Math and numbers are not for everyone. For those who struggled through every period of math class through their entire short stay in High School, bookkeeping is probably not for you. Considering how many people that really is, it leaves the bookkeeping competitive field relatively dry. If you like numbers, and you like money, and you like detailed records, bookkeeping is the ideal perfect storm of intrigue and potential.
In a rough economy, people find bookkeeping even more valuable. Bookkeeping is essentially the act of keeping records, mostly financial, for tax as well as organization purposes. When businesses do business, they often get involved with creative or marketing aspects. Large corporations hire accountants and bookkeepers that are invaluable in keeping the records balanced and truthful. But smaller businesses do not have the luxury of massive funds to hire a team of accountants and bookkeepers. Where some decide to handle the task themselves, others find value in hiring a bookkeeper set to do the task.
To be clear, bookkeeping differs from accounting. An accountant is apt to provide the government with the paperwork and finalize information for legal reasons. They are compiling data. A bookkeeper is the one keeping track and writing out the data. It is often the tiresome work of the bookkeeper that makes it to the hands of the accountant.
Bookkeeping is infinitely valuable. In any economic situation, it is valuable for businesses to track their financial records. This may include sales receipts, purchases, payments, and income. Accurate records represent a high quality business. Without accurate records, the business may find itself vulnerable to government audits, scams, and simply loss of profits and confusion. There is no alternative to bookkeeping. You either keep accurate records or you do not. Those who do not keep accurate records find themselves spiraling down the path of poor business practices.
With that said, bookkeeping is an infinitely lucrative opportunity. Before diving too deep, you must be self-aware to know of the qualities of a good bookkeeper- and if you are that person. They must be notoriously dependable, as you are dealing with businesses of many scales and must relay accurate and quality information when asked. Even further, you need to be thorough with your records. Any shortcutting could result in not only the loss of a customer, but legal ramifications. More so than nearly any business, do not shortcut for the sake of saving time. Doing so could result in jail time.
When bookkeeping for a business, you often have an established contract that goes over the terms of your arrangement. When entering into the realm of bookkeeping, know the contractual obligations like the confines of your own home. Never let a customer boss you into something that is unfair and which may hurt you. This is basic in the world of bookkeeping, and should be established immediately.
Beyond that, bookkeeping is a perilous route. You must be the type of person who can handle detailed information by the truckload. You need to manage yourself and your organization, and provide businesses with records that are foolproof. Before starting your own bookkeeping business, make sure you are prepared in your knowledge of the industry with some informal or formal training. This will establish your credibility early and allow you to gain clients early and fairly.
Sometimes, a client may want you to stretch the truth. This is a fallacy amateur bookkeeper’s fall into as they pursue the desire to satisfy a customer. All legal ramifications aside, a customer who is willing to shortcut their own records is more than willing to shortcut your wallet.
Beginning in the industry is fairly easy once you obtain proper training. Though you do not need any formal training “officially,” it will be hard to obtain clients without some credentials. Use your budget to obtain proper training, and research the industry. Bookkeeping does not follow traditional marketing mechanics that something like sales will follow. Networking is infinitely important- perhaps the only important aspect. Finding a demographic and location is important, but not nearly as vital as your ability to talk to people who may need bookkeepers. Once you have your first client, and can provide quality work, others will follow suit.
It is recommended that you practice bookkeeping by doing so in your own separate business. Perhaps your product sale business could do better with extremely accurate records. Use this opportunity to build your credentials by recordkeeping for your own business. After time you will allow the bookkeeping to stand on its own as a separate entity entirely. Getting in fresh is unlikely to succeed. Be confident but not foolish. Try to establish a track record with bookkeeping work that is substantial and of high quality.
The most important aspect is being able and willing to grow your repertoire. The more tasks and skills you have accumulated, the more valuable you become. By doing financial records, you shape your bookkeeping skills. Perhaps over time, you prepare financial statements and tax information like an accountant. Being adverse and willing to grow your mind in the industry makes you a valuable asset for a customer, giving you an opportunity to charge more. Unlike many businesses, bookkeeping is about being in the business of you. Keep this strongly in mind as you navigate the mathematical labyrinth, and extend yourself to other subcategories of finance. Giving yourself value and expertise gives you money in the pocket.