Working at home is on the rise, and as time goes on this will only get more widespread.
If you’re on the hunt for remote work and have an affinity for numbers, an eye for detail, and a knack for keeping things organized, bookkeeping could be the ideal remote job for you.
Remote bookkeeping jobs are growing in popularity thanks to increased internet speeds, faster computers, and improved perceptions about remote work.
Hiring remote workers can also be a good economic strategy for some businesses as it reduces their overheads — particularly if the function is a minimal but integral function of the company, like bookkeeping.
Any business that deals with buying and selling will require some form of bookkeeping services and often, business owners are looking to outsource the finance side of the job so that they can spend more time focusing on the core of their business activities.
What this means is that remote bookkeeping job opportunities are plentiful, which is good news for you.
So if you’re considering becoming a remote bookkeeper, read on to find out what the job actually entails and where you can find open positions.
What Is Remote Bookkeeping?
Bookkeeping is an accounting function, but doesn’t need to be performed by an accountant.
Where accountants are responsible for things such as reporting, analyzing statements and records, writing up budgets, auditing, taxes, and even complying with state and federal laws, a bookkeeper’s responsibilities are more clerical.
This means you’ll be in charge of the day-to-day running of the business — anything that involves money going in and out.
Your job scope will generally include paying bills, collecting payment, invoicing, and issuing receipts.
You may also have data entry duties, such as creating and updating financial records, counting inventory, and managing the petty cash flow of the company.
Remote bookkeeping, as its name suggests, is a work-from-home job, and is often utilized by small businesses.
Big corporations tend to have an in-house accounting department, often reporting to the CFO, that manages all the bookkeeping and accounting aspects of the business.
Sometimes, you’ll be hired as a full charge bookkeeper.
This means you’re fully in charge of all the accounting needs of a business.
Full charge bookkeepers report directly to a senior manager or the business owner, in the case of small businesses.
There are both remote accounting services as well as remote bookkeeping services, and business owners may sometimes choose to use one or both.
How Much Do Remote Bookkeepers Earn?
How much you actually earn will depend on a couple of factors: where you live and your bookkeeping experience.
The type of job you’re actually doing — such as whether you’ve taken on a contract position or if you’re working as a bookkeeper part-time — will also affect how much you get paid.
For example, if you’re living in Atlanta, your average salary will be on par with the national average.
However, your annual average earning if you’re living in New York or Washington, D.C. is slightly better at over $60,000.
ZipRecruiter reports some remote bookkeepers can earn as high as $122,000 and as low as $23,000.
And if you choose to work as a freelance virtual bookkeeper, you’ll be setting your own rates and working with several clients at the same time, both of which could increase your hourly or annual income.
Skills Required for Remote Bookkeeping Jobs
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, to become a bookkeeper, you’ll need some postsecondary education, as well as basic math and computer skills.
Since you don’t need an accounting degree to be a bookkeeper, it can be a good entry-level job, especially if you have a knack for numbers and a strong attention to detail.
You’ll need to have a computer and reliable internet connection since your work will likely require you to access the company’s server, whether you’re looking to work as a part-time or full-time remote bookkeeper.
It’s also crucial to have a good knowledge of spreadsheets and bookkeeping software since these computer programs will likely be what you’ll be using.
Some of the more common bookkeeping software programs you should be familiar with are:
- Microsoft Excel
- QuickBooks Self-Employed
Common Remote Bookkeeper Tasks
Remote bookkeepers offer their clients operational support from a financial point of view.
As such, some of the more common tasks that you’ll be expected to perform as a remote bookkeeper are:
- Data Entry: You can expect to be entering information on bills, invoices, receipts, recurring transactions, and payments.
Depending on the nature of the business, you may need to keep track of inventory and stock as well.
- Payroll: You’ll be entering employee timesheets and processing their pay.
You’ll also need to take into account allowances for any adjustments such as paid vacation time, keep track of employees’ entitlements, and reconcile tax statements.
- Accounts Payable: You’ll need to make payments and reconcile creditors, and keep track of payments and expenditures, including purchases and invoices.
You’ll also be expected to verify entries and compare system reports to balances.
- Accounts Receivable: You’ll be processing and monitoring payments to the company, and securing income by verifying and posting receipts.
Reconciling bank accounts will also be part of your duties.
- Full Charge Remote Bookkeeper Tasks: As a full charge remote bookkeeper, you’ll also be in charge of the following tasks, on top of what’s listed above:
- Create finance statements and reports
- Remit taxes, including payroll and sales tax
- Maintain the company’s chart of accounts and general ledger
- Prepare for audit
- Account for fixed assets
Where to Find Remote Bookkeeping Jobs
Small businesses are often looking for bookkeepers to help manage their company’s accounts, so it can pay to pop into your local shops to chat with the business owners.
The benefit of working from home for businesses near you is that you don’t have far to travel on the odd occasion that you may have to pop in.
Whether you’re just starting out or are an experienced bookkeeper, there’s a wide gamut of remote bookkeeper jobs available.
If you’d like to widen your client base from beyond your own neighborhood, the following websites can be useful in looking for remote bookkeeping jobs:
Working for AccountingDepartment.com is like joining a finance team on a full-time basis — the only difference is that they are a virtual company.
What this means is that they’ll find the clients and jobs for you to perform your bookkeeping duties, albeit remotely.
As a full-time employee, you are entitled to a full benefits package, but you have to reside in the U.S. to work for them.
Targeting small and mid-sized businesses, SmartBooks is an outsourced accountancy firm.
SmartBooks offers full- or part-time positions, and there are also many flexible remote opportunities.
They also offer benefits, including paid time off, a monthly stipend for a home office, insurances, reimbursement for professional development, and a 401(k) plan.
If you’re more interested in working as a freelancer and prefer to find your own clients and maintain a flexible schedule, FlexJobs is one of the leading job search sites that specializes in remote, part-time, freelance, and flexible jobs.
Not all jobs available are related to bookkeeping, but they have a very convenient bookkeeping sub-category to streamline your search process.
Upwork is best suited for you if you’re looking for freelance, contract, or part-time bookkeeper positions.
As a generic freelancer platform, you’ll need to specifically search for bookkeeper positions (don’t forget to search job titles such as accounting clerk, office assistant, or accountant as well), but being one of the largest freelancer websites has its benefits: With some 1.5 million potential clients, it won’t be too difficult to find remote bookkeeping jobs.
When you set up an account with Upwork, you’ll also need to create a profile.
Take time to develop your profile since it pretty much acts as a resume for potential clients to peruse.
This is a freelance job site that’s perfect for remote positions.
You’ll need to write proposals (you use our proposal templates to do so) and set a pay rate to pitch for jobs you’re interested in.
Positions found on PeoplePerHour tend to be short-term and contract-based.
Seize Those Remote Bookkeeper Jobs
Bookkeeping is an enticing remote job because it doesn’t require a huge amount of upfront investment on your end.
Ultimately, what you really need for a remote bookkeeping job is a computer and reliable internet.
Whether you’re looking for a full-time position as an employee in a virtual accountancy firm or wishing to be part of the gig economy and offer up some freelance bookkeeping services, there are numerous remote opportunities in the field.