Get Started In Small Business Bookkeeping

Bookkeeping may not be the most exciting part of owning a small business, but it is certainly one of the most important. Doing your bookkeeping can be a daunting task, but plenty of resources are available to help you get started. 

This guide will provide an overview of the basics of small business bookkeeping, including tips on keeping track of your expenses and income. So if you’re ready to take control of your financial future, bookmark this page and get started today!

Are you considering starting your own small business? Congratulations! It’s an exciting venture, and there are many things to think about as you get started. 

One important thing to consider is bookkeeping – keeping track of your company’s income and expenses so you can make informed decisions about where to allocate your resources.

Fortunately, getting started in small business bookkeeping doesn’t have to be difficult. This guide will walk you through the basics to get up and running quickly.

Looking to start your own small business but don’t know where to start when it comes to bookkeeping? Relax! This blog post is here to help. 

In it, we’ll discuss the basics of small business bookkeeping and give you a few tips on how to get started. So whether you’re a rookie entrepreneur or just looking for some helpful advice, read on for all you need to know about keeping your finances in order.

Let’s get started!

How to Get Your Foot in the Door in the Australian Bookkeeping Industry

When a bookkeeper is recruited, the Australian Tax Office expects him to maintain the relevant details and generate the business operations statements that are required of them.

They also provide BAS services like as computer-based accounting systems that calculate GST and prepare tax bills for clients who seek consultation on matters relating to BAS or the ATO.

Registering as a BAS Agent is one of the procedures that would need to be taken in order to start a bookkeeping firm in Australia and eventually become a bookkeeper.

Bookkeepers are seeing an increase in demand for BAS services, which has made it one of the most popular services they offer.

After registering, you will be able to legally give services like these to customers in exchange for payment. Although this is not an absolutely necessary condition, meeting it will certainly bolster your trustworthiness.

Before being able to meet the requirements to register as a BAS agent, you are also required to finish a certificate IV bookkeeping course.

If you want to run a business in Australia, you are required to obtain an Australian Business Number. This is a mandatory step. This will make it simpler for companies to pay you for the services you’ve provided to them.

To be able to run this kind of business would also require you to obtain insurance; doing so protects you from financial setbacks that could result from carelessness or mistakes made during the course of your employment.

In addition, there are some insurance policies that will cover the cost of defending you legally in court, should a case be brought against you and it be brought before a judge.

After that, you will need to invest in the essential software and hardware in order to get your bookkeeping firm off the ground. A desktop computer or a laptop computer, along with industry-standard intelligent accounting software, and the setting up of a workspace are the essential components of this equipment.

Working from home can be difficult, particularly if you have other people in the house with you, so if you want to give the impression that you are more professional, you may want to consider renting office space.

1. Knowledge of the Market


Bookkeeping has been revolutionised in recent years thanks to developments in technology such as cloud-based and data analytics services. As a result, the value that bookkeepers offer to their clients’ businesses has been impacted.

As a result of the increasing level of faith that businesses are beginning to place in the profession, the industry has also enjoyed constant growth over the course of the past five years.

Over the course of the past five years, auditing client accounts has continued to serve as this sector’s primary and most reliable source of new revenue. Any company that wishes to continue to operate within the bounds of the law must provide these services.

The current favourable economic activity as well as an increase in the demand for industry-standard bookkeeping services have both contributed to the growth of this industry, which is another element that has affected industry growth.

Furthermore, the sector has embraced new technology in order to improve service integration and establish cross-selling services.

The fact that most of the manual work, such as the actual bookkeeping and routine end-of-month balances, is being done by intelligent software at the moment is one of the challenges that the bookkeeping sector must overcome.

The expectations placed on the bookkeeper and the skill set they should possess should change in tandem with the tools that are utilised to complete the function.

Because of this, bookkeepers would need to be creative in order to satisfy the increasingly stringent requirements set forth by their customers.

Even though there are applications and intelligent software that make it appear as though they can do the work of the bookkeeper, business owners still need the bookkeeper to interpret the information that is provided by the software, and this enables the bookkeeper to leverage on the skills that he possesses. In the same way that technology appears to both help and threaten the industry, there are applications and intelligent software that make it appear as though they can do the work of the bookkeeper.

In circumstances such as these, the primary responsibility that is placed on bookkeepers is to offer insight and analysis. The bookkeeper can also serve as a business consultant for smaller companies, advising them on how to best achieve their objectives through the examination of both financial and non-financial data.

Bookkeepers need to become skilled in the art of service diversification in order to maintain their marketability to owners of businesses. It is no longer sufficient to believe that you give value simply by delivering basic bookkeeping services.

Rather, this mindset needs to evolve. When business owners grow more imaginative with accounting tools, it’s possible that the role of the bookkeeper who concentrates on the fundamentals will become outdated.

The bookkeeper may start to specialise in certain areas, such as serving as a Virtual CFO for start-ups and small enterprises, managing inventory and warehousing, point-of-sale systems, cloud integration of various programmes, and payroll processing.

Bookkeepers will continue to be in demand in the years to come as long as they offer a variety of cutting-edge services in addition to their core competencies in bookkeeping.

Bookkeepers would also need to have a strong understanding of tax regulations; they would need to ensure that they are always up to date on the most recent tax requirements as well as those that are developing across different sectors.

There is little doubt that bookkeepers have a prosperous future ahead of them due to the investigative nature of their work. Although it is common knowledge that numbers cannot lie, it is also common knowledge that numbers do not tell the complete narrative behind transactions.

As a result of the fact that it requires the experienced eyes of a bookkeeper to explore and build new systems for organisations, bookkeepers have taken on the job of consultant, which is one that is greatly valued.

Bookkeeping in Australia is heading in the direction of providing management services, consulting services, financial planning, tax consulting, wealth management, and other similar services in the near future. It’s really promising that all of these facets have lately been added into the function of the bookkeeper since it means that the role is continuing to evolve.

2. Research the Market and Perform a Feasibility Analysis

Demographics and Psychographics

There are people that require their accounts to be in order since financial concerns may be very complicated, particularly when you look at tax matters.

In order to provide evidence of their development over time, companies require access to their bookkeeping records. It is important to be aware of the financial state of the company in order to determine if it is just generating money, making profits, or incurring losses.

Documenting all of one’s financial dealings in an accurate manner can be the deciding factor between financial collapse and success. It is helpful for individuals and business owners to be able to forecast what their financial future will be like if they are aware of exactly what the money is doing.

Since bookkeepers are now able to provide clients with plain financial advice, they are also in a position to provide recommendations regarding the management of their clients’ funds in order to improve the prospects for those clients’ businesses.

When a person is aware of their own financial routines, they are better informed on how to better oneself and how to work around financial behaviours that may be hindering their capacity to be successful in both their professional and personal lives.

The typical customers for this kind of enterprise include small and medium-sized firms, large-scale businesses, individuals who have various streams of income, or even normal people who wish to get their finances in order.

Your work, whether you do it on a contract basis or as an in-house employee, will be of great use to the clients you serve. One of the requirements for a company to be authorised to conduct business in Australia is to maintain accurate financial records.

Some companies require this kind of service because of the fluid nature of the laws governing taxes, the growth of their credit ratings, the reduction of their debt, and other similar factors. But regardless of the specific market you hope to serve with your bookkeeping services, the fact remains that every company that regularly handles financial transactions will require the assistance of a competent bookkeeper.

3. Determine the Target Market Segment You Will Focus On

If you focus excessively on just one aspect of your bookkeeping expertise, you run the risk of hurting your company because you won’t have as many customers to keep you afloat until you find your footing again.

You should feel obligated to provide services in a variety of capacities, especially when you are first getting started, given that the majority of customers will require a wide range of services.

You could concentrate on offering bookkeeping services to specific players in the industry, such as medical professionals, accounting firms, insurance companies, or real estate companies; alternatively, you could simply establish yourself as the wealth management company for individuals who have vast personal resources.

The Degree of Rivalry That Exists Within the Sector

When it comes to businesses that manage books, there is a lot of competition in Australia. On the other hand, given that the majority of companies who require these services are small and medium-sized, the scope of their operations is typically limited to the local, regional, and national levels.

This indicates that many organisations that provide bookkeeping services would have easy access to customers that are currently in the market.

It is safe to say that the simplest way to stay above the competition in Australia, where there are a lot of bookkeeping firms competing to have their share of the market, is to provide an unbeatable variety of services and do aggressive marketing.

This is because there are a lot of bookkeeping firms in Australia competing for their share of the market.

4. Be Familiar with the Principal Rivals Operating in the Industry

When individuals think about hiring someone to keep their books, the names of well-known brands in the sector may be the first ones that come to mind.

When it comes to making their presence known across the country, however, these businesses have done an excellent job of building their brand awareness around the country.

Because they are almost certainly one of your competitors in this market, paying attention to what they are doing should be one of your top objectives. The following is a list of a few of the most well-known bookkeeping businesses in Australia:

  • The Institute of Certified Bookkeepers
  • Australian Bookkeeping Company Pty Ltd
  • Jim’s Bookkeeping Australia
  • Pacific Accounting Solutions
  • Accountants Australia
  • OAS Australia
  • First Class Accounts
  • Economic Analysis

Depending on the strategy that you take towards the endeavour, opening a bookkeeping business may not require a significant financial investment on your part.

It is feasible to launch a bookkeeping business from the comfort of your own home; all that is required of you is to sign up for the required documentation and licences, obtain the appropriate training, and make use of the digital world to market yourself and begin providing services to clients.

On the other hand, if you want to run a firm that is perceived as being much more professional, you should consider renting an office space. As a bookkeeper, the most crucial thing is that you be knowledgeable about what you are doing and that the quality of your services is satisfactory.

The general economic climate is such that there will be a continued high demand for a variety of services relating to liquidations, restructuring, and bankruptcies.

This will undoubtedly have an impact on the business. It should be noted that payroll services are responsible for the majority of the work done by bookkeeping specialists; tax preparation and auditing services are the only ones that come close to competing with payroll services in this regard.

5. Consider Investing in an Existing Franchise or Beginning Your Own Business

Several different bookkeeping businesses in Australia are open to the idea of franchising their operations.

This gives you the ability to utilise a well-known brand, which will make marketing a lot easier for you to handle overall.

Because the majority of the legwork has already been done for you, there is no need for you to develop any additional marketing tactics because your franchisor has already done this for you.

Additionally, if this is your first attempt and you do not have adequate experience, you would have access to veterans in the area who have been working in this industry for a longer period of time than you have.

Their guidance would be incredibly beneficial, particularly during trying times when tough choices need to be made. One of the businesses that are eager to franchise their bookkeeping operations is First Class Accounting, which has locations in both New Zealand and Australia.

On the other side, beginning a firm from scratch will give you the opportunity to develop your character, as well as your professional network and skill set.

In addition, as you gain experience in navigating the numerous obstacles and setbacks that are typically encountered while beginning a firm from scratch, you will become more skilled at the craft that you currently practise.

Be aware that the success of whichever strategy you choose will be dependent on your level of motivation and tenacity, regardless of the path you ultimately decide to take.

6. Anticipate the Dangers and Difficulties You May Encounter

If you had an accounting company, one of the most significant challenges you would face is competition from increasingly sophisticated technologies and computer programmes that give the impression of doing the work for you.

It can appear that as time goes on and technology advances, solutions get simpler and easier to understand and utilise.


It would appear that the days of the contract bookkeeper are numbered when a small business owner believes that whatever it is that he was going to pay you for, he could do it himself by using the smart software.

In addition to keeping records, a bookkeeper may also provide professional advise to the customer or even act as a consultant on subjects that are important to the client. As a result of the lack of formal training that the business owner has received, it is unfortunate that these concepts may not be easily accessible to them.

Another danger is posed by the fact that accounting firms typically also provide bookkeeping services to their clients.

These accounting firms might offer to perform a great deal more than what your bookkeeping company is currently capable of doing, so you might want to consider hiring them instead.

Accounting services are more expensive than simple bookkeeping services, and if you look at your target market, they are mostly small businesses or individuals who need their records to be straightened out.

This particular threat can be circumvented by noting that accounting services are more expensive than simple bookkeeping services.

If you do an excellent job of keeping the books and offer some of the services that accounting companies offer that are well within the bookkeeping trade scope, then you won’t have to worry about this threat.

Other problems may include building a business plan for your accounting business, picking a way to enter into the practise, and knowing the numerous generic policies for the field you choose to conduct business with. Other challenges may include the following:

7. Decide Which Form of Legal Entity Is Best For You

There are a variety of legal entities that you can use for this kind of business, and the one you choose should depend on how far you envision your firm expanding.

For instance, one can run a bookkeeping business with as little as the purchase of a laptop equipped with all of the essential software, the establishment of a workstation at home, the solicitation of clients, and the commencement of work.

If this is the course of action that you wish to take, registering your business as a sole proprietor may be appropriate.

On the other hand, if the responsibility suit goes against you, dealing with the resulting liability issues could not be a pleasant experience.

When you decide to team up with other bookkeepers or individuals who can provide a variety of services to the company as a whole, the most advantageous form of legal organisation under which to register a business of this nature is a partnership.

Liability protection, flexibility, and tax savings are some of the benefits that come along with registering your business as a partnership rather than a corporation.

8. Pick an Interesting Brand Name from the Suggestions Here

It is possible for the name of the company to attract or turn away potential customers.

Because this is a company that deals with finances, whoever comes up with the names for its products and services should exercise some creativity while avoiding giving the impression that they are being overly whimsical.

The name you choose with ought to be reflective of what it is that you perform, and it ought to convey the appropriate level of seriousness that you intend to bring to the table when you are managing your clients’ financial records.

It should be simple to say and spell, and it should work well when appended to a domain ending such,.biz, In order to prevent running into legal issues related to copyright, you should also check to see if the name is being utilised by any other companies. Even when designing the actual letters, the fonts that are utilised have power in expressing the message of your business to customers. This is especially important when you are trying to attract new customers. The following is a list of some ideas that you could test out:

  • Living Bookkeeping Firm
  • Optimum Books
  • Advance Allen Bookkeeping
  • Bedrock Finance Bookkeeping

Advice For Excellent Bookkeeping

1. Set aside time each week to focus on bookkeeping

It is of the utmost significance to stay on top of this. You should do regular reviews so that you can keep track of how well your firm is doing and maintain control over its cash flow.

2. Create a brand-new bank account specifically for your company’s income and expenditures

It is essential to maintain your personal life and your professional life completely distinct in all of your dealings.

After some time has passed, you will be able to submit an application for a company credit card and use the same terms.

3. Purchase accounting software that can meet your company’s needs

Before making a purchase, it is a good idea to consult with a business consultant or an accountant if you are unsure which piece of software will be most beneficial to your company.

Accounting software from MYOB is the brand that we choose to utilise.

One of the primary advantages of using cloud software is that it enables you to view your company’s financials from any location and at any time. Additionally, you may delegate this task to your bookkeeper or accountant.

Your data will be backed up on a consistent basis in the cloud at all times.

However, as an additional layer of protection, you should always make sure that you preserve backups of your financial data.

When using desktop software, you will need to get in the routine of routinely backing up your files.

This will need some discipline on your part.

4. Complete all of your tax and compliance requirements

Every company is required to obtain an ABN, and if their annual revenue is greater than $75,000, they must also register for the Goods and Services Tax.

For the purpose of submitting an expense report, it would be beneficial for you to save receipts of all purchases.

If you have employees, you are required to sign up for the PAYG withholding tax as well. At this point in the process, you will pay your employees and deduct some tax on their behalf.

Additionally, the ATO requires that you fill out and submit a Business Activity Statement (BAS) on a monthly or quarterly basis.

You should be able to easily access this information if you use a suitable accounting programme and have it set up properly.

In this way, you may establish systems that will assist you in streamlining and automating the procedures of your organisation, which will allow you to maintain compliance.

5. Maintain your receipts

The Australian Taxation Office demands that you preserve records for a period of at least five years.

The following is a list of the records that you are expected to retain and make available upon request:

  • Invoices and receipts that your company issues in exchange for money paid for products sold or services performed.
  • Invoices for the purchase of products, services, and other assets for your company that were made by third parties.
  • Records of payments that have been paid to employees as well as other organisations on their behalf, such as PAYG tax and superannuation funds.
  • Each and every financial statement, such as an income statement, balance sheet, and cash flow statement.
  • Details regarding the Tax Return
  • Statements from financial institutions and credit card companies
  • At the end of the fiscal year, stocktakes and asset registers, among other records, are taken.
  • Everything else that the company possesses that has a monetary value.
  • For the purpose of storing this information, you might either maintain a well-organized filing cabinet or create digital files on your computer.

6. Or, hire a fantastic bookkeeper

It is possible that as your company grows, you will want the aid of an excellent bookkeeper. If this becomes the case, keep in mind that the cost of this service is deductible from your taxes.

Employing a bookkeeper allows you to concentrate on expanding your company while simultaneously ensuring that your record keeping is accurate.

It is essential to fulfil all of your tax and compliance duties for the end of the financial year in order to provide yourself the peace of mind you deserve during this fiscal year.

Google Rating
Based on 46 reviews