How to Become a Freelance Bookkeeper

Written by WordPress Enthusiast & Technology Writer

April 17, 2024
How to Become a Freelance Bookkeeper

Bookkeeping is one of those skills that will always be in demand. It’s ideal for remote work, which makes it a good choice for freelancing. If you have bookkeeping skills, or are interested in obtaining those skills, becoming a freelance bookkeeper is a great way to start a business utilizing those skills. In this post, we’ll look at how to become a freelance bookkeeper to help you get started.

Daily Tasks of a Freelance Bookkeeper

A freelance bookkeeper performs many related tasks throughout the day. Understanding these tasks will help you get familiar with the work and knowledge requirements. In turn, this will help you decide if this is the right business for you.

Bookkeepers keep meticulous financial records for both large and small companies. They also work with many genres. The daily tasks are similar in all businesses and genres, but each will have tasks that are more specialized and specific to them.

The common bookkeeping tasks include:

  • Entering financial data
  • Processing bank statements
  • Preparing business reports
  • Preparing income statements
  • Filing the company’s taxes
  • Preparing balance sheets
  • Balancing accounting reports
  • Balancing accounts
  • Performing bank reconciliations
  • Investigating bank variations
  • Develop budgets for business planning

The types of work might be similar for small and large businesses, but the amount of work will vary greatly. Some companies will only need the freelance bookkeeper for certain tasks, leaving the rest for the accounting department, owner, etc. Others may rely on the bookkeeper for all of their accounting needs.

The freelance bookkeeper might work alone or with a team. Some companies may rely on the freelance bookkeeper for accounting advice or consulting.

Choose Your Freelance Bookkeeper Niche

Every type of business in every genre requires some degree of bookkeeping. As with most types of businesses, it can be a good idea to choose a niche. Most business niches have nuances and certain needs that others might not have.

Choosing a niche for your freelance bookkeeping business helps you to build extensive knowledge in a specific field. This makes you more valuable in that field. If it’s a field you enjoy, it also helps you stay interested in your work. This could help you gravitate toward the businesses and genres that have the most work available.

There are lots of niches to choose from, including:

  • Legal companies
  • Medical companies
  • Engineering firms
  • Accounting firms
  • Web design agencies
  • Nonprofit organizations
  • Consulting agencies
  • Construction companies
  • eCommerce
  • Online services
  • Educational businesses
  • Musicians
  • Artists
  • Writers

As you can see from this list, just about any online business could use the help of a freelance bookkeeper.

Understand the Qualifications of a Freelance Bookkeeper

Freelance bookkeeping requires an education and experience specific to the topic. Of course, you’ll need knowledge and experience in bookkeeping, but you’ll also need knowledge in bookkeeping and accounting software, taxes, payroll, expenses, financial analysis, and business analytics. All of these qualifications are available with bookkeeping courses and certifications.

You’ll also need communication skills and experience with communication platforms. While it’s not required, it also helps to know about the client’s topic.

Consider Bookkeeper Certifications

While a degree is not required, it does help to have a certification or a diploma in bookkeeping. Certification is one of the best ways to get the education needed to become a freelance bookkeeper. This requires courses such as accounting fundamentals. Depending on the company, a certification might be required even for freelance work.

the National Association of Certified Public Bookkeepers

This image is from the National Association of Certified Public Bookkeepers,

Obtaining a certification in bookkeeping shows clients that you’re serious about the work and helps remove any concerns they may have. It shows that you’re safe to hire for their bookkeeping needs. Financial information is crucial to any company and clients need to know they can trust you with their information.

A bookkeeper certification shows potential clients that you have a certain level of financial knowledge. It can also get you a higher income. It will be much easier to get freelance bookkeeping work if you have a certification.

American Institute of Professional Bookkeepers

This image is from the American Institute of Professional Bookkeepers,

The two most respected credentialing associations for bookkeepers are the American Institute of Professional Bookkeepers (AIPB), and the National Association of Certified Public Bookkeepers (NACPB). They include similar benefits and include courses, job postings, and more.

Learn the Legal Side of Bookkeeping

Various regulations across the globe govern bookkeeping services. A freelance business is considered a small business. Search for small business legal requirements in your location. The Small Business Administration is a great resource for doing business in the USA.

Depending on your location and where you do business, you may need to register your services and pay data protection fees. You will need a business license and you might need business insurance. You’ll need to decide the type of business you want to run, such as a sole proprietorship, LLC, etc.

Determine Your Freelance Bookkeeper Services

Although your freelance business focuses on bookkeeping, there are lots of specific services you could highlight or provide. For example, if you’re highly skilled in payroll, you could focus on payroll as the primary service you want to provide.

Create Bookkeeper Templates

Create Bookkeeper Templates

These templates are from Excel.

Create a set of bookkeeper templates that will help you save time for both you and your clients. This shows that you’re organized and provides clients with a look of professionalism that they will appreciate. The templates should include proposals, policies, response letters, and anything specific to your niche. Many companies use Microsoft Office, so it’s a good idea to create Excel templates for your bookkeeping needs.

Set Your Freelance Bookkeeper Prices

Set your prices based on your skill level and the value you bring to your clients. Research and compare your prices to other freelance bookkeepers. Include your business costs in your pricing strategy. This will help you to build a sustainable business. You’ll need to decide on a fixed rate or an hourly rate. Consider the amount and types of work involved before pricing a project.

Also, consider the size of the company when providing prices. A large company with thousands of employees will take a lot more time for bookkeeping than one with a few employees. Also, larger companies may have more types of finances that require bookkeeping than smaller companies.

Create a Freelance Bookkeeper Website

I recommend building a website to showcase your freelance bookkeeping business services and portfolio. It should include a landing page, a services page, your portfolio, and a way to contact you.

Along with your portfolio, you should consider posting case studies of your previous projects. Don’t include private information about your client, but provide enough information to describe the project, goals, and outcome. This will help your potential clients understand what to expect and have an idea of what it’s like to work with you.

For more information about getting started on your website, see the articles How to Start a Blog on WordPress and Web Hosting for Freelancers.

Build Your Freelance Bookkeeper Portfolio

You’ll also need to build a portfolio to showcase your services, experience, examples of your work, and your clientele. Include any education and certifications you have. The main focus is to show examples of your previous projects.

All of the other information should support the examples. This will show your level of knowledge in the field of bookkeeping. Showcase your portfolio on your website. You should also include your portfolio on sites such as LinkedIn and similar job sites.

Marketing Your Freelance Bookkeeper Business

Once you have the proper education, experience, legal elements, and prices set, it’s time to focus on marketing your business and getting clients.

Social media is a great way to advertise your freelance bookkeeping business. Build social media profiles for your business and use those profiles to answer questions and build relationships online. Offer advice, publish tips, and show that you’re a credible source of bookkeeping information. For more information about marketing your business, see the article Social Media Marketing in the 2020s.

Advertise in local newspapers, trade magazines, business magazines, on the radio, etc. Create business cards to hand out when the situation is appropriate. Post tips and articles to your blog to bring traffic to your website. Use your services as a call to action. Be sure to use your portfolio in your marketing efforts.

Other options include creating videos, writing a book, hosting webinars, guesting on webinars and blogs, etc. Ask for interviews to make guest appearances and raise awareness of your services.

Build a Client Base for Your Freelance Bookkeeper Business

Once you have your services, prices, and portfolio in place, it’s time to build your client base. The best place to start is with people you know. Ask your circle of friends and family who run businesses or know someone who does.

Call, email, or visit small businesses in your area and introduce yourself. Attend job events in your area and provide companies with your business card. Search for work on major networking and job sites such as the American Institute of Professional Bookkeepers, LinkedIn, or Indeed.

Build a Client Base for Your Freelance Bookkeeper Business

This image is from the AIPB job board,

Approach accounting firms, consulting firms, and similar businesses to show that you’re available for any freelance bookkeeping needs they may have. Smaller companies are more likely to need freelance bookkeepers than larger companies. Larger companies are more likely to have a bookkeeper on staff, but they might need you for something specific or to work temporarily while their full-time bookkeeper is away.

Continue to Learn the Field of Bookkeeping

Stay on top of financial trends and the latest bookkeeping software. Continuing your education would make you more valuable and give you an edge over your competition.

In your downtime, take courses in bookkeeping and related fields such as accounting and business. Continuing education could include reading books, participating in workshops, getting certifications, taking short courses, and even getting a degree.



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Ending Thoughts on How to Become a Freelance Bookkeeper

That’s our look at how to become a freelance bookkeeper. Bookkeeping is a high-demand skill, and the ability to work remotely makes it a great choice for a freelance business. Some businesses don’t have the capacity for a full-time bookkeeper. This means there is a good potential for bookkeepers to become freelancers. The tips in this post should get you started in the right direction to become a freelance bookkeeper.

We want to hear from you. Have you followed these steps to become a freelance bookkeeper? Let us know in the comments.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the benefits of freelancing compared to traditional employment?

Benefits include flexibility in work hours and location, the ability to choose projects and clients, the potential for a diverse range of work, and the possibility of higher earnings.

What are the best tools for setting up my freelance business online?

For building a professional website, consider using web hosting services like Verpex Hosting for reliability and ease of use.

What are the best ways to network and market my freelance business?

To grow your freelance business, actively post and engage on platforms like LinkedIn, attend industry conferences and networking events, share valuable content related to your field, and encourage satisfied clients to refer you to others. To further develop your skills, enrol in online courses, stay updated with industry trends and technologies, learn from other professionals in your field, and seek client feedback to improve your services.

How can being your own boss and having freelance clients in freelance writing improve your marketing strategy and help you earn more money?

Being your own boss in freelance writing allows you to choose clients and projects that align with your skills, enhancing your marketing strategy by showcasing specialized work. This targeted approach attracts higher-paying clients, leading to more income.

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