7 Tips on Services & Scope: Bookkeeping Business Plan

Written by
Accountant Hustle
Published on
April 28, 2024

Here’s 7 Tips about what services should look like in the business plan for your bookkeeping business.

If you came looking for help on your business plan for your bookkeeping business or accounting firm, we want to help you. Developing and perfecting a business plan for an accounting firm or bookkeeping business can be tough.

Here’s 7 Tips About What Services You Should Provide:

In this article, I’m going to talk to you about what services you should provide for your bookkeeping business or accounting firm, and this will help you as you develop your business plan for your bookkeeping business.

Business plan for bookkeeping business

As you are getting ready to launch your bookkeeping business or accounting firm, you’re going to see a lot of gurus out there that want to sell you a course and I want to simply add value in the hopes that you would want to learn more about what we do for accounting firms.

What services should you provide and how much should they cost

One of the hardest things to do as you are starting your bookkeeping business, is to start developing your scope of work and overall service offering because there’s a great deal that you do above and beyond bookkeeping services.

A bookkeeping company does much more than bookkeeping services

The simplest form of your business is to simply provide bookkeeping setup & monthly bookkeeping services, but if you only provide bookkeeping services, you’re really NOT adding that much value.

We want to develop a service offering for your bookkeeping business that’s focused, and yet super valuable.

Bookkeeping businesses thrive when they develop their understanding of value.

Bookkeeping business startups think about services, not value, which leads to selling on price.

Whenever you’re focused on price, your customer is in the weeds trying to figure out how much you cost.

We want people focused on how much you help them, on how valuable your services will be, not on how much work is going in and how much your bookkeeping services would cost vs. hiring their own employee.

If you’re only providing bookkeeping services, you are at risk of being viewed as a commodity, and your customer will not necessarily want to pay you much for your services.

Sure, it might SOUND nice to charge $250/month to reconcile books, but you’ll soon realize near tax season that there’s a whole bunch of additional opportunity on the table.

7 Tips for Developing your services & scope

1 – Be an Outsourced Accountant Focused on Value, not services

You should do the outsourced accounting model.

The outsourced accounting model is built on a stack of services, all combined together, to deliver valuable outcomes.

The stack of services will add significantly more value than bookkeeping services on their own.

You are able to charge a premium when things are convenient and integrated.

You ever ask yourself why you are willing to pay $2.50 for a water at the gas station when you could buy a whole pack for $5 at Walmart?

When things are convenient and integrated, their value goes up.

People are willing to spend the extra money on a grab and go items when they are fueling up their vehicle because it saves them a trip and it’s convenient.

We can learn a lesson from a convenience store and multiply its overall value dramatically because a business owners time, productivity, profitability, efficiency are all significantly impacted by your work.

The outsourced accounting model is predicated on you helping them create better outcomes rather than charging hourly or per service.

Rather than itemizing your hours or your services, you’re going to tell them that they will be in listing you for a monthly retainer so that you can perform the following.

Outsourced Accounting Outcomes You Deliver:

  • Mitigated Taxes with Tax Reduction Planning
  • Ensure things are setup &* cleaned up perfectly
  • Handle all the accounting & bookkeeping
  • Make tax season a breeze
  • Help them pay in taxes so they avoid big surprises
  • Provide CFO level guidance & advisory to help them KNOW their numbers

Lowered Taxes, Saved Time, Compliance.

You take ownership for outcomes, and keep their mind focused on the value of

  1. Efficiency
  2. Productivity
  3. Savings
  4. Profitability

When you do this, and integrate your bookkeeping, tax prep, tax planning, payroll, CFO and even financial administration services, you can charge way more.

You can develop scopes for small, medium and more established small businesses that legitimately go for $500-$3500 a month.

The first tip then is to be an outsourced accountant, not a typical accounting firm.

Provide STACKED services that deliver outcomes and value, rather than itemized services.

Charge a monthly retainer & constrain your scope, rather than hourly or for itemized services.

2 – Don’t focus on hourly, focus on your model & system

This might seem like more of the same, but hear me out.

Don’t ever talk bout hourly rates.

Hourly rates should simply lead someone to choose your monthly retainers.

$150-$350 an hour sounds right.

Why so high? Because you are super valuable to YOUR business as well, and neglecting the opportunity costs is problematic.

Onboarding a client, going through discovery, developing a clear understanding of your new customer ALL cost you time and money.

When you take on clients outside of your regular outsourced accounting model, it will cost you.

The only people who ask for hourly are people that don’t want to be in your model.

Clients outside of the outsourced accounting model will lead to degraded services, bad experiences and being too busy to sell.

Your head, and the customer’s head, should never think hours.

Hourly thinking will pull you down.

HOWEVER – you must actually measure your time in, and you must measure the time it takes you to perform your outsourced accounting services.

The key is to never portray to customers an hourly rate because it will cheapen you.

3 – Use Simply, Easy to Grasp Services

You will want to list out the services you provide, but keep them simple.

  1. Setup the books & accounting
  2. Catch up all the bookkeeping that’s not done
  3. Perform monthly bookkeeping
  4. Setup Payroll & Run out
  5. Year-round Tax Reduction Planning
  6. Pay in Taxes for you according to the tax plan
  7. Close out your yearly financials
  8. Do your business & personal tax returns

Your average business owner, the one who will pay you the most, doesn’t know what entity they are, they don’t know or care about any of this.

They just need to know enough to participate a bit, but then a good CEO, owner or founder is going to organize folks around them to handle responsibilities.

You’ll be handling certain responsibilities for them.

Don’t use vague, insider language that only accountants really know or care about.

Your communication should be very simple, your list of services should EXPLAIN them and their their benefits, and you should keep it simple.

Some industries require specific and niche services, like construction, builders, developers and other sectors, and there’s a time and a place for it.

But your website, your conversation and the topic of your message should not be to help people know this stuff, it should be to handle their problems and make their life better.

Keep your services the simple one:

  • Bookkeeping Services
  • Business Tax Preparation Services
  • Tax Reduction Planning
  • Payroll Setup & Services
  • CFO Services & Advisory

Keeping them simple helps, but gear your language towards conveying that you will handle the responsibilities, not teaching them how to do things.

4 – Taxes & Tax Planning are your friend

Bookkeeping companies often ignore taxes.

You know why the books matter? Taxes are the first reason.

Sure, you can help people know their numbers and make them all excited about the weekly reports, but their bank account (cash flow) and their taxes (how much they keep) is most important to every customer.

Year end taxes induce people to talk about accounting and bookkeeping

If you do business taxes, you’ll get customers coming to you that need bookkeeping

I would suggest you learn to do taxes and then learn the basics of tax planning.

You can learn about it at our other resources, and we’d love to help you develop a great story around it.

5 – Help them pay in taxes

One service that people neglect is help paying in taxes according to the tax plan.

If you want to become really valuable, you will work with your business owner throughout the year to pay in their estimates, and actually do it according to a tax plan.

You should use the payroll system to pay in what’s necessary for self-employment taxes, and income taxes.

If your services take responsibility for helping them have a stress free year and year end, you’ll be valuable.

This is one of the most important integrators of your services.

You must help them plan to reduce their taxes, implement strategies, and then help them stay up-to-date with their tax bills so that they don’t have accidents or surprises.

Business owners often have a spouse, or even a little voice in their head, always ask reminding them that there is a chance they could owe a ton of money at the end of the year and they don’t even know it.

Bring your clients peace of mind and help them pay their taxes.

If you don’t do this, your clients will get frustrated that you’re not helping them and blame you even if it’s not your problem.

6 – Payroll

Only business owners need payroll.

Individuals can need all sorts of additional accounting services or tax preparation, but payroll is only designed for businesses.

Payroll services are also increasingly important for businesses as they grow.

You should help people choose, set up, run and optimize their payroll

At minimum, a payroll system is excellent for you to use to pay in the business owners estimated taxes.

At most, if you speak to payroll services and help businesses with choosing the right payroll and setting it all up, you will intersect with some high-protein organizations that come across your payroll services page.

You will have more success in your bookkeeping business or accounting firm if you help people with their payroll as well.

Taxes, bookkeeping, payroll and tax planning are all integrated.

The bottom line when it comes to services for your bookkeeping business or your accounting firm is that integrated is best and the more you help them with outcomes as their outsourced accounting firm, they will be much happier.

All of this is rooted in thinking value, not costs.

Connect with us if you’re ready to take your sales and marketing online!

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