Is It Hard to Be a Bookkeeper?

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Are you thinking about starting a new career as a bookkeeper? Maybe you’re considering starting your own bookkeeping business. Regardless of the path you wish to take, you are wondering: Is it hard to be a bookkeeper?

Being a bookkeeper is not hard. The job mainly involves categorizing things properly and entering financial information into accounting systems. No formal education is required to be a bookkeeper and only basic math skills are needed.

Let’s go ahead now and take a deep dive into getting started as a bookkeeper and find out what some of their most common duties are.

How to Become a Virtual Bookkeeper

There are two ways you can become a bookkeeper – either work for a company as a bookkeeper or start your own bookkeeping business. Let’s take a look at how you can work from home as a virtual bookkeeper.

Many companies hire bookkeepers to take care of their financial records for them so they can concentrate on other things – like growing their businesses. Bookkeeping isn’t hard, but it can be time-consuming for many business owners.

If you work for a company as a bookkeeper, you will most likely be paid a salary for the work you do. Yes, it’s possible to get raises, but for the most part, you are paid the same regardless of how hard you work or how many hours you devote to your job.

If you are the owner of a bookkeeping business, the amount of money you earn is determined by how many clients you take on and how good of a job you do. Many bookkeeping business owners work from home, which eliminates the need to lease expensive office space.

If you would like to learn more about becoming a virtual bookkeeper, Bookkeeper Launch is a proven system that shows you how to start a virtual bookkeeping business from scratch and grow it. In the program, you’ll learn:

  • How to market your virtual bookkeeping business
  • The bookkeeping skills you’ll need
  • Systems to run your business efficiently

In addition to learning how to start and run a virtual bookkeeping business, if you join Bookkeeper Launch you also get access to the world’s largest community of virtual bookkeeping professionals. This is a valuable resource where you can ask questions and get responses from people who are already running their own successful virtual bookkeeping businesses.

Check out Bookkeeper Launch to learn more about starting and growing a virtual bookkeeping business.

What Do Bookkeepers Do?

Is it hard to be a bookkeeper?

To answer that question, it’s important to have an understanding of what bookkeepers do. Bookkeepers may have different responsibilities depending on the needs of the companies they work for or their clients. Although they often work for companies, bookkeepers may also work for non-profit organizations.

Bookkeepers usually deal with the recording of transactions in a company’s financial records. When something is purchased for a business, for example, the person who made the purchase usually gives the bookkeeper a purchase order that includes the details of the transaction. The bookkeeper makes sure the transaction is properly categorized and then records it in the accounting information system.

Bookkeepers also take care of outbound payments. In fact, some bookkeepers in larger organizations are known as “accounts payable bookkeepers” and specialize in making sure all of the organization’s bills are paid on-time.

Bookkeepers also record inbound payments – the money an organization receives from clients and other businesses. For a company that deals in a few expensive transactions a day, like a car dealership, entries may be made for each transaction.

Many bookkeepers do a combination of things. It often depends on the needs of the company they work for. A bookkeeper may reconcile credit card and bank accounts, record bills as they are received for later payment, make sure payments are processed in a timely manner, and other things.

What Software Do Bookkeepers Use?

If you are wondering “is it hard to be a bookkeeper,” you may be wondering what software applications bookkeepers use. While there are many different types of bookkeeping software applications that bookkeepers may encounter in their work, the following are three of the most common:

Quickbooks

Quickbooks is the most common bookkeeping software there is for a good reason. It’s intuitive and easy to use. While some accounting information systems have steep learning curves, Quickbooks is very easy to learn and use.

Quickbooks allows businesses to easily manage their income, expenses, and other things. Companies can use virtual bookkeepers to categorize transactions, reconcile accounts, generate reports, and close the books each month.

Xero

Another popular accounting information system that many businesses use is Xero, which is cloud-based. Part of Xero’s popularity is due to the fact that it integrates with over 800 business apps including PayPal, Stripe, Shopify, Bill.com, and many others.

Freshbooks

Another accounting software application that you may encounter as a bookkeeper is Freshbooks. Designed exclusively for small businesses, Freshbooks is used by millions of people all around the world.

Microsoft Office

Although bookkeepers use bookkeeping software to maintain financial records for companies, they may still have to create a spreadsheet on occasion or a written document as part of their financial reporting or for other reasons.

Do Bookkeepers Need a Degree?

One of the most common questions asked by those who are wondering “is it hard to be a bookkeeper” is whether they need a formal college education to work in the field.

The short answer is no – bookkeepers do not need a college degree to either work for a company or to start their own bookkeeping businesses.

The great thing about bookkeeping is that you can learn how to do the work on-the-job. While there are schools that offer two-year degree programs in accounting or bookkeeping, there is no formal requirement that you have a degree to work in the field.

That doesn’t mean a degree won’t help you. If you would like to work for a company as a bookkeeper, for example, having a degree may help you to stand out if there are several applicants for a position. Also, if you start your own virtual bookkeeping business, a degree isn’t necessary. If you do have a degree, however, you can use it as a selling point in your marketing.

It’s also important to point out that it is possible to become a Certified Bookkeeper, although it isn’t necessary to have this professional designation to work as a bookkeeper. Like having a college degree, being able to put Certified Bookkeeper on your resume could help you stand out when applying for jobs, and you could use it as a selling point in your marketing if you own a bookkeeping business.

Because there is no requirement that you have a formal education or other credentials to work as a bookkeeper, many consider this to be a factor that makes the profession relatively easy.

How Do Bookkeepers Work Remotely?

Many bookkeepers are able to work from home or from wherever they happen to be thanks to modern technology. As long as a bookkeeper has a laptop computer, a cell phone with good reception, and a good internet connection, work can be done from many different places.

One of the main reasons why it’s possible to work remotely as a bookkeeper is because many accounting information systems are now cloud-based. You can log on to a company’s accounting system remotely and update information from home, a coffee shop, or from somewhere else.

This wasn’t possible as recently as a few years ago. Most companies with computerized accounting systems used to have accounting software loaded on each computer they used, and it was all tied together through a local network. To access a company’s accounting system, you had to do so from a company computer on the company premises.

But this is no longer the case.

If you own a virtual bookkeeping business and you take on a new client, the client will create a new user profile and password you can use to access their accounting system remotely. You can then communicate with your clients via email and telephone. If you live close to some of your clients, you can meet with them if you want, but it isn’t necessary.

Is It Hard to Be a Bookkeeper? — Final Thoughts

Bookkeeping is not a difficult profession. It’s something you can learn on-the-job, through self-study, or through a formal college degree program. The math involved in bookkeeping isn’t difficult, either. If you can add, subtract, multiply, and divide, you can be a bookkeeper.

Is it hard to be a bookkeeper?

Not if you follow a system that is designed to take you from zero knowledge of bookkeeping to launching and growing your own virtual bookkeeping business – like Bookkeeper Launch.

Many companies need the services of bookkeepers to maintain their financial records for them so they can free up their time for other things. Bookkeepers are in demand! If you do a good job of marketing your services and do good work, there’s no reason why you can’t grow a virtual bookkeeping business into something you can be proud of.

Check out Bookkeeper Launch to discover why the bookkeeping business is such a great opportunity.

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Cyrus Vanover

Cyrus Vanover, MBA, is a financial copywriter who has written for companies of all sizes. He is also the author of the personal finance book, "Earn A Debt-Free College Degree." His goal is to help families save money, make more money, and achieve financial independence. Based in the mountains of Virginia, he enjoys hiking the local trails, listening to 80s music, and reading books on military history in his spare time. Read more.

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