Learn to be a Bookkeeper at home
Before we start talking about how to become a bookkeeper at home and with no experience, I want to tell you a thing – You DO NOT require a formal college degree to practice virtual bookkeeping.
If you have absolutely no experience (I mean zilch!) but have a liking towards numbers and this work at home job, I would say go for it. You will have everything you need to know about virtual bookkeeping in this post.
And, if you are shopping for the most flexible way to make money online, bookkeeping from home is a worthy competitor. In case you are a stay at home mom or a stay at home dad, do check out this list of super flexible work at home jobs.
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There are abundant entry-level bookkeeping jobs available today and the best part about it is the low start-up costs and beginning rates at $50-80+ an hour (yes, this is how much do freelance bookkeepers make!)
Let’s start –
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What is bookkeeping? What do bookkeepers do and how is it different from an accountant?
It is important to understand that bookkeeping is different from what an accountant does. In reality, those two are completely different professions and we will see how.
To begin with – Working as an accountant requires formal qualification and degree as opposed to bookkeeping. While the former is giving you financial advice, the latter deals with maintaining the everyday finances of a business. You can start bookkeeping without any formal education or college degree in accountancy (or similar).
Let’s look at the role of accountant and bookkeepers –
What an accountant does
When businesses hire accountants, they want the taxes handled. Accountants are normally responsible to figure out the taxes owed by businesses and prepare tax returns. They also help businesses with the following tasks –
- Financial record keeping
- Examining financial statements
- Evaluating records and suggesting ways to save money
- Auditing financial statements
They are not responsible for day to day finances and keeping a track of transactions (what is coming in and what is going out, in simple terms)
What a bookkeeper does
Bookkeeper is NOT responsible for any of the things we mentioned above. They are responsible for daily financial health. For example, paying bills, collecting payments on invoices, etc. They are also responsible for
- Updating financial records
- Creating reports
- Checking accuracy of the records
- Entering financial records in computer programs
- Putting debits and credits to appropriate accounts etc.
How does virtual bookkeeping work? Can a bookkeeper work from home?
As the name suggests, virtual bookkeeping allows you to stay at home and work. You will be communicating with clients over calls and emails. As you read ahead, all your doubts about how to become a bookkeeper from home with no experience will be cleared.
You can also sign up for this free course to understand how to become a bookkeeper from home
How much do freelance bookkeepers make? How much does a bookkeeper charge per hour?
Great question! We all want to know the potential of making money with any work at home idea.
According to this, you can expect to earn around $23 an hour as an entry-level bookkeeper BUT this is for bookkeepers that work in an organization’s accounting department (not the ones you own work at home business).
If you are able to start your own business and freelance independently, you can earn much more than just $18 an hour. Considering you are working directly with multiple clients, the combined rate is much more than $18 an hour. You can start charging anywhere between $25-50 an hour depending on your existing skills, knowledge, and services offered.
Once you get experience in bookkeeping, you can easily charge $50 an hour and up.
What qualification do you need to become a bookkeeper? Can you be a bookkeeper without a degree?
If you have a college degree in accounting, finance or business or have experience working as a store manager (or handling a family business) – you already have a great foundation to work from home as a bookkeeper.
That said, it is not a prerequisite to working as a bookkeeper from home. This course tells you exactly how to become bookkeeper at home and with no experience at all
You DO NOT require any formal qualification or degree to become a bookkeeper. In fact, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, many entry-level virtual bookkeepers do not have a degree.
What Skills Do You Need to Be a Bookkeeper?
In my opinion, every job requires certain skills and so does bookkeeping. However, a lot of them can be learned on the job or otherwise.
Check out the 7 characteristics of a great bookkeeper and see if you are well suited to start a bookkeeping business from home.
To name a few –
- Attention to detail (after all, you are dealing with finances)
- Communication skills (this is required by any work at home job)
- Ability to build trust (bookkeeping is not just about handling finances but building trust with the client. If you are good at it or are willing to work on it, you will go a long way – You will have long term clients who will positively refer you to other entrepreneurs in business.
How do I become a virtual bookkeeper with no experience?
While you can figure out everything out on your own (and, you might be really itching to do this!), it will be difficult to convince clients you know what you are doing if you don’t come across as a professional. After all, they are giving you the responsibility of managing finances. It is a huge risk and I do not advise you to go down this route.
The best way to start bookkeeping from home is to take training or a course online. You will be less likely to make mistakes, more likely to progress faster and make money online. You will also have a mentor to go to and resolve any client questions trust me, this really comes in handy during sticky situations with clients).
We will talk about the training in a bit. Till then, you can check out this free course on bookkeeping.
What You Need to Start a Virtual Bookkeeping Business
For starters, you need
- A computer or a laptop
- Stable internet connection
You can check out the second lesson in this free course to know the exact tools you require to launch your bookkeeping business.
By the way, it is one of the cheapest work at home options to start. You can start it for as low as about $300 for total boot-strapping to about $700 – it depends on how willing you are to be equipped right from the start or invest as an when a requirement comes along.
Remember, you do not require everything right at the beginning. Start with basics.
Where Can I Find Remote Bookkeeping Jobs? How to get a bookkeeping job without experience?
Every business – offline or online, large or small – has a bookkeeper. You just need to find and convince them. If you are a beginner, I would suggest you check out Indeed and Flexjobs. Besides this, the best way to find clients is to pitch them directly.
You can also check out these 37 remote job websites
Should I become a bookkeeper?
If you are interested in the kind of jobs bookkeepers do, then go for it.
How do I become a bookkeeper at home? How do I become a bookkeeper online?
It is important that you understand what you are getting into. Take these free classes as your first step.
#2 Gather your tools
Get your basic tools right, especially, computer and an internet connection. You will also need a bookkeeping software to manage your client’s finances. The free course covers the best available in the market but to name a few – Xero, Quickbooks, and Sage50.
Do your research and see which ones fit your clientele (or target audience)
In the beginning, you may also need a scanner and a printer but you can go with budget-friendly equipment. The free course talks about how to start with a bookkeeping business at a minimum. You should also check out my latest post on how to start working from home
#3 Build a website
You are working virtually – without a brick and mortar presence and without employees.
This makes it essential to have a virtual existence so you can advertise and spread the word to the potential clients. Your website should include
- List of services
- Value statement
- Packages (if any)
- Area of expertise
- Clients you worked with
- Client testimonials
You can start a website with as little as $3.95 a month or Rs. 276 a month (if you are in India, you can also opt for Hostgator for Rs. 350 a month) or go with the free options. However, I do not recommend using free options. You can read about other options here and here.
You can use this step by step tutorial to get your WordPress blog up and running.
If you have difficulty in understanding the basics (like domain name, wordpress.org or .com, hosting etc), you can read this article on website basics.
If you do not want to invest in a website designer (which I did not, and created this website on my own), buy a theme builder like Elementor. It is super easy and is almost drag and drop.
#4 Market your business
You will have to focus on marketing your business initially. Once you have a stable stream of clients, you will start getting constant referrals and the effort you put in getting a new client will considerably reduce.
The best ways to market your business:
- Social media
- Cold email
- In-person networking
- Email marketing
- Lead generation
- PR opportunities
- Public speaking
- Guest blogging
- Print advertising
- Forum participation
- Email prospecting
- Facebook Groups
#5 Stay up on training and trends
It is important to always stay updated on new trends and business updates. For this purpose, you will need to take the time to watch webinars, read books, attend training sessions and conferences.
Watch this video to learn more about marketing your bookkeeping business.
Finally, what is this training and the free course on how to become a bookkeeper from home we have been talking about?
Great! If you are still here, you are good to go! You seem to be really driven.
I highly recommend you to take Bookkeeper Business Launch
If you took the free course and met the 7 criteria outlined at the outset, then bookkeeping is for you. The course is split about 50/50 between learning the bookkeeping skills and learning the business and marketing skills.
Learn to be a bookkeeper and start earning $80+ per hour!
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Resources that can help you with becoming a bookkeeper:
Skillshare – Skillshare is my go-to place to learn a new skill without having to splurge hundreds of dollars. It is an online learning community where you can explore thousands of classes in design, photography, business, and more. You can get started with a free trial using my link and get access to hundreds of courses.
How to find and pitch clients your freelance services – Are you tired of looking for clients on Facebook groups and job boards? Did you land clients but they offered you peanuts? Well, the only thing you are missing in the picture is to learn how to find and pitch clients your services directly. Using the methods in the book, I was able to make $900 in the first month of freelancing and it has only grown from there. Check it out.
Become a work at home mom – A FREE training session that comes along with a workbook and guides you through the entire freelancing journey. Not only it tells you what is freelancing, but it also tells you the various option and how to go about establishing one (without any INVESTMENT cost).
FlexJobs If you are a freelancer, you should sign up with Flexjobs. It will help you go through great flexible job listings from legitimate employers quickly, easily, and safely. Every single job on FlexJobs is hand-screened for legitimacy, with no ads or scams mixed in, and every single job offers work flexibility such as telecommuting, freelance, part-time or other flexible options.
Also, grab this list if you are looking for other online and offline work at home jobs