Looking for an opportunity to make money from home, without needing a degree or tons of experience? Maybe you should try online bookkeeping!
Online Bookkeeping Jobs
Not everyone is good with numbers, but if you are – and you enjoy becoming immersed in details – then a career as a bookkeeper may be of interest to you.
The best part: becoming an online bookkeeper (obviously) doesn’t require an office job. Just as many other industries are embracing the work-from-home model, so is the world of bookkeeping. You can build a potentially lucrative career for yourself as an online bookkeeper – all while working from home, or just about anywhere else you please.
Becoming an online bookkeeper is also a lot easier than most people think. Many of the required skills (which we’ll explore in this guide as well) are considered entry-level.
So if you think becoming an online bookkeeper is something you’d like to pursue, keep reading. We’ll help you find freelance work + more permanent employment solutions and options for CPAs.
Who Hires Online Bookkeepers?
Outside of building yourself a freelance career as an online bookkeeper, you generally have two options: working directly for a company or working for a middleman who provides bookkeeping services to several different clients.
In this first section, we’re going to focus on the latter.
If you do decide to work for one of the following companies, you’ll enjoy the benefit of having work brought to you rather than having to actively pursue clients yourself. You’ll still have the potential to work for several different clients simultaneously while continuing to work from home.
The major drawback: depending on what company you work for, there isn’t always consistent work available. You should also bear in mind that, in exchange for the convenience of having your employer finding clients on your behalf, they take a cut of the pay. This means you could potentially earn less than you would by going freelance.
You should weigh these pros and cons against each other when deciding which route to go.
AccountingDepartment.com is the first place you should think of applying to if you’re looking for a full-time work-from-home position as a bookkeeper.
The company prides itself on its ability to provide great professional bookkeeping service to their clients. To attract and retain great online bookkeepers, AccountingDepartment.com offers full employee benefits.
Belay doesn’t specialize in bookkeeping or accountancy, instead focusing on work-from-home opportunities for virtual assistants. However, the company does regularly hire bookkeepers to work in their general virtual assistant talent positions.
Although they hire bookkeepers and accountants for remote positions, BookMinders does have a geographic location limit for applicants. If you live within easy driving distance from Pittsburgh or Philadelphia, you’ll be able to apply for one of the available positions.
BookMinders works primarily with QuickBooks, so it would be in your favor (though not strictly necessary) to have some familiarity with the software.
ClickAccounts Bookkeeping Services
ClickAccounts Bookkeeping Services focuses entirely on accountancy and bookkeeping, and only hires employees to fulfill these roles. The application process isn’t too lengthy, requiring you to send in your resume with a cover letter for the company to review. You’ll be sending these to [email protected]
ClickNwork is a great website to apply to if you have other administrative skills you’d like to explore on a work-from-home basis in addition to bookkeeping. According to their FAQs, you can send in an application and they’ll get in touch once they have a suitable position available for you.
Online Bookkeeping Jobs on Freelance Websites
Looking for bookkeeping jobs on freelance websites has a few perks.
First of all, you’ll be reaching out to potential clients who have posted an available position on one of these freelance websites. This means you have the slight advantage of being able to choose which companies you approach.
Secondly, if you find that a particular client (or clients) isn’t providing enough consistent work for you, you have greater freedom to go out and find more clients.
While the jobs on freelance websites are going to be predominantly on an independent contractor basis, some of the clients you’ll find are actually looking for long-term arrangements. This can work in your favor, especially as you’ll be able to set and negotiate your own hourly rates.
One thing to bear in mind is that freelance websites, while typically free to join, often charge commission fees. You’ll need to consider this fact when deciding on your rates, as the commission is calculated as a percentage of your earnings.
However, if you want to have some greater measure of control over your career as an online bookkeeper, take a look at the following options.
Upwork is the largest online platform used by freelancers and clients alike, and they have a host of opportunities for bookkeepers to find employment.
You can easily discover once-off, part-time recurring, or full-time work on the platform. All you need to do is sign-up to create a freelancer profile for free. You can then peruse the available job postings in the “Find Work” tab and send an application. If the client is interested, they’ll get in touch with you via Upwork’s messaging platform.
Upwork does, however, charge a sliding commission fee that should be kept in mind when setting your rates.
Guru is another great freelancer platform you can use to find bookkeeping opportunities.
One thing to keep in mind is that, while Guru has a free membership option, to get the best out of the platform you’ll need to select one of their paid memberships instead. You’ll also only get 8 chances to connect with potential clients a month without having to pay for more “connects.”
Pro Blogger Jobs Board
It’s absolutely free to peruse the jobs board on Pro Blogger. Most of the opportunities advertised there are for blogging and copy writing positions, but there are occasionally those for bookkeepers too.
On the other hand, you will be up against a lot of competition when responding to those postings.
FlexJobs is a paid membership platform, but there are options for monthly, quarterly, and annual membership.
The competition when responding to postings on FlexJobs is a lot lower than on the other sites we’ve mentioned. Even better, while there are often strictly in-office postings on those sites, all the positions on FlexJobs are “flexible,” allowing for flexible hours, job-sharing, telecommunication (remote), etc.
Online Bookkeeping Jobs for CPAs
While freelancing is also a great option for helping certified public accountants (CPAs) find remote work – in either accountancy or bookkeeping – there are also a number of companies that specifically look for CPAs to hire.
These companies primarily hire CPAs to provide bookkeeping and related accountancy services for their own clients. Some, on the other hand, want you to perform such duties for them instead.
If you’re a CPA and thinking of working from home, then (potentially in addition to those freelancing websites above) take a look at the following companies for opportunities.
Assurance Financial Management
Assurance Financial Management may not be the best of companies to work for if you want a full-time employment position – you’ll be hired as a freelancer rather than an actual employee. This means you’ll likely work full-time hours for full-time pay, but without receiving any benefits.
However, the company remains one of the top opportunities for CPAs looking to find work as a bookkeeper from home.
Bateman is an accounting firm that often has available work-from-home positions for CPAs on a part-time basis.
BIDaWIZ offers what we would best call an opportunity for CPAs to earn a supplemental income.
If accepted for a position, you’ll be asked to browse their user ports and then offer your services to those users. Once you become more established on the site, you can consider making it a full-time endeavor. However, until then, you shouldn’t rely on BIDaWIZ alone for income.
Intuit established TurboTax and a number of other financial softwares.
If hired as one of their work-at-home CPAs, you’ll be asked to offer support to TurboTax users. While these positions are primarily seasonal, Intuit may offer part-time or full-time opportunities based on their needs and your performance.
Of course, you’ll need to have an active CPA licence and have expert knowledge on tax laws in order to qualify.
To find available positions, check the box marked “USA Remote” under the “Select Location” option.
What Does an Online Bookkeeper Do?
While some of the practices in accountancy and bookkeeping are similar, the two are actually very different. As mentioned earlier, the skills required for bookkeeping are considered entry-level, whereas accountants need to have certification or even a degree.
Unlike accountants, bookkeepers are more concerned with the daily financial health of their clients. This includes taking care of several different duties, like:
- Paying bills
- Collecting invoice payments
- Updating financial records
- Creating financial records
- Checking existing financial records for accuracy
- Uploading financial records in computer programs
- Adding debits and credits into appropriate accounts
- Receive receipts
- Reimburse employees for authorized work-related expenses
- Take charge of receivable accounts
In brief, bookkeepers are responsible for keeping track of daily cash flow – all the debits and credits, or money coming in and going out.
Accountants, on the other hand, audit the work of bookkeepers without actively dealing with any of the day-to-day transactions themselves.
How Much Do Online Bookkeepers Get Paid?
Entry-level bookkeepers typically start out at around $18.50 an hour, which translates to an average of $40,000 a year.
The above is for bookkeepers who work in the accounting department of an organization or company, whether online or in-office. If you go freelance, especially if you have some experience, you can easily make as much as thrice that rate, even as a beginner. Some freelance bookkeepers earn $80+ an hour.
It’s important to remember that, even though you can set your own rates as a freelancer, you should keep your experience and skill levels in mind. If you’re charging higher rates, you’ll need to provide a higher level of service. Otherwise you’re going to end up losing customers regularly. As a freelancer, client retention becomes extremely important (without it, your business will fail).
When we say that some freelancers earn $80+ an hour, we’re referring to their combined earnings from different clients. If you juggle several bookkeeping jobs simultaneously, you’ll be earning some (more than) decent cash.
Requirements to Become an Online Bookkeeper
While there are college programs available to become an online bookkeeper, entry-level positions do not require you to have any. In fact, entry-level bookkeepers are precisely those that do not have any related degree.
Instead, entry-level bookkeepers rely on a combination of on-the-job training and a combination of existing skills.
No previous experience is needed either, at least not to get started. This is great news, because most jobs require – at the very least – a few years experience in lieu of a degree. But entry-level work as an online bookkeeper doesn’t expect you to have either.
Of course, you may be wanting to brush up on some of those skills, especially if you’re planning on striking it out on your own as a freelancer.
Bookkeeper Business Launch is a 3-part online training course that will teach you not only how be a successful bookkeeper, but specifically how to successfully run your own bookkeeping business. Ben Robinson teaches this course absolutely free, so if you’re not yet sure that you do want to give bookkeeping a go, it will give you a good idea as to whether the job will suit you.
Are you ready to get started building a successful career for yourself as an online bookkeeper?
With the resources we’ve provided for you in this guide, we’re certain you’ll be highly successful in this endeavor. Bear the information we’ve included in mind and that success is near-guaranteed.
Just remember to have realistic expectations when applying for online bookkeeping jobs – and to research the companies that you’re thinking of applying to before you do so.