Bookkeeping: The Latest, Greatest Work-from-Home Job

With hand-written ledgers being obsolete and all aspects of accounting being digitized, more and more small businesses are finding that they have no need for a full-time bookkeeper who comes into the office every day.

That's bad news for full-time bookkeepers, but good news for the enterprising people out there who want to work from the privacy of their own home and perhaps have several bosses, instead of just one. When you eliminate commuting and organizing time and expenses of showing up to the workplace every day, many work-from-home bookkeepers find they can take on a number of clients.

"I only have four employees, so I don't need a fulltime bookkeeper, but one who comes into the office for about three hours every week and does the rest of the work from home is ideal for me," says John Stein, a small business owner in Los Angeles. He thinks the fact that his work-from-home bookkeeper has other clients is a plus -- it gives her more experience.

Bookkeeping, however is about so much more than just balancing long columns of numbers., a nationwide directory of bookkeeping and payroll service providers, offers the following suggestions for services that successful and reputable bookkeepers should offer:

  • Manage the financial activities of companies to ensure the finances are accurate and payments are made and received.
  • Provide accounting services to companies that manage the day-to-day aspects of the business and add to their ability to be competitive.
  • Prepare financial reports, analyze trends and file taxes.
  • Give recommendations to cut waste and find ways to expand.
  • Keep track of payments, sales, receipts and purchases.
  • Be well organized and detail oriented.
  • Provide good customer relations. This is often overlooked, but bookkeepers are usually the people employees will talk to when there is a discrepancy in their paychecks or a problem with a purchase order. They may also be addressed by clients or customers when there is an issue with purchase orders, accounts receivable and accounts payable.

A good bookkeeper is invaluable to any company -- having bills paid on time in a professional manner is important to public image and shows that a business is healthy and well managed. If you can provide that for a company, you will literally be in the money.

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