Building an Accounting & Bookkeeping Website - Expert Guide
Starting and running a business can be challenging, but keeping track of your finances doesn't have to be. By creating a professional and user-friendly accounting and bookkeeping website, you can streamline your financial operations and take control of your business's bottom line.
In this expert guide, I will walk you through the process of creating an accounting and bookkeeping website that will help you stay organized, keep accurate records, and make informed business decisions. I will cover everything from choosing the right platform, to customizing your website, to incorporating essential features and tools.
So, whether you're a small business owner, an independent accountant, or a bookkeeping professional, read on to learn how to create a website that will help you take your financial operations to the next level.
Why do you need a website for your accounting and bookkeeping firm?
Having a website is no longer something special - it has become a necessity. However, having your website is not enough; you should also use it effectively to promote yourself on the Internet. Many small businesses, including accounting and bookkeeping offices, have websites that are not suited to their industry and customer needs. This is a serious mistake! Why? Because thanks to an effective website, businesses can not only not lose the referrals they already receive but also reach out and gain new customers.
Another aspect of having a website is growth. In the industry related to accounting and bookkeeping, various types of accounting software or bookkeeping programs are used more and more often. Online accounting and bookkeeping are growing with each passing day. Therefore, you cannot be left behind! You must have a professional and modern website that will set you apart from other competitors in your industry.
Learn how your potential clients search for accounting and bookkeeping services
To understand the essence of having a website, you need to know how people search for accountants and other bookkeeping services. They do this in 2 ways:
1. They ask for recommendations from their friends.
2. They use internet search engines like Google by typing in phrases such as "New York accountant" and visiting various accountants' websites to choose the best offer for them.
Even if you only use one source of gaining customers - referrals - you still need to take care of an accounting website! Why? Because most customers who hear about you through recommendation, before contacting you, will use the Internet to verify you (this is the fastest and easiest method). Do you think they will use the services of an office whose website is unprofessional and does not inspire their trust?
Of course not! Therefore, it is essential not only to have a website but also to have one that responds to the needs of your audience and presents you in the best possible light.
Create an accounting and bookkeeping website in 6 steps
Here's a step-by-step guide to creating a professional website for your industry. Thanks to it, you will get an effective website that will appealingly present your offer and attract new customers!
Step 1: Define the recipients of the website
Before you start creating the website, you need to know who you are addressing it to and who will visit it, and for what purpose. Your website can deal with small business accounting or offer various bookkeeping services. This means that your audience will vary depending on what you offer. Therefore, you need to know exactly who the recipients of your website are to respond to their needs effectively.
Just like a company adapted to servicing corporate accounting, it does not target its offer to small companies, so you have to focus on a specific group of clients with whom you intend to cooperate and for whom your offer is of most significant value. The more narrowly and precisely you define it, the more attractive your offer will be, and the more likely they will use it. To create a modern, professional website that will meet your business goals, you need to know who you want to address.
Remember, however, that your website will be used not only by entrepreneurs interested in your services. When planning a website for the accounting or bookkeeping industry, you must also remember its other recipients. These include, for example:
a) Current customers
Create personas to understand your audience better
If you run your own business, look at who uses your services and whether you can divide customers into categories. Try to find important information about them that connects them.
However, if you are just taking your first steps in the accounting or bookkeeping industry, follow the example descriptions of your website's addressees below. They will inspire you for further analysis and show you how to do this task correctly.
a) Micheal, 36 years old
Your long-term customer. Experienced entrepreneur employs at least a dozen people. He does not want to hire an accountant; instead, he prefers to outsource accounting and HR and payroll services to one company to have all accounting and employee matters in order. He also needs accounting consultations because perhaps in running his business, he will change the profile of his activity or the form of taxation. Micheal wants to deal with competent people who know the answers to all his questions. He wants the company to be insured so that in the event of a mistake by the accountant, he can recover money for the losses incurred.
b) Tom, 29 years old
He is just starting his first business. He was forced to set up a business - lack of good job offers - that's why he decided to develop his own business. He is looking for an accounting office to help him complete all the initial formalities. The costs must be as low as possible for Tom because his income is not too high. Little experienced, he needs someone to help him with the company's accounting services and prepare monthly settlements and PIT at the end of the year.
c) Anna, 32 years old
She has been running a business for 5 years, and she has been cooperating with your office for 3 years. Initially, she used the services of another accounting office but was not satisfied with the quality of the service, so she decided to replace it with your company. Anna is a very busy and distracted person who sometimes forgets about many formalities related to running a business. Therefore, she needs a competent person who will ensure her timeliness and sometimes help make critical financial decisions.
Step 2: Define Your Website Goals
You must remember that not all websites pursue the same goals. Example? The website of a newly opened insurance company should generate customers and build trust that the company has yet to gain.
On the other hand, the owner can use the website of a small, local restaurant to attract customers thanks to the publication of information about the variable, regular menu, and current promotions.
And in the case of a crowded hotel, where the phone does not stop with reservations, the owner will be happy to place the possibility of booking rooms online on its website. Thanks to this, it will save time and costs and provide customers with greater convenience. No employee needs to answer the phone anymore and take care of other duties. In turn, the client will choose the best possible date for himself from the days and hours available in the calendar without being forced to call the reception desk.
As you can see, the purpose of a corporate website depends on the industry and the specific business situation.
Examples of website goals for the accounting and accounting industry
a) Effective use of feedback - customers who hear about your business from their friends will have specific expectations of you - after all, you have to handle their books. So they will look at your website because it is the easiest way to verify you. They will do this because they need to be sure that you are competent. By seeing authentic and honest feedback from your customers, it will be easier for them to decide to cooperate with you.
b) Having a "business card" - although by definition it should be small and contain only basic information, the essential function of the so-called "Business card sites" is to evoke a professional first impression. This is a critical element in building trust. Therefore - contrary to appearances - creating a "showcase page" is not a trivial task and should be preceded by a careful analysis of the company's and its customer's goals.
c) Presentation of the company's offer - would you entrust financial documentation to an accountant you know nothing about? Customers will also not benefit from your services if they don't know anything about your offer. Thanks to the website, you can present it clearly and attractively, answer their questions and - what's more - make your offer available to anyone interested, of whom there are thousands on the Internet.
d) Making an appointment for sales - imagine that you do not have to spend time answering phone calls and repeating the same sentences to other customers... Thanks to an attractive website containing a clearly described offer and an appointment booking application, you can make an appointment without effort or losing time.
e) Acquiring new customers - The website also allows you to gain new customers by using applications such as price lists, coupons, and reviews. Thanks to them, entrepreneurs will get to know your offer in detail and gain confidence in it. They will then contact you and make an appointment to sign the contract. For you, having a website with applications means opening up to an entirely new, massive group of clients and, consequently, much faster development of the accounting office.
✍ Growth Hack:
The common goal, and often one of the most important ones that every website of an accounting office should pursue, is to build trust in your company. Why? Trust is the basis of sales! According to research, as many as 91% of customers will not use the services of a company they do not trust. Therefore, the website must inspire trust from the very first contact! Only then will potential customers be open to any cooperation with your company!
Step 3: Understand the needs of customers and website visitors
When you look at your customers or the profiles of your website addressees, you will undoubtedly notice their needs. They have similar requirements for the service. They mainly care about:
i) Time savings
How to use this knowledge?
Based on the needs of the clients of the accounting office, create a list of benefits (the so-called value proposition that you want to provide to clients and that the website created by you will communicate) that will make your website stand out.
How to distinguish the website offer in the accounting and bookkeeping industry?
Security of the client's finances - guaranteed by certificates and insurance
Reliable accounting - orderly documentation as well as efficient and timely handling of all matters for the client
Specialization, high qualifications, extensive knowledge, and experience - presentation of company members, showing their professional experience
Practical help in optimizing the costs of running a business - sharing they know how to reduce costs and generate savings for entrepreneurs
Business transparency - conducting consultancy accounting, thanks to which clients have a fuller knowledge of their company
Time-saving - the accounting company takes care of all matters, and entrepreneurs can focus on running their business
Trustworthy company, appreciated, recommended by customers - presenting authentic opinions from customers
Finally, think about what values you want to communicate on your website and what you can deliver to your customers. How to choose them? Think about how you would like to be perceived by clients and how they should feel when they entrust you with their accounting and HR matters.
Make a simple experience: imagine who the typical person using your services is and how they feel when they leave your accounting and bookkeeping office. Answer the question of what is essential to such a person. This will allow you to express the critical values to them more accurately.
Step 4: Choose how to create your website
If you want to have a website that not only looks professional but also meets your business goals, you need to think carefully about how to create it. Your choice of the method of making the website will impact its quality and subsequent management. What are your options, then?
a) Using a ready template to create a website
c) Commissioning a website to a professional
As you can see, there are many possibilities, but which is the best for you? Here is a quick summary to help you choose the best solution.
Creating a website based on a template is the fastest of these solutions. How it's working? You have to choose one of the templates available on the Internet and add your content to it. Sounds simple right? However, there are also a few things to watch out for in this case. When choosing templates, you need to be careful because many of them only look nice when they do not behave in the way the creator presented them in practice. Additionally, a problem may arise when trying to modify them in many cases. There is often a situation where changing one element causes the entire template to fall apart.
However, by using the bookkeeping and accounting website templates created by BOWWE, you do not have to worry about any of the problems listed above. As they are templates made by professionals (preceded by in-depth research of industries), they have everything needed for their proper and effective functioning. In addition, the templates created by the BOWWE team have unlimited modification options without the risk of the template falling apart. Once the template you have chosen is filled with your content and modified at your discretion, just click the "Publish" button, and your site will live!
Want to learn more about the benefits of using pre-made website templates? Read our article - "All About Website Templates - Are They Worth Using?".
Website builder or CMS system
Working in the CMS platform, you can make changes to the website through the user interface. Thanks to this, you do not have to interfere with the website code. This way, you can easily and quickly add new content to the website or make simple updates. Does this mean that users without IT knowledge can create a page on their own and later modify it without any problems? Not necessarily. While adding content and updating it is not a highly complex thing, changing the appearance of the page and its elements is already more complicated. Therefore, people who do not have any programming experience will have to additionally use the services of a specialist to make more extensive and more advanced changes to the website.
In the case of website builders, the matter is simpler. There are tools on the market aimed mainly at people with IT knowledge and those that allow anyone to create websites, regardless of their experience. In the case of BOWWE - it is a tool targeted at both of these groups. This builder can be used by people without any programming knowledge and by professional programmers (they can add their own code). Designing in the creator gives you complete freedom of creation and, at the same time, full control over your website. It is a solution that also saves a lot of time and money. The creation is based on the drag-and-drop principle of ready-made widgets that you just need to fill with your content. In BOWWE itself, this system is very intuitive, allowing you to quickly complete projects without spending additional money on a professional.
Commissioning a website to a professional
This is a solution that seems to be the most convenient. However, this is not quite the case. If you have not had any contact with creating websites and commissioning them to do so, it is worth getting acquainted with the basic look of such a process. Thanks to this, you will provide more precise guidelines for your project and determine the time and money needed for its implementation. That is why you should do in-depth research regarding the website creation process and commission it to a competent specialist.
Step 5: Plan and prepare your own content
You have already determined what goals you want to achieve through your website and analyzed your recipients. You know what you want to make your offer stand out and what values to communicate. It's time for you to start building your website based on this knowledge and the best tools you have chosen.
Plan your website structure
Start building your website by planning its structure - are you going to create a single page without any subpages, with only a few pieces of information? Or maybe you want to build a website with a home page and several subpages, containing separate information of interest to your customers, such as an offer with a price list on the "Offer" subpage or a map with directions on the "Where can you find us?" Subpage.
✍ Growth Hack:
Due to the specifics of your industry (accounting and bookkeeping), I recommend using a website with several subpages. A website with many subpages will show your professionalism and reliability more effectively, translating into greater trust among potential customers.
Home page - what should it contain?
This is the first thing that customers will see after entering the website - so it must immediately attract their attention and inspire trust. You can achieve this by:
The banner is the first visible element at the very top of the home page. It has a crucial task - it must immediately entice visitors to view the rest of your site. Therefore, the image shown in the banner should not be loaded for a long time - otherwise, visitors will close your site immediately!
You can add photos of you and your team at work on the banner. Additionally, it is worth placing a button on it, the task of which will be to transfer users to other important places on the page - these can be buttons "Contact" or "Check our offer". It's a simple solution that will make it easier for visitors to navigate your site.
2. Catchy slogan
Remember to tell your site visitor directly what you do and how. Otherwise, the effect may be similar to the situation with an ineffective banner - visitors will close your website in the first few seconds!
In the case of accounting offices, simple motto will be suitable for the slogan, talking about benefits such as security or control over the company's finances and documents, such as: "Accounting and human resources from A to Z."
3. Natural photos
First, people pay attention to the image, and only then to the texts. That is why it is essential to ensure good quality and interesting photos on the website. It can often be noticed that on the websites of accounting offices, there are photos of items associated with the work of an accountant, e.g. a calculator, calculations, or charts. This is not the best solution - such photos are impersonal.
The best solution is to present your accountants at work. It is worth hiring a photographer and organizing a photo session to publish professional photos on the website. When you show yourself and your team at work, it will be much easier for you to build the trust of potential customers. If you are not planning a photo session, you can take advantage of the so-called stock photos. However, remember to choose the most natural and appropriate photos for your industry in such a case. Otherwise, you will not attract the attention of people visiting your website, or worse - you will alienate them with amateur and faked photos.
When adding photos to a page, you need to:
a) Take care of their weight - some image formats are “heavier” (more megabytes), slowing down the page loading. Take care of adequately compressed images and their appropriate formats. Photos on the website should be in jpg format, and graphics - in png format.
b) Stick to the recommended resolution - remember not to put Full HD (1920x1080 pixels) photos in places with a maximum width of 300 pixels (and conversely).
4. "About me" or "About us" section
Here you can describe how many years the company has been operating on the market, how many entrepreneurs it has already helped, what it specializes in, and what values guide it. You can also provide slightly less official information about your business if you want. If you work with a team, you can share photos of all employees with brief descriptions of what they specialize in and their interests. Thanks to this, your customers will get to know you better, which will positively affect their trust in your company.
5. The most important facts about the brand
A few of the most convincing facts will clearly show your audience that your accounting office is perfect for them. What could these facts be? Years of experience on the market, narrow specialization, number of customers served, partners with whom you worked, percentage of satisfied customers, opinions of satisfied customers... It all depends on what your recipients care about the most and what facts and achievements speak for you the most. The target group analysis you conducted in step 1 will help you in this step.
One of the most interesting information for your clients. It is essential that it is legible and clearly describes your services. It should also be encouraging. To this end, recall the examples of outstanding benefits that we proposed to you in the earlier part of the article? The "Offer" subpage is where you can use them and clearly describe what customers will gain after choosing your services. Remember who the clients of the accounting office are and what they expect. Show them that you understand their problems and can solve them.
Most accountants avoid listing prices on the website ...which is a big mistake! Why? Over 70% of customers find that what annoys them the most about company websites is that there are no clearly defined prices! As a result, they are forced to call the office to inquire about it. They are also not sure whether such prices will be maintained for them - they do not know if they can afford your services. If you want to create an even more effective website, which will also be convenient for users - add your price list!
✍ Growth Hack:
The price you provide on the website is NOT final and unchanging; customers mainly want to know the reference point. You can change the prices later or specify a price range (from ... to ... or about ...), or you can enter "Price negotiable"!
It is the most powerful trust-building tool, especially for micro, small and midsize companies. There is no better way to reassure future customers of your professionalism than by sharing your existing customer feedback on the site!
Your clients want to hear from you about the opinions of others. If you're going to be able to post only the views of your actual customers, you should check how the BOWWE Reviews application works.
It was created in such a way that only customers who have already used your services can give you opinions about your company. How is it working? Each customer who purchased from you will receive an invitation to leave a review. It contains a unique verification code. Nobody who has not received the code can add a review on your site! This solution protects you against unfair competition.
Most customers will want to contact you with a few additional questions. That is why you need a highly visible and intuitive contact page containing your company's basic address and contact details.
✍ Growth Hack:
If you run a larger accounting office, divide the "Contact" sections into appropriate departments - you will avoid a situation in which customers call an employee dealing with human resources with questions about invoices.
10. Contact form
Some customers will contact you by phone. On the other hand, others will prefer to send you a message. The contact form is a transparent and straightforward opportunity to ask your company important questions. It will also allow you to collect the e-mail addresses of potential customers.
11. Google Maps
A map showing where the business is located. It is worth making the map visible because many people want to talk personally with the accountant from time to time, especially before starting cooperation and signing a contract.
*Remember: the sections mentioned above are just examples you may include on your website. You must have all the elements that will allow your website to achieve the business goals you set for it effectively. In addition, remember that the distribution of content on the page should be intuitive for the user to navigate it efficiently. You can also use ready-made BOWWE templates that are designed according to these guidelines.
What else should be included on your website?
Consider increasing the amount of content on your website. This way you will gain many more opportunities to promote your offer and attract new customers. Here is the complete list of suggested BOWWE applications for your site:
1. Advanced contact form, the so-called LEAD generator
It is worth adding an extensive contact form, often called a lead generator. Thanks to it, the person visiting the website will be able to choose in the form in which topic they are interested contacting (eg, Accounting, Human Resources, Other services), and their data will be landed on your e-mail. They will also be automatically saved in the database or the CRM system so that you can contact this person in the future!
It is a perfect place to share knowledge: publish information about changes in the law, obligations of entrepreneurs, or upcoming dates related to running a business. Publishing news helps build an expert position and increases the website's visibility in Google search results. Posting news is also less demanding and time-consuming than running a blog. Thanks to them, you do not have to create beautiful and long texts - they can be short and specific industry slots. Remember that they build trust in your business.
Coupons motivate users to take advantage of the offer and purchase. They give you the possibility of faster and more accessible customer acquisition. Here are some examples of good coupons in the accounting industry: A coupon that allows an entrepreneur to use a small business accounting service for free for the first 3 months or a 20% discount on HR and payroll services in the first year of operation.
A pop-up with e.g. a unique offer, encouraging the visitor to leave a message/contact details. It will allow you to immediately obtain the data of every visitor to your website who has a genuine interest in your services. The customers needs to perceive the offer presented in the pop-up as a one-time opportunity. This will convince them to leave their data, and you will be able to contact them and convince to use your offer.
It is not easy to verify the knowledge of an accountant, which is why accounting offices are often selected based on recommendations or Internet opinions. However, you can show your qualifications by running a blog where you'll post accounting articles. Thanks to well-edited, valuable content, your website will be better positioned. Thanks to this, many more people will find it and learn what you do.
In the case of your industry, running a blog has one more significant advantage - you can quickly create valuable content that will attract a lot of traffic to your website! All you have to do is post on your blog the content of the new laws, important for entrepreneurs, along with your comments!
7. Customer area and documents
As this was mentioned before, your website can generate new customers and serve your regular, loyal customers. How? There are many possibilities, and one example is adding a Customer Area. Your clients can log in to their account, where their invoices, settlements are kept, etc.
8. Advanced contact details
This application will allow you to divide contact details on the website, such as telephone numbers of your office employees dealing with specific matters. After all, you do not want stakeholders to call you regarding, for example, asset valuation while you specialize in creating a turnover and balance statements.
9. Job offers and recruitment system
Thanks to this application, you will be able to quickly and easily post a job offer for any position in your office, and interested candidates will send you their CV with its help!
There are a lot of applications that you can use, and it is worth considering integrating some of them with your website. This will allow you - depending on the website's goals - to serve customers online more effectively, promote yourself better on the Internet or achieve better results. Remember, however, that connecting the application in most cases requires IT knowledge. To keep them working correctly, you should update them frequently, which costs you time.
Unique in this respect are the applications running as part of website builders, to which you gain access after creating an account. For example, in BOWWE, you can connect the application to the site yourself, which is automatic. You only have to decide which applications you want to use.
Step 6: Choose a graphic theme
Your website must have a clear graphic layout that will immediately inform you that it is the website of an accounting office and will allow you to present the services, inspiring the visitors' trust professionally. Ideally, the content should be divided into several (about 4-7) subpages and placed in sections containing good-quality photos and professional texts.
2. Font style and type
The website of the accounting and bookkeeping office must communicate professionalism, experience, knowledge, and assistance in ensuring the company's control over finances and documentation. Legible and straightforward fonts (rather sans-serif), such as Open Sans or Roboto, will be better.
3. Website colors
What should the colors of the accounting office website be? It is customary on accountants' websites to use such colors as navy blue, dark green, maroon. If you want to emphasize the long tradition and experience of the office and the security it guarantees, such colors will work. However, if you prefer to present an accounting office as a modern company, adapted to the needs of modern entrepreneurs, and easily accessible to clients, it is better to use brighter and more vivid colors that reduce the distance, e.g. light blue, orange, red and even pink.
4. Style of expression
It is important not only what you want to say but also how you say it. The website should reflect how you will communicate with the client. Describe the benefits in your clients' language, simply and specifically - after all, you talk to other entrepreneurs. Ideally, the informations should be visually detailed, short texts containing catchy headlines with their expansion and accompanying well-chosen icons.
Accounting and bookkeeping website - summary
As you can see, creating a website is a multi-stage process that can be long and time-consuming. A properly functioning website consists of many elements that influence each other, and its building should be preceded by an analysis of business goals, target customers, and recipients. Here's how you will create a website for an accounting and bookkeeping office in a nutshell:
Step 1: Define the recipients of the website
Step 2: Define the goals of your website
Step 3: Understand the needs of customers and website visitors
Step 4: Choose the way of creating the website
Step 5: Plan and prepare your content!
Step 6: Choose a graphic theme
All these steps are necessary if you want to get a professional website and one that will attract customers and have a growing conversion!
See how to create an effective website for an accounting and bookkeeping office!