Accountancy, as an industry, is huge and it can be very profitable too. The usual types of services provided by an accounting business are bookkeeping, accountancy, financial reports, accounts receivable, accounts payable, payroll, preparation of financial reports and tax papers for individuals and businesses.
Because of the recession, there are many small businesses starting up who will be needing your assistance. Every business needs accounting professionals to complete their bookkeeping and accounting requirements, therefore demand for accountants is high. Additionally, many established businesses are now moving towards outsourcing their accountancy and finance work to freelancers who may work on a long or short-term basis.
It is important for the entrepreneur thinking of starting a Home Based Accounting Business to have a mixture of the following professional skills:
Being well organized and detail-oriented
Being self motivated and able to manage time to meet deadlines
Having solid numerical skills
Qualifications: A degree or certificate in accountancy such as the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) or Certified Financial Accountant (CFA) would definitely assist the budding entrepreneur. (Note: These vary from country to country)
The good thing about these certifications is that the only requirement to gain them is to undertake the professional training and pass the multiple exams: there are no other prerequisites.
The next step is to decide which areas you would like to work in, although being a freelancer enables you to do different types of work in multiple sectors simultaneously. However, it is wise to consider which sectors you would like to work in (based on interest and experience) if given the option. This allows you to become a specialist in any particular market. Having said that, there are benefits to working in multiple sectors, which include lack of monotony and the broadening of your experience.
Ensure you have a space to work that is free from all noise and disturbance. This is extremely important as you will be handling sensitive and important information. Naturally, you will need a good computer with good accounting software, spreadsheet, word processor, database software and an Internet connection. Make sure you have a backup system to ensure that if the worst happens, you don't lose all of your data. Also a copier, fax, phone etc will be required as well of course as a calculator and maybe an adding machine.
Of course you will also need to choose a name for your business, organise your stationery, a website (very easy to create your own nowadays) and a good supply of business cards to hand out.
Next up is finding clients. This can be the most difficult part of your business, especially if you have no sales or marketing experience. However, in the age of the internet, it could be easier than you think. Additionally, try to network as much as you can. Join local business networking groups and forums online to build your presence in the industry. It is best too target small to medium sized businesses as these are the prospective clients of your business.
This type of business is such that it grows over time via networking, referrals, sales and marketing. Be sure you provide an excellent service to your clients so they will refer you onto other clients. Remember - most people in business know other people in business and are happy to refer you on if you provide a great service.
Lastly, a percentage of your time will have to be spent in marketing your business, especially in the early stages.