Accounting for Service-Based Businesses: Key Considerations

From the Indian government’s perspective, service-based companies refer to businesses that provide services as their primary source of revenue. This can include a wide range of industries such as IT services, consulting, healthcare, hospitality, education, salon, and more. The government has recognized the importance of service-based industries in driving economic growth and has implemented policies and incentives to support their development. Service-based companies also have specific regulatory requirements and tax obligations, and must comply with various laws and regulations governing their industry and business operations

For Indian service-based companies, accounting plays a critical role in managing their finances and ensuring the profitability of their operations. With increasing competition and changing market dynamics, it’s important for service-based companies in India to have a clear understanding of their financial performance and take proactive measures to optimize their operations. By partnering with an experienced accounting firm, Indian service-based businesses can leverage specialized expertise and technology to improve their financial processes and drive growth.

Finsmart Accounting – a leading provider of outsourced accounting services in India – created this blog to share key accounting considerations for service-based businesses in India.

Let’s start!

Key Considerations for Indian Service-Based Businesses

Below are some of the key considerations that Indian service-based companies must read to gain insights into how to effectively manage their financial operations and stay ahead of the competition:

Revenue Recognition: Revenue recognition is a critical consideration for service-based businesses. Indian businesses need to follow the Ind AS 115 standard for revenue recognition. This standard requires businesses to recognize revenue when control of goods or services is transferred to the customer. This can be a complex area, and it is important to ensure that revenue is recognized correctly.

Cost of Services: The cost of services is another critical consideration for service-based businesses. It is important to track and record all costs associated with providing services, including labor, materials, and overhead costs. This can help businesses to accurately calculate profitability and make informed decisions about pricing and resource allocation.

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Billing and Invoicing: Service-based businesses need to ensure that they have robust billing and invoicing processes in place. This can include creating accurate and detailed invoices, tracking payment status, and following up on overdue payments. It is important to ensure that invoices are accurate and include all necessary details, such as the service provided, date of service, and payment terms.

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Accrual Accounting: Service-based businesses generally use accrual accounting, which recognizes revenue and expenses when they are earned or incurred, regardless of when payment is received or made. This can help businesses to get a more accurate picture of their financial position and performance.

Service Contracts: Service-based businesses should have service contracts in place for all their customers. These contracts should include details such as the scope of services, payment terms, and any warranties or guarantees.

Having clear service contracts in place can help to avoid disputes and ensure that both parties are clear on the terms of the agreement. Read on to discover more accounting tips for service driven businesses.

Tax Considerations: Service-based businesses need to consider various tax implications, such as service tax, GST, TDS, and income tax. It is important to understand the tax laws and regulations applicable to service-based businesses and to ensure that all necessary filings and payments are made on time.

Accounting Software: Service-based businesses should consider investing in accounting software to manage their finances more effectively. This can include software that provides features such as invoicing, expense tracking, and financial reporting. Choosing the right accounting software can help businesses to save time and improve accuracy

Time Tracking: Service-based businesses often charge clients based on the amount of time spent on a project. Therefore, it is important to track the time spent on each project accurately. This can help businesses to bill clients more accurately, and to ensure that they are not under or overbilling for their services.

Recommended: Financial controller services to get the right financial insights

Project Management: Service driven  businesses often work on multiple projects simultaneously. It is important to have a system in place to manage these projects effectively, including tracking project progress, allocating resources, and managing timelines. This can help businesses to complete projects on time and on budget, and to improve overall profitability.

Employee Management: Service-based businesses often rely on a team of employees to deliver services to clients. It is important to manage employee time effectively, track employee expenses, and ensure that employee records are up-to-date. This can help businesses to manage their workforce more efficiently and reduce the risk of errors or fraud.

Bank Reconciliation: Service-based businesses should perform regular bank reconciliations to ensure that all transactions have been recorded correctly in the accounting system. This can help to identify errors or discrepancies in financial records, and to ensure that the financial statements are accurate.

Financial Reporting: Service-based businesses should prepare regular financial reports to understand their financial position and performance. This can include profit and loss statements, balance sheets, and cash flow statements. These reports can help businesses to make informed decisions about resource allocation, pricing, and other key areas.

Connect for Accounting Outsourcing Support

Finsmart Accounting with its 15 years of outsourced accounting is a one-stop solution for all accounting, taxation, and payroll needs for growing business enterprises. Our customer-centric service models, domain expertise, and use of the latest tools & technology have truly helped us to establish ourselves as ‘Trusted FinOps Partner’.

Still got questions to ask about accounting for service  driven businesses? Send them at and get a quick reply from top accounting experts. Or check out these valuable resources:

Tax planning strategies for Indian startups

Accounting for ecommerce startups: Best tips

The impact of GST on Indian businesses

Dipali Phadke

Dipali Phadke


1.7 Employee Retention Strategies for Accounting firms and CPAs 2. Raising Funds for Startup: 5 Tips from Leading Finance Experts (Part 1) 3. Best Payroll Software in India For Small and Midsized Businesses 4. Tally vs. Zoho: Which Accounting Software Wins 2023 in India

Mrs. Dipali Phadke is the Chief Executive Officer of Finsmart Solutions & is the back bone of the company’s operations. A qualified Chartered Accountant with more than 12 years of experience in the field of Accounting, Taxation and Audit.

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