How do I Become a Virtual Bookkeeper?

Tiffany Manley

Virtual bookkeeping is a popular career choice for many people because it allows them to work at the location of their choosing and at a time that is convenient to them. To become a virtual bookkeeper, knowledge of basic bookkeeping principles, software programs, office skills, marketing skills and customer service skills usually are needed. Computer equipment and a secure internet connection generally are helpful as well.

A virtual bookkeeper should have knowledge of proper phone etiquette.
A virtual bookkeeper should have knowledge of proper phone etiquette.

To become a virtual bookkeeper, you must have basic bookkeeping skills. These skills can be attained through on-the-job training, college coursework or self-study courses. Many community colleges will offer certification courses in bookkeeping. These courses generally span just a few months, and the student receives a certificate of completion upon successfully finishing the course.

Training in specific software might be beneficial if a person would like to become a virtual bookkeeper. Certain software companies sell accounting programs that are meant to be used specifically for virtual bookkeeping. These programs allow the bookkeeper and the company to have access to the company’s accounting software at the same time, eliminating the need for documents to be dropped off or picked up. Changes can be made and seen instantaneously.

In order to become a virtual bookkeeper, it might be helpful to have an understanding of basic office skills such as filing, phone etiquette and using computers. Even when working virtually, a bookkeeper likely will have paperwork that needs to be organized and filed away for safe keeping. Making and keeping business contacts will require talking on the phone or communicating via email — and sometimes both.

Marketing could be a critical component if you would like to become a virtual bookkeeper. If you are striking out on his or her own as an entrepreneur, knowing how and where to get clients can be important. You could ask family members and friends for referrals, make sales calls and hand out business cards. Other creative marketing strategies might be used to gain clients from many areas.

A portion of working as a virtual bookkeeper involves interacting with people, so it might be important to have customer service experience. Not only will this aid you in obtaining clients, it also will aid in keeping those same clients happy. Sometimes a problem might come up between you and your client. Having good customer service skills will enable you to solve the problem and keep your client happy.

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