How to Become a Virtual Bookkeeper With No Experience

This is the first in my series on online businesses you can start with a modest investment and no experience!

Today, we are looking at bookkeeping, and how to become an online/virtual bookkeeper from scratch.

Many people are looking for ways to work from home, and becoming a virtual bookkeeper is a great option for those who are detail-oriented, organized, and good with numbers. The best part is that you don’t need any prior experience to get started. So, if you’re wondering how to get a bookkeeping job with no experience, then this post is for you!

What’s your first step? Well, it’s to learn the necessary skills! This can be done through online courses, self-education, or a combination of both. Good math skills, strong attention to detail, problem-solving skills, and organizational skills are all essential for success as a bookkeeper.

Additionally, multitasking, reliability, and people management skills are also important.

Once you have the necessary skills, it’s time to start looking for clients. There are many platforms and websites that connect virtual bookkeepers with businesses in need of their services. It’s also a good idea to create a website or social media presence to showcase your services and attract potential clients.

Let’s get into it!

Understanding Virtual Bookkeeping

Virtual bookkeeping is the process of managing financial records for businesses remotely. A virtual bookkeeper performs all the same tasks as an in-person bookkeeper, but they do so from a remote location. This means that the bookkeeper doesn’t need to be physically present in the office of the business they are working for.

Virtual bookkeeping can be performed on a freelance basis, where the bookkeeper works for multiple clients, or it can be done as a full-time job for a single company. Virtual bookkeepers use cloud-based accounting software to manage financial records, which allows them to access the records from anywhere with an internet connection.

One of the key benefits of virtual bookkeeping is that it allows businesses to save money on office space and other overhead costs. It also allows businesses to work with bookkeepers from anywhere in the world, which can be beneficial for businesses that have international operations.

Virtual bookkeeping is an excellent career choice for people who want to work from home or have a flexible work schedule. It is also a great option for people who want to start their own business as a bookkeeper.

With the right skills and knowledge, anyone can become a virtual bookkeeper, even if they have no prior experience in bookkeeping.

Essential Skills for Virtual Bookkeeping

Becoming a virtual bookkeeper with no experience may seem daunting, but with the right skills and knowledge, it is definitely achievable. Here are some essential skills that one should possess to become a successful virtual bookkeeper.

Basic Accounting Knowledge

Having basic accounting knowledge is crucial for virtual bookkeepers. Understanding the fundamentals of accounting such as debits and credits, balance sheets, and income statements is a must. Familiarity with accounting terminology and concepts is also necessary.

One can gain accounting knowledge through online courses, textbooks, or by working with an experienced accountant.

Proficiency in Accounting Software

Virtual bookkeepers should be proficient in accounting software such as QuickBooks, Xero, or Wave. These software programs are widely used in bookkeeping and accounting. One should be able to navigate these programs with ease and know how to perform tasks such as recording transactions, generating financial reports, and reconciling accounts.

charts and spreadsheets

Data Entry Skills

Accurate and efficient data entry is a critical skill for virtual bookkeepers. They should be able to input data quickly and accurately while maintaining attention to detail. One should also be able to identify errors and rectify them promptly.

Communication Skills

Virtual bookkeepers should possess excellent communication skills as they work remotely. They should be able to communicate effectively with clients, team members, and other stakeholders. Good communication skills include active listening, clear and concise writing, and the ability to explain complex financial concepts in simple terms.

In summary, possessing basic accounting knowledge, proficiency in accounting software, data entry skills, and communication skills are essential for becoming a successful virtual bookkeeper. With these skills, one can provide excellent bookkeeping services to clients and build a successful career as a virtual bookkeeper.

Educational Requirements

To become a virtual bookkeeper with no experience, one needs to have some basic education in accounting. While a degree in accounting or finance can set one apart and help win more clients, it is not necessary. One can launch a bookkeeping career without experience or formal education in the subject.

Accounting Courses

Taking online accounting courses is a great way to learn the basic principles of accounting. There are many free and paid courses available online that cover topics such as bookkeeping, financial accounting, managerial accounting, and tax accounting. Udemy, Coursera, and edX are some popular platforms that offer online courses on accounting.

Certification Programs

Certification programs are a great way to gain credibility in the field of bookkeeping. While certification is not mandatory, it can help one stand out from the competition. The American Institute of Professional Bookkeepers (AIPB) offers the Certified Bookkeeper (CB) designation, which requires passing a four-part exam.

The National Association of Certified Public Bookkeepers (NACPB) offers the Certified Public Bookkeeper (CPB) designation, which requires passing a four-part exam and having two years of bookkeeping experience.

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Overall, while formal education and certification are not mandatory, they can help one gain credibility and improve their chances of success as a virtual bookkeeper.


Gaining Virtual Bookkeeping Experience

If you are interested in becoming a virtual bookkeeper with no experience, gaining experience is essential. Here are some ways to gain virtual bookkeeping experience:


One way to gain virtual bookkeeping experience is through internships. Internships provide an opportunity to gain hands-on experience in the field and learn from experienced bookkeepers. Many companies offer virtual internships, which can be completed from the comfort of your own home.

Freelance Work

Freelance work is another way to gain virtual bookkeeping experience. Freelancing allows you to work with multiple clients and gain experience in different industries. You can find freelance bookkeeping work on various online platforms such as Upwork, Freelancer, and Fiverr.

Virtual Bookkeeping Companies

Virtual bookkeeping companies are another great option for gaining virtual bookkeeping experience. These companies hire virtual bookkeepers to work with their clients. Working for a virtual bookkeeping company can provide you with the opportunity to work with different clients and gain experience in various industries.

In summary, gaining virtual bookkeeping experience is essential if you want to become a virtual bookkeeper with no experience. Internships, freelance work, and virtual bookkeeping companies are all great options for gaining experience in the field.

Building a Professional Network

Networking is crucial for any aspiring virtual bookkeeper, especially for those with no prior experience. Building a professional network can help you gain valuable insights, learn about new opportunities, and establish relationships with potential clients.

One way to start building your professional network is by attending industry events and conferences. These events provide an excellent opportunity to meet other bookkeepers, accountants, and business owners who may be in need of your services. You can also join professional associations and online communities to connect with other professionals in your field.

Another effective way to build your network is by reaching out to your existing contacts, including family, friends, and former colleagues. Let them know about your new career path and ask if they know anyone who may be in need of bookkeeping services. You can also ask them to refer you to their contacts.

Social media can also be a powerful tool for building your professional network. Platforms like LinkedIn and Twitter allow you to connect with other professionals in your field, join relevant groups, and share your knowledge and expertise with others.

word of mouth marketing

Finally, don’t underestimate the power of word-of-mouth marketing. If you provide excellent service to your clients, they are likely to recommend you to their contacts, which can help you grow your business and expand your network.

By building a strong professional network, you can increase your visibility, establish credibility, and create new opportunities for your virtual bookkeeping business.

Creating an Online Presence

Becoming a virtual bookkeeper with no experience requires building an online presence to attract clients. Potential clients want to know that they can trust you with their financial information, and having a professional online presence can help you establish credibility and trust. Here are some ways to create an online presence:

Professional Website

Creating a professional website is a great way to showcase your skills and services. The website should include your business name, contact information, services offered, and pricing. You can also include testimonials from previous clients to showcase your work.

A clean and simple design is often preferred, and it should be easy to navigate. Consider using a website builder like Wix or Squarespace to create your website.

Social Media Profiles

Social media is a powerful tool to promote your virtual bookkeeping business. You can create profiles on platforms like LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook to connect with potential clients and showcase your expertise.

Make sure your profiles are complete and professional, and include a link to your website. You can also share relevant content and engage with your followers to build your online presence.

Online Portfolios

An online portfolio is a collection of your work that showcases your skills and expertise. You can create an online portfolio using platforms like LinkedIn or Behance. Your portfolio should include examples of your work, such as financial statements or bookkeeping reports.

This can help potential clients see what you are capable of and can help you stand out from other virtual bookkeepers.

Overall, creating an online presence is essential for becoming a successful virtual bookkeeper with no experience. By having a professional website, social media profiles, and online portfolio, you can establish credibility and trust with potential clients.

Finding Clients

As a virtual bookkeeper with no experience, finding clients can be challenging, but it’s not impossible. Here are some strategies to help you get started.

financial advisor with clients

Job Boards

One of the best ways to find bookkeeping clients is through job boards. Websites like Indeed, Upwork, and Freelancer allow you to create a profile and bid on bookkeeping jobs. Be sure to highlight your skills and experience in your profile and customize your proposals for each job you apply for.

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Networking Events

Networking events are a great way to meet potential clients and build relationships. Attend local business events, join online groups, and participate in social media discussions related to bookkeeping. Be sure to have a business card and elevator pitch ready to go.

Direct Outreach

If you’re comfortable with direct outreach, consider reaching out to small business owners in your area. Look for businesses that may need bookkeeping services, but don’t have a dedicated bookkeeper on staff. Introduce yourself and offer your services. Be sure to highlight your skills and experience and explain how you can help their business.

Remember, finding clients takes time and effort. Be patient and persistent, and don’t be afraid to try different strategies until you find what works best for you. With hard work and dedication, you can build a successful virtual bookkeeping business.

Maintaining Professional Development

As a virtual bookkeeper with no prior experience, it is essential to maintain professional development to stay relevant in the industry. Here are some ways to keep up-to-date with the latest trends and knowledge:

Continuing Education

Continuing education is crucial for a bookkeeper to stay up-to-date with the latest industry trends and regulations.

One can enroll in online courses, attend webinars, or read industry publications to keep their knowledge current. It is also beneficial to attend conferences and seminars to network with other professionals and learn about new technologies and software.

Industry Trends

Keeping up with industry trends is essential to stay competitive in the virtual bookkeeping market. One can subscribe to industry newsletters and publications, join online forums and groups, and follow industry influencers on social media to stay informed about the latest trends and changes in the industry.


Networking is essential for any professional to grow their career, and it is no different for virtual bookkeepers. Joining online bookkeeping communities, attending industry events, and connecting with other bookkeepers on social media can help build a network of like-minded professionals. Networking can also lead to new job opportunities and collaborations.

Recommended Bookkeeper Training Courses

There are many bookkeeper training courses available online that can help virtual bookkeepers with no prior experience to develop their skills.

Our top recommendation is Bookkeeper Launch – an established online course with thousands of students, created by a certified public accountant Ben Robinson.

Here is a detailed Bookkeeper Launch review.

Some other courses to consider include:

Course Name Provider Description
Bookkeeping Basics Udemy This course covers the basics of bookkeeping, including creating financial statements, tracking income and expenses, and reconciling accounts.
QuickBooks Online Intuit This course covers everything from setting up a QuickBooks account to managing accounts receivable and payable and generating financial reports.
Xero Certification Xero This course covers the basics of Xero accounting software, including setting up accounts, managing transactions, and generating reports.

By maintaining professional development, virtual bookkeepers can stay up-to-date with the latest industry trends and regulations, network with other professionals, and develop their skills to grow their career.

Frequently Asked Questions

What qualifications are required to become a virtual bookkeeper?

There are no formal qualifications required to become a virtual bookkeeper, but having a basic understanding of accounting principles and bookkeeping software is helpful. Many virtual bookkeepers have a high school diploma or equivalent, but some employers may prefer candidates with an associate or bachelor’s degree in accounting or a related field.

How long does it typically take to become a bookkeeper?

The time it takes to become a bookkeeper can vary depending on the individual’s level of experience and education. With no prior experience, it may take several months to gain the necessary skills and knowledge to become a bookkeeper. However, with dedication and commitment, it is possible to become a bookkeeper in a relatively short amount of time.

Is it possible to start a bookkeeping business with no prior experience?

Yes, it is possible to start a bookkeeping business with no prior experience. However, it is important to gain some knowledge and experience in bookkeeping before starting a business. This can be done by taking courses, volunteering, or working as an employee in a bookkeeping position.

Can someone become a virtual bookkeeper without formal education?

Yes, someone can become a virtual bookkeeper without formal education. However, it is important to gain knowledge and experience in bookkeeping through courses, volunteering, or working in a bookkeeping position. Some employers may prefer candidates with formal education in accounting or a related field, but it is not always required.

What are the steps to becoming a certified bookkeeper?

To become a certified bookkeeper, one must have at least two years of bookkeeping experience and pass the certification exam offered by the American Institute of Professional Bookkeepers (AIPB). The exam covers topics such as adjusting entries, payroll, and inventory.

What are some tips for starting a bookkeeping side hustle?

Some tips for starting a bookkeeping side hustle include setting clear goals, determining a pricing strategy, creating a website or social media presence, and networking with potential clients. It is also important to stay organized and keep accurate records of all financial transactions.

I hope this was helpful! Stay tuned for the next installment in my “start an online business with no experience” series!