2014: There are Currently More Opportunities THAN EVER for Home-Based Bookkeepers

The numbers don't lie - find out why statistically now is a better time than ever to begin your bookkeeping business.
The numbers don’t lie – find out why statistically now is a better time than ever to begin your bookkeeping business.

With 2013 now come to a close, many of you may be thinking about how you will work in 2014. Now is a better time than ever to start a home-based bookkeeping business! It’s why we offer online MYOB training courses, in addition to Reach and Xero, so you can learn how to use the most popular accounting software in the world. But now, let’s give you three tangible reasons why NOW is one of the best times you could start your own bookkeeping business, working from home:

1. Health and Well-Being Reasons

The reasons for starting a home-based bookkeeping business are many and varied, but some of the first are to do with your own physical and mental health. In a post we published earlier this year, we listed five reasons why you should start a home-based business; we’ve also discussed the benefits to your health that working from home can bring, particularly in reducing your stress. Working from home has never been easier, and it’s a trend that’s fast catching on, particularly in the accounting and bookkeeping industry.

2. Cloud Software and Low Capital Investment — Creating More Opportunities

Cloud-based accounting software is also creating more opportunities for home-based bookkeeping businesses. According to market research firm, IBISWorld, in the five years to 2013, revenue in the bookkeeping and payroll industries has reached $2 billion, with an increasing trend among companies to outsource bookkeeping functions due to the higher level of connectedness — thanks in part to cloud-based accounting software.

But there’s even better news for people looking to start their own home-based bookkeeping business: capital investment is extremely low, and for every dollar spent on capital, the industry spends an average of $26.25 on labour. This is largely due to capital investments being small, and usually only include, computers, access to the internet, accounting software and office furniture.

Due to the industry becoming increasingly fragmented — in 2013, there were some 1,892 registered bookkeeping businesses operating in Australia — there’s a huge demand for bookkeeping services, particularly among SMEs, who usually don’t have any payroll or bookkeeping staff employed full-time.

3. LOTS of Work Available — And Accounting Services Growing

According to ABS data, 96 percent of the businesses operating in Australia are small businesses, of which the largest number operate within the construction industry (16.2 percent), followed professional and scientific services (11.7 percent), and rental, hiring and real estate services (10.5 percent). For bookkeepers that are highly skilled in these industries, there’s no shortage of work. That’s why we also offer a Small Business Management Course, to provide bookkeepers, virtual assistants, or simply anybody who wants to work for themselves, with comprehensive training in what you need to know to run or manage a small business.

But for those bookkeepers hoping to strike up a working relationship with a local accountant, there’s good news on that front, too: the accounting services industry has recorded annual growth of 2.9 percent in the four years since 2009, and annual revenue totaling $16 billion, according to IBISWorld.

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If you’re a bookkeeper and you’ve been thinking about starting a bookkeeping business, you know better than anyone that the numbers don’t lie — the time to start that business is now!

Be Happy: Start a Business and Work From Home

You may find that one of the key benefits of starting your own business is that your work actually makes you much happier.
You may find that one of the key benefits of starting your own business is that your work actually makes you much happier.

Are you toying with the idea of starting a virtual or home-based business? Well EzyLearn is your one-stop training-shop for everything you need to start a business — all via our Small Business Management training course, MYOB training courses, WordPress training courses and MS Office training courses. But what are the real benefits of working from home?

The Pros of Working from Home in Your Own Business

We look at some of the upsides to being your own boss here:

  1. Fewer Expenses: This may be an obvious one, but it’s often what makes or breaks a bricks-and-mortar business. Operating your business from home incurs fewer expenses; namely the overheads of rent, power and telephone services. But there are those other little expenses that can start to add up: coffees, lunches, petrol and other travel expenses. When you work from home you can say goodbye to forking out $4 for a coffee everyday and hello to the $960 you’ll save each year by having a cuppa at home instead!
  2. Manage Business Expenses: Working from home can allow you to cutback on certain things or splurge on others, which is sometimes not possible with a physical office. Using cloud accounting software like MYOB also allows you to keep track of your day-to-day more efficiently so you can see how you’re tracking on a daily basis.
  3. Improve Your Business: Without the overheads and expenses that come with operating a business with a physical office space, you can reinvest that money to improve the overall operations of your business — whether that means updating your computers, systems or expanding your business into an area you previously couldn’t because of the golden handcuffs.
  4. You’re Greener: Most people spend between 10 and 20 hours every week just sitting in peak-hour traffic. When you work from home you can finally do your bit for the environment and ditch the car, including all the costs associated with it. Between the cost of fuel, car services, rego, insurance and tyres you’re looking at around $5,000 a year — that’s a trip to Europe!
  5. You’re Happy: Sometimes when you’re trying to rationalise to friends and family the benefits of working from home we forget to say this because it sounds like a cop-out, but it’s actually a biggie. You spend 48 weeks of the year at work, and an average of 40 years working — why shouldn’t you strive to be happy? Confucius once said: find a job you love and you’ll never work a day in your life.

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So on that note, what are you waiting for? EzyLearn can provide you with all the training you need, from managing your business and doing your books to finally getting your head around Excel and website design.

So don’t worry. Be happy — start a business and have a job you actually love.

The Virtual Business: Transitioning from the Real World to the Digital World

If you prepare and test first, then the transition from physical to virtual office should be smooth sailing.
If you prepare and test first, then the transition from physical to virtual office should be smooth sailing.

There are many benefits to be had by operating a virtual business — both to yourself as a business owner and to your clients — and in our last post about closing your bricks and mortar office doors to create a virtual one, we discussed the importance of getting the timing right. But once you know the timing is right, how do you make the transition?

Setting Timeframes and Testing

Remember: Rome wasn’t built in a day, so set yourself a timeframe of say, 12-18 months, to make the transition from bricks-and-mortar business to a virtual one. This should give you ample time to help your clients and staff get used to the idea.

But while it’s important not to rush the transition, you shouldn’t dilly-dally, either. Use this time to implement new systems, structures, procedures and protocols — and test them.

Help your staff get into the habit of working from home but you’ll inevitably encounter a few glitches, so make sure you work on resolving them before you do away with your physical office space. This may involve upgrading existing infrastructure, software and computing equipment.

Keeping the Team Spirit Alive

You should also consider ways to ensure your employees continue to function as a team even when they’re removed from the team environment. People are known to be more productive when they feel valued, so you might consider reinvesting those rent-cheque savings in regular meet-ups or team building exercises, and more efficient computing equipment like tablet devices.

Prepare People for Change

Importantly, make sure you communicate with your staff and clients along the way so that they’re prepared for the new virtual realities of either working with a virtual business or being employed by one. This will also help you gauge any potential pitfalls so you can nip them in the bud before they become larger issues.

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If you’re interested in finding out more about making the transition from a bricks and mortar business into a virtual or online one, why not subscribe to our EzyLearn blog? You can read more about what a virtual bookkeeping business is likehow to turn your bookkeeping business into a virtual one and how you can run a remote bookkeeping business in the cloud.