To be able to land in an online bookkeeping job, you must learn how to become a bookkeeper first. Mastering the skill is key to being successful at it.
Bookkeeping is one of the most popular jobs to stay at home, working moms out there. Apart from the fact that it does not require a specific college degree, the work itself is easy to learn and very doable especially for moms who multi-task.
However, if you really want to be a master in this field, you can opt to apply for a license. But that is not mandatory. You can always do that later on when your schedule is freer or when your kid is older.
You see, what’s nice about being a mom in this generation is the fact that you no longer have to work elsewhere and worry about who’s going to take care of your little one. Today, you can do online work such as booking right at the comforts of your home – and not just that, you can work at your most convenient time.
So, if you want to know more about bookkeeping and how to be one, let’s get going.
WHAT IS A BOOKKEEPER?
A bookkeeper refers to the person-in-charge in maintaining the efficiency and accuracy of a business or company’s financial books. They keep track and record financial transactions like billing, purchasing, accounts payables and receivable, overdue bills, as well as handling payroll. They also monitor the business or company’s loans and interest payments, they are the ones responsible for ensuring that their client complies with different state regulations. Bookkeepers also do prepare, read, and interpret financial reports, as well as reconcile discrepancies in such reports.
If you want to master your bookkeeping skills, start it by learning the basics. Here’s a very informative video by Nerd Enterprise, Inc. on the basics of bookkeeping:
WHAT ARE THE REQUIREMENTS TO BECOME A BOOKKEEPER?
While some companies accept individuals who have nothing more than a high school diploma or the equivalent, other employers particularly require additional educational background. There is an optional certification that is available and can provide more opportunities especially if you want to excel in this career field.
If you have an accounting background or anything related to that, you get to definitely have an advantage.
When it comes to voluntary certification, you may acquire it from institutions and organizations like the American Institute of Professional Bookkeepers, National Bookkeepers Association, and the Uniform Bookkeeper Certification Exam.
WHAT ARE THE SKILLS NECESSARY FOR A BOOKKEEPING JOB?
Before we move on and discuss how to become a bookkeeper, we thought it is only right that we also share with you some of the key skills you need to be effective and be a successful bookkeeper.
These key skills include:
– Basic Mathematical Skills. Well, we think pretty obvious why. But just to elaborate, as a bookkeeper, you will be dealing mostly with numbers. While for some, bookkeeping may sound simple, it is actually not – simply because you are handling some of the most crucial and important matters or documents of a business or company. You better do it right with the numbers, or it may cause you and your client a lot of headaches.
– Detail-Oriented. Your job is to check financial records, etc. Thus, having excellent attention to detail is very important.
– Computer Skills. Unlike in the old days, today, bookkeepers do the job online or through your laptop or computer. In some companies, they use their own software. Thus, being computer-savvy is a must.
– Organizational Skills. Being highly organized is definitely a plus. Again, given the fact that part of your job is to keep financial records, and deal with other financial documents, you better not switch things up, right?
HOW TO BECOME A BOOKKEEPER?
Now that you already know what bookkeeping is all about, let’s move on to the question of the day – how to become a bookkeeper?
We listed down five simple steps you may follow to become part of the bookkeeping industry:
Work as an intern.
Before you even freak out, for work-from-home moms, you can do internship remotely by volunteering. Reach out to local businesses or institutions and offer bookkeeping services voluntarily. Of course, you have to be honest enough that you are a newbie and you want to learn how it goes. For sure, you will find some generous souls who will let you in and teach you the basics of bookkeeping. Another option is to ask a bookkeeper friend if you can be an intern under him or her.
No, for those who have the time to do an actual office internship, there are many bookkeeping and accounting offices out there where you can acquire knowledge and skills for this field.
During your internship, some of the things you will get to learn are computer programs, as well as ways on how a company or institution keeps an accurate financial record and stays on top of the latest state regulations.
Familiarize yourself with accounting software.
Bookkeeping is actually ideal for people with accounting backgrounds or at least business degree holders.
To be an efficient bookkeeper, you have to make time to study accounting software and familiarize yourself with how the software works. You can check out online tutorials on YouTube, to begin with, or you can search over Google for different online references.
Again, if you have a bookkeeper friend, he or she will be of great help, too! You may ask him or her questions.
One of the most commonly used programs that you should at least be familiar with is the pay stub generator, which is helpful in making you a bankable bookkeeper. Also, it helps simplify the bookkeeping process and helps you ensure that everyone gets paid on time.
Consider taking up certification courses.
If you really want to excel in this field, and you are serious about it, we highly suggest you consider taking up a certification course. You may check for certification courses on bookkeeping within your area or you may also check online. We assure you, it is going to be worth it especially if you are serious about getting into this career field.
Aim to get certified.
This takes a while, but again, if you are serious about this career, it’s one of the best ways to step up your game and get paid more.
To be able to become a Certified Bookkeeper by the American Institute of Professional Bookkeepers, you have to work as a bookkeeper for at least two years. Of course, you also need to take pass a four-part examination and observe a code of ethics.
As we mentioned, being certified will open more opportunities for you and will earn you higher pay and other benefits.
Get a license.
Once you have already earned yourself a certification, you may now proceed to aim to be a licensed Certified Public Bookkeeper. Yes, it’s like the bookkeeping counterpart of CPAs.
Anyway, this distinction is given by the National Association of Certified Public Bookkeepers. To be licensed, you will need to go through 24 hours of continuing professional education classes each year.
We highly suggest getting licensed especially if you feel like this is the perfect career path for you.
So, there you have it! These are just some tips that you may opt to follow to become a successful and certified bookkeeper.
HOW TO BECOME A CERTIFIED BOOKKEEPER?
According to the National Association of Certified Public Bookkeepers (NACPB), to be a Certified Public Bookkeeper (CPB), you must follow the following requirements:
- Pass the four-part Uniform Certified Public Bookkeeper Examination,
- Possess an associate or bachelor’s degree in accounting or complete the Education Alternative,
- Possess one-year (2,000 hours) of bookkeeping or accounting experience,
- Agree to abide by the Code of Professional Conduct,
- Obtain 24 hours of CPE credit each year, and
- Complete and submit the Application for Licensure.
By becoming licensed bookkeeper, your knowledge, skill, and experience in the following are validated:
- Accounting Principles,
- Payroll, and
HOW TO BUILD A BOOKKEEPING BUSINESS?
Now, for those beginners in this industry, their usual target is to work either as an office-based bookkeeper or as a virtual or online bookkeeper.
For work-from-home moms (and generally-speaking) who are serious about getting into this career, once you have already mastered bookkeeping, or may have already acquired a certification, you may also consider putting up a bookkeeping business.
With that, here are some tips on how you can successfully establish your very own bookkeeping business:
– Apply for a tax identification number
– Acquire business permits and licenses
– Choose a business structure (e.g. LLC, sole proprietorship, etc.)
– Come up with a marketing plan (e.g. building a website, designing and lay-outing brochures and business cards, setting up your social media pages, etc.)
HOW MUCH DOES A BOOKKEEPER MAKE?
Now that you already know how to become a bookkeeper, the next question is, how much does a bookkeeper make?
According to Glassdoor.com, the median annual salary for a bookkeeper is $35,000 annually. However, an online bookkeeper is a different story. Based on the data from Bookkeeper Business Launch, bookkeepers working from home get to earn $60 per hour. Imagine how much you can make in a year if let’s say you work for a good eight hours a day, right? That’s a pretty decent amount of money!
At the end of the day, how much you earn as a bookkeeper really depends on your years of experience, as well as your expertise and proficiency in getting the job done.
WHERE TO FIND REMOTE BOOKKEEPING JOBS?
We’ve come to your most awaited part.
Now that you already know what bookkeeping is all about and how to become one, let’s move on to learning how to become a bookkeeper online.
As we mentioned, there are so many bookkeeping jobs available online. But the question is, where do we specifically find it?
Thus, we’ve come up with a list of websites wherein you will find bookkeeping job opportunities, and this includes the following:
FlexJobs – Whether you want a fulltime or part-time bookkeeping job, you will surely find one over FlexJobs, one of the most popular online freelance job listing sites out there.
AccountingDepartment.com – If you are looking for fulltime work-from-home jobs with benefits, you better check this website out. AccountingDepartment.com takes pride in hiring excellent controllers and bookkeepers. They also offer full benefits packages among their full-time employees. Don’t you just love the idea of working at the comforts of your home at the same time enjoying benefits like a regular employee does?
ClickAccounts.com – We highly recommend this website to those who are either accountants or bookkeepers. Why? Well, they specifically just hire these types of roles. To apply for a bookkeeping job, all you got to do is submit your resume and a cover letter. May sound old-school, but everything is done online.
ClickNwork – This website is open to any professionals. They offer different kinds of job opportunities including bookkeeping. Unlike another website though, in here, all you have to do is submit your application and wait to be contacted if ClickNwork has a good spot for you. We highly recommend this website as well to those with administrative background who wanted to start off a work-from-home career.
Belay – Belay is another website that hires work-from-home peeps. Although they do not specialize in accounting or bookkeeping, they do have job opportunities for work-from-home bookkeepers under their general virtual assistant talent pool. If you do not mind about that, then you go check this out.
BookMinders – BookMinders provide accounting and bookkeeping services especially QuickBooks. If you are familiar with it, then BookMinders is the perfect job listing site for you online. However, you got to be mindful of BookMinders’ geography restriction. You ought to be within Philadelphia or Pittsburg to be able to work for this online company.
Upwork – Upwork is formerly known as Odesk. It’s actually the place to be if you are looking for freelance online jobs including bookkeeping job opportunities. Upwork is probably one of the most popular online job listing sites for freelancers. If there is one thing we are sure of, you will surely be bombarded with a lot of bookkeeping job options.
Indeed – Here’s another popular site where you can find bookkeeping jobs, and a lot more. Indeed it is like Google of job opportunities. All you have to do is key in the job you are looking for on the search bar, and when you hit the search button, you will get a variety of results. Membership is free, so you do not have to worry about that.
Freelancer.com – From the name itself, it’s pretty obvious that it is an online job listing website for people looking for freelance jobs – including bookkeeping. So, whether you are finding a part-time or a full-time online job, you better check out Freelance.com
You already have an idea about how to become a bookkeeper, how much you can make as one, and where you can find online bookkeeping jobs.
Now, as mom ourselves, we thought we also owe to give you some tips about getting into the work-from-home industry.
Below are some tips on how to have a successful work-from-home career whether as a bookkeeper or something else:
– Determine the most suitable work schedule for you.
You know, as a mom, we got a lot of responsibilities. Taking a kid alone requires time and effort, thus, to be successful as a work-from-home employee, you better determine the perfect work hours for you, and then take that into consideration when applying for a bookkeeping job or whatever it is you are planning to get into. We highly suggest, choosing a flexible work schedule or you can negotiate with the client so you can work during your baby’s nap times.
– Determine a specific working space at home.
Well, you can work anywhere you want as long as you are comfortable. However, we highly recommend allotting a specific space at home to serve as your workspace. Ideally, if you have a spare room, but any space that is away from distractions will do. Let’s admit it, dealing with numbers needs a lot of focus, so you better work somewhere that is quiet and where you can put your full attention to what you are doing.
– Invest in a high-quality laptop (or a desktop computer).
There are two most important things that you need to invest in when working from home that is a high-quality laptop and a high-speed internet connection. But first, let’s talk about buying a high-quality laptop. Well, you do not necessarily have to buy a new one if you already have an existing laptop at home. As long as it helps you get the job done, and does not cause any trouble, then stick with it. Otherwise, do yourself a favor by buying a new one that meets your requirements.
– Invest in a high-speed internet connection.
The reason for this is very obvious. Your work is going to use the internet a lot – if fact, all the time. So, you better get yourself a really good quality internet connection. Otherwise, you got to suffer the consequences.
FINAL THOUGHTS ON HOW TO BECOME A BOOKKEEPER
You know, it is quite amazing how new technology makes things even better. Gone are the days when you needed to choose between being a career woman/person or being a fulltime mom. Today, you can do both at the same time.
More so, the online world gives you the opportunity to explore your skills and talents. Who would have thought you could actually make it as a bookkeeper, right? Not just bookkeeping but so much more.