If you’ve got number crunching skills or some solid experience in recording business transactions, and you think that working in an office is no longer for you, then you’ve probably asked yourself how to work from home as a bookkeeper. This article will walk you through the ins and outs of telecommuting as a bookkeeper.
Skills and Qualifications
A bookkeeper manages and records financial data for businesses. To be a competent bookkeeper, you need to have the following skills and attributes:
• At ease with managing and recording numerical or financial data
• Good grasp of bookkeeping and/or accounting concepts
Bookkeeping and accounting are not the same, although they are both concerned with financial data. A bookkeeper may occasionally be tasked by an employer or client to analyze, report, or summarize the data, in which case an accountant’s tasks are being done, even if only temporarily, so it helps hugely if the bookkeeper also has a grasp of accounting concepts.
For the most part, though, the main function of a bookkeeper is to record and manage financial data.
• Ability to use basic computer office applications, especially those that are used for making spreadsheets and reporting documents.
• Knowledge in handling bookkeeping software is a major plus
It is not mandatory to have a college degree in accounting or other majors such as economics, business, or mathematics to be able to get a bookkeeping job, especially for those who work from home. This is particularly true for small businesses or individuals whose requirements for the position may be lower, compared to that of major companies. However, some college credit in accounting subjects would be impressive.
Employment Sectors to Target
The field is wide and open for telecommuting bookkeepers. It is however, in the following industries that bookkeeping work is largely done:
• Business Services
• Retail and Wholesale
• Non-Government Organizations
• Financial Services
• Entertainment (usually for individual clients)
The responsibilities of a telecommuting bookkeeper will vary, depending on the client’s requirements. Clients may either be small businesses or individuals, and the kind of client you have also has an impact on the scope of responsibilities. In general, though, these are the main responsibilities of a bookkeeper:
• To record business transactions
• To balances ledgers
• To reconcile accounts
• To prepare reports
The pay that a telecommuting bookkeeper may receive will be dependent on the kind of work that a client will provide, and on whether or not the client is a small business or an individual. However, as of January 2014, the median salary for bookkeepers stands at $39,459 in the US. If a telecommuting bookkeeper works per contract, his income could be lower or higher, depending on the number of contracts handled.
Getting the Competitive Edge
The question of how to work from home as a bookkeeper requires having a competitive edge to be able to make a mark in the telecommuting job market. You can achieve this by:
• Being active in job boards or forums
• Regularly updating your knowledge on the latest developments in the bookkeeping and accounting fields
• Attending specialized trainings for bookkeeping procedures