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How good is bookkeeping as a side hustle?

Anything considered a "hustle" and not necessarily a CENTS-based Fastlane

Merging Left

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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

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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.
 
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Lex DeVille

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On a similar note, I could see earning $60/hr if you combine bookkeeping with virtual assistant work.
 

Davejemmolly

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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

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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?
 
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ZF Lee

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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:
 
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Scot

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amp0193

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Or someone who always seems to set his books on fire whenever he tries himself?

@Scot attempting to reconcile Amazon sales with Quickbooks:

giphy.gif
 

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