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How do you go about finding a BOOK KEEPER

(22 Posts)
Wills Tue 09-Sep-08 22:09:58

I've started a business (actually I started way way way back in january) and made the massive mistake of buying Sage small business software in the misguided idea that I could manage my own books. Looking back I seriously wonder whether it would have been better to have stuck with excel or even paper and pencil. Anyway I'm also a full time mum of three kids (aged 8, 5 and 2) so my spare time is either spent pushing the business forward or booking keeping (its subsequent failure grin). But I only think I'd need someone possibly a day a month - after all the business is doing ok but I'm not going to make my millions this year anyway. Where the heck do I start to look. Yellow pages only gives me the big fish who charge loads!

ChasingSquirrels Tue 09-Sep-08 22:12:44

This is exactly what I want to do, I would be looking at charging £25-£30 per hour.
However - I'm not sure how to go about finding work - lol.
Word of mouth?
Local bank manager
local business link / business community

QuintessentialShadow Tue 09-Sep-08 22:24:14

Wills, my accountant says that Excel is the best. You get to keep on top of things, and can search for thing easily. With Sage you need to know what to search for.

Flibbertyjibbet Tue 09-Sep-08 22:25:46

Whereabouts are you Wills?
I know a lady who employs lots of other ladies and they just work for you as many or as few hours as you need each week/month/quarter, doing as high or low level as you need.
(ie some clients want every last receipt inputting for them, others just want management reports produced).
They are based in the North West.

Flibbertyjibbet Tue 09-Sep-08 22:26:51

Just looked at you profile - far too far for them I'm afraid!!

Wills Tue 09-Sep-08 22:28:11

Shame, whilst reading your initial thread I thought fab!

penona Tue 09-Sep-08 22:31:11

I would probably advertise on here! Or ask at least. I would love to do some part time accounting work as ChasingSquirrels describes. But not got organised enough to do it yet.

Would probably go back to Excel for now if you can. Is much much easier to use (even very big businesses often export all their data in an accounting package into Excel to do stuff!)

penona Tue 09-Sep-08 22:32:27

Fliberty - would your friend like to open her business in London? Then I could work for her! (plus I know lots of other mums who might be interested!)

Candlewax Tue 09-Sep-08 22:33:38

Wills, look in your local paper small ads. I am sure you will find self-employed book-keepers there.

The way I actually operate is that most of my clients post their paperwork to me once a month. I process it and return it with a set of management accounts. If they need VAT returns completed, those are done each quarter too.

I advertise in the local papers and I am also lucky enough to get several recommendations from local accountants too as the accountants do not actually want to do the basic data entry work. So you could also visit a local accountant and ask them if they could recommend a local book-keeper.

Flum Tue 09-Sep-08 22:35:55

I do a bit of this. Charge £25-£30 per hour but am a Chartered Accountant not bookkeeper and do by word of mouth.

Do it on Sage usually.

Local papers classified ads often have bookkeepers or newsagents windows. Most would charge £10-£25 depending on experience, competition etc

Flibbertyjibbet Tue 09-Sep-08 22:39:24

Wills do you do any networking? If you put the word out that you are looking for someone at every networking event you go to you might find someone. I have come across a couple of book keepers at those crack of dawn networking organisations.

This may sound peverse, but I've found that some of the medium sized accounts firms will know of book keepers and will pass very small businesses over to them. It means that if you grow you will be passed back to the accountant rather than be lost to them forever. Worth a try ringing them to ask.

OR if you google the Federation of Small Businesses website, I think there are directories of members but you might need to be a member for that.

Penona, plenty work up here for my chum and all her ladies; but if she set up in London too you would need to find some CUSTOMERS not just workers or she'd be well out of pocket grin

ChasingSquirrels Tue 09-Sep-08 22:39:46

candlewax - what do you charge? Am looking to get a feel for rates.

Candlewax Tue 09-Sep-08 22:53:25

I charge different rates, it all depends on the level of work they want me to do. I do statutory accounts, corporation and personal tax as well. A rough idea is for a small one man band who just wants book keeping - £15. Those clients who you just know are going to give you hassle, not all the right paperwork, answers etc £20-£23 To slightly larger companies who want payroll/book keeping and accountancy advice - £30. £15 is the absolute minimum I work for.

ChasingSquirrels Tue 09-Sep-08 22:57:13

umm, in the ball park of what I was thinking, though £15 maybe too low. Thanks

Candlewax Tue 09-Sep-08 23:03:49

I think it depends Chasingsquirrels on whereabouts in the country you live and what your qualifications are. I am quite rural and I do this on a semi part-time basis to suit me. I like being able to take a day off when I want.grin A lot of my work can be done in the evenings and weekends too. I work around my other committments and my children. A good, easy month can bring in around £3k.

ChasingSquirrels Tue 09-Sep-08 23:08:46

oh yes I know, just interesting really, (atm I work p/t in an accy practice 9am 10yr+ qualified ACA, I was going to do it a few months ago - but then ex walked out just when I was going to take the leap...great timing!
Do you do it self employed, or are you putting it through a company and taking dividends?

Candlewax Tue 09-Sep-08 23:09:52

Definitely through a company and taking dividends.wink

Candlewax Tue 09-Sep-08 23:11:17

If you are working part-time at the moment, could you not advertise to start the ball rolling and do some work at home and build the business up that way?

ChasingSquirrels Tue 09-Sep-08 23:12:06

umm, doing that I could see that I could drop the rates a bit.
I am going through phases of getting excited about it, and then thinking that I have a good reasonably flexible job and now I am on my own I don't want to take the risk.

ChasingSquirrels Tue 09-Sep-08 23:13:32

what - and use my MN time???? ;)
Yes, in theory. Although there are potential conflicts with my employment contract, and presumably I will need a practicing cert? which ratchets the costs up.
lots to think about (sorry to crash thread).

Candlewax Tue 09-Sep-08 23:14:52

It's not easy when you need a definite income. I need to achieve a certain level each month and that I can do because of my regulars, anything after that is a bonus.

ChasingSquirrels Tue 09-Sep-08 23:18:49

that's it - and I know the work is out there, and it would be idea once I got going, but it is finding the work and taking the step. Wouldn't have mattered before ex left, now it does.
thanks for chatting about it

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