Anyone started a bookkeeping biz to earn extra money?


#1

In about two weeks, I’m going to be losing my second job in order to make a switch at my full-time gig that will be way better in the long run. However, the thought of losing that extra income makes me more than a wee bit nervous. As a PF blogger, I’ve come to terms with the fact that I’m kind of a nerd when it comes to money, and I figured, “Why not use that to make up some of the lost cash?” I’m naturally detail-oriented, and I know the basics of accounting thanks to a high school class and some ongoing reading since then, so I feel like bookkeeping for small businesses might be a good option for me. However, I don’t really know where to start. I know I’m going to need to brush up on my skills, and spending a day with an experienced bookkeeper might be good for me, too. Does anyone have any advice on how to pursue this a little further to see if it’s actually something worth doing, either through some self-education or advice on who to reach out to in the professional world?


#2

The Penny Hoarder had this as a recommended side hustle and even linked to an online class that was a 5 step intro series. You have to pay money to get the actual class that tells you exactly what to do. Seems like a good side hustle if you work for another bookkeeper that already has clients and the infrastructure in place. I looked up bookkeepers in my area and the number was too great to justify starting it on my own. Let me know if you reach out to an established bookkeeper and have any success. I would be interested in doing the same.


#3

Awesome, thanks! I actually did send a text to an accountant friend of mine, and I’m not sure if it’s going to be able to work with our schedules, but I’m going to try and do some intern-ish type work with him. I’ll let you know!


#4

The problem with bookkeeping is it’s a bit of a dime a dozen and most people/companies aren’t willing to pay much for a bookkeeper as there are a lot of people that can do it and it really brings no value to the company. Most small businesses can do it themselves it’s so easy, so why pay somebody else? If they are looking for bookkeepers, they usually go with local reputable companies that offer bookkeeping services, so building your own client base is very difficult.

IF you can find clients, and that’s a big IF, it’s probably a decent side hustle as you can largely do it from home, it’s easy and usually doesn’t take much time. That being said, expect to be paid quite poorly as bookkeeping is really an unqualified skill, anybody can claim to be a bookkeeper. As an accountant myself, bookkeeping as a side hustle is something I’ve been interested in also, but finding decent clients was the hard part. Most are cheapskates wanting to pay a pittance under the table.


#5

I’ve run my own freelance accounting business for nearly 20 years. As a CPA, I’m able to provide a wider range of services than just bookkeeping, although some level of bookkeeping is often part of the job. In my experience, if you position yourself as a someone simply providing a service (like bookkeeping), you are competing with others based (primarily) on price…and the lowest price usually wins (ex. see Wal-mart business model!).

Instead, I’ve tried to position myself more as a “partner” with the entrepreneur client to help him meet his/her goals for the business, so my “value” isn’t based on lowest-price - it’s based on the benefit to the client. Being able to do more than bookkeeping is how you add to your value in the clients eyes. I’m not sure of your background/education/experience, but if you can create a value-add for prospective clients, it allows them to see you as providing more than simply processing transactions at a low, low price.

Good luck!!

John


#6

@Money-Miser I would tend to agree with that. Bookkeeping doesn’t pay very well even when I was starting out in Accounting, and most simple programs like quickbooks are very easy to use. Working for someone in a book keeping business probably won’t pay much higher than minimum wage. That’s my two cents :joy:Good luck though