How to Become a Bookkeeper and Be Good at It


The success of any business entirely relies on proper management of finances. Some businesses and companies have crashed due to misappropriation of funds as a result of poor management. This is why the successful majority turn to bookkeepers. A bookkeeper is someone who updates and manages accounts of a particular company. The person could be a full–time working employee of a consultant. Freelance bookkeeping is an opportunity to earn some cash on the side. Here is how to do it.

High School Diploma

Previously, excellent computer and accounting skills were enough to warrant a position as a bookkeeper. Today, most job descriptions require one to have a high school diploma as part of the least qualifications. Basic courses taught such as math, office management, computer, and business offer advance knowledge on bookkeeping.

Vocational Training

Enrolling in a vocational school or community college meets the minimum requirement of most employers, which is two years of higher education. But more education is almost never a bad thing, especially in this field. According to Western Governors University, a Bachelor’s degree in accounting can help “solidify your knowledge and skills in financial and cost accounting, tax accounting, auditing, and other accounting areas.”


Part-time practicums give a first-hand experience of the accounting field. Getting an internship while still in school builds on experience and introduces the student to software for recording transactions.


Earn a certificate through the American Institute of Professional Bookkeepers. This gives employers a heads up on the knowledge and skill of bookkeeping that you possess. Bookkeepers possessing this certificate have an added advantage when securing a contract.

Constant Practice

At every chance you get, practice on different accounting softwares and spreadsheets. Having experience with a variety of softwares will enable you to choose the best one to fit a client’s preference and/or needs. It will also help you become more finance literate and a better manager of your own time and resources.

Have a fixed fee

Setting your freelance rates is key when negotiating pay. Consult other bookkeeping consultancies on how they charge their customers. Decide on the rate of your pay, whether it is monthly or hourly. Charging extra for logistical purposes ensures that you do not incur a loss in your transactions.


Finally, market yourself as a professional bookkeeper using the Internet. A professional-looking website is a must-have for anyone looking to promote their services. If you’re comfortable, expanding into social media will also help further your reach. But don’t wait for people to come to you — especially as you’re just starting out.

  • Target businesses that may need bookkeeping services and introduce yourself as a professional.
  • Always be on the lookout for part-time bookkeeping jobs.
  • Send out your resume to as many potential employers as possible, and consistently follow up via phone or email.

The world is always changing, and soon office jobs may be a thing of the past, giving preference to freelance work. Freelance bookkeeping is an excellent chance to earn some extra money on the side. The upside is that you do not need to undergo many years of training for you to earn your keep.