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How to Become a Freelance Bookkeeper

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What would you say if I told you that you can earn $50 per hour by becoming a freelance bookkeeper?

If that sounds good to you, you probably want to know how to start freelance bookkeeping.

Freelancing has been around for decades. There have always been freelancers who perform various tasks such as graphic design, writing, programming, editing, etc. This trend became even more widespread after the rise of the internet. The demand for web developers, writers, and other professionals grew tremendously.

You can now become a freelance bookkeeper by offering your services to clients via websites or apps. However, before you start working from home, you should take some time to understand what this job looks like. In this post you’ll learn what freelance bookkeepers do, how much they earn, and exactly how to become a freelance bookkeeper.

Freelance bookkeeping with calculator, pen and paper

What Does a Freelance Bookkeeper Do?

A freelance bookkeeper is responsible for handling the financial books of a company or individual. They maintain accurate records of all financial transactions, including income and expenses. They may also be responsible for preparing financial statements, invoices, and other documents related to finances.

The work of a freelance bookkeeper can be very important for a company or individual. Accurate financial records can help a business make sound financial decisions, and can help protect them from financial mistakes.

A bookkeeper may have a degree in accounting or business administration, or they may have completed a bookkeeping certification program. They must be able to accurately perform financial calculations and have strong organizational skills.

Freelance bookkeepers typically work from home or from a client’s office. They may work on a contract basis or they may be self employed. They may work for a variety of clients or they may specialize in working with a particular type of company or individual.

The work of a freelance bookkeeper can be important for a business or individual. Accurate financial records can help a business make sound financial decisions and can help protect them from financial mistakes. Freelance bookkeepers typically have experience in bookkeeping and accounting and must be able to accurately perform financial calculations.

How Much Do Bookkeepers Earn?

Freelancing has become common for those who want to become rich or earn extra income. The good thing is that freelancers can choose from various types of freelance jobs. They can also get paid on a per-task basis or an hourly rate.
Freelance bookkeepers are in high demand for their skills in tracking and managing finances. But how much do they really earn?

According to a study by PayScale, the average freelance bookkeeper earns $19.24 per hour. However, this figure can vary widely depending on experience, skills, and the type of work they do.

For example, those who work in bookkeeping and accounting services earn an average of $24.06 per hour, while those who do bookkeeping work for businesses earn an average of $18.02 per hour.

Freelance bookkeepers who are skilled in double-entry bookkeeping and QuickBooks can expect to earn even more. And those with certifications from organizations like the American Institute of Professional Bookkeepers (AIPB) can command even higher rates.

So, if you’re a freelance bookkeeper, what can you do to earn more? Here are a few tips:

1. Stay up to date on the latest trends and technologies in bookkeeping

As a freelance bookkeeper, it’s important to stay up to date on the latest trends and technologies in bookkeeping. Here are a few key trends you should be aware of:

  • Digitizing books: As more and more businesses move to a digitalized world, it’s important that your bookkeeping is done in a digital format as well. This allows you to keep track of your finances and business transactions in a more efficient and organized manner.
  • Cloud-based bookkeeping: With cloud-based bookkeeping, you can access your bookkeeping data from any device or computer. This makes it easier to keep track of your finances and business dealings, no matter where you are.
  • Artificial intelligence (AI): As AI continues to develop, it’s likely that bookkeeping will become more automated and reliant on computer algorithms. This means that bookkeeping will become more fluid and less time-consuming, which is great news for freelancers and small businesses.

2. Get certified by an organization like the AIPB

If you want to get certified as a freelance bookkeeper, you should look into getting certified by an organization like the American Institute of Professional Bookkeepers (AIPB). With this certification, you’ll be able to prove your skills and knowledge to potential clients, and you’ll be able to find work more easily.

3. Stay active in professional bookkeeper communities and networks

As a freelance bookkeeper, it is important to stay active in professional bookkeeping communities and networks. This will help you to stay up-to-date on the latest trends and developments in the industry, and to connect with other bookkeeping professionals.

There are a number of online communities and networks that are useful for freelance bookkeepers. For example, the Self-Employed Bookkeeper Forum is a valuable resource for exchanging tips and advice with other bookkeepers. You can also join bookkeeping-specific social networks, such as the Canadian Bookkeepers Association or the American Institute of Professional Bookkeepers.

By staying active in professional bookkeeping communities and networks, you will be able to improve your skills and knowledge and connect with other bookkeeping professionals

By following these tips, you can ensure that you’re getting the best rates for your skills and experience as a freelance bookkeeper.

Freelance bookkeeper doing bookkeeping on computer

How to Become a Freelance Bookkeeper

Now we have reached the most important part of this post – how to become a freelance bookkeeper. If you’ve decided to be a freelance bookkeeper, then there are three important steps that you should take.

Step 1: Get Bookkeeping Training

Getting training in bookkeeping will give you the skills you need to do the job properly, and it will also help you to understand the financial reports that you will be producing.

There are a number of different bookkeeping courses that you can take. You can find courses at your local community colleges, and there are online bookkeeping courses too.

SkillShare offers several different bookkeeping courses, including how to get started in bookkeeping, bookkeeping and accounting, introduction to QuickBooks and more. You can take all the bookkeeping courses you want for just one flat fee plus get a one-month free trial of SkillShare here.

If you don’t have previous experience in this industry, do not worry. There is no need for related work experience to qualify for bookkeeping training.

However, when choosing your bookkeeping course or courses, choose wisely. They should cover all the essentials you need to be a competent and capable bookkeeper.

Step 2: Learn How to Use the Software

Software tools help you streamline the bookkeeping process, which means you can do your job efficiently. There are a few different software programs you can use. Here we’ll outline the basics of each one and help you decide which is best for you:

  • Microsoft Excel: Excel is a versatile program that can handle a lot of bookkeeping tasks. You can use it to track your income and expenses, manage your cash flow, and create reports. It’s also free to use, so it’s a good option if you’re starting out.
  • QuickBooks: QuickBooks is a more expensive option than Excel, but it has a lot of features that can make your bookkeeping easier. It can track your income, expenses, and bank accounts, and it can also create invoices and reports.

Step 3: Launch Your Freelance Bookkeeper Business

Once you have some experience, it’s time to start looking for clients. You can do this by posting ads online or by networking with other professionals in your area. It can also be helpful to join a professional organization for bookkeepers. This will give you access to job postings and networking opportunities.

To do that, you have first to:

  • Make sure that you’re qualified. Bookkeeping is a complex field, and if you’re not up to the task, you’ll likely end up wasting your time and clients’ money.
  • Be strategic in your search. Not every client is a good fit, so be selective. You don’t have to accept anyone who asks for your bookkeeping services if you think you won’t have a good professional relationship.
  • Be persistent. No one is going to hire you overnight, so don’t be discouraged if you don’t get your first few clients right away. Over time, word of mouth will help you build a strong client base.

With a little hard work and some basic bookkeeping training, you can become a freelance bookkeeper and start earning money doing what you love.


In the end, freelance bookkeeping is a profitable business. If you do it the right way, you will supplement your regular full-time job or even replace it. And remember, when you do anything, give it all that you’ve got and sooner or later it will work well for you.

Images by Steve Buissinne and Austin Distel

Muhammed Islem
Muhammad Islem

Muhammad Islem is a digital marketing student who enjoys business, marketing, books, and learning new ways to earn income. On his blog Side Hustle Lead he writes about things that interest him and helps young entrepreneurs start their own businesses to escape their boring 9-5 jobs. You can find him on LinkedIn.

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