.
  • Use videos and webinars to showcase your expertise and engage your audience.

Step 4. Networking

Networking is a tried and true method for building relationships and growing your client base.
  • Join professional associations and attend networking events.
  • Partner with other professionals in related industries, such as accountants or attorneys.
  • Offer to speak at industry events or host informational webinars.

Step 5. Referral Marketing

Referral marketing can be a powerful tool for growing your bookkeeping agency business. By providing exceptional service to your clients, you can encourage them to refer their friends and colleagues to your business.
  • Create a referral program and incentivize clients to refer new business.
  • Ask satisfied clients for testimonials and use them in your marketing materials.
  • Engage with your clients on a regular basis and provide excellent customer service.

Starting a bookkeeping agency business might seem intimidating, but with proper planning and preparation, it can be a rewarding venture. As we've seen from, the bookkeeping industry's steady growth isn't slowing down anytime soon. So, if you're considering starting your own bookkeeping agency business, you're on the right track.

By following the ten easy steps outlined in this blog post, you'll be well on your way to building a successful bookkeeping agency. Conducting thorough market research and developing a comprehensive business plan are integral steps to building a solid foundation. Estimating your startup costs, securing funding, and obtaining necessary permits and licenses will ensure that your business is legally compliant and financially sustainable.

Once you've established your business, focus on expanding your online presence and marketing your services to your target audience. Recruit and hire skilled employees and managers who share your business values, and don't be afraid to adjust your strategies as your business grows.

Remember, the bookkeeping industry has a projected CAGR of 5.7% from 2021-2028, so don't wait any longer to launch your bookkeeping agency business. With hard work, dedication, and proper planning, you can make your entrepreneurial dreams a reality.

Excel financial model

Bookkeeping Financial Model
  • 5-Year Financial Projection
  • 40+ Charts & Metrics
  • DCF & Multiple Valuation
  • Free Email Support