Career Focus: Work at Home as a Bookkeeper or Accounting Clerk by Sandra Beck, Motherhood Incorporated

Sandra Beck, Motherhood Incorporated


Do you enjoy working with numbers?  Do you have an eye for detail?  Bookkeeping may be the work-at-home job for you.   An expensive education is not required.  Most bookkeepers and accounting clerks need a high school diploma, while some professionals advance their careers through a 2-year associate degree.  On-the-job training is common in this field.  Flexible telecommuting options make this career especially family friendly, and a great fit for the work-at-home mother.spring-trees


Required Skills


A strong aptitude for numbers is a must for bookkeepers and accounting clerks.  Familiarity with computers, word processing software, and spreadsheets is also required.  You must be an organized, detail-oriented person, with an ability to spot and correct errors.  A bookkeeper or accounting clerk must also be trustworthy with a strong sense of ethics, as she will frequently work with confidential information.  Good communication skills are always beneficial.


The Technology


You will need a computer equipped with a printer, as well as word processing and spreadsheet software to work as a bookkeeper or accounting clerk out of your home.  Basic communication tools, such as a phone line and email address, are also necessary.  Fax capabilities are a plus.  An online fax service may be a viable option for those who do not wish to invest in a fax machine.


Getting Started


The easiest way to build bookkeeping and accounting skills when you are starting out is to volunteer your time to a nonprofit organization.  There are plenty of organizations looking for bookkeeping and accounting assistance.  Try searching for local or virtual opportunities.  If you put forth your best effort, a satisfied patron will usually be happy to serve as a reference while you search for a paid position.  




The Certified Bookkeeper designation is awarded by the American Institute of Professional Bookkeepers.  Candidates must have at least 2 years of bookkeeping experience, follow a code of ethics, and pass a four-part examination.  Though certification is not necessary to be successful, it will boost your credibility with potential employers.