How to start a bookkeeping business in the UK

Are you considering launching a bookkeeping business but need help knowing how to start?

Launching a bookkeeping company has many advantages: most bookkeepers work from home and have very low overhead expenses. You can get a regular monthly income from a consistent set of customers, and with adequate preparation, it is relatively simple to manage.

We put together a guide that provides advice on how to start a bookkeeping business in UK online and tips on acquiring potential customers.

Table of contents

Tips to set up a bookkeeping business in the UK

  1. Define clear goals

To successfully drive strategic decision-making and track progress, set quantifiable goals for your bookkeeping business, such as revenue targets, client acquisition goals, and service expansion milestones.

  1. Research your target market

Once you’ve specified the overall aims of your company, it’s time to concentrate on reaching these, which involves comprehending your target market.

When starting a new bookkeeping enterprise, it can be tempting to provide each service possible to enhance your chances of success – and there’s nothing wrong with this strategy so long as you can deliver it.

You can work in various industries, providing consulting and accounts payable services. Still, you can also establish yourself as an expert in your field and charge more for it by concentrating on a particular niche.

Whatever path you take, having a selection of packages to offer clients will encourage them to give you more work than they may have originally anticipated and allow you to operate on a retainer every month rather than having to worry about unpredictable income.  

  1. Make a business plan

Every new company must have a business plan. Every business plan will include a few fundamental pieces of information:

  • An overview highlighting the key points
  • A description of the services you plan to offer
  • An explanation of your business advantages
  • An overview of market research and your advertising approach
  • An outline of your leadership structure
  • Financial projections

While writing a company plan, you’ll also want to develop a company name. Select an organisation name that consumers readily connect with bookkeeping help and differentiates you from your competitors.

  1. Select your business structure and set up your business.

Select the best legal form for your accounting company: limited company, limited liability partnership (LLP), partnership, or sole proprietorship. Register your business with the right authorities, such as HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) for tax purposes and Companies House if you select a corporate structure. Ensure compliance with all regulations and laws, such as obtaining the appropriate licences or permits.

  1. Set up your workplace and equipment.

Create an individual workspace for the accounting business that includes essential equipment and tools. Invest in accounting software to handle client accounts effectively and accelerate bookkeeping procedures.

Consider cloud-based software solutions for adaptability and accessibility, permitting you to work remotely and work with clients seamlessly.

  1. Build a digital presence

Consider your website and online presence as your shop front. It must express clearly who you are and what you do. Your website should be clear, simple, and informative. Evaluate what information you would want to view and what you would not want to see.

Give your website a personal touch. Display your personality and areas of enthusiasm. Consider yourself from the perspective of a potential customer. Why should they get in touch with you instead of another bookkeeper?

A strong social media presence is just as crucial as an excellent website. You can reach potential clients using Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Create a Facebook business page where you specify your services in detail.

  1. Expand your networks

Starting your bookkeeping practice on your own can feel a little lonely. Establish a connection with your peers.

Social media platforms and trade associations provide networking opportunities. Through Internet networking, you can locate bookkeepers who share your interests in using the same software, providing services to similar sectors, or working in the same location.

  1. Price your services

The cost of bookkeeping and accounting services can vary widely based on location. A competitive evaluation can go a long way. Look for other local bookkeeping companies and determine how much they charge for their services. Verify the prices charged by other bookkeepers with comparable qualifications and expertise.

Additionally, as bookkeeping services are typically provided annually, consider providing yearly payment savings to customers. For instance, if a client pays for ongoing bookkeeping assistance one year in advance, you can charge a monthly fee and then give them a 10% discount. Along with giving you some much-needed initial cash flow, this might assist you in drawing in potential customers.

  1. Research funding options

Creating a company credit card and bank account is something you should do. This can assist you in keeping your personal business spending segregated and well-organised. 

A small company loan can be something you should look into if you intend to hire staff members, such as an administrative assistant. Your business plan will be particularly significant if you are looking for funding from a bank or investor because it will serve as a basis of understanding for these parties about your company.

  1. Have confidence in yourself

One of the biggest challenges people face when starting is confidence and motivation.

Give yourself confidence in your skills by being the best for your client. Maintain the accuracy and organisation of your books. You’ll feel more satisfied with your work as a result.

Reviewing your plan can help you to stay motivated. What goals do you have? What fuels your motivation? When making decisions like employing your first staff, raising your fees, or taking on an additional client, keep these things in mind.


Final thoughts

Starting a bookkeeping business in the UK is a difficult but rewarding endeavour. By following the procedure outlined in this guide and maintaining a concentration on professionalism, excellent service delivery, and constant enhancement, you can establish a profitable and long-lasting business in the ever-changing landscape of financial services.

Update your knowledge, develop familiarity with your favourite platforms, and remain informed when their features change. Remember that investing in your company entails investing in yourself.

123Financials Editorial Team
The 123Financials editorial team is composed of seasoned finance and accounting experts with a combined experience of over 20 years. Specializing in UK finance, accounting, and tax-related content, our team is dedicated to delivering insightful and practical advice to startups and small businesses. With a strong background in both the theoretical and practical aspects of financial management, we ensure that our readers stay informed and empowered to make sound financial decisions. Whether it’s navigating the complexities of UK tax laws or providing strategic financial planning tips, our team is committed to excellence and accuracy in every article.