Today I have an interview with Ben, the creator of Bookkeeper Business Launch. Ben's business has been featured on Forbes, The Huffington Post, The Penny Hoarder, and many more.
Becoming a bookkeeper can be a great side hustle to supplement your income or even become a full-time job.
Luckily, you don't need prior experience to become a bookkeeper, which Ben will talk all about below.
Since 2001, Ben has helped over 2,000 people start their own bookkeeping business. This work from home career lets you determine how much you make, who you work with, when you work, and obviously, where you work.
And since the average bookkeeper can expect to make $62 per hour or $40,000 per year, this is a fantastic option for those of you that rather work from home and set your own hours.
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
I was a CPA and owned my own accounting and bookkeeping firms for 14 years. I ran my practice all wrong. I was miserable and had no life. I had a “rock bottom” moment and decided things had to change.
I spent the next few years figuring out how to run a practice the right way. I ended up with a practice that I loved and that gave me the freedom to live the life I wanted. A few years ago I decided I wanted to follow my passion for teaching and for helping others.
In my 14 years of practice, I had trained over 100 bookkeepers and I learned what separated the “ok” bookkeepers from the “great” bookkeepers.
So I sold my firm and created Bookkeeper Business Launch to help you become a great bookkeeper and create a thriving virtual bookkeeping business. One that will give you financial freedom and the ability to live the life of your dreams.
What is a bookkeeper
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) and properly categorizing those transactions.
How much can a bookkeeper expect to make starting out?
I wish I could give you a dollar figure, but so much goes into your earning potential. The biggest factor is effort. This is not a get rich quick scheme or a magic pill.
There is a lot of time and effort that goes into creating a successful business. I give you all the information and tools you need along with a step-by-step process.
Many of my students and graduates are just looking for part-time or supplemental income. Success for them may mean earning $1,000/month. Others are creating hugely successful businesses and replacing full-time jobs.
No matter what income level you wish to attain, my team and I are always here to support you!
How can someone become a bookkeeper?
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. Surprisingly, “advanced math skills” are NOT necessary!
In my free course, you find out the 7 character traits of a great bookkeeper, The two that can’t be taught are; #1 – an eye for detail.
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) #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 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.
What's the best part about 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 eels 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 kid's events. You don’t have to ask for a day off…you just go!
What's the worst part about being a bookkeeper?
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!
What are the startup costs of becoming a bookkeeper?
In the second class of my free course, I cover the tools needed 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 bootstrapping to about $700.
The ongoing costs range from about $265-$600. 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.
What piece of advice would you give to someone who is looking to get into the bookkeeping business?
First I would say, don’t let fear rule your life! Fear is what holds us back. I saw a great quote recently… “Stop being afraid of what could go wrong, and start being excited about what could go right”.
I want people to be excited about their life and their work. Second, I would say, take my free class 🙂 The 3 free classes will go into great detail about what it takes to start your own virtual bookkeeping business.
By the end of those classes, you will know if starting your own bookkeeping business is the right decision for you.
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