Online Bookkeeping Jobs
Whether it’s working remotely full time or freelancing, more people are seeking ways to work from home. No matter your skill set, there are opportunities to make a living from the comfort of your own home.
One of the most popular work-from-home jobs is as a bookkeeper.
Many companies hire remote bookkeepers to manage various accounting or clerical tasks. If you’re interested in becoming an online bookkeeper, there are resources that can help you find jobs and keep them.
In this article, we’ll explore the ins and outs of bookkeeping and where you can find online bookkeeping jobs.
What is Bookkeeping?
Bookkeeping is essential to keeping a business running smoothly, but what is it exactly?
Businesses need to keep records of their inventory, sales, expenses, and invoices. A bookkeeper manages, tracks, and updates these records. Their work is important because it assists accounts that review financial information and paint a larger picture of a business’s overall finances.
Bookkeepers do more than just crunch numbers and track receipts. They are in charge of some of the most important tasks in overall accounting.
In a typical workweek, a bookkeeper may:
- Manage accounts payable and accounts receivable.
- Track and update important financial information.
- Reconcile payments.
- Help prepare financial reports.
- Distribute information internally and externally as needed.
- Support existing bookkeeping and accounting departments.
Back in the day, bookkeeping involved a lot of filing, organizing, and calculating by hand. While you still need to have organizational and mathematical skills, there is no longer a need to handle hard files. Most of the information that bookkeepers deal with is stored in a central database.
Thanks to technology, there are programs that can automatically process a lot of the calculating and sorting that bookkeepers used to do manually.
However, this does not eliminate the role of bookkeepers entirely. These days, bookkeepers are doublechecking and updating the systems to make sure all the information is accurate.
Accounting vs. Bookkeeping
Accounting and bookkeeping are terms that are often used interchangeably, but they are different roles in the overall finances of a business.
The major difference between the two is that bookkeeping is concerned with the particular details of a business’s financial activity while accounting looks at the big picture.
Bookkeeping keeps track of the day-to-day commercial activity of a business. They carefully track and record purchases, sales, inventory, and more. This information is important to keep for financial projections and audits.
Accountants use the information collected by bookkeepers to analyze a business’s overall finances. They arrange the pieces that bookkeepers organize to put together the larger picture of a business’s spending habits and earning potential.
Generally speaking, bookkeeping is a good place to start if you are an aspiring accountant. Bookkeeping has lower barriers to entry and a lower salary than accounting positions.
Lots of companies may promote bookkeepers to accounting positions even if they don’t have the required education. You can still bookkeep as a side gig, even if you don’t plan to have a career in accounting.
How Much Can You Make As an Online Bookkeeper?
Depending on how you are employed as a bookkeeper, your salary may vary. But how much can you expect to make?
Zip Recruiter lists the national average salary for freelance bookkeepers as $58,315. However, this can change based on location, experience, certifications, and many other factors.
Bookkeepers, like many freelancers, are typically charged by the hour rather than making a steady salary. Typically, starting bookkeepers make about $17 per hour. Assuming a 40-hour workweek, this is equivalent to a salary of $35,000 a year. However, bookkeepers can make up to $60 per hour if you receive the right bookkeeping training.
Generally speaking, bookkeepers make less than accountants. This is because accounting requires more education and expensive certifications. If you like bookkeeping and would like to advance your career in finance and earn more, it would be worth it to become a Certified Public Accountant.
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Types of Remote Online Bookkeeping Jobs
Like many professionals, bookkeeping offers two options for employment: direct employment with a company or working as a freelancer. Both types of bookkeeping jobs have their ups and downs.
As an employee for a bookkeeping or accounting firm, you can still work from home and are not burdened with having to find work yourself. The company will assign clients to you and can focus all your energy on servicing them. However, your earning potential will drop because there is a middleman. The company will pay themselves first and then you.
If you would like to keep the full amount that the client pays you, freelance is your best option. You’ll have to go out and win the online business yourself, but you won’t have to split your paycheck with anyone. This requires a little more individual training and resources, but it is definitely worth it to keep the money you earn and possibly be able to start your own bookkeeping business one day!
How Do I Become a Virtual Bookkeeper?
Unlike accounting, bookkeeping doesn’t require any formal education or expensive degrees. Most bookkeepers have an associate or bachelor’s degree in finance, accounting, business, or another related field. This is not a hard-and-fast requirement, though. In fact, you can become a bookkeeper right out of high school if you are organized and good with numbers.
With bookkeeping, like most professions, you will need to get your foot in the door. The best way to do this is to get an internship as a bookkeeper.
As an intern, you will learn about the bookkeeping software that the company uses and the various tasks that bookkeepers do on a daily basis. You will also learn about essential programs like a pay stub generator and how to use them as they relate to your position. In all, you will get a chance to dip your toe into a role as a bookkeeper.
After you have worked as a bookkeeper for about two years, you are eligible to become a Certified Bookkeeper. This certification goes through the American Institute of Professional Bookkeepers, which is an organization that helps maintain industry standards for bookkeeping. It essentially lets clients know that you’re not some quack off the street who is going to wreck their financial records and run their business into the ground.
Obviously, you can still get bookkeeping jobs without a certification, but becoming certified will allow you to charge more for your services and win you more clients.
If you would like to go even further, you can become a licensed Certified Public Bookkeeper, which goes through the National Association of Certified Public Bookkeepers. This distinction can help you further your bookkeeping career even more and justify an even higher pay grade. You will need to take at least 24 hours of continued education classes every year to maintain your CPB distinction.
Best Online Resources for Virtual Bookkeepers
The beauty of the internet is that there are resources for everyone, including aspiring bookkeepers.
Whether you are looking to learn more about bookkeeping, apply for freelance positions, or seek employment with a bookkeeping company, here are some sites that can help you meet your goal.
Your head may be spinning reading all this. If you’re still confused, this three-part video series on getting started as a bookkeeper is a great place to start.
Bookkeepers is a company that knows that you want to work for you, not some random faceless company. That’s why they’re committed to giving you the tools to help you build a bookkeeping business that you can continue to grow.
Bookkeepers offers a service called Bookkeeper Launch, which teaches you the ins-and-outs of bookkeeping and how to build a sustainable, virtual bookkeeping business. They will also teach you about all the software you need to operate to bookkeep in the 21st century.
Best of all, you are connected with hundreds of other virtual bookkeepers just like you.
With their instructive video series and a team of knowledgeable bookkeeping professionals, Bookkeepers can help you create a virtual business that is lucrative and flexible.
An authority on accounting and bookkeeping, BookMinders has made a name for itself in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Maryland over the last 25 years.
Most of their client base is non-profit, so it helps if you have experience in this sector. Depending on your client, you may receive additional benefits.
Employees enjoy flexibility, lots of training and development opportunities, and incentive-based income. If you have good performance, you can stand to earn bonuses.
BookMinders is less strict when it comes to requirements. You must have at least 2 years of bookkeeping experience. Those with an AA degree may be a step above the rest.
If you are someone that needs work that is available on a telecommute basis with flexible hours, FlexJobs is a tool that can help you achieve this.
FlexJob is a job board that is specifically for flexible jobs. You can browse job listings from all kinds of fields and apply for them as you please.
This is a wonderful tool for people who want to work as independent freelancers. As a freelancer, you will need to bid and win all projects on your own. This can be challenging, but you can find lots of people who need help with bookkeeping through FlexJobs.
ClickAccounts Bookkeeping Services
Sometimes, people want the security of knowing that they will always have work coming in without chasing it down. This is a scenario where you might want to work virtually for a bookkeeping company.
ClickAccounts is a company that hires bookkeepers and accountants to work virtually for them full time. As a full-time employee, there is an expectation of greatness that comes along with this.
They pride themselves in being on time and accurate with their work, so their clients will expect this from you. Employees work from home, but ClickAccounts requires that you be transparent, accurate, and punctual with deadlines.
Established in 2008, BIDaWIZ is an online platform that gives you the best of both worlds when it comes to working as an employed or freelance bookkeeper. While they only accept accredited tax and accounting professionals, they allow you to work on your own schedule and help you develop a business.
BIDaWIZ offers work-from-home opportunities to people with experience in accounting, auditing, bookkeeping, tax managing, and more. Basically, clients can go on and get one-time accounting questions from experts or outsource all their bookkeeping or accounting to a BIDaWIZ member. You can log in from anywhere at any time to help manage your clients’ books or answer questions.
One of the best features that BIDaWIZ offers is its business development plan. Their team will work with you to help you maintain a loyal client base while keeping new clients coming.
BIDaWIZ requires that you apply in order to have access to their platform as a professional. They require that you have your certification and/or license, have graduated from a U.S. accredited university, and pass a background check.
What Skills Should a Bookkeeper Have?
Bookkeeping requires a very particular skillset. Obviously, this is why people outsource this work; they simply cannot do it themselves.
Skills Bookkeepers Should Have:
- Attention To Detail: One of the most important traits that you must have is an extreme attention to detail. Bookkeepers are responsible for recording a lot of data, so it’s important that you don’t find yourself drowning in the particulars.
- Good With Numbers: You also must be confident in working with calculations and numbers. Even though the software manages much of the math, you must be capable enough that you can double-check the calculations.
- Multitasking: Multitasking is essential when working as a bookkeeper. Much like an office administrator, bookkeepers have several duties and will rarely be doing one thing for the entire day. You must be comfortable shifting focus throughout the day without becoming confused.
- Trustworthy: Finally, you should be a trustworthy and personable employee. Bookkeepers are in charge of some of the most crucial information when it comes to running a business. People need to feel at ease, knowing that you can handle the tasks involved in bookkeeping.
Is Being an Online Bookkeeper for You?
Bookkeeping may seem intimidating, but it is an excellent way for detail-oriented people to earn additional income either as a side hustle or as a full-time job.
If you’re interested in getting your bookkeeping business off the ground, Bookkeeping’s series can set you up with great foundational knowledge and the courage to get started.