Bookkeeping Fees Can Save You Money

Online Bookkeeping Jobs: Turn Your Love For Money Into Money

Are you good with numbers? Do you like getting immersed in all kinds of details? Are you into things like solving puzzles and untangling knots? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you might be interested in being an at-home bookkeeper.

I’ve already shared that bookkeeping is a great career to have because the skills are considered entry-level and it’s the kind of work that easily adapts to working from home. These days, more and more businesses are hiring at-home bookkeepers. And while there’s definitely a solid niche for starting your own bookkeeping business, freelancing is certainly not the only way to do it. You can also find remote work as a bookkeeper for a company in a more traditional employment model.

What do Bookkeepers Do?

While bookkeeping is part of the accounting process, it’s much more about staying on top of the clerical tasks as opposed to analyzing reports, preparing taxes and setting budgets. A bookkeeper is often the person inputting the receipts and invoices, counting inventory, classifying expenses and income.

Because your scope is somewhat limited as a bookkeeper, you often don’t need an accounting degree. That being said, there are a few skills and personality traits that are absolutely imperative:

  • You need to be organized
  • You must have strong attention to detail. If you don’t like double-checking, or triple-checking, your work, this might not be the job for you.
  • You need to be a hard worker.
  • You need to be able to handle multiple projects at once. You will probably have more than one client.
  • You must be compassionate and personable. To be a successful online bookkeeper, you need to be able to make a connection with your clients. They need to be able to trust you with their finances.

How Much do Online Bookkeepers Make?

As with most freelance opportunities, it depends. If you are working for a large company or accounting firm, they will likely dictate your earnings.

If you decide to start your own bookkeeping business, you can probably earn a lot more as you are taking on more of the responsibilities. According to Bookkeeper Launch, many of their graduates are earning upwards of $60 per hour working from home.

What Types of Work Do Bookkeepers Do?

Bookkeeping is a back-office position required in almost every industry, so there’s the built-in advantage of being able to work in virtually any field. Once you’re trained in bookkeeping, you can work within many different industries and find work that interests you, whether it’s working with small business owners, bloggers, or even non-profits — every industry needs bookkeepers.

Common tasks often include:

  • Entering and managing accounts payable
  • Entering and managing accounts receivable
  • Maintaining the general ledger
  • Managing inventory counts
  • Overseeing payroll
  • Monitoring project budgets
  • Filing accounting reports
  • Paying suppliers and following up on purchase orders
  • Monitoring petty cash

STARTING A BOOKKEEPING BUSINESS FROM HOME

If you love work from home or working remotely, then work from home bookkeeping will help you to earn money online and compete with the highest paying work from home jobs and home businesses.

To give you more precise guidelines on bookkeeping as a work from home job, here are the effective points you can follow step-by-step:

1. Get Certified

The fastest and easiest way to get clients is to become certified. A certified bookkeeper is always preferred by the clients. Therefore, before expecting clients, get the certification to impress your potential customers and then catch the project by convincing them with your conversational skills.

2. Make a Business Plan

When I Googled ‘how to make a business plan’ a few years ago I was totally overwhelmed by the amount of information they convinced me to put into it. To start with, create a basic business plan, but be sure to re-visit it every quarter and flesh it out as your self-employed bookkeeping business scales and grows. It will invariably be of benefit to strategize your business.

3. Select a Business Name and Structure

Just as you cannot imagine your identity without your name, your business also requires a name to be identified as a brand. Choose an appropriate name related to your job – you can create something with your city name to help target your local area, or if you’re more of a freelancer a name that’s more objective related. It’s totally up to you.

In terms of business structure, there are various types of business structure including Personal or Sole Proprietorship, Partnership, Limited Liability Company and Corporation.

All these types have different requirement and terms. Make sure that you are choosing the right option according to your business.

In addition, to assist you further in this matter, we suggest you consult with a lawyer and/or an accountant, who will guide you on the right track.

4. Set up a Business Bank Account

Keep business and personal separate! Until that joyful time comes when you pay yourself. I love payday.

Before taking projects from clients, open a business account. Don’t be like the divorced relationship councillor or the overweight personal trainer. As a bookkeeper set a good example and sort this stuff out from day dot.

5. Bookkeeping Software

In starting your work from home bookkeeping online business no doubt you will have decided to invest in some bookkeeping software. There are stacks of options to choose from; however, opting for a top-class one will be the best investment for your job. Start your research by asking Google and filter the search results wisely to get the appropriate one.

6. Get Your Business E-mail ID

A business email address is essential in order to be seen as professional to prospective clients, so it’s important to get your domain name from the beginning. And for postal inquiry (if that still exists), you have to put the address of your office. It might be your home or be any rented place. The above is a list of some of the technical requirements needed to get things up and running. From there it’s time to start thinking about marketing and listing your services, attracting clients and delivering your world class bookkeeping service so you can enjoy bookkeeping from the comfort of your home!

Benefits of a Virtual Bookkeeping Job

PRO TIP

A good computer and high-speed internet should be your first investments. Also crucial to a being a virtual bookkeeper is accounting software, such as Quickbooks Online, which keeps startup costs low.

And then there’s that $60-per-hour pay rate.

The average full-time bookkeeper earns nearly $40,000 per year (almost $19/hour), according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports. But pointed out that as a freelancer or contractor, you can actually earn a higher hourly rate while working fewer hours.You must know how to provide true value to clients — that real-world problem-solving we talked about — to command this kind of income.

Can anyone who knows how to use a calculator make money as a work-from-home bookkeeper?

Using a calculator is such a small part of bookkeeping. It’s more like a giant puzzle and figuring out where each piece goes. The catch is that you have to know where to put each piece; it isn’t as simple as some would have you believe. There are nuances that you don’t know you don’t know… does that make sense? Basically, you need help along the way to ensure you are ready to take on a client and not mess up their books!

Love that concept! When you decided to start learning to become a bookkeeper, what was going through your mind?

Well try to learn it on my own and failed miserably. I should mention here that I am usually the type of person that can teach myself anything… guitar, violin, bass, piano, crochet, knitting, oil painting, languages, etc. But for some reason, this just wasn’t clicking.

Did you know everything going in? If not, were you able to grow and add skills you didn’t know?

Haha, I knew NOTHING going in. I had tried to do my own bookkeeping as a VA, but it was just a mess because I had no idea what I was doing. On the business side of things, I knew the basics of having a business, but not a successful one. I had no clue how to find clients or market at all.

The course taught me everything I needed to know. From Day 1 I was learning new skills all the way through the end of the course. And to be honest, the learning hasn’t stopped!

Income Tax Preparation

Tips to Find the Best Tax Preparer Near You

Ask for a Preparer Tax Identification Number

The IRS requires anyone who prepares or assists in preparing federal tax returns for compensation to have a PTIN. Note the phrase “for compensation” — volunteer preparers don’t need PTINs. Make sure your income tax preparer puts his or her PTIN number on your return — the IRS requires that, too.

Require a CPA, law license or Enrolled Agent designation

A PTIN is relatively easy to get, so go a step further and get a credentialed preparer — someone who’s also a certified public accountant, licensed attorney, enrolled agent or who has completed the IRS’ Annual Filing Season program. The Accredited Business Accountant/Advisor and Accredited Tax Preparer are examples of programs that help preparers fulfill the Annual Filing Season Program requirement. These credentials all require varying amounts of study, exams and ongoing education.

Look for friends in high places

Membership in a professional organization such as the National Association of Tax Professionals, the National Association of Enrolled Agents, the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, or the American Academy of Attorney CPAs is always a good thing to have, as most have codes of ethics, professional conduct requirements and various certification programs.

Reconsider those who don’t e-file

The IRS requires any paid preparer who does more than 10 returns for clients to file electronically via the IRS’ e-file system. If your tax preparer doesn’t offer e-file, it may be a sign the person isn’t doing as much tax prep as you thought.

Tips to Find a Good Tax Preparer

Check the Tax Preparer’s Credentials

Anyone with a preparer tax identification number can handle and file your taxes, but it’s best to find someone who also can handle audits, a CPA and tax manager at Only a certified public accountant or an enrolled agent—another type of tax professional—can represent you before in those situations, she notes.

Look for a Well-Established Pro

Ideally, it’s a good idea to find a preparer who has had at least seven to 10 years of experience, The reason: The more time a preparer has been working on tax returns, the more likely he is to have dealt with a tax situation similar to yours.

Find a Preparer With Clients Like You

Ideally, you want a preparer with clients who are similar to you. That way, you’re more likely to get the best service for your particular needs.

Ask for a Price Quote

Often, a tax preparer will say that he can’t tell you what he’ll charge until he determines which forms you’ll need. But you can try to pin down an answer by presenting the forms you completed last year or by asking for a list of fees for various types of tax help.

How to Find the Best Tax Preparer for You

Types of Tax Return Pros

You can have anyone—your uncle, your neighbor, or your best friend—prepare your tax return. But if you’re paying for this service, the person must be registered with the IRS and have a current preparer tax identification number (PTIN), which is an IRS number issued annually to eligible preparers.

  • Attorneys: These professionals are licensed by states or state bar associations to practice law and are subject to continuing education requirements and a code of ethics.
  • CPAs: Certified public accountants are professionals who have passed the Uniform CPA Examination and been licensed by state boards of accountancy; they also have continuing education requirements.
  • Enrolled agents: These are individuals who have passed a three-part Special Enrollment Examination demonstrating competency in federal taxation and been licensed by the IRS. They, too, have continuing education requirements.
  • Annual filing season program participants: These individuals are not attorneys, CPAs, or enrolled agents but have completed an IRS program and obtained continuing education.
  • Any other preparer with a PTIN: These are individuals who believe they have sufficient knowledge to prepare returns and have paid the fee to obtain a PTIN. They are not subject to any oversight by a state, a professional board, or the IRS.

How to Choose a Tax Preparer

  • Payment. Try to get a clear understanding of the cost early in the process. You can minimize your costs by making sure your tax prep documents are well-organized and your accounting system is up-to-date.
  • Communication. Ask what is the best way to get in touch with the person in case you have a question or concern. Whether it’s text, email or phone, how soon can you expect to hear back?
  • Personal touch. Sometimes, you may be dealing with multiple people from the tax preparer’s office. It’s important to meet and talk with the person or people who will actually be handling your account.
  • Follow-up. Find out if your tax preparer will suggest ways for you to save on taxes next year or if he or she will contact you later if there are any new tax changes that could affect your business.
  • E-file. Make sure your preparer offers the IRS e-file option. Paid preparers who do taxes for more than 10 clients generally must file electronically.

Tips for Choosing a Tax Preparer

Verify the Preparer’s Credentials

There are a lot of people out there claiming to be a “tax professional.” However, just because someone hangs out a shingle and advertises tax prep services, it doesn’t mean they actually have the skill, education, and expertise to handle your return.

Check the Preparer’s Professional Record

You have to be able to trust your tax preparer. Afterall, he or she will know all about your finances and even have your Social Security number. And even if a preparer is credentialed, that doesn’t guarantee that he or she has a good professional reputation.

Ask About Fees

As with any other service or product you buy, make sure you have a good idea of the costs ahead of time. Prices for tax return preparation can vary widely depending on a variety of factors, including the complexity of your return, where you live, and the preparer’s experience. That’s why it’s important to get a quote before settling on a preparer.

Watch for Problems After Selecting a Preparer

Your due diligence doesn’t end after you pick a preparer. Watch out for warnings signs that something isn’t quite right. If one of these red flags pop up, you should seriously consider switching to another preparer right away.