Michelle Knight is an accountant turned online small business owner and entrepreneur, wanting to help others in the world of debits and credits! She has over 6 years experience in public practice, side hustling with her activewear brand, Aura Eve and her bookkeeping business, Little Miss Bookkeeping.
She thrives on helping other small businesses and loves sharing her own experiences. She’s not your ‘typical’ accountant. She doesn’t just prepare tax returns, she’s been through the start-up phase and faced the same challenges as many other business owners.
She absolutely loves to share her knowledge around everything accounting and small business! Accounting basics, tips, and tricks launching your startup, tax compliance, cloud accounting platforms, understanding your financials… the list goes on!
What motivated and inspired you to start your own business?
Running my own business was something I always wanted to do. In high school, I knew that study accounting was a good base for business and that one day I would be my own boss!
I started as a full-time accountant working in public practice, gradually taking on my own client base through bookkeeping services. Looking after other people’s finances and watching them grow year on year I thought ‘why can’t I do this too?’.
Tell us about your business.
Little Miss Bookkeeping is a boutique accounting, bookkeeping and consulting firm that thrives on helping startups and small business. As having experienced both as an accountant and small business owner, I feel I can better understand my client’s needs and give them accurate help and advice.
I started Little Miss Bookkeeping about 4 years ago. Back then I was only servicing a handful of clients. Since quitting my job as an accountant in public practice in August 2018 I have focused on growing both Little Miss Bookkeeping and my activewear brand, Aura Eve.
Are you currently running any promos/contests/giveaways that you would like our readers to know about?
For Australian small businesses, I am currently running a promo – Complimentary Business Consultation & Review valued at AUD$150. This involves a 1-hour business consultation (Face to Face/Skype/Facetime/Phone/Email) so I can get to know you and your business.
Once I have a full understanding of your business I will prepare and provide a report around your business’ current situation, recommendations around accounting/bookkeeping compliance and anything other information I feel is relevant and valuable to you.
Note: This is only available to Australian based businesses. My advice is based on Australian legislation and designed for Australian small business. So if you are based in another country it’s best you consult your local accountant for business and tax information and education. Taxation law vary between countries and may not be applicable to you.
I am an all-round accounting nerd…
- Chartered Accountant
- Registered BAS agent
- Justice of the Peace (Qualified)
- Xero Certified Advisor
- Xer Bronze Partner
- QuickBooks Certified ProAdvisor
Where is your business based?
Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia.
What were the first few steps you took to get your business up and running?
I was actually approached by a friend who started a new manufacturing business to help him with his bookkeeping. This grew to a few more clients. It wasn’t until 4 years later (today) that I eventually set up a website, Instagram and Facebook page! Was pretty invisible in the online space when I first trading, growing only by referrals.
What has been the most effective way of raising awareness of your business and getting new customers?
Social media, specifically Instagram, has seen the biggest growth in new clients. However, referrals are always my most valuable source.
What have been your biggest challenges so far?
Trying to grow and create brand awareness around stereotypically unappealing service/industry. Bookkeeping and accounting isn’t exactly ‘sexy’, so my challenge is educating others on why it’s important.
How did you overcome these challenges?
By trying to make accounting cool! Check out my Instagram to see the feel and vibe I am trying to bring with Little Miss Bookkeeping. I’m trying to break the stereotype that your accountant is a middle-aged, balding man with no personality.
I’m late-20s, educated millennial who’s eager to stay ahead of the pack in terms of service offering and shake up the traditional accounting industry.
How do you keep motivated through difficult times?
I’ve driven by my goals to grow my business – where I want to be 1 year, 5 years and 10 years. There is no way I could go back to working for someone – it doesn’t give you the same fulfillment and satisfaction. I am motivated to create a sustainable and enjoyable life, where I have freedom and options without restrictions like work hours or KPIs.
How do you distinguish yourself from your competitors?
By breaking the accountant stereotype and sharing firsthand knowledge and experience in starting my own business. It’s important to remember that not all accountants and bookkeepers have had experienced both sides of the coin – starting and running as a business, as well as the normal bookkeeping compliance tasks.
Front end and back ends of accounting can be very different, so it’s important to use an advisor who can give well rounded advice.
What is the best advice you have received recently?
Create a product that solves a problem. I’m looking at ways to provide solutions to my clients, such as education and value add consulting.
What advice would you give to other entrepreneurs?
START NOW! Don’t think what have you got to lose… think what have you got to gain?!
What are your favorite business tools/resources and why?
Cloud accounting software…like Xero! Seriously! Getting a good accounting program that will help with your bookkeeping will mean spending more time working on growing your business, rather than in it, doing medial admin tasks.
I also love anything cloud based I LOVE! Dropbox, Canva, Gmail, MailChimp. I just login anywhere in the world and work.
What is a good article or book you have read recently?
I LOVED ‘Secrets of Online Entrepreneurs’ by Bernadette Schewerdt. This book gave me the final push to quit my full time job and dive head first into the world of self employment!
What are you currently learning about for your business or looking for help with?
YouTube! I want to create a YouTube channel around basis accounting, bookkeeping and tax education. Some of the topics to be included in my channel include:
- How income tax rates work
- What is GST?
- Which entity structure is right for me?
- How to lodge your own tax return
- What is the difference between an accountant and a bookkeeper?
- How to avoid a tax debt
- What is capital gains tax?
…plus much more!
I am very new to creating video content, so looking to get some help around some of the technical elements…like animation. I want my videos to be visual appealing and easy to understand to my viewers.
What are your goals for the next few months and how are you striving to achieve them?
I feel that there is a gap in basic business and tax education. As a result, I am working to bring out a serious of online courses to aid business owners and anyone else wanting to learn. These include:
- Finance Yourself – Business, accounting and bookkeeping basics and tax education for start ups and small business in Australia
- FIFO Tax Hacks – Tax education for fly-in, fly-out guys and girls in Australia
- Tradie Tax Hacks – Business basics and tax education for tradesmen and women in Australia
- Teacher Tax Hacks – Tax education for teachers in Australia
- Beauty & Bookkeeping – Business basics and tax education for beauticians and hairdressers in Australia
- Business Basics for Junior Entrepreneurs – Business basics and tax education for high school aged entrepreneurs in Australia
What social media outlets do you use? List them below.
Linked In Michelle Knight