Bookkeeping is among the most profitable businesses that you can do completely from home. Before you become a bookkeeper, you want to take a little time to learn about the basics. This will ensure that bookkeeping from home is the ideal career choice for you.
Once you decide that this career path is ideal for you, it is time to learn bookkeeping online. This knowledge will provide the foundation that you need to become a bookkeeper that finds success in the virtual world.
What Are the Job Responsibilities of a Bookkeeper?
Before you become a bookkeeper, the first step is to learn more about the job duties of this profession. It is important to differentiate between the education requirements and job responsibilities of bookkeepers and accountants since the two professions are often confused.
Bookkeeper vs. Accountant
Both bookkeepers and accountants work in finance, but the education requirements are very different. A bookkeeper does not need any formal education to begin their career. However, most accountants need at least a two-year degree to seek out entry-level positions.
Accountants who want to specialize in specific fields may need to acquire professional certifications, such as certified public accountant. However, bookkeepers can perform their duties in any field without any specialized education.
An accountant is someone who tackles responsibilities, such as financial auditing and tax accounting. They can work for themselves or for businesses and major corporations. The following are common duties of an accountant:
- Preparing adjusting entries
- Completing income tax returns
- Tax planning and tax strategy
- Preparing financial statements
- Financial strategy and analysis
- Financial forecasting
Bookkeepers focus on the financial health of businesses. They work on the daily financial responsibilities, such as paying bills, as well as helping to ensure that a business’s finances are healthy over the long-term. The following are common duties of a bookkeeper:
- Categorizing and recording financial transactions
- Sending and producing invoices
- Completing payroll
- Posting credits and debits
- Balancing and maintaining general ledgers, subsidiaries and recordkeeping
A bookkeeper can choose to work for a specific company, or to contract with multiple companies. Since many smaller companies only use a bookkeeper on a part-time basis, people who are looking to have a full-time job in this field might consider working on a freelance basis for two or more companies.
Average Earnings of a Bookkeeper
In the United States, bookkeepers who work for an employer earns an average salary between $36,872 and $47,128 per year. This salary is for those who do not freelance, but actually work as an employee for a company. The salary average is based on working full-time.
People who work as a bookkeeper on a freelance basis tend to earn more money. There is usually more room for salary negotiation for bookkeepers who have their own business, allowing them to earn more money.
The average salary of a self-employed bookkeeper in the United States averages $59,514 per year. The high end of the average salary for a bookkeeper in the United States was approximately $151,000 in December 2018. These figures are based on full-time freelance work.
The salary that a bookkeeper makes is based on several factors. These include the person’s level of experience, if they chose to pursue education and if they choose to work in a niche field, or work in a general capacity. For example, a bookkeeper working for small businesses tend to earn less than those who work for large corporations.
Education Requirements of a Bookkeeper
You can learn bookkeeping online because there are no minimum education or experience requirements. If you want to become a bookkeeper, you can make this a reality without spending years in college. In most cases, all you need is a GED or high school diploma to start working in this field.
Some companies will train their bookkeepers on the job. This means that you do not need any previous experience. Being relatively good with math and organization can be helpful, but this is generally not required.
Those who want to work as a freelance bookkeeper and start their own business might consider starting out working for a company. This would allow you to get some experience and learn more about what it takes to be a bookkeeper before you venture out on your own.
Searching for Remote Bookkeeper Jobs
One way to become a bookkeeper and get some experience in this field is to work remotely. Every business could benefit from hiring a bookkeeper to keep an eye on their financial health. When you want to get started in this field, remote jobs open up many more possibilities.
There are numerous websites that update their job postings on a regular basis. Subscribing to the newsletter for job websites will bring new bookkeeping jobs right to your email at least once a week, but sometimes daily. Examples of such websites include Indeed and FlexJobs.
You can also search on job websites by looking specifically for remote or “work from home” bookkeeping jobs. You can usually narrow down your search to only jobs of this type to make your search more efficient.
Before you start your search, you should get your resume polished and make sure that you understand how to write a cover letter that catches attention. There are dozens of free resources online that will help you with both of these.
On many job websites, you can upload your resume so that people can also find you without you even having to apply for jobs. This can increase your exposure to potential clients or employers.
If you are planning on freelancing and starting your own bookkeeping business, it is a good idea to create your own website. On your website, you will showcase your skills and experience. You will also detail the bookkeeping services that you offer and give people options for contacting you about your services.
You might also consider cold contacting local businesses to offer your services. Create a list of companies that are local to you that you might want to work with as a bookkeeper. Create a pitch letter and either send it via email or snail mail.
When you are first starting out and working to increase your bookkeeping client list, it is ideal to use several methods for attracting potential clients. As you gain experience with this part of the business, you can tweak your strategy to ensure that it is efficient.
Working as a Freelance Bookkeeper
Once you decide you want to become a bookkeeper, you might consider working virtually on a freelance basis. This allows you to decide which projects you take and when for optimal flexibility with your career.
There are several things that you can start doing from day one to help ensure that you find success as a freelance bookkeeper. Many experts recommend that you choose a niche and stick with it. For example, you might only work with startup companies or companies in the medical industry.
Make sure that you have the items that you need to get started. Most bookkeepers will need a good computer, printer, scanner and fax machine. You will need an adding machine that provides receipts and basic office supplies. You should also have business cards made so that you can hand them out to potential new clients.
Look into the different software options for bookkeeping and choose one that you find the easiest to use and the most comprehensive. This will help to make your work much easier once you start getting clients.
Once you are up and running, it is time to work on the service packages that you will offer. You want to have this ready to go when you start pitching for clients. This will tell them exactly what you offer and what your prices are.
Work on the marketing methods that you will use to allow potential clients to find you. Start by making sure that your website is professional and optimized. Connect one to two social media accounts to this website for further exposure.
Once you are working with clients, do not neglect your own bookkeeping. Track your expenses, stay on top of what you are earning and make sure that your taxes are in order. You should also monitor your workload to determine if it might be beneficial to change your strategy or hire other bookkeepers to help you.
Starting a Virtual Bookkeeper Business
Before you start bookkeeping from home by starting your virtual bookkeeping business, it is important to make sure that you have the tools that you need.
To build a business in this field, you can learn bookkeeping online and how to do this as a business by checking out Bookkeeper Business Launch. (You can read our Bookkeeper Business Launch review here.)
This program is broken down into three classes that help you to learn bookkeeping online from the ground up. This will allow you to become a bookkeeper while simultaneously learning about the tools you need to turn it into an actual business.
The Bookkeeper Business Launch program will teach you how to become a bookkeeper and about how to be successful regarding bookkeeping from home. Best of all, the cost is far less than what you will pay for comparable bookkeeping courses. CHECK OUT THE BOOKKEEPER BUSINESS LAUNCH PROGRAM.