Does earning income from home sound like your kind of paradise?
Since January 2019, more US workers have started working from home. Remote work and freelance opportunities have increased significantly.
Working from home has several benefits. These include having a flexible schedule and the option to work from anywhere. You can even work from a beach or your favorite lunch spot. And the best part is, you can still earn a full-time income.
Many remote gigs, such as content writing, editing, and proofreading, require you to write coherent sentences and improve grammar. If you’re not good at writing, don’t worry. Some jobs, like remote bookkeeping, don’t need any writing experience.
A remote bookkeeper’s main focus is to keep track of a company’s financial records. This job is a suitable career option for anyone, regardless of their lack of experience or certification as a public accountant.
Below, we’ll cover how to make money as an entry-level bookkeeper and delve further into what exactly this gig entails, and of course, how much it pays.
What Does a Freelance Bookkeeper Do?
No, bookkeeping doesn’t involve hoarding dozens of books and protecting them from harm’s way (though that does sound like a pretty exciting gig). Bookkeeping actually involves taking care of the day-to-day finances of small businesses.
Tasks you may be expected to perform include creating financial statements, organizing invoices, recording financial transactions, submitting payrolls, tracking sales, and managing financial records. In other words, you’ll be able to unleash your inner “number nerd.”
As a freelance bookkeeper, you’ll work with a range of clients in various fields (unless you specialize). And the best part? You don’t need a college degree or previous accounting experience.
How Much Money Can I Make as a Remote Bookkeeper?
Remote bookkeepers in the US make around $48,691 per year. And, with the growth of your virtual bookkeeping services and increasing experience, your potential earnings can reach up to $63,500 per year.
Beginner Bookkeeper Earnings
Freelance bookkeepers earn around $14.66 to $23 per hour in their first year, on average, which works out to a substantial $30,500 to $48,691 annually (and more with experience).
Your earning potential in the first year will also be lower than other years due to start-up expenses such as office supplies, business cards, accounting software, and course memberships (more on this later).
You’ll also need to set up a website for your new bookkeeping business. This sounds like a daunting task, but it’s a lot simpler than you think! You can check out our dedicated guide on setting up your freelance website for the step-by-step process.
So, what exactly can you expect to earn when you do have experience?
Freelance bookkeepers with several years of experience can expect to earn as much as $30.53 per hour, which translates to around $63,500 per year. Some freelance bookkeepers can earn more than this, especially if they have obtained bookkeeping certifications or a degree in accounting or another relevant field.
Keep in mind that a while a degree can help kickstart your earning potential, it isn’t necessary to thrive in this profession Anyone can earn a comfortable living as a virtual bookkeeper as long as they stay motivated, form strong connections with potential clients, and take the time to hone the necessary skills.
Where you live can also affect how much you earn — cities such as Lake Marcel-Stillwater, New York City, and Green River have a higher hourly wage than other cities in the US.
What Do I Need to Start a Bookkeeping Business?
You might think starting your own bookkeeping business is challenging. But here’s the good news: it’s actually incredibly easy, regardless of your background or marketing experience. Starting out won’t cost you a fortune either. All you need is a computer, a high-speed internet connection, and reliable accounting software to save time and money.
Most virtual bookkeepers use QuickBooks Online since it’s affordable, easy to use, and offers packages specifically tailored to small businesses, though other accounting platforms include Xero, NetSuite, and Zoho Books.
- Xero: A range of packages and a sleek, visually appealing interface. Xero also claims to provide 24/7 online support
- NetSuite: Plenty of advanced bookkeeping features and flexible pricing plans — ideal for bookkeepers looking to expand their business
- Zoho Books: A budget-friendly accounting software that has all the basics; suitable for small-scale work
Having the right tools is not enough — you also need the skills to use them effectively. Some of the skills you’ll need to hone as a bookkeeper include numeracy, data entry, attention to detail, and problem-solving. You’ll also need to be fluent with computer programs like Excel.
While it’s more than possible to teach yourself these skills, we highly recommend enrolling in an online course.
A course will guide you through the process, step-by-step, and give you all the resources and information you need to succeed as a freelance bookkeeper. Some online courses will even teach you how to market yourself and attract clients, which will help your business grow.
After you complete a course or training, you can consider getting certified as a bookkeeper, especially to access higher-paying opportunities. You can gain reputable bookkeeping credentials through the National Association of Certified Public Bookkeepers (NACPB) and the American Institute of Professional Bookkeepers (AIPB).
Your certification shows clients that you have the enthusiasm, knowledge, and necessary skills to complete your job at a professional level.
Do I Need Experience to Be a Freelance Bookkeeper?
Despite how lucrative the career can be, you do not need any previous experience, certifications, or a degree to become a freelance bookkeeper. With the right mindset and training, anyone can succeed in this business and earn a stable, comfortable income.
However, you do need to brush up on your numeracy skills, become proficient in bookkeeping software, and learn how to market your own business to attract a client base.
Taking a comprehensive course can help prepare you for all this and any other aspects of the job. While there are plenty of courses out there, we recommend checking out the courses from Bookkeepers.com.
Bookkeepers.com caters to a range of needs and budgets and each course is jampacked with features, resources, and helpful tips to help you build a bookkeeping career from the comfort of your own home.
You can find all of the Bookkeepers.com courses here.
How can I Learn More about Bookkeeping?
Virtual bookkeeping is an ideal career pathway for those with a love for numbers — and we’re talking about the “working with big numbers” and “earning big numbers” kinds of love. Although formal experience is not necessary, we strongly recommend taking a course from industry experts to learn the tricks of the trade.
If you’re already a fan of our courses at Proofread Anywhere, you’ll appreciate Bookkeeper Launch. This is the ultimate course for starting a virtual bookkeeping business in just 10 weeks. The training covers everything from basic bookkeeping skills to branding and client acquisition — making it inclusive and accessible to everyone.
The course includes an extensive resource library with guides, worksheets, templates, and software recommendations. You’ll also have access to live weekly Q&A sessions with experienced instructors who can provide personalized advice.
Divided into three categories, the course takes approximately 58 hours to complete and offers quizzes, tests, and exams to assess your knowledge. Upon completion, you’ll receive a certificate to showcase your expertise to potential clients.
Additionally, the course fosters a vibrant community where you can connect with fellow students, seek and provide support, share experiences, and discuss challenges and successes.
*PA Tip*: Still not sure if bookkeeping is right for you? You can check out Bookkeeper.com’s free bookkeeping workshop to learn more and try 3 classes for free to see how you get along with the course. You can also hear bookkeeping success stories directly from past and current students, and get answers to your questions by visiting the FAQs page.
Bookkeeper.com offers other courses too, including how to start and run your own tax business with TaxBiz.
How to Become a Work-from-Home Bookkeeper
Bookkeeper Launch is the best online bookkeeping course we’ve found so far since it’s incredibly comprehensive, allows you to study at your own pace, and is accessible to anyone, even total newcomers to the industry.
While it takes time to build up your own work-from-home bookkeeping business, the effort and investment are definitely worth it!
Not only will the skills you acquire enhance your trajectory as a business owner, but they will also prove invaluable in every aspect of your life. When your children seek assistance with their IT or math assignments, imagine the awe you’ll inspire as you effortlessly showcase your recently acquired skills.
Virtual bookkeeping and proofreading are just a couple of the freelance, remote opportunities out there. If you want to explore some more options, check out our list of 17 Work-at-Home Job Ideas — most of these gigs don’t require a degree!