Do you want to know a way you can earn up to $80,000 a year working remotely and making your own hours?
It sounds like a dream right?
But it’s not.
Being an online bookkeeper is a career that offers all this flexibility.
And in this post, I will walk you through the process of how to become a virtual bookkeeper.
By the end, you have the information you need to put a plan together to start your journey as a bookkeeper and taking control of your future.
How To Become A Virtual Bookkeeper And Make $80,000 A Year
What Is A Bookkeeper?
A bookkeeper is a person that handles the income and expenses at a business.
Most businesses have invoices that need to be paid, including other business expenses, income that needs to be recorded, quarterly tax payments to make, and more.
If you think about a small business or a solo entrepreneur, this takes up a lot of time.
When you are running your own business, you need to focus on bringing in more income and usually bookkeeping doesn’t do that.
So many businesses hire an on-site bookkeeper.
But thanks to technology, these businesses can save time and money by finding remote bookkeepers.
Essentially, you would be maintaining the financial records for a company.
Your duties could include all or parts of the following:
- Track monthly income and revenue
- Track monthly business expenses and invoices
- Record these financial transactions
- Reconcile income and expenses to business bank accounts and credit cards
- Create financial statements like cash flow statement, profit and loss statement, etc.
- Handle payroll
- Maintain annual budgets
- Monitor company debt or financing levels
- Maintain petty cash fund
- Manage local, state, and Federal quarterly tax payments
- Provide other administrative support tasks
Since each business is different, you might not be doing all these things and you could even do things not listed.
And because of so many small businesses out there, a career as a virtual bookkeeper is in high demand.
How To Start A Bookkeeping Business
If you think a career as a bookkeeper is right for you, what do you need to get started?
Below are 4 steps to get your business off the ground and start earning an income.
Have The Right Equipment
When starting your own bookkeeping business, you don’t need a lot.
You just need a computer, an internet connection, accounting software, and a way to get paid.
For bookkeeping software, many people use Quickbooks or Freshbooks, but there are other options as well.
When it comes to getting paid, this could be as simple as a PayPal account or a bank account for your business.
Learn The Basics
If you have a background in bookkeeping, then you don’t need to learn the basics.
But if you are like many others without previous experience, then you need to understand more about the bookkeeping process.
You can start off by reading some books.
Another option is to take an online course.
This is the option I recommend because of what you get out of it.
First, you learn the basics of what it means to be a virtual bookkeeper.
Here is some great free training that covers everything you need to know.
From there, you learn how to set up and grow your business.
The Bookkeepers Launch course will walk you through the entire process and set you up for success.
And many of their graduates earn $80,000 a year!
You can click the link below to learn more about this bookkeeping course.
Understand Who You Want To Work With
Once you have everything covered, you need to understand who you want to work with.
There are small businesses you can work with, non-profits, entrepreneurs, and more.
By narrowing down your target client, you will also zero in on what services you will provide.
For example, if you decide you want to work with solo entrepreneurs, you won’t need to worry too much about paychecks.
If you don’t have any experience with bookkeeping, starting your own business might be a little (or a lot) scary for you.
Luckily, you don’t have to jump head first in the deep end here.
Instead you can jump feet first into the shallow end.
What I mean is instead of spending all the time and money setting up a business, you can get a remote bookkeeping job for a company first.
You will earn a W2 income, have benefits, and learn the ropes.
You will even get a better idea if this is a career you want to turn into a business.
The best place to look for remote jobs is FlexJobs.
This job board only lists remote work, so you know everything you see offers the flexibility of working from home.
The downside to this job board is it costs money to use.
Luckily, the price is super low and you can cancel anytime.
I’ve used it a few times and have had friends use it and swear by it.
You can click the link below to learn more.
Advantages And Drawbacks
Before you make the decision to start a bookkeeping business, let’s take a closer look at the advantages and drawbacks.
Remote work. You can work anywhere you want as long as you have an internet connection. This means you could work from home, in another country, or on a tropical island!
Flexible schedule. Since it is your business, you decide on your work hours. If you have young children and can only work after they go to bed, then you can do this.
Excellent pay. Starting out you can earn $40,000 a year. With more experience and clients, you can earn $80,000 or more annually.
Low barrier to enter. You don’t need formal education, specialized coursework, certifications, or a license to be a bookkeeper.
Need to understand numbers. Since you will be dealing with income and expenses, as well as financial statements, you need to be comfortable working with numbers.
A lot of initial work. If you are starting your own business, expect to work a lot of hours trying to land potential clients. If you can survive this grind, it does get easier.
Potential loss of clients. Even if you secure some clients, you risk losing them as many small businesses fail. Therefore, just because you have a solid client base, it doesn’t mean it will always be this way.
Independent contractor. By offering virtual bookkeeping services, you will be your own boss and not a W2 employee. This means you need to have an understanding of tax laws in your municipality and state and make sure you pay quarterly taxes.
How Much Money Can A Virtual Bookkeeper Make?
Starting out as an average full-time bookkeeper working for a company, you can expect to make between $15-$20 an hour.
This assumes you have no previous work experience in the industry.
As you gain experience, you can make $25-$30 an hour or more.
The real money however is in starting your own business.
This allows you to work flexible, part-time hours while making full-time income.
For many virtual bookkeepers that are their own boss, they average between $60,000 and $80,000 a year.
The amount varies based on number of clients and hours worked.
If you want to start your own business as a bookkeeper, I highly recommend you check out the Bookkeeper Launch course.
Frequently Asked Questions
I get asked a lot of questions about becoming a virtual bookkeeper.
Here are the most common questions.
What makes virtual bookkeeping jobs such a great career?
Being an online bookkeeper is one of the most lucrative online jobs for a few reasons.
First, you don’t need any experience and so it’s easy to get your foot in the door.
Next, you can make $50,000 or more doing this job, which is awesome.
And finally, you can decide how much you want to scale it.
In other words, if you want this to be a full-time job, you can do that.
If you want to keep it a small side hustle that earns extra money, you can do that too.
What is the difference between a bookkeeper and an accountant?
A bookkeeper’s main duties are to simply record the financial transactions for a business.
An accountant on the other hand is responsible for analyzing, reporting, and summarizing the information.
Additionally, most accountants have a 4 year college degree, are a certified public accountant (CPA), and have a license to practice accounting.
There is a gray area where some bookkeepers will create basic financial reports for small businesses, but for the most part, they are more involved in keeping the books.
What qualifications do I need to become a bookkeeper?
There are no qualifications you need to be a bookkeeper.
You do not even need formal education or a college degree, however if you decide to work for a company remotely before starting your own virtual bookkeeping business, a college degree might be required.
How do I become certified as a bookkeeper?
While you don’t need qualifications to become a bookkeeper, you can get certified as a bookkeeper.
Currently there are two organizations that certify bookkeepers.
- American Institute of Professional Bookkeepers (AIPB)
- National Association of Certified Public Bookkeepers (NACPB)
Understand that to work in this field, you do not need to be a certified bookkeeper.
But getting certified can help you stand out among other bookkeepers and possibly allow you to charge a higher rate.
What skills do bookkeepers need?
There are a handful of skills that will benefit you in this career.
For starters, you have to enjoy working with others and communicating with them.
Remember, you are keeping their financial books, so regular communication is critical.
Additionally, you need to have a strong work ethic, since you will be your own boss.
Thinking independently, having a strong eye for detail are important too.
Finally, enjoying or at least being comfortable working with numbers is important as well since this is what you will be doing.
Can I become a bookkeeper with no experience?
You can easily read books on the subject and teach yourself the skills you need to get started.
From there you could work on getting certified, however this is not a requirement.
Another option would be to take an online course where they teach you the basics and help you start your business and find potential clients.
The best one I’ve found is Bookkeeper Launch.
I like this one because it is run by successful bookkeepers, so you know you are getting good information.
Plus, they offer a great Facebook group where you can interact with not only them, but many other virtual bookkeepers.
You can click the link below to learn more.
What does it take to be a successful bookkeeper?
To be a great bookkeeper, you need to have an eye for detail and enjoy working with numbers.
Ideally, you will also enjoy interacting with people as you will be emailing and on phone calls with business owners.
Finally, if you want to turn this gig into a full-time income, you need to have the drive and discipline to do so.
At the end of the day, you can become a virtual bookkeeper a lot easier than many people think.
You don’t need to have a college degree and you don’t need a lot of equipment either.
The hard work will be in finding new clients and growing your business to a point where you are making good money.
This is why I recommend the Bookkeeper Launch course.
Having people who are successful in the industry guiding you is priceless.
Add in the Facebook group where you can learn from other bookkeeper and ask questions, and you have the perfect platform to get you running.