Personal Bookkeeping Services Guide for Small Businesses

Farwah Jafri | November 17 2023

No matter what they do, small businesses will always require help with their financial records. If you’re considering becoming a bookkeeper, our guide can help you with personal bookkeeping services in 2023. We’ll guide you through everything, from the legal aspects of setting up a new business to how to price your services and promote them effectively.  

 70% of small business owners need a dedicated bookkeeper.  

Businesses of all sizes require a dedicated bookkeeper, and it is quite difficult to find the best one for your business. Therefore, outsourcing the bookkeeping can save you numerous resources, including money, time and multiple in-house hires. Monily’s dedicated bookkeepers can help you achieve your financial goals.  

But what does a bookkeeper do? First things first! 

What does a bookkeeper do?  

Many companies hire bookkeepers to assist them in maintaining their financial records and creating accounting reports. Among other tasks, a bookkeeper often:   

  • Records and categorizes transactions, like income and expenses.  
  • Manages a company’s finances using business accounting software like QuickBooks or Xero.  
  • Assesses a company’s cash flow.  
  • Prepares financial statements, including balance sheets and profit and loss statements.  

Distinguishing a Bookkeeper from an Accountant  

Unlike certified public accountants (CPAs), bookkeepers don’t handle tax returns, nor do they audit financial statements. Bookkeepers are not required to hold an accounting degree. Bookkeepers should only prepare tax returns if they are CPAs or sign them as paid preparers.  

You should know when to stop managing the books of your business by yourself.

Certifications for Your Bookkeeping Business  

Some bookkeepers choose to obtain certifications to enhance their business. Bookkeepers who do personal bookkeeping services can become certified in various financial platforms like QuickBooks or through training programs. Alternatively, you can become a certified public bookkeeper to market yourself as a skilled bookkeeping professional.  

Professional associations also offer certifications that allow you to improve your skills and promote yourself as a professional bookkeeper.  

Develop a Business Plan  

Starting a new business, like doing personal bookkeeping services, requires a well-thought-out business plan to set you on the right path. Crafting a business plan serves multiple purposes, including clarifying your business goals and objectives, and it can be a valuable tool when seeking financial support from lenders or investors. In simple terms, a business plan should cover the following aspects:  

Executive summary: This is like a quick pitch for your business.  

Business overview: A more detailed description of your business.  

Market and competition analysis.  

Description of your main products and services.  

Marketing and sales strategy.  

Proposed budget and financial projections.  

If you’re running a bookkeeping business, include information about your specialization and certifications.  

Select a Business Name  

Your business name should mirror your identity and the services you offer. It’s the first thing that tells people who you are and what you do, including customers, competitors, and others in your industry.  

Register Your Business  

Once settled on a business name, you must officially register your business in your state. The registration requirements depend on your business structure (like sole proprietorship, corporation, partnership, or LLC) and the state where you operate. You might also need a business license. You can find more details if you’re interested in forming an LLC.  

Choose the Right Software  

Numerous business accounting software options are available. Some well-known choices include QuickBooks, Xero, FreshBooks, and Zoho Books. Being familiar with multiple software platforms is a good idea since some clients may prefer certain accounting software.  

Set Your Prices  

Determining your service fees can be a challenging task. Research is key before setting your rates, and it’s important to remain flexible for future adjustments.  

To establish your pricing, you can explore freelance platforms like Upwork to see what others charge for bookkeeping services. Additionally, you can gain valuable insights by talking to local businesses to find out what they currently pay for bookkeeping services. Connect with fellow bookkeepers in your network and inquire about their rates. By doing this, you can gain a reasonable understanding of the pricing strategies and trends for bookkeeping services.   

The specific charges you bill your clients for bookkeeping services will depend on your certifications, years of experience, and familiarity with your client’s business.  

Exploring Financial Support  

When starting a bookkeeping business, setting up a bank account and a credit card for your business expenses is a good idea. It also comes under bookkeeping for personal finances. This will help you keep your personal and business finances separate. If you plan to hire employees, like an administrative assistant, you should also consider getting a small business loan. Having a solid business plan is crucial if you’re considering getting financial help from a bank or an investor. Your business plan is how potential lenders and investors will get to know your business better.  

Promoting Your Bookkeeping Business  

Before you start your business, creating a marketing and sales strategy is essential to ensure your success. Your bookkeeping marketing and sales plan could involve the following:  

  • Figuring out where potential clients are likely to learn about your services and finding ways to connect with them (e.g., through Google My Business, Google Ads, and more).  
  • Establishing an online presence with a website that is well-optimized for search engines. You’ll need to learn how to create a website for your small business.  
  • Listing your bookkeeping business in relevant online business directories.  
  • Identifying individuals in your network who might become your clients or refer you to others.  
  • Exploring the possibility of using paid advertising and marketing materials within your budget.  
  • Considering local advertising opportunities.  

What are the best financial tools:  

There are numerous tools to do your bookkeeping, but the best ones of the most popular are briefly discussed below. 



Xero offers a user-friendly interface, robust features, and excellent cloud-based accessibility. It simplifies accounting tasks, allows easy collaboration with accountants or bookkeepers, and offers various integrations with other business software.  


Xero’s costs can be relatively high for small businesses, and some advanced accounting features may require additional add-ons, potentially increasing the overall cost. 



QuickBooks is a widely recognized and trusted bookkeeping tool, offering various features suitable for various business sizes. It provides customizable reports, integration with many third-party apps, and strong customer support.  


QuickBooks can be expensive, particularly for the more advanced versions, and some users find it overwhelming due to the vast number of features and settings.  



Zoho Books is known for its affordability, making it a cost-effective choice for small businesses. It offers easy-to-use invoicing, expense tracking, and project management features and integrates well with other Zoho software products. 


While suitable for smaller businesses, Zoho Books may need more depth of features for larger or more complex organizations.  



Sage provides a wide range of accounting and bookkeeping solutions suitable for businesses of various sizes. It is well-known for its robust financial reporting and customization options. 


Sage’s interface may not be as user-friendly as some other options, and its pricing can be higher, which may not be ideal for small businesses. 



NetSuite is a comprehensive cloud-based ERP system that handles bookkeeping and other core business processes. It is highly scalable and offers a unified financial, CRM, and e-commerce solution.  


NetSuite is among the most expensive options, making it less accessible to small businesses. Additionally, implementation and customization can be complex and time-consuming.  



TurboTax is primarily a tax preparation software rather than a full-fledged bookkeeping tool. It is user-friendly and offers simple ways of tax filing for individuals and small businesses by automating calculations and ensuring tax compliance.  


TurboTax focuses on taxes and lacks the broader financial and accounting capabilities of dedicated bookkeeping software. It may not be suitable for businesses looking for comprehensive bookkeeping solutions.  

Let’s wrap it up!  

To run a successful business, personal bookkeeping services are an option one should always have but outsourcing them to a reliable company such as Monily can take your venture to new heights. One must also have a good understanding of finances and accounting software. Furthermore, effective business management and maintaining positive relationships with your clients are essential for your business’s success. 

Monily provides accounting and financial solutions to all sizes of businesses. If you are looking to simplify your company finances, especially bookkeeping, contact one of our experts today or book a free consultation. 

Author Bio

Farwah is the Product Owner of Monily. She has an MBA from Alliance Manchester Business School, UK. She is passionate about helping businesses overcome challenges that hamper their growth, which is why she is working at Monily to facilitate entrepreneurs to efficiently manage business finances and stay focused on growth.