Could You Become A Bookkeeper From Home?
A bookkeeper is quite literally a person who keeps the books and financial documents in order for business. They play a very important role with small businesses and big businesses alike. Most bookkeepers begin their careers by offering their services with new and emerging companies. Over time, they may specialize in certain areas and even become full-fledged accountant.
The roles of bookkeepers and accountants are very similar. An accountant can typically perform all of the services of a bookkeeper but may offer additional services such as business analysis and reporting. Not all bookkeepers have a desire to take on a full role as an accountant. There is a sense of freedom and flexibility that a bookkeeping career offers that is lost in the transition to an accountant.
In many cases, a bookkeeper will work alongside an accountant for a particular business. A bookkeeper may even work for multiple businesses at one time. This has become increasingly common in the past decade as more and more bookkeepers are launching their careers from home. It’s entirely possible for someone to become a bookkeeper from home without a degree or a previous experience in a related field.
Benefits Of Becoming A Bookkeepers
If you’re interested in starting a work-from-home career, then this may be the opportunity that you’ve been looking for. There are many advantages to working from home in this field. Let’s take a look at some of the benefits of becoming a bookkeeper from home and then we will cover a few of the steps required to achieve this goal.
Benefit 1: Flexibility
This is perhaps one of the main reasons that anyone begins any sort of work-from-home career. You have an extreme degree of flexibility in many different areas. Primarily, you will have a great deal of flexibility with your schedule.
Do you want to work full-time as a bookkeeper? Will you fill your schedule with working hours from sunrise to sunset? Or would you prefer more limited work hours so that you can still contribute financially without sacrificing time with your family? These are options that you will have available when you choose to become a bookkeeper from home.
And just because you choose to work only a few hours at first doesn’t mean you are locked into that position forever. You will have the flexibility to increase or decrease your workload at certain points in time. This is in stark contrast to working with a traditional business where they expect you to work the same schedule as you did the day you got hired.
The flexibility of bookkeeping from home has made it an extremely popular career choice for parents across the country. It gives stay-at-home parents a chance to make an income and enjoy some work outside of taking care of the kids. If you’re the type of stay-at-home parent who misses the feeling of making money but doesn’t want to leave the kids with a babysitter, then bookkeeping is a great opportunity.
Benefit 2: Control
This benefit is very similar to flexibility. After all, the flexibility available comes from having control over your options. However, this also expands to other areas of work. For example, you will have control over who you work with and you who you work for. This may seem like a small advantage, but it can make your workday far more enjoyable.
Have you ever worked a job where you just couldn’t stand your coworkers? Maybe they spent all day gossiping, arguing, or were just lazy workers who slowed you down. Whatever the reason, most of us have had a similar experience. Unfortunately, you can’t get away from those coworkers without quitting the job. But when you work from home as a bookkeeper you have complete control over who you work with.
For the most part, you won’t be forced to dealing with coworkers of any sort. You will be working for your own business that performs services for other small businesses. If you do have any coworkers, it’s because you’ve hired them yourself for some important job. Most work-from-home bookkeepers don’t need to hire additional workers, but if your business is growing quickly, then it is a possibility. But, as mentioned, it’s completely in your control.
And what if you don’t like a particular company? Then you simply don’t offer to work with them. Bookkeeping is a very in-demand professional and there will never be a shortage of companies that need your services. You’ll have the freedom to work with other companies that you actually like. Whether that means you like their owner, what they do, or what they stand for. It’s entirely up to you.
One final thing that you’ll have control over is yourself. You’re the boss and there’s nobody there to tell you when to wake up, what to wear, how to speak, or how much work you should do. Obviously, some decisions are going to affect your business and they should be made carefully, but the important part is that they are your decisions and you’re in control.
How To Become A Bookkeeper From Home
It’s obvious that becoming a bookkeeper is an excellent career opportunity for those who have the willpower and desire to work from home. But how does a person actually go about starting this career? Is a college education required? Will they need previous experience in a related field? (The answer is “no”). Following are the steps required to begin a career as a bookkeeper from home.
Step 1: Education
This does not mean a college education. No university training or degrees are required to start a career as a bookkeeper. A great deal of the training actually comes on-the-job. However, that doesn’t mean you should form a business and start working as a bookkeeper without knowing anything about the job. It’s best that you start by learning any and everything possible. The more you know ahead of time the easier it will be to secure clients and begin making a profit.
Taking some form of an online course on the subject would certainly be beneficial. There are many free or low-cost options available if you’re willing to search for them. You don’t need to be an expert on the subject by the end of the course, but you should at least know what you’ll be doing once you land your first client.
What if you do consider yourself an expert on the subject? If you have a Bachelors degree in accounting or you have previous work experience as a bookkeeper, then you can make your career choice a little easier by seeking certification. Two organizations worth looking into are the American Institute of Professional Bookkeepers and the National Association of Certified Public Bookkeepers.
Keep in mind that certification is not at all required to start a business as a bookkeeper from home. It will just make it easier to win clients in the future. If you plan to continue with bookkeeping for the long term, then you should definitely consider certification at some point down the line. The AIPB requires 3,000 hours of experience as a bookkeeper and the NACPB requires either an Associate’s or Bachelor’s degree in accounting. Both also require that you pass a written exam.
Step 2: Creating A Business
Not every work-from-home bookkeeper takes the time to register as an official business, but it really makes a big difference. Registering as a business is a surprisingly fast and simple process thanks to the internet. And it only requires a small investment to cover a few different fees. At the end of the day, you’ll be able to advertise your services as a bookkeeping business, which is guaranteed to make potential clients take you seriously.
You might find that you have a real talent for operating as a bookkeeper. This means you’ll be bringing in a lot of clients and your business will grow with time. It’s a good idea to write a formal business plan so that you know what your goals are and how you plan to handle growth. Of course, this isn’t as important if you only plan to take on a few clients as a source of extra income for the home.
Once again, this is the sort of flexibility that is available when you choose to work as a bookkeeper from home. You can choose to follow the official business route as a licensed LLC with a plan for the future. You can create a website, invest in marketing, and eventually hire other employees. Or you could choose to take only the clients that you need to make your monetary goals for the month.
Step 3: Choose A Target Industry
Starting out as a new bookkeeper will be the most difficult time in your career because you have no reputation to use to attract clients. You can make the beginning stages a bit easier by targeting one or two niche industries. Choosing industries where you have previous experience works best but is not mandatory. Once you’ve chosen your industries you can begin targeting new businesses in those industries.
It’s much easier to build a reputation within a particular industry. It also means your competition is going to be easier to manage. If you’re attempting to landing bookkeeping jobs with companies in all industries, then all other bookkeepers have become your competition. By narrowing your target you are limiting the competition.
While it’s a good idea to limit your industries, it’s not a good idea to limit yourself geographically. Don’t force yourself to work with clients in any one particular location. Instead, try to attract clients from around the globe. This is one of the many strengths of working as a bookkeeper from home. You aren’t tied to any specific location. Use that to your advantage to increase your pool of potential clients.
Step 4: Market, Build And Expand
Even if you’re taking a part-time approach to bookkeeping, you need to market your services if you want to be noticed online. This means making small investments in digital marketing strategies like search engine optimisation and pay-per-click advertising. It also means you’ll need some sort of website. It doesn’t need to be flashy or expensive. Just enough to use as your base of operations online.
Your first client will be the toughest to find, but it will also be the most rewarding. It only gets easier from there as long as you do a good job. You’ll be able to use that client to lay the foundation for your reputation. Before long, businesses will be seeking you out for your bookkeeping services thanks to word-of-mouth and online marketing.