1) Please introduce yourself a little bit and how you got started with bookkeeping. I am a CPA – bean counter – by trade. For 14 years, I owned my own accounting firm. I loved helping business owners with their financial, accounting and tax needs.
However, I quickly discovered that all of the business owner’s needs – finance, accounting and tax – are all based off of solid bookkeeping. And you know what? Finding great bookkeepers to provide this service was near impossible.
Regular bookkeepers are a dime a dozen, but great bookkeepers – who truly have the business owner’s best-interest at heart – were so hard to find.
2) Tell us about bookkeeping? Can you put it in a way that someone who has never heard of bookkeeping can understand? In simple terms, bookkeeping is the recording, storing and retrieving of the financial records for a company. Every business is required to keep accurate financial records. The responsibilities of a bookkeeper can vary depending on the complexity and size of a business. Generally a bookkeeper is responsible for recording daily financial transactions (money going in and out of a business), properly categorizing those transactions, and then preparing monthly financial reports for the business owner.
3) What does it mean to become a bookkeeper? What does a typical day look like? I wouldn’t say that “anyone” can become a bookkeeper; you definitely need certain skills, but they are not what you may think and most can be taught. In my free course, you find out the 7 character traits of a great bookkeeper, but surprisingly, “math skills” is NOT one of them! The two that can’t be taught are #1 – an eye for details. The accounting/bookkeeping software does all the math for you, but you need that eye for detail to be able to spot when something isn’t right. And #2 – Having a Caring Personality. Believe it or not, bookkeeping is first and foremost a relationship business. The great bookkeepers truly care about their clients and and the success of their client’s business. If you possess those two traits, then you can become a great bookkeeper if you get the right training.
4) How long does it take to make money as a bookkeeper and how much can a new bookkeeper expect to make? What about a more experienced bookkeeper? This is one of the most common questions I get asked. It really is 100% dependent upon how much effort, time and care one puts into starting and growing their own virtual bookkeeping business.
Bookkeeping is NOT a get-rich-quick scheme.
I teach my students to have goals, one of which is income. Some students want part-time / supplemental income; some want to replace full-time income. Either case is not only a possibility; it’s also simple.
Some students wish to earn $10,000 per year which is around 3-4 clients.
Some students wish to earn $40,000 per year which is around 12-16 clients.
In either scenario, this is doable within one year IF they work the blueprint we give them. But, I want to emphasize that earnings are 100% dependent upon how much effort, time and care the new bookkeeper invests into their business.
There is a short-term sacrifice that you make for a lifetime of benefit as a professional bookkeeper.
5) What does it take to become a bookkeeper?
First things first: they need to make sure, before they venture down this road, that bookkeeping is the right business for them. My free introductory class is meant to shed lots of light on the professional and business side of bookkeeping. Before investing a single dime or minute in pursuit of a bookkeeping business, one needs to make certain this is the right move.
After the student has made the determination that bookkeeping is a great fit, they need to get training. And, not just bookkeeping Xs and Os training; they need training on how to set up, market and grow their virtual bookkeeping business.
Our comprehensive course, Bookkeeper Business Blueprint, provides students with a turn-key solution to learning bookkeeping Xs and Os as well as the business and marketing side of the business.
Next, it’s up to the student to get to work doing the specific tasks we teach them. Bookkeeping should be marketed in a very specific manner. You can’t just hang a sign that says you’re a bookkeeper and expect a line of clients to form. You have to seek these clients. But, you never sell…you only educate your prospective clients.
6) What are the biggest positives about being a bookkeeper? The negatives?
How much time do you have? 🙂 In all seriousness: there are so many positive aspects of being a bookkeeper AND running your own business.
For starters, you are truly helping business owners. You become their go-to person and that feels awesome.
Second, there is never a dull moment in bookkeeping. There are exciting challenges you face daily. If you like learning and developing a craft, like I do, then bookkeeping might be right up your alley.
Another positive is that you are a professional. Just like an accountant, attorney or consultant, your client sees you as someone whom they respect and rely upon. I don’t know anyone who doesn’t want to be in a highly respected profession.
The ability to work from home (or anywhere you choose) is great. You get to determine when you work, where you work and with whom you work.
And, of course, everyone wants to be their own boss! You get to be at all your kids events. You don’t have to ask for a day off…you just go!
As for negatives: sometimes it can be mentally challenging work. For me this was a positive. For others, they see this as a negative. Also, as you progress with your bookkeeping business you will get busy; I mean super-busy if you want. You have to make sure you set up an efficient bookkeeping business to prevent you from going nuts-o!
7) What will it cost to start this type of work as a bookkeeper?
In the second class of my free course, I go into the exact tools and their costs in great detail. Spoiler alert – it’s one of the cheapest businesses to start. You can start it for as low as about $300 for total boot-strapping to about $700. The ongoing costs range from about $265-$600 a month. Remember, you don’t need EVERYTHING all at once. Start with the basics and add the extras as you need them. For example, I recommend a good scanner, but in the beginning, you may only be scanning a few documents per month and any cheap scanner will do. If you find your scanning needs increasing as your business grows, THEN you buy a nice one.
8) Can you tell me any of your favorite tips and tricks for being a bookkeeper?
Do your homework BEFORE you make a go at a bookkeeping business. Make certain it’s a business worth your time and financial investment.
After you’ve done your due diligence, commit to being a success. No turning back! Leave yourself no other option but to be a hit with your business.
9) Tell me about your class. What will someone learn from your class? How will it help someone get started being a bookkeeper? If you meet the 7 criteria outlined in the first class of my free course, then bookkeeping is for you! The course is split about 50/50 between learning the bookkeeping skills and learning the business and marketing skills. We want you to be getting your business started while you are still learning the bookkeeping skills, so that once you’ve got the skills down, you are ready for your first client! One of my favorite aspects of the course is our amazing private Facebook community. We currently have over 2500 members all helping and encouraging each other. No question ever goes unanswered and you are never alone in your journey.
Work profitably from anywhere
Create a life of freedom
Be in control of your schedule
Help other business owners
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