The Entrepreneur Forum | Startups | Entrepreneurship | Starting a Business | Motivation | Success

How good is bookkeeping as a side hustle?

Daniel Clemente

New Contributor
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Jul 6, 2018
48
15
19
Is anyone here doing it? I saw on a blog and course that you can make $60+/hour with it. What's it like?
 

Don't like ads? Remove them while supporting the forum. Subscribe.

Merging Left

Silver Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Speedway Pass
Jul 20, 2014
383
693
279
29
I can't imagine making $60+/hr doing bookkeeping. You can make that as a CPA with several years of experience and your own practice, but that is NOT the same as bookkeeping. That's like $120k per year. Bookkeepers make $35-50k here in California, which is $16/hr - $25/hr, and I think our pay is generally higher than average.

If you go look at bookkeeping freelancers on Upwork, I think you'll see that people in India will do your basic bookkeeping for $5/hr.
 

Lex DeVille

Sweeping Shadows from Dreams
EPIC CONTRIBUTOR
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Speedway Pass
Jan 14, 2013
2,683
17,503
3,756
Oklahoma
To make $60/hr you'd have to get creative with your bookkeeping packages. I doubt anyone would straight up pay $60/hr for a bookkeeper. Why would they when they could hire a CPA?

But if you package your services just right, and target a specific niche, then I could see billing that much as a fixed-rate package. Instead of positioning it as $60/hr it would be more like $960/month for clean up, maintenance, balancing, reports, monthly Q&A, market outlook etc. Something like that, and you'd need 10 clients on the same package.

You'd need to find some way to increase your perceived value because $60/hr for bookkeeping doesn't make sense unless you're some kind of specialist in a niche where they can't get a CPA for the same or better price.
 

Davejemmolly

Bronze Contributor
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Speedway Pass
Oct 1, 2018
95
216
156
Australia
At the risk of highjacking this thread, posts like this always concern me.

People starting businesses on the back of a blog post and a cheap course, and then hoping to charge top dollar for a service that they learnt last week.

Personally, I’d have massive issues with giving someone access to my finances / books without knowing they have substantial experience in the field.

When it comes to this kind of work, personal recommendations / social proof is key. A two week course and a cool website isn’t going to cut it!
 

CareCPA

Gold Contributor
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Speedway Pass
May 2, 2017
670
2,258
550
30
Pennsylvania
Thanks for tagging me in @Scot
Since this guy has asked about several unrelated businesses in the past couple days, and @Lex DeVille already hit the nail on the head, I'll try to keep this short.

You aren't making $60 an hour as a side hustle for bookkeeping. Every once in a while you'll find someone who will pay that, but they won't stick around long. You can probably make $15-20 an hour as a bookkeeper in the US. Other countries, maybe less, maybe more.

As Lex said, if you can hit a niche, you can increase your rates (although they aren't paying you $1k a month unless you have serious credentials or specialized knowledge). My clients don't generally pay me for bookkeeping, they pay me for financial insights. They pay me because I point out when their ad spend is higher than others in the ecommerce world; I tell them their margins have been decreasing over time, so they should evaluate if their market is becoming a race to the bottom; I let them know sales are stagnating and they may want to expand their product line; I tell them to maybe hold off on that real estate investment since their business is cranking out cash for them right now, but be ready to pivot if the market shifts; I evaluate entity structuring for tax and liability reasons (and tell them when they're making enough money to go call @GlobalWealth).

Every once in a while you'll find someone who just wants nothing to do with their own bookkeeping. But in general, anyone can classify transactions (especially with how easy the software makes it), what extra value are you bringing to the clients?
 

ZF Lee

Platinum Contributor
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Speedway Pass
Jul 27, 2016
1,994
3,479
776
21
Malaysia
At the risk of highjacking this thread, posts like this always concern me.

People starting businesses on the back of a blog post and a cheap course, and then hoping to charge top dollar for a service that they learnt last week.

Personally, I’d have massive issues with giving someone access to my finances / books without knowing they have substantial experience in the field.

When it comes to this kind of work, personal recommendations / social proof is key. A two week course and a cool website isn’t going to cut it!
I don't feel that this risk of the freelancer F*cking up is reduced any further even if the employer chose a more qualified/socially-proven guy for the job.

Any contractor or worker for that matter can make mistakes on the job.

So I don't expect the hiring guy on the other end of Upwork to let me in on the full details of the business.

But I understand. I was also interested in trying out bookkeeping for Upwork. But I tried looking for portfolio on competing freelancers, and I either found nothing or just an Excel spreadsheet that told me nothing.

But I guess most bookkeeping details are private and confidential, and highly unlikely that a client gives the green light for usage.

TIP: Yes, when putting portfolio work on Upwork or your own website, ask your client if you can post your work for others to see. After all, he has ownership over the work you gave him.

I suppose it boils down to interviews and 'test tasks' to check them out. I had a bunch of those for every gig I signed up for.

A two week course could be enough, if the client isn't corporate. I usually worked with small biz or solopreneurs, but then again, the returns were smaller and the tasks were a little boring.:happy:
 

Scot

Ductus Exemplo
EPIC CONTRIBUTOR
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Summit Attendee
Speedway Pass
Jul 10, 2016
2,771
12,678
2,796
Florida
Or someone who always seems to set his books on fire whenever he tries himself?
 

Don't like ads? Remove them while supporting the forum. Subscribe.

amp0193

Legendary Contributor
EPIC CONTRIBUTOR
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Summit Attendee
Speedway Pass
May 27, 2013
2,702
11,547
2,454
United States
Or someone who always seems to set his books on fire whenever he tries himself?
@Scot attempting to reconcile Amazon sales with Quickbooks:

 

Merging Left

Silver Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Speedway Pass
Jul 20, 2014
383
693
279
29
It turns out that the "guru" selling the course is asking for like $2/300 a month, so forget it.
Ah, everything is made clear eventually. The only way to make $60/hour with bookkeeping is to sell a course for $200/mo :rofl:
 

Create an account or login to comment

You must be a member in order to leave a comment

Create account

Create an account on our community. It's easy!

Log in

Already have an account? Log in here.



Don't like ads? Remove them while supporting the forum. Subscribe to become an INSIDER.

Post New Topic

Please SEARCH before posting.
Please select the BEST category.

Post new topic

Fastlane Insiders

View the forum AD FREE.
Private, unindexed content
Detailed process/execution threads
Monthly conference calls with doers
Ideas needing execution, more!

Join Fastlane Insiders.

Top Bottom