Are you looking for a home-based job that will let you earn real money? Consider working from home as a bookkeeper. Businesses need someone to reconcile their bank statements, pay bills to vendors, and create reports on the health of the company. Thanks to the Internet, that someone doesn’t need to report to an actual office. You can earn $50 or more per hour from the comfort of your home. You can choose to work part-time or full-time and you can even set your own work hours. Before you make the leap, you need to ask yourself some important questions. The information you gather should help you decide if being a virtual bookkeeper is a good career for you.
- 1. Do you need a degree to be a bookkeeper?
- 2. What skills do you need to be a great bookkeeper?
- 3. What are the benefits of working as a bookkeeper?
- 4. Do you need money for startup costs?
- 5. Should you work for a company or as a freelancer?
- 6. How do you market yourself?
- 7. Where do you find legitimate jobs for bookkeepers?
1. Do you need a degree to be a bookkeeper?
You don’t need to have a degree in Accounting or be a Certified Public Accountant to help business owners balance their books. While an accountant and a bookkeeper have some overlapping tasks, these professions are not exactly the same. Someone without any experience can train to be a home-based bookkeeper. Some business owners are willing to train bookkeepers and there are courses available online. There are even free bookkeeping courses listed on the Internet. Ideally, a virtual bookkeeper should also have practical, hands-on experience.
2. What skills do you need to be a great bookkeeper?
Bookkeepers handle the day to day, detailed transactions of a business. That means a virtual bookkeeper needs to have some crucial skills. Number skills and an eye for detail are obviously non-negotiable. Other skills, like problem-solving and the ability to handle stress, are needed in any career. It’s a must to have computer skills and knowledge of software programs like Quickbooks. As a home-based bookkeeper, you should be willing to learn new processes and technology. Since you are working remotely, you should be able to communicate well via email.
3. What are the benefits of working as a bookkeeper?
Flexible work hours
You can structure your workday in a way that makes sense for you and your family. You can work at night or early in the morning when the kids are asleep. You can also squeeze in a few hours while they are at school or during nap time. You would need to communicate with clients during the day, but you can definitely set your own hours.
The amount of money you make is completely up to you. There’s no need to rely on a boss granting you overtime when you need extra cash. You can take on extra clients or raise your rates when you need the extra money.
There are many business owners who need a bookkeeper. In fact, all businesses need a person to handle their bookkeeping tasks. There’s a good chance that a company will need you for the tasks you can provide.
4. Do you need money for startup costs?
You’ll need some basics like a computer or laptop, as well as Internet access. You’ll likely already have these. The software, training, and basic office supplies can cost a few hundred dollars. As you grow your business, you should set a budget for training and supplies. But the initial investment shouldn’t be too much.
5. Should you work for a company or as a freelancer?
There are several factors to consider when you’re deciding whether to work remotely for a company or start your own business. While you’ll be able to set your own hours as a freelance bookkeeper, you won’t get company benefits like paid vacations or health insurance. On the other hand, a freelancer won’t need permission to take a day off work. You do need to talk with your client about a schedule that works for both of you.
The choice between freelancing and telecommuting is a truly personal one. List out the pros and cons of working for a company versus working for yourself to see what will work for your situation.
6. How do you market yourself?
Whether you decide to telecommute or freelance, you’ll need to market yourself. This means creating a professional website that will list your services and portfolio. You might need a profile on LinkedIn too. This is social media for professionals, and it’s the perfect place to make connections and network. You don’t have to spend a lot of money on marketing. But you will have to network with others to get your first few jobs.
7. Where do you find legitimate jobs for bookkeepers?
Accountingdepartment.com has jobs that are open to U.S. residents. However, it doesn’t accept applicants from other countries. You’ll be assigned to a client, and you’ll perform through the site’s platform. Click Accounts allows qualified candidates to work within their system for clients who use Quickbooks and SAGE. Bookkeepers can do tax preparation or work with shopping cart applications.
Job boards like Indeed and Monster have positions available for bookkeepers who want to work remotely. Some freelance bookkeepers also offer their services in platforms like Upwork. You’ll need a professional resume and the ability to conduct virtual interviews. Skype is a helpful tool to have for talking with potential employers or clients.
So, do you have what it takes to be a home-based bookkeeper? Let us know what you think about this list below. Share it with anyone you know who has been looking for home employment opportunities.