Getting Hired As An Online Bookkeeper – Here’s Your Guide

Getting Hired As An Online Bookkeeper – Here’s Your Guide

Even highly meticulous clerical tasks that are typically done in offices such as bookkeeping are now done virtually online. The great thing about online bookkeeping is that even without a college degree, you could get hired for this job. Detailed below are the steps to follow to start your career as a virtual bookkeeper.

What you’ll learn here:

Office bookkeeper vs. online bookkeeper, what’s the difference?

Before anything else, let’s understand first how an office bookkeeper differs from an online one. Because of the recent breakthroughs in software technology these days, the tasks of the traditional bookkeeper in which real paper ledgers are employed to get the job done, nearly everything is now replaced with digital sheets on a computer screen.

The task of an office bookkeeper and that of an online bookkeeper are mostly the same except that the latter mostly works at home. Reports are submitted via online portals and cloud-based workspaces. Meetings are also conducted via teleconferencing.

Technically, online bookkeepers can be also referred to as virtual assistants – one of the hottest online jobs in existence, which also happens to be the one with the broadest definition and sub-categories.

If you want to learn more about a virtual assistant’s job and how to get hired for it, read this.

Should you work part-time, or full-time?

The answer to this question is entirely up to you. While some companies prefer their online bookkeepers to do the typical 8-hour per day workshift, there are also those who allow you to work just a few hours a day.

Some online bookkeepers are “on-call employees” that are only notified to do a certain task whenever the need arises. There are also companies who will give you a certain period of days or weeks to do a set of bookkeeping tasks. You will manage your own time as long as you can finish the task on or before the deadline.

Before you apply for any online bookkeeping position, you have to figure out first what schedule works for you – if you can do it full-time or part-time.

What do you need in becoming an online bookkeeper?

Standard desktop or laptop computer

Since bookkeeping belongs to the catetogy of typical office-based jobs, it doesn’t demand high resources in terms of computing power. To simply put it, any standard, medium-level computer will do. Whether you choose a laptop or a desktop is irrelevant, unless you have the habit of moving from place to place while doing your bookkeeping tasks.

To figure out what kind of computer suits you best, read this detailed guide on having the right computer for your office-related online jobs.

Ideal internet speed

Unless your employers demand you to have a very high internet speed, online bookkeeping only requires the typical speed for most of today’s online jobs – 5 Mbps. It is highly recommended though that you must connect your computer to your modem with an Ethernet cable to maintain the stability of your connection.

Wi-fi connectivity is highly discouraged by most online employers, especially when answering calls or attending virtual meetings.

Knowledge of the following software:

Like every online job you can imagine, you need software tools as an online bookkeeper so you must equip yourself with the knowledge of using the following:


Excel and Google Sheets should come in handy for this job. If you have no basic knowledge about the likes of these, it would be very unlikely you’ll get an online bookkeeping job. Thankfully, you don’t need special training to learn how to use these. By browsing through Youtube, you can have plenty of tutorials that can help you.

Since you don’t need a specific college degree to get hired for this job, all you need to achieve is pass the online exam presented to you, if any.

Virtual workspaces

To work effectively for the job, your employers might require you to work in a virtual workspace – a cloud-based software tool that simulates a real-world office. Your coworkers, also working from afar would log on to that shared virtual workspace and you will work as a team trying to finish a huge task.

To get started with online workspaces, you have to acquire basic knowledge of the following:

  • Bluescape
  • Pragli
  • Tandem
  • Filo
  • Wurkr

Aside from these workspace portals, you might still be required to have an account in the likes of Skype and Google Meet. Virtual calls might also take place on Facebook or other social media sites though that’s highly unlikely.

Online bookkeeping software tools

Though most bookkeeping reports can already be done using typical word processors and spreadsheet programs, most online companies today urge their employees to use online bookkeeping tools as well. This is to ensure that your documents are formatted in accordance with industry standards.

For your own sake, you have to adhere to such policies since it will make your job a whole lot easier and will make your tasks get done in the speediest manner.

Here are the most popular bookkeeping software tools these days:

  • QuickBooks Online
  • Kashoo
  • SlickPie
  • Sage 50
  • Xero

What these tools do can also be found in typical spreadsheet apps. However, they have plenty of capabilities that you can’t find in standard office applications such as collaborative task-sharing, which allows workers to work together seamlessly.

How much could you earn for this job?

According to the rates posted in Upwork, online bookkeepers are mostly paid between $11 to $25 per hour. Some companies pay their bookkeepers with the standard VA salary which typically ranges from $500-$800 a month. This is for full-time work-from-home clerks.

Where can you apply as an online bookkeeper?

The best way to increase your visibility as an online bookkeeper applicant is to post your online profile on LinkedIn. This social media site is business-centric, and award-winning in the sense that it helps aspiring online workers like you to get hired easily.

Another one of the most common portals to apply to would be Upwork, though it is highly competitive these days, and getting in keeps on getting harder each day. If you do want to try your luck there, proceed here to apply directly.

Zirecrutter, also one of the most trusted online authorities in online job matters is also a good option. Proceed here if you want to find bookkeeping jobs on that site.

If you find it difficult to bring yourself to the office, why not bring the office to you? Start learning how to be an online bookkeeper and change the direction of your clerical career.

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