How to Become a Bookkeeper: An Overview

Bookkeeping has been a critical part of our world, from the importance of record-keeping for early trading cultures along the Silk Road to helping to anthologize information throughout the Industrial Revolution and the rise of capitalism. All along the way, we have had bookkeepers manage accounts, produce reports, monitor spending, track revenue, invoice, and serve other vital organizational needs. Bookkeepers are essential.

It is important to distinguish between a bookkeeper and an accountant; bookkeepers record daily financial transactions for a business, whereas an accountant’s job is to interpret the financial transactions. As a bookkeeper, you will use software to process spreadsheets and record the entirety of the financial data.

There is a lot of appeal to becoming a bookkeeper today, especially compared to how bookkeeping has changed with the rise of technology. One of the main reasons that bookkeeping is an excellent option for a career is that you can work remotely if desired. Many companies have shifted to remote work to accommodate the global medical crisis, but there is a slim percentage of other remote full-time jobs that would provide better pay than working as a bookkeeper. Another appeal of becoming a bookkeeper is the ability to pursue a career in the world of accounting without a mandatory college education.

Education

If you’re interested in starting your career as a bookkeeper, you will need to meet some fairly typical standards for education, starting with a high school diploma or GED.  Do not be intimidated by getting your GED. No matter what your age, there are programs designed to help you succeed. Attending a university is a great experience, but most companies do not require it when hiring bookkeepers. However, an associate’s or a bachelor’s degree in business administration or accounting does allow you to work for employers who expect a higher level of education.

You need to be savvy and confident in math skills and problem-solving, have thorough attention to detail, and be highly organized to be a thriving bookkeeper. There are plenty of other options in the world of information than traditional education via a college or university as long as there is a strong will to learn. If you are particularly self-motivated, you can obtain a lot of the same information through textbooks pertinent to accounting, but the cost of this literature is usually relatively high.

The more you are willing to invest in your future career, whether monetarily or temporally, the more desirable results you will find. At Universal Accounting School, you’ll have access to personalized assistance.

Training

To become a trained and well-prepared applicant, you will want to familiarize yourself with accounting software. We offer a Professional Bookkeeping certification designed in response to the increasing demand for small business bookkeepers. Using our educational content, you can become a self-taught bookkeeper in a relatively short time, depending on your schedule and how much time you are willing to put into the process. If you are willing to invest in your future within this field, starting with our Professional Bookkeeper certification course is a step in the right direction and is compacted into a few lessons. This course is designed to take three to four months, and you will be able to start looking for work after you complete the course.

If you are eager and have taken steps to prepare yourself, entry-level bookkeeping jobs are pretty ubiquitous in our society, as businesses are everywhere, and they all require the attention of bookkeepers. Many full-time starting positions will offer a training period of up to six months to get their employees up to speed on the software they use, their clientele, and other factors that contribute to their work environment.

Work Environment

There is no better training than direct experience. Although it can be intimidating to find work in the large world of business administration and accounting, many employers are willing to train individuals who are committed to becoming successful bookkeepers. Confidence, a positive attitude, and a plethora of applications will eventually land you a position with a company.

After you are hired as a bookkeeper for the first time, you should plan to stay with a company long enough to become a professional in your field. That amount of time can look very different to different people, but typically, new bookkeepers will want to spend a few years with the same company. However, this does not mean you should continue to offer your time to an employer that does not see your potential and help you reach it.

You might want to become a freelance bookkeeper, which is a common transition for many long-term professionals. This option is appealing to many because freelancers set their own rates and schedules, and have more deeply connected relationships with their clients.

As a freelance bookkeeper, you will be setting your rates and working for multiple clients simultaneously. Clients expect a range of services, including the ability to oversee payroll, solve wage and deduction management calculations, and manage accounts receivable, loss reports, and expenditure reports, so you will need to be highly organized and well-rounded in your capabilities.

Should You Become a Bookkeeper?

If this information resonates with your goals, you should not hesitate to step on to that path, doing everything in your power to succeed. You do necessarily need to commit to higher education, and the timeline for becoming a working bookkeeper is very flexible. Review the programs we offer, then contact us to discuss how we can help you succeed.

How to Start a Bookkeeping Business

Starting Your Home-Based Bookkeeping Business

A professional bookkeeper is someone with the training and experience to handle day-to-day accounting operations for a business. Large companies tend to have in-house bookkeeping teams that assist their accounting departments with recordkeeping, tax document preparation, and a host of other critical responsibilities. Many professional bookkeepers find employment at large accounting firms or as part of corporate accounting departments, but it is also possible to be a work-from-home bookkeeper and cultivate your own business with the right training and tools.

If you are interested in starting a bookkeeping business and working from home, you could potentially open the door to a lucrative and fulfilling accounting career with the freedom to choose how fast and how large you grow your business in the future. Whether you dream of one day opening your own accounting company or simply cultivating a small list of clients for steady income, Universal Accounting can provide the education you need to work from home in bookkeeping and do it successfully.

 

Why Work From Home as a Professional Bookkeeper?

The modern business world is incredibly fast paced. Managing professional and personal responsibilities in a fulfilling career is incredibly challenging without the right tools and experience, and Universal Accounting strives to provide both to everyone who comes to us for bookkeeping certification and training.

Working from home offers a wealth of opportunities, not to mention the option to work in your pajamas in the comfort of your own home. However, the freedom of working from home and running your own business comes with the responsibility of managing that business effectively. Many professional bookkeepers are opting to work from home for several reasons:

  • Be your own boss. Instead of juggling vacation time and earning paid time off, you decide when and how hard you work. All you need to do is make sure your clients know when you’re available and take as much time off as you like, whenever you like.
  • Grow your business at your own pace. Whether you want to build a powerful accounting practice or simply enhance your existing income with a side job as a work from home bookkeeper, you get to decide the course of your professional career.
  • Working from home makes it easier to manage your personal life. If you have young children, you could potentially save thousands of dollars each year in daycare costs and spend more time with your kids each day when you work from home.
  • Working from home means minimal overhead. If you are your only employee, you don’t need to worry about payroll, hiring, training, or any of the other responsibilities that come with managing a team of employees. If you decide to grow your practice in the future, you can worry about these issues when the time comes.
  • Running your own business from your home is incredibly rewarding. Since you oversee your home-based bookkeeping practice, you get to decide the type of clients you accept and the pace at which your business grows.
  • You have unlimited potential. Develop a steady client list and make a comfortable income or grow your business until you can expand to an office building and offer your clients more robust services with a larger staff. Working from home can be the groundwork for an incredibly fulfilling career.

Ultimately, the biggest benefit of being a work from home bookkeeper is the flexibility to take your career in the direction you desire. While this requires that you take on more responsibilities than you would by accepting a job at a corporate accounting department or an accounting firm, the tradeoff is well worth the additional effort. A little bit of guidance can not only help you manage your home bookkeeping practice more efficiently, but also empower you with the knowledge and tools to grow your business into the future.

 

Starting Your Home Bookkeeping Business the Right Way

If you decide to work from home as a bookkeeper, you’re going to need to prepare accordingly. When it comes to workspace, all you really need is a comfortable space in your home and a few standard accounting tools. Some prefer to lounge on their couches with laptops and wireless devices while others enjoy setting up home offices. If you plan on meeting with clients in your home, you want to have a comfortable space for these encounters.

You also need to invest in the equipment and software to manage your bookkeeping responsibilities. How will you physically store your clients’ books? What type of system do you want to use to develop a set of books from scratch? These are just a few of the questions to ask when starting your home bookkeeping practice. You’re also going to need to develop a way to market your business and attract and retain new clients to ensure you have a steady stream of income.

The additional responsibilities that come with working from home as a professional bookkeeper can seem daunting at first, but a little support and guidance can go a long way and help you start your home bookkeeping business on the right foot. Universal Accounting offers a range of bookkeeping services that help you obtain the certifications you require and empower you with the skills to grow your home bookkeeping business.

 

Professional Bookkeeping Certification from Universal Accounting

Working from home as a professional bookkeeper is one of the most rewarding ways to explore a career in the professional accounting industry, offering you the tools you need to grow your career the way you want while enabling you to manage your personal life more effectively. Universal Accounting offers a proven turnkey solution for building your own accounting practice from home, complete with tools and guidance to empower you to run your business on your terms.

The Professional Bookkeeper course track from Universal Accounting can become the foundation of your accounting career and provide you with the tools you to develop a successful home-based bookkeeping business or grow your home practice into a successful accounting firm in the future. Call Universal Accounting today at (877) 833-7909 to learn more about our Professional Bookkeeper courses and how we can help you jumpstart your career as a work-from-home professional bookkeeper.

Creating Customer Demand

boss-materialOffering a good service doesn’t guarantee that clients are going to come running.  It’s important that you ensure demand for your services.  But how do you do that?

In a recent Entrepreneur.com article, author and entrepreneur Kiras Kittaneh shares “5 Strategies for Generating Consumer Demand.”  He explains, “Industry professionals recognize that before, during and after you introduce a new product, there is a lot of legwork to be done to pique consumers’ curiosity and get them interested.”

Here we share three of his five tips:

1. Produce stellar content.  All the content your practice generates speaks of your professionalism.  Your ability to demonstrate your expertise, competence, and good will in all promotional materials will draw clients to you.  But in order for prospective clients to access this information, you need to know where your target demographic goes for information.  This will require market research as you determine what social media platforms to focus on.

2. Feature customers’ reviews. Testimonials go a long way in creating a lasting impression on prospective clients.  They are memorable, versatile, reusable, and give you a competitive edge, not to mention that they build your credibility.  Be sure to post them to your website, run them in your newsletter, and feature them in some of your promotional material.

3. Give new customers a deal. You can create customer demand by offering new clients a discount.  Most like the idea of a trial period during which you demonstrate your expertise.  But ensure the terms of this discount are well defined.  Firas warns, “Make sure you’re clear that the deal is a one-time offer, because you don’t want customers to be discouraged when they decide to shop with you again and find your products priced differently.”

It’s important that you do all you can to put your practice on top.  Generating client demand is the first step to building your client roster and, in turn, longevity for your business.

Market Those Skills

Unfortunately some financial professionals struggle—not because they cannot perform the required tasks—because promoting their business and securing clients is somewhat intimidating.

In order for your practice to thrive, you must break through that barrier, learning and using effective marketing strategies to target those small businesses owners most likely to retain their services.  But how do you do that?

The Universal Practice Builder Program is designed to help financial professionals learn the art and science of getting and keeping clients.  This online program will teach you 12-proven marketing techniques that will help you secure 15 to 25 qualified leads per month.  Not only that, but you will hone your presentation skills and be trained in organizing valuable seminars through which you can retain even more clients.  You’ll also have 3 months of free master coaching where UAC professionals will help you set and achieve your business goals.

Call Universal at 1-877-833-7909 to enroll in this program now, and ensure the likelihood of your practice’s success!

Resource

Kittaneh, Firas.  “5 Strategies for Generating Consumer Demand.” 24 January 2014  Entrepreneur.com

National Mentoring Month

mentorWhat a Mentor Could Provide

January is National Mentoring Month, established to encourage all walks of life to seek out beneficial mentoring relationships.  In light of that, the Small Business Association has recently posted the article “Tips for Young Entrepreneurs during National Mentoring Month.”  Here are the three things they suggest mentoring can provide entrepreneurs like you:

1. An inside perspective.  Mentors can offer seasoned insight on your industry, helping you “gain a fresh prospective and broaden your outlook.”

2. A sophisticated skillset.  Mentors should be experienced in their field, exposing you to an advanced skillset that will enable you to refine your expectations and set higher professional standards.

3. A vast network.  As the article explains, “With years of experience, a mentor likely has an enviable network of industry connections.  The importance of networking can’t be understated, so expanding your network with the help of a mentor can be a great way to meet potential partners, customers and decisions-makers in your target market.”

Where to Find a Mentor 

You may be surprised to find that there are many services and organizations through which you can find a mentor.  Here are a few:

Government Programs.  Specifically the Small Business Association and its affiliate group Score, offer entrepreneurs free advice and consultation services.  Their volunteer counselors are often retired executives more than willing to offer extensive advice.  Chapters of both organizations can be found throughout the country.

Respected Community Members.  Often young entrepreneurs look up to respected community members who have started and maintained successful businesses.  These individuals, when approached correctly, make great mentors.

Trade Associations.  There are many accounting and bookkeeping associations that can help small business owners find good mentors.  These associations also sponsor many conferences and workshops.  Attend these functions when possible so that you can network; this way, you’ll have a greater chance of catching the success bug.

Business Groups.  Communities often sponsor groups that enable local business owners to network.  Join your local Chamber of Commerce, Rotary Club, or Toastmasters and attend meetings.  Meet as many people as possible in attempts to grow your business and find just the right mentor.

Alumni Associations.  Your alma mater may provide special programs enabling you to connect with other alumni.  Universal Accounting Center has an accounting and tax forum that enables UAC associates to interact with one another in an online community environment.

Nonprofit Organizations.  There are some nonprofit organizations designed specifically to help small-business owners succeed.   Check local listings to see if there are such nonprofit organizations in your area.

Universal Accounting Center Can Enhance Your Service Offerings

Entrepreneurs often struggle with the issue of financing as they start their small businesses.  Allow Universal Accounting to act as a mentor in helping you add financial consulting services to your offerings.  You will increase your professional appeal by helping clients prepare those formidable small business loan packages as a financial consultant.  Our manual, Becoming a Financial Consultant, includes clear instructions and terrific resource materials that will simplify the creation of a loan application package.  Using the sample loan package included as a model, you can easily help clients apply for a valuable business loan.  Within hours you can begin offering your services as a financial consultant. Call Universal at 1 -877-833-7909 to order your copy now!

 

Resource

kmurray.  “Tips for Young Entrepreneurs during National Mentoring Month.”  8 January 2014 sba.gov

2013 Workplace Trends

Work trends continue to change and evolve as influenced by the economy, technology and the workforce. In a recent Entrepreneur.com article, author Dan Schawbel details “The Top 10 Workplace Trends of 2013.”  Here we share 5 of those trends:

1. More boomers retire. Baby boomers (those born in the post-World War II baby boom between 1946 and 1964) are set to leave the workforce, and leadership positions will be filled by Gen X and Y professionals.  Which group will dominate is yet to be seen.

2. The skills gap shrinks. As Schwabel explains, “As of this year, there are over 12 million people who are unemployed and 3.6 million open positions… I see the skills gap shrinking as new talent enters the workforce, companies work with schools to train the next generation workforce and people realize that they need new skills in order to get jobs.”

3. Women start to outpace men at work.  Schwabel estimates that over the next ten years one billion women will enter the workforce.  According to research, they are more educated than men and, as a result, will begin to fulfill leadership roles that were previously held by their male counterparts.

4. Working from home becomes mainstream.  Many companies have recognized the value in offering employees more flexibility, including the opportunity to telecommute.  Schwabel says, “While in years past flexibility programs were viewed as a perk, they will become more standardized and expected.”

5. Freelance nation booms.  The recession has changed the workforce, driving many into self-employment while others have chosen it for the freedom it affords.  Not only that, but corporations recognize the value in hiring a contractor to focus on a specific set of tasks rather than hiring full-time employees that will cost them in benefit packages.  According to NBC news, one third of US workers are freelancers.

Recognizing work trends enables you to take advantage of the unavoidable workforce changes.  What 2013 trends will you take advantage of?

The Professional Bookkeeper Program

Over 30 years ago Universal Accounting Center (UAC) recognized a need.  Small businesses were failing as the result of poor financial management.  And the majority of accountants were not trained to respond to their unique needs.  In creating the Professional Bookkeeper (PB) Program, UAC designed a course that trains students in the day-to-day tasks required by small business.  The PB program not only produces small-business accountants, but Profit Experts who enable the small-business owner to make more informed and lucrative business decisions.

When you enroll in the Professional Bookkeeper Program you have access to the following:

  • Flexible training you complete on your own time and at your own pace
  • Rich and engaging online training you can view again and again
  • Hands-on instruction through which you gain much-needed experience
  • Training in building and marketing your new practice
  • 6 months of valuable follow-up support
  • The opportunity to earn professional certification
  • Our iron-clad risk-free guarantee

The Universal Practice Builder (UPB) Program

While you may feel comfortable managing a small business’s books, promoting those services may feel a bit more foreign.  The Universal Practice Builder Program is designed to train you how to promote your practice in order to experience significant growth and profitability.  Imagine all that you could learn from our experience training thousands of individuals like you!

Now is the time to build a stellar practice; take advantage of new work trends and enroll in these two programs today!  Call 1-877-833-7909 now!

Resource

Schawbel, Dan.  “The Top 10 Workplace Trends of 2013.” 21 October 2013  Forbes.com

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