How to Become a Bookkeeper: A Step By Step Guide

how to do your own bookkeeping online

FIFO accounting, or first-in, first-out, is a method of valuing inventory. It’s basically an assumption for cost-flow purposes that states the first goods you purchased are the first goods you sold. This assumption most closely resembles an actual flow of products earning it the distinction as the most correct valuing method in theory. Consider your local supermarket — the first gallons of milk the store purchased to sell to customers are the first gallons sold usually. Otherwise, a lot of milk (product) would spoil, thus creating a loss for the store.

how to do your own bookkeeping online

They give small business owners vital information to make better financial investments down the road. So you set the number of clients, hours, and the amount of time you want to work each week. You can choose from a bunch of certification courses or classes to learn new skills and take your business to the next level. A virtual bookkeeper helps companies stay on financial track, understand their bigger financial picture, and decide where to spend money. As a virtual bookkeeper, you have the unique freedom to choose who to work with.

What Do You Need to Set Up Bookkeeping for Your Business?

It’s never too early to take ownership of your bookkeeping policies. By following the tips and best practices outlined in this guide, you’ll be more equipped to set a strong financial foundation for future growth, profitability, and ultimate success. There are several effective ways to manage bookkeeping responsibilities in-house or externally by using helpful tools and technologies. Angie Nelson began working from home in 2007 when she took her future into her own hands and found a way to escape the corporate cubicle farm. Today she balances several successful online ventures and loves to share her passion for home business with others.

Replacing employer-sponsored coverage can be one of the most expensive costs of going into business for yourself. If you plan on operating under a fictitious business name or several different names, you may need to file a “Doing Business As” (DBA) statement. If you’ve established a corporation or LLC, the entity needs to get registered with your state.


It’s not compulsory, but you might want to look into insurance for your bookkeeping business. Common business insurance policies for bookkeepers include things such as professional liability and general liability. As we mentioned above, you don’t technically need to be certified to run a bookkeeping business. Unlike some of the other accounting software on this list, Gusto is a more specialized program focusing mainly on payroll rather than accounting as a whole. Perhaps you’ve got a small business going, and now you’re wondering if you can handle the accounting yourself. In this article, we’ll cover 7 steps to teach you how to do your own bookkeeping, as well as handy tools like accounting software to make the job easier.

how to do your own bookkeeping online

Some popular options include QuickBooks, Xero, FreshBooks and Zoho Books, among others. You can read more about our ratings for various business accounting software here. You should be familiar with more than one software as some of your clients may have a preference in terms of the accounting software that they’d like you to use. If you want to start a virtual bookkeeping business, one of the areas you’ll want to learn is marketing. To make sure your business gets seen and has a shot at generating leads, use these 9 promotion tactics. Don’t worry, we cover all the in-depth tactics in the resources for starting a virtual bookkeeping business below.

Choose your bookkeeping software

One simple way to promote your bookkeeping work is to make your site optimized for mobile users. Plus, G Suite gives you 30GB Cloud Storage, shared calendars, and access to G Docs, Sheets, Slides, and other office tools. Of course, if you have the budget, you can always hire a service to make one for you. There’s a small learning curve for WordPress, but once you get the hang of it, you can turn your business site into anything you want. As a potential client goes through your site, they should find it easy to contact you by email or phone.

  • When you start your first subscription to Coursera, it will start a seven-day free trial.
  • Bookkeeping beginners need quick wins to get started quickly and efficiently.
  • A double-entry system requires a much more detailed bookkeeping process, where every entry has an additional corresponding entry to a different account.
  • Once you’ve formed your entity, you must apply for an employee identification number (EIN) with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

Divide this amount by net sales amount to obtain your profit margin. If the ratio of income to debt is small, you’re operating with a narrow profit margin. Analyze where you can cut some costs, and you can improve a narrow profit margin. You can also track your gross margin weekly, biweekly, or monthly based on your sales. If your business incorporates brick-and-mortar sales with online sales, payroll will be different between the two. To analyze which type of sales amount to the largest profit for your company, you must segregate in-person sales from online sales.

The Beginner’s Guide to Bookkeeping

Thanks to new cloud-based technology, you have the opportunity to reach a broader audience. Receiving documents by fax, face-to-face client meetings, paper receipts — all of these are now a thing of the past. Accounting principles change country-by-country, but bookkeeping is a universal language spoken the same no matter where a client is based. You can log in from home and access records and documents just as if you were sitting in their office with them.

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