How to Become a Bookkeeper (and Do You Really Need a Degree?)

babs for bookkeepers podcast Mar 29, 2021


In this episode of Profits + Prosecco Podcast, I want to talk to you about whether or not you need a degree to be a bookkeeper. This is a common question I get asked, so we’re finally diving into all the details! I’m going to be honest and transparent, sharing my opinion as to whether you need a degree in order to be a bookkeeper, so stay tuned! 

But before we dive right in, welcome to the Profits + Prosecco Podcast! I’m your host, Katie Ferro, CPA, reformed rule follower, creator of Booked Out Bookkeeper, mom to 3 little ones, and Kajabi enthusiast.

This podcast is for entrepreneurs who desire to change their life through their profitable business, and for bookkeepers and accountants who want to escape the 9-5 and start a simple scalable bookkeeping business like I did. 

Bookkeeping increases profits and profits change lives. So pop some bubbles and let me show you how! 

In this episode, we are going to break down if you actually need a degree to be a good bookkeeper and we're also going to look at how you can become a bookkeeper. For even more juicy details, listen to ALL of episode 17 of the Profits + Prosecco Podcast on your fave streaming platform.


How to be a good bookkeeper.

The first point to remember to be a good bookkeeper is that nobody wants garbage work. I don't think it's ever anyone's intention to put out poor quality work, they're just not doing it correctly! 

This is the main reason a lot of people struggle to find clients for their bookkeeping business.

You also want to make sure that the relationship you have with the tax preparer is an ACTUAL relationship. Don’t be afraid to talk to them. 

A lot of bookkeepers are scared to talk to their clients and tax preparers because they don't want to make any mistakes. You should be taking it one step further and making sure your clients know who their tax preparer is so that they have somebody to send the books to. 

You don't have to do the taxes, but you should be facilitating the relationship! 


Do you need a degree to become a bookkeeper?


The simple answer is no. 

BUT you do need to know what you're doing. You cannot be a bookkeeper who is putting out poor and low quality work.

ou also need to slow down and make sure you understand what you're doing. If you don't have a degree, you most likely need to get experience under somebody. 

If you’re looking to start your bookkeeping business but you’re not fully aware of what’s all involved, I recommend keeping things simple and getting focused.

When you keep those things in mind, you won't get in over your head.

This will allow you to learn the basic foundational skills of accounting. If you want to find out step by step how to become a bookkeeper, I recommend checking out my 12-week program Become a Bookkeeper!

In that program, I talk about how you can have conversations with CPAs and how to not be afraid of it. I also dive into all the basics of becoming a bookkeeper and how you can succeed.

You don't have to know everything, but you do have to know what you're doing and do it pretty well. Once you become a bookkeeper and get the basics down, my other program Booked out Bookkeeper teaches you how to grow your business and scale for more clients! 

When you come out of these programs, you're not going to have an accounting degree, you're not going to be a CPA, and you're not going to be a tax preparer. 


You will learn how to have an educated conversation about taxes, you will get an idea on how to start your business, and you definitely won’t be putting out bad work. 

I will teach you everything that you might encounter and things that I wish people told me when starting bookkeeping. 

FACT: The degree is not the thing that's going to make you a good bookkeeper. Learning the skills, mastering them, and getting experience are what's going to make you the best bookkeeper. 




So, how do you learn what to do as a bookkeeper?

You dive right in and practice as you go! It's as easy as that.

Once you get started, expect to put in a lot of time and effort to get the work right. To accomplish any of your goals, you ultimately need to be good at what you do. It's the foundation for your entire business! 

When you're good at what you do, you can also sell CONFIDENTLY.

What does this mean? It means sales won't feel weird and you won't waver in your price because you know what you bring to the table. 

When other people start to see that you're good at what you do and you know you're good at what you do, they'll refer you to others and you'll gain more clients.  

Help your clients put new systems in place, have a conversation with their tax preparers, and make them understand that you have their back. 

Just by being good at what you do, you're going to grow your business!

How to add value as a bookkeeper.

You can add value by helping out the tax preparer and preparing good books so that they don't have to spend a lot of time reviewing them at the end of the year. You're also going to add value by helping your clients and showing them a clear picture of their current financial situation.

By helping your clients increase their profits and offering a safe space where they can have a conversation with you about money, that’s how you provide value.

Lastly, foster the relationship between the client and the tax preparer. That relationship is going to be the thing that saves them at tax time!




How to Become a Bookkeeper (and Do You Really Need a Degree?): The Bottomline

I hope this episode answered all your bookkeeping questions and taught you exactly what you need to be a good bookkeeper. Be sure to check out the Become a Bookkeeper program and the Booked out Bookkeeper program because they're going to be super valuable for you if this is an industry you're interested in. 

Don’t forget to tune into episode 17 of the Profits + Prosecco Podcast. Thank you so much for listening and I hope this episode has helped you see that you don’t need a degree to be a good bookkeeper.

If you enjoyed the episode, please take a second to rate and review. Each review helps us reach and inspire more entrepreneurs and bookkeepers just like you. 

Don’t forget to take a screenshot, share it in your Instagram stories, and tag me at @orderlyaccountingbykatie. Cheers to your inevitable success and I’ll see you in the next episode!