Last Updated on May 12, 2021

how to become a bookkeeper

Today you can learn how to become a bookkeeper with no experience. All you need is a keen eye for details and a caring spirit.

Virtual bookkeeping jobs are in high demand these days and you don’t need to have bookkeeping experience to get started.

Don’t understand what I mean?

No worries!

Today, I have an exciting interview with Ben Robinson, founder of Bookkeepers.com.

I got an opportunity to interview Ben last week and he was kind enough to show us how you can become a virtual bookkeeper from home, and the best places to find online bookkeeping jobs with no experience.

But, before we go to the interview, I would like to add that Ben has a free online bookkeeping course that teaches beginners everything there is to know about this sort after skill.

He has successfully trained over 6,000 students and most of them earn really good money online, $80+ per hour.

Now, let’s go straight to the interview and find out how to become a bookkeeper and make money from home.

Frequently Asked Questionsbookkeeping Frequently Asked Questions

What Exactly Does a Bookkeeper Do?

A bookkeeeper’s job involve recording and keeping track of all financial transactions for small businesses and organizations. They are also in charge of making and receiving daily payments on behalf of the business owner. 

The most common tasks handled by bookkeepers are:

  • Making sure that financial records are updated
  • Preparation of financial statements
  • In charge of accounts payable and accounts receivables
  • Assisting the HR to manage payroll
  • Prepare monthly financial reports

Do You Need Qualifications to Become a Bookkeeper?

According to a report released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, you do not need a degree to become a bookkeeper. However, some job opportunities may require you to undergo on-job bookkeeping training or get certification to enable you to handle your tasks well.

A great place to start would be taking a course like Bookkeeper Launch offered by Ben Robinson, founder of Bookkeepers.com.

Ben has been a professional bookkeeper for over a decade. He teaches beginners the technical side of bookkeeping and also shows them how to start and run successful virtual bookkeeping businesses.

How to Become a Certified Bookkeeper

In addition to this entry-level bookkeeper training, you can become a Certified Bookkeeper by getting certification from well-known and recognized institutions like National Association of Certified Public Bookkeepers or the American Institute of Professional Bookkeepers.

I love NACPB the most because it has free bookkeeping resources like free certification tests that a beginner can use to get started.

How Can I Become a Bookkeeper With No Experience?

If you want to become a virtual bookkeeper without experience, you’ll have to do the following:

  • Get basic bookkeeping training from books and professional trainers like Ben of Bookkeeper Launch
  • Get the tools of bookkeeping trade, so to speak! – A working computer, fast internet connect and possibly a good mobile phone.
  • Familiarize yourself with the latest accounting software and programs like QuickBooks Online
  • Brush up on the required bookkeeping and business skills. You need to have a keen eye for details, be organized, have a caring attitude to enable you to serve your clients better, and multi-tasking skills to help you handle various tasks.
  • Start your very own virtual bookkeeping business online!
  • Strive to get your first client

How Much Can an Entry-Level Bookkeeper Make?

Statistics from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics show that bookkeeping employees earn about $40,000 a year. If you are new and just getting started, that amount will translate to a hourly rate of about $19 per hour. So, expect to earn a few dollars higher or lower off of that amount.

But, an interesting thing to note is that if you work as a freelance bookkeeper, you can command higher rates. 

Virtual bookkeepers who work on their own have the freedom and the flexibility to set their own rates and choose the number of clients to work for.

I have personally seen students of Bookkeeper Launch earn as high as $80 per hour once they get the right skills and experience. It wouldn’t be too difficult for you to command similar rates.

How to Become a Bookkeeper Online and Make Money From Home

Bookkeeper - Make $80 An Hour

Q1. Ben, please tell us about yourself

I was a CPA and owned my own accounting and bookkeeping firms for 14 years.

I ran my practice all wrong.  I was miserable and had no life.  I had a “rock bottom” moment and decided things had to change.

I spent the next few years figuring out how to run a practice the right way.  I ended up with a practice that I loved and that gave me the freedom to live the life I wanted.

A few years ago I decided I wanted to follow my passion for teaching and for helping others.  In my 14 years of practice, I had trained over 100 bookkeepers and I learned what separated the “ok” bookkeepers from the “great” bookkeepers.

So I sold my firm and created Bookkeeper Launch to help you become a great bookkeeper and create a thriving virtual bookkeeping business.  One that will give you financial freedom and the ability to live the life of your dreams.

Q2. What is bookkeeping?

In simple terms, bookkeeping is the recording, storing and retrieving of the financial records for a company.  Every business is required to keep accurate financial records.  The responsibilities of a bookkeeper can vary depending on the complexity and size of a business.

Generally a bookkeeper is responsible for recording daily financial transactions (money going in and out of a business), properly categorizing those transactions, and then preparing monthly financial reports for the business owner.

Find out how to start your own virtual bookkeeping business and earn $80+ per hour!

Q3. What is the difference between bookkeeping and accounting?  

These days, the line between a virtual bookkeeper and accountant is quite blurry.   Most smart companies will hire a bookkeeper to do the day-to-day transactions and handle the monthly financial reporting, and bring in an accountant for annual tax prep or audits.

But bookkeepers are taking on so much more now.  They are moving beyond number-crunching and simple data entry work and becoming a vital part of a company’s financial success.

Q4. What does it take to become a virtual bookkeeper? 

I wouldn’t say that “anyone” can learn how to become a bookkeeper from home; you definitely need certain skills, but they are not what you may think and most can be taught.

In my free course, you find out the 7 character traits of a great bookkeeper, but surprisingly, “math skills” is NOT one of them!

The two that can’t be taught are #1 – an eye for details.  The accounting/bookkeeping software does all the math for you, but you need that eye for detail to be able to spot when something isn’t right.

And #2 – Having a Caring Personality.  Believe it or not, bookkeeping is first and foremost a relationship business.  The great bookkeepers truly care about their clients and the success of their client’s business.

If you possess those two traits, then you can become a great bookkeeper if you get the right training.

Need online bookkeeping jobs? Click here to find out more!

Q5. How much money should new virtual bookkeepers expect to earn a year from now?

I wish I could give you a dollar figure, but so much goes into your earning potential.  The biggest factor is effort.  This is not a get rich quick scheme or a magic pill.

There is a lot of time and effort that goes into creating a successful business.  I give you all the information and tools you need along with a step-by-step process.

Many of my students and graduates are just looking for part time or supplemental income.  Success for them may mean earning $1,000/month.  Others are creating hugely successful businesses and replacing full time jobs.

No matter what income level you want, me and my team are always around to support you from the first day you start the course, all the way through to your 10th, 20th or 50th client.

Click here to learn how others are earning $80+ per hour!

Q6. What is the advantage of starting a virtual bookkeeping business?

Freedom!  With a virtual bookkeeping business, you fit your work around your life.  You never have to compromise your family time, vacations or kid’s activities because you have to “go to work”.  Work anywhere you want. Have a completely flexible schedule.  If there’s internet, you can work there.

Q7. How can a virtual bookkeeper obtain clients online?

A full 50% of my online course is dedicated to showing you how to get clients.  After all, if you don’t have clients, you have a hobby, not a business!

I give you a wide variety of marketing techniques to suit your style and fit any budget.  I cover online and offline methods, social media, paid advertising, direct mail, the works!

Many of my students get their first clients simply by word of mouth.  They tell people that they are starting a bookkeeping business and inevitably, that person either needs a bookkeeper themselves or knows someone who does.

My course is dedicated to showing you how to get clients. If you don’t have clients, you have a hobby not a business

You can also find more online bookkeeping jobs from home over at FlexJobs.com.

Q8. What are the startup costs of opening an online bookkeeping business? Also, how much does it cost to maintain it?

In the second class of my free course, I go into the exact tools and their costs in great detail.  Spoiler alert – a virtual bookkeeping business is one of the cheapest businesses to start.

You can start it for as low as about $300 for total boot-strapping to about $700.  The ongoing costs range from about $265-$600 a month.

Remember, you don’t need EVERYTHING all at once.  Start with the basics and add the extras as you need them.  For example, I recommend a good scanner, but in the beginning, you may only be scanning a few documents per month and any cheap scanner will do.  If you find your scanning needs increasing as your business grows, THEN you buy a nice one.

For example, I recommend a good scanner, but in the beginning, you may only be scanning a few documents per month and any cheap scanner will do.  If you find your scanning needs increasing as your business grows, THEN you buy a nice one.

Related: Business Ideas for Women at Home

Q9. Tell us about your course. What would someone expect to learn from Bookkeeper Launch? Is it suitable for everyone?

If you meet the 7 criteria outlined in the first class of my free course, then bookkeeping is for you!  The course is split about 50/50 between learning the bookkeeping skills and learning the business and marketing skills.

We want you to be getting your business started while you are still learning the bookkeeping skills, so that once you’ve got the skills down, you are ready for your first client!

One of my favorite aspects of the course is our amazing private Facebook community.  We currently have over 2500 members all helping and encouraging each other.  No question ever goes unanswered and you are never alone in your journey.

Learn how you can start earning $80+ per hour!

Q10. What advice would you give to someone who wants to become a bookkeeper and offer virtual bookkeeping services?

First I would say, don’t let fear rule your life!  Fear is what holds us back.  I saw a great quote recently… “Stop being afraid of what could go wrong, and start being excited about what could go right”.  I want people to be excited about their life and their work.

Second, I would say, take my free class 🙂  The 3 free classes will go into great detail about what it takes to start your own virtual bookkeeping business.  By the end of those classes, you will know if starting your own bookkeeping business is the right decision for you.

Related to online bookkeeping jobs:

Thank you, Ben, for taking the time to show us how to become a bookkeeper with no experience and still make money from home.

As you have seen, it’s possible to become a virtual bookkeeper and get virtual bookkeeping jobs from home.

A virtual bookkeeping business can be a profitable business or side hustle if you have the right mindset to it. Whatever the case, this is definitely a new avenue for you to make money online.

Don’t want to set up your own business just yet? Get access to the free bookkeeping course then look for virtual bookkeeping jobs at Flexjobs.com.

Are you a virtual bookkeeper or know someone who gets online bookkeeping jobs? I would love to hear from you. Share your small business bookkeeping experiences with us in the comments below!

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Wondering how to become a bookkeeper? This post shows you how to become a bookkeeper with no experience and where to get online bookkeeping jobs!

About the Author

Virginia Nakitari is a full-time blogger and a work from home expert. Join Virginia and 200,000 monthly readers on EarnSmartOnlineClass to learn how to make money online, even as a beginner. Before starting this blog, Virginia worked as a freelancer, specializing in general transcription and virtual assistance. Her wide clientele comprised of business coaches, podcasters, bloggers, and other online entrepreneurs. It's through these interactions that Virginia developed a knack for writing and showing people how to work from home, make money online and attain financial freedom.

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