How To Become a Bookkeeper and Make $40,000 Per Year

Hello! Today, I have an informative interview to share with you that will show you how to become a bookkeeper to earn money from home. I recently had the chance to interview Ben, founder of Bookkeeper Launch, who explains how becoming a bookkeeper may be a possibility for you. Want to learn how to become a bookkeeper?…

Michelle Schroeder-Gardner

Last Updated: January 21, 2024

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, meaning if you decide to make a purchase via my links, I may earn a commission at no additional cost to you. See my disclosure for more info.

Hello! Today, I have an informative interview to share with you that will show you how to become a bookkeeper to earn money from home. I recently had the chance to interview Ben, founder of Bookkeeper Launch, who explains how becoming a bookkeeper may be a possibility for you.

Want to learn how to become a bookkeeper? Here’s how to make money bookkeeping from home and earn up to $40,000+ each year.

Plus, you can become a bookkeeper with or without a degree, and even work from home or while traveling.

Are you interested in becoming a bookkeeper? Here's how to become a bookkeeper to earn money from home. You don't have to be an accountant or have previous experience!My friend Ben helps people start and grow their own bookkeeping business with his online bookkeeping course. And guess what? You don’t have to be an accountant or have any previous experience in order to start freelance bookkeeping!

If you are looking for a new job or even just a side hustle, this may be something that you want to look into. Learning how to become a virtual bookkeeper can be a great career choice.

Check out the interview below for more information on how to make money by becoming a bookkeeper.

Also, you can sign up here for a free How To Become A Bookkeeper workshop which will teach you more about running your own virtual bookkeeping business and finding bookkeeping jobs.

Related articles on how to become a bookkeeper:

How to become a bookkeeper to earn money from home.

Please give us a little background on yourself.

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.

What is a bookkeeper? 

Think of bookkeeping like caring for your household finances…but on steroids.

Every business is required (and should) track every dollar that comes into their business or goes out. In theory, this seems pretty darn easy. In practice, it just isn’t so.

Most entrepreneur / business owner types are excellent at what they do: carpentry, dentistry, carpet-cleaning…you name it. However, most of them are clueless when it comes to tracking their finances. Enter the bookkeeper.

The bookkeeper is the person business owners rely on for accurate financial information. Business owners want to be able to focus on what they are good at, and delegate the tasks they are not so good at. Bookkeeping is a prime example of a task that savvy business owners outsource to others.

Who are the typical clients for a bookkeeper?

Typical clients are small to medium-sized business owners who are in need of someone who can HELP them; someone who knows their stuff, is personable and has their back when it comes to bookkeeping.

My students are taught to focus on one or two industries in which they can become an expert bookkeeper.

By specializing in a particular industry, clients are much easier to find for my up-and-coming bookkeeper students.

How much can a new bookkeeper expect to make? How much can a person expect to make around one year after they start?

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 half-jokingly say it’s a work-your-tail-off, rewarding, lifetime profession.

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.

What specific steps does a person need to take in order to make money as a bookkeeper? How do I get started in bookkeeping? 

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 bookkeeping 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 Launch, 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.

What qualifications do I need to become a bookkeeper?

While no particular qualifications are needed, meaning you do not need a degree, there are specific abilities that are necessary to become a professional bookkeeper.

Independent thinking, have an “eagle-eye” with attention to detail, determination, you enjoy helping others, you are personable, and you are not afraid of numbers.

What are the positives and negatives of being a bookkeeper?

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!

how to learn to be a bookkeeper

What kind of training is needed to become a bookkeeper? Do you need to be an accountant? Can I teach myself bookkeeping?

You do NOT need to have any previous experience with accounting or bookkeeping. That’s another positive aspect of learning how to become a bookkeeper. Yes, that means that you can learn how to become a bookkeeper with no experience.

You DO need real-world training; training that shows how to serve multiple bookkeeping clients. Training that shows you how to WOW clients so that it’s a win for you as a self-employed bookkeeper and a win for your clients.

You do NOT need theoretical training that does not equip you to serve clients in real situations.

How do I start a career in bookkeeping? How do I get started in bookkeeping? How do I become a bookkeeper with no experience?

The world has changed drastically over the past decade which means you no longer have to go to a traditional college to learn to be a bookkeeper.

The Old Way: you had to learn the theory in a college or school, and then go out and get a job with somebody (a business or bookkeeping firm) to get the practical application. It used to take 18 months for learning theory, and then 2 years in a job.

Meaning you had to wait 3.5-4 years before you even get to running your own business. Even then, you didn’t have any experience with marketing, business skills, or client management.

The New Way (The Bookkeeper Launch Way): an online approach to teaching, where you learn only the minimum viable theory at your own pace, before moving into real-world application. Combined with a support community that guides you through your real-world problems, means you can learn the skills you need to get your first client in as little as 3 months.

How long does a bookkeeping course take? How long does it take to train to be a bookkeeper?

The entire Bookkeeper Launch course is over 60 hours long. Which includes both the bookkeeping lessons and business building lessons.

That may seem like a long time. However, if you were to complete the course in only 3 months, that will only take you 5 hours per week to get through the learning material.

How much does it cost to become a bookkeeper?

Oh, this is a GREAT benefit of becoming a bookkeeper. It does not cost a lot.

In fact, during my second free training class, I go over all the costs required to start and maintain your business on a monthly basis.

Spoiler alert: it’s not a lot. I know of no other business, which is professional, that you can start for as little as a bookkeeping business.

Is becoming a bookkeeper hard? 

If you want to have your own business, choose your working hours, and work from wherever you want? Then you’re going to have to roll up your sleeves.

It’s not EASY…but Bookkeeper Launch is put together in the easiest way to follow possible.

So if you can put in the work, all you’ve got to do is listen to the modules, take notes, do the exercises, and take action…and within 3 to 6 months you can have a new income.

Can I work from home as a bookkeeper?

Absolutely!

As a digital bookkeeping business owner, you can work from home or anywhere you have access to reliable internet.

How do I market myself as a bookkeeper? 

This is one of the best advantages of going through Bookkeeper Launch, versus school or any other option. You get a step-by-step process to attract new clients FAST. You’ll learn how to market yourself, find a niche you enjoy working in, and develop a pipeline of high-quality, well-paying clients. Most of our students find their first clients in under 6 months, depending on the time and effort they’re able to dedicate to the program.

As a bookkeeper, you don’t have to do much selling or promoting. No ninja-sales-techniques are required here. Getting new clients is as simple as meeting a business owner and letting them know what you do, a term we like to refer to as “yakkity-yak”, along with platforms such as LinkedIn, local BNI groups, and databases such as QuickBooks ProAdvisor.

Lastly, are there any other tips that you have for someone who wants to try becoming a bookkeeper?

As mentioned before: 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.

Now, I know you offer an online bookkeeping course to help others become successful bookkeepers. What can a person learn from your classes?

I designed these classes to help people determine for themselves if a bookkeeping business is right for them.

The first class gives an overview of the 7 key characteristics great bookkeepers share. It also covers your earning potential as a bookkeeper and what separates a great bookkeeper from an average bookkeeper.

The second class covers the exact tools and technology you need, the costs to start and maintain the business and – most important – the mindset you need.

The third and final class covers how to market your bookkeeping business to get clients (even if you hate sales like I do).

Also, you can sign up here for the free series that will teach you more about running your own virtual bookkeeping business and how to become a bookkeeper online.

Recommended reading: Bookkeeper Launch Review: Is This Course Worth It?

How to become a bookkeeper

I hope you enjoyed today’s interview on how to become a bookkeeper.

As a recap, as a bookkeeper you may be completing tasks for businesses such as:

  • Recording receipts and expenses
  • Creating financial reports and financial statements
  • Organizing financial data
  • Submit payroll
  • Managing invoices
  • Recording sales
  • Recording financial transactions
  • Maintaining financial records

And more.

You can earn up to $40,000 or more working from home as a bookkeeper, and you have the ability to set your own rates, work for as many or as little clients as you want. The specific salaries of a bookkeeper varies, as you are in charge of your own business!

Plus, you do not need a degree or bookkeeping certifications in order to become a bookkeeper. There is no specific bookkeeping exam in order to become a certified bookkeeper, as this is a skill that you can learn at home with online training (such as the training I’ve mentioned throughout this article). There are many helpful resources that can help you to learn the specific bookkeeping skills, such as Bookkeeper Launch. You will most likely want to take some sort of bookkeeper training and have some basic math skills, though, so that you know what tasks you need to understand how to do.

There are many pros to becoming a bookkeeper, such as being your own boss, being able to work from home, having a more flexible schedule, the ability to choose your clients, and, of course, earning an income.

There are many, many remote bookkeeping jobs out there, and the demand will continue to grow. As a bookkeeper, you may be working for a small business, a local business, completely virtual, and so on. You get to choose your own clients so it is up to you. Some may not care if you only have a high school degree or GED, whereas some may want you to have a bachelor’s degree. If you are an aspiring bookkeeper, then there are many different options for you.

If you enjoy paying extra attention to detail and organizing numbers, starting your own bookkeeping business can be a great way to earn money from home.

I highly recommend signing up here for the free How To Become A Bookkeeper workshop. This free workshop will teach you how to become a bookkeeper and start your own virtual bookkeeping business.

I also recommend reading Online Bookkeeping Jobs: Learn How To Get Started Today.

Are you interested in working from home and learning how to become a bookkeeper? Does learning how to become a bookkeeper interest you?


Michelle Schroeder-Gardner

Author: Michelle Schroeder-Gardner

Hey! I’m Michelle Schroeder-Gardner and I am the founder of Making Sense of Cents. I’m passionate about all things personal finance, side hustles, making extra money, and online businesses. I have been featured in major publications such as Forbes, CNBC, Time, and Business Insider. Learn more here.

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  1. The financial tech

    Nice interview. Thanks for sharing and yes i’ve wanted to work but I am in a field where I need to be on site to be able to do the work.

  2. Something to think about for extra income, especially when this is the type of thing I do for my own finances already! I’ll keep this in mind. Thanks for the interview!

  3. This sounds like a very interesting business to start for yourself. I’ve never been a big numbers person until my current job. I really don’t mind it. I do think that it would be a little intimidating to fill such an important role for a small business. It would take me a long time to feel confident.

    1. Christine,

      You’re making the right choice to by starting a small business blog online and staying in your niche. I wish I would’ve put more effort in the past when I discovered this way of making money online.

  4. I’m an accountant and have been thinking of starting my own business for sometime. The issue is that it would take me a potentially long time to build up a client base to replace my income due to where I am in my career. Maybe someday I’ll make the leap. Thanks for sharing.

  5. Amanda

    My first job was as a bookkeeper and I have an MBA. I never thought of doing this for remote clients (psh! what was I thinking?!). However, this isn’t something I want to market on my own. I have some other side-gigs going on that utilizes my time and it makes more sense to work for a firm that handles the marketing and matches me with clients. Do you recommend any?

    1. Ben Robinson

      Hi Amanda,

      Our course is designed to teach you how to gain your own clients. Any firm that handles the marketing will make you an employee and not a business owner.

      If you want to become a bookkeeper-employee then our course isn’t designed to work as such.

      Please let me know if you have any other questions. Thank you for your reply here!

      Ben Robinson

      1. Amanda

        Hi Ben–
        Thanks, I was just curious if there were any that you knew or recommended.
        Good luck wth the course!
        Amanda

  6. This is an ideal business for experienced Accounting professionals who hold down a day job working for the man. The beauty of doing this from home is having the ability to do this online in addition to running a blog or website on this niche topic and making more money from Google AdSense and CPA affiliate networks who has advertisers related to the niche of Accounting.

  7. Cara

    I have been looking into bookkeeping so I can work from home and be my own boss. I have been trying to find a course that teaches me about the actual people aspect of it, our city’s local adult education center offers courses for accounting but no real-life application on starting your own business.

  8. Bookkeeping is one of those services that lots of small businesses know deep down that they need.

    It’s the job of making sense of that shoe box or carrier bag full of paperwork that’s been nagging for way too long.

    Great post and something lots of people could either do or use – thanks!

  9. Fred Olkman

    It appears to be an extended sales pitch for a $1,000.00 10-week ‘course’ (you don’t find that out until the day after the 3rd video goes out to you).

    No details on what daily work is, etc. (if you don’t already know what a bookkeeper does, you will still not know after the 3 videos).

    Can’t find a single review from anyone that has paid for and/or completed the course.

    Seems too good to be true – so, there you go.

    1. Ben Robinson

      Hi Fred. Thank you for your comment. We cover in short detail the day-to-day activities in video #1. You can look at the more than 25 reviews we have on our Facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/bookkeeperacademy/

      Thank you,

      Ben Robinson
      Founder, Bookkeeper Business Academy, LLC

    2. Aria k schiele

      Thank you Fred. I was looking for someone who has more detail. Such as yours. Im a disabeled woman with an associates degree in accounting and thought bookkeeping sounded like a simple way to earn some extra to help make ends meet.

  10. Helen

    Hi there, I just recently quit my job and is now looking for alternative income source. Bookkeeping
    virtually seems a great way to earn and yet stay at home. Can you give me more details as to how to avail of your online class, fees etc.

    Thanks…

    1. Hello! I think if you sign up for the free training here – https://www.makingsenseofcents.com/learntobeabookkeeper, you’ll then receive all of the information on the online class and the fees.

  11. Michelle

    I personally would rather someone do accounting for me if they have an actual accounting degree from an accredited college and experience working for a company.

    Several months ago I signed up for the free seminar of the 7 characteristics of a bookkeeper. I couldn’t get through an hour. It was too long and drawn out and just an obvious sales pitch. I learned nothing useful.

  12. Whoa! This is definitely a bright idea, I know that bookkeeping is difficult because I have a cousin also work that at home and I witness his struggles and pressure on booking the finance. However, I do believe that I can do it. Moreover, thank you, Michelle, for sharing your link on online training class of bookkeeping.

  13. Sarah

    You DO still have to make sure you can get a business license for this in your state. In Kansas, no previous experience is not an option for this particular business. You must be certified or have enough employees that are. And if you are just starting without experience, then you probably don’t have employees. So please make sure you check your state laws and make sure your business is legal. I’m concerned since checking on legalities is not mentioned in this post.

    1. Shane

      How can you even start if previous experience is required? Seems a little unfair… glad I don’t live in Kansas, I guess.

  14. Mbasa

    Hello. I’ve been a Bookkeeper since 1994. A Senior Bookkeeper for various Chartered Accountant Firms. Have a degree in Financial Accounting Sciences. I would like to do partime bookkeeping to earn extra money.

    I live in Eastern Cape, South Africa.

  15. Betty Chepngetich

    This is interesting, need a bookkeeping job

  16. Howard Sitali

    I am in Zambia, am I able to do this ?