Can Bookkeeping Be Self Taught? (Must Read)

Are you looking for a Bookkeeping job or considering beginning your own Bookkeeping freelancing business and wondering if you can self-learn Bookkeeping?

In this article, we will discuss topics related to teaching yourself bookkeeping.

So can Bookkeeping be Self-Taught?

Yes, Bookkeeping can be Self-Taught, ideally through a reputable course. There are many online courses for self-teaching. It will help to have some base knowledge of Bookkeeping or Accounting though.

You also do not need to have a degree to be a Bookkeeper.

Some Bookkeepers only have high school qualifications.

However, having a Bookkeeping qualification will assist you in both understanding and landing a Bookkeeping job.

You’ll also need bookkeeping knowledge if you want to establish your own bookkeeping business.

So now I have answered the main question, let’s review some easy, affordable, and proven ways to learn bookkeeping online and explore the main queries relating to bookkeeping.

What Is The Easiest Way To Be Self-Taught Bookkeeper? 

To become a self-taught bookkeeper, there is plenty of free accessible material online available to learn bookkeeping without the need to get a college degree.

If you’re wondering what the best approach to studying Bookkeeping is if you don’t have an accounting background? The simplest way is to invest time in online classes.

Don’t worry if you are new to Bookkeeping, there are plenty of beginner courses. 

I want you to get the best deal for your money, so I put together this guide on the best courses going around. 

1. Intuit Bookkeeping Basics

Rating 4.5 Stars
Beginner Level
8,393 already enrolled

Are you new to bookkeeping? That’s fine; this course is designed for folks who want to learn about the basics of bookkeeping.

Perfect for those who wish to start or run a freelancing bookkeeping business.

Including an introduction to the role of a bookkeeper and gaining an understanding of how to use the accounting equation and double-entry accounting.

By the end of this course, you will fully appreciate the role of a Bookkeeper and learn what Bookkeeping professionals do every day.

You will be able to do the following by the end of this course:

-Define accounting and the concepts of accounting measurement
-Explain the role of a bookkeeper and common bookkeeping tasks and responsibilities
-Summarize the double-entry accounting method
-Explain the ethical and social responsibilities of bookkeepers in ensuring the integrity of financial information.

You’ll learn about the accounting cycle and how bookkeepers record and track business transactions using the general journal and general ledger.

You’ll learn how bookkeepers record transactions using accounting software.

This is a 16-hour video course with quizzes at the end of each section to test your knowledge.

The good news, you can complete everything on your own time, and you don’t need any prior accounting experience.

You can get academic and technical support through the Coursera support team or the Coursera community

What the Student Reviews are Saying?

Excellent basic course in the general accounting principles needed to perform as a bookkeeper for small businesses.

Explains complicated concepts in an easy-to-understand way, broken up into small chunks of time. Engaging videos and examples combined with hands-on practice make this a worthwhile course!

Source: Coursera


I​ cannot believe in 5 days, I was able to learn such valuable skills. I went from knowing nothing about bookkeeping to being very confident.

The lessons are very interesting too. It just keeps you coming back. I am so excited and cannot wait to start working in the field.

Source: Coursera


After learning this course I am quite confident to work and handle the quick book accounting software with great accuracy with a bundle of reporting advantages 🙂

Source: Coursera

While the class is free if completed within the seven-day free trial period, Coursera charges a $49 monthly fee beyond the trial period.

With Coursera, you can cancel at any time.

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2.  Intuit Bookkeeping Professional Certificate

Rating 4.4 Stars
Beginner Level
6,613 already enrolled

No degree is necessary! What I like about this course is you’ll quickly learn the foundations of bookkeeping principles, including an introduction to QuickBooks Online, using hands-on practice working with real-world accounting scenarios.

After completing the course, you will be prepared to take the Intuit Certified Bookkeeping Professional exam.

With successful completion of the exam, you will be qualified to apply for a position as a bookkeeper.

This course is ideal for those wanting to launch their career in bookkeeping and gain the professional skills you need to succeed in the bookkeeping field.

With a comprehensive 4-month course (suggested pace of 4 hours/week), you will come out fully equipped to perform Bookkeeping.

This is a 14-hour video course with quizzes at the end of each section to test your knowledge.

You can complete everything on your own time, and you don’t need any prior accounting experience.

The class is taught by Intuit which is a global technology firm that creates financial software for consumers including those who are self-employed and own small businesses.

You can get academic and technical support through the Coursera support team or the Coursera community

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6. Entrepreneur Courses 

Are you looking to start up your Bookkeeping side hustle? Not knowing where to start? We’ll check out these online courses. 

Beginner Level
Rating 4 out of 5
415 already enrolled

What I like about this course it is designed to help start up a Bookkeeping business from scratch and serves as a roadmap for starting your own business.

Taught by Michigan State University, this course covers a range of subjects that are essential for launching a successful business, including mentality, ideation, planning, action, and strategy.

Rather than merely telling you what to do, the courses walk you through the process of actually doing it.

All of the tools and skills will be discussed and brought together in this course to help you launch your own Bookkeeping freelance business.

For this reason, I highly recommend this course! 

The suggested pace of 3 hours/week, for approximately 8 months to complete.

The course is taught by Michigan State University, a prestigious institution that has spent more than 150 years pursuing the common good.

Upon completion, there is the option of obtaining a certificate.

What Are The Student Reviews Saying?


For an absolute novice, this was a great insight into starting your own bookkeeping business. A strong foundational course that covers in detail what is required from a person to run and sustain a business.

Source: Coursera


A very good course for a beginner startup like me to understand the nature of business. I give it 5 stars.

Source: Coursera


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How To Start A Bookkeeping Business

Beginner Level
Rating 4 out of 5
985 already enrolled

What I like about this course is that it is specifically designed for people who want to create their own freelancing Bookkeeping business and, more importantly, make money.

This hands-on course will walk you through the whole process of setting up and running a bookkeeping business.

The feedback has been excellent, and taking this hands-on course will teach you how to start up a Bookkeeping side business.

What Are The Student Reviews Saying?


Just amazing! Everything I needed to know to get my accounting freelancing journey easier has been mentioned in this lesson. Spot on with step-by-step explanation in getting everything ready for your bookkeeping business has never been easier. Well taught Mr. Philips. Thanks!

Source: Skillshare


As a newbie hoping to start my own bookkeeping business, I found this class very helpful. The teacher detailed everything I needed to know about the business side of getting my bookkeeping business up and running. I am so impressed when a professional is happy to help those of us who are just getting started.

Source: Skillshare


I loved this class. I feel WAY more confident now to go out and start my own bookkeeping business. I have a clear understanding of what I need to do and how to provide the service in a professional way

Source: Skillshare

How much does Skillshare cost? The monthly membership is free to try for one month. After the trial, a monthly membership is $32 per month or $168 annually.

For 30% off Skillshare Premium follow the link below by using discount code: annual30aff 

or Skillshare 2 months free by using discount code aff40dtp

Learn More


How To Start Up Your Own Business

Michigan State University offers a course on “How to start up your own business”, guiding you through the steps necessary for successful business creation including mindset, ideation, planning, action, and strategy.

Learn More

Seven Steps to Setting Up Freelance Bookkeeping Business

Setting up shop for a freelance bookkeeping business can be tricky. Tons of factors come into play if you want to make this adventure successful.

Where do you even start? What rules and regulations will you have to comply with throughout the process?

How can you create a market demand for your services?

Dozens of questions like these make this business adventure much more complex than it is, and you may find it overwhelming even to lay the foundation stone. However, we have good news!

Below are the main steps you need to know on starting your own freelancing bookkeeping business.

And to keep it precise and to the point, we have divided the procedure into seven easily understandable steps.

Let’s start.

What Is a Bookkeeper?

Most Federal Laws require businesses to record their financial statements, depicting their daily money-related activities.

That’s where a Bookkeeper comes in, offering services to handle the day-to-day financial records of the company and making sure they stay accurate.

Professional bookkeepers are the backbone of a business, given that most startups fail in the first year< due to cash flow problems.

Bookkeeper vs. Accountant:

If you’re not familiar with the itty-bitty details of the financial world, it is easy to mix the job descriptions of a bookkeeper and an accountant.

Although sometimes people use both terms interchangeably, they have very different roles.

A bookkeeper makes sure that the record books stay completely accurate, while an accountant offers financial advice and plans based on the credibility of those records.

Seven Steps to Start a Bookkeeping Business

Now that you’re familiar with bookkeeping and what it does, let’s dive into the juicy stuff.

Don’t worry; learning how to start a bookkeeping business is incredibly easy if you carefully follow the below-given steps. Take a look:

  1. Identify Your Desired Field:

As modern trends develop, change and evolve, we see businesses from different niches combine their efforts to create unique products and services.

Since bookkeeping is a part of every organization, the exposure is continuously growing for all involved in this profession.

However, it is easy to become lost among the ocean of options available to you.

Some people may want to try several niches at once, but that won’t be as effective.

Choosing a specialized field will allow you to build a reputation among the inner circle, grow your interpersonal network, and deliver solid results.

Also, you’ll find it easier to locate and identify your target market.

If you’re confused about what bookkeeping specialization to choose, we recommend an extensive web search to discover most if not all niches before you begin.

  1. Structure a Business Plan:

Once you’ve chosen the field of specialization, the next thing you have to come up with is a solid business plan.

A business plan includes all the necessary schematics and details to run a business and predict future growth.

Typically, this document is incredibly content-rich and has many prospects for the future.

Think of it as a whitepaper for a crypto-asset, where the creators present an extensive list of details, opportunities, stand-out points, and more so the audience knows what to expect.

While structuring a business plan, you must pay extra attention to naming the company.

The brand name holds your identity, and buyers recognize you through it. So naturally, it should perfectly depict your goals and values.

Additionally, make sure that your chosen brand name isn’t trademarked or used by another service to avoid confusion.

  1. Solidify and Register Your Business Identity:

The next step is making things official with the relevant authorities of your state.

This process can include registration of your business, identifying liabilities, and further structuring the business.

Indeed, people will open businesses in different areas or even in other countries; hence, this process will depend on local rules and regulations.

Although getting insurance is not a must, it is always a good idea.

Better safe than sorry! You can contact a licensed insurance company to discuss the necessary details and cover the costs of aspects that may be at threat.

This way, you’ll have the peace of mind that your business is standing on firm grounds.

  1. Invest in Bookkeeping Software:

Predictably next, you need to get your hands on premium, feature-laden software that will make your daily tasks more straightforward and effortless.

This software will handle your everyday tasks, so it must be proven to perform well and be free of any software bugs.

It is also vital that you choose one with a user-friendly design and seamless connectivity with your other business tools to avoid unnecessary hurdles or mistakes.

There are plenty of options to choose from, and a thorough search on the web can help you identify the best one for your business practice.

  1. Build the Business Pillars:

Now it’s time to build the many pillars your business will stand on to thrive.

Luckily, in the modern era of immense virtual connectivity, you can quickly achieve this feat by focusing on the following four main elements.

Here they are:

• An Appealing Website:

A brand’s website acts as the entry door for new or old customers to find out about the company itself, what it does, and news updates.

In this case, the website holds even more value since you’ll be running an entirely virtual enterprise.

You can include communication tools within it, so people have a channel to talk to your representatives directly.

• An Extensive Database:

Keeping a database that records and stores vital information about your clients and transactions is ideal for running a successful business.

Luckily, you can benefit from and explore many extensive Customer Relationship Management systems (CRMs).

Make sure that the chosen CRM has significant interconnectivity with your other software.

• A File-Sharing System:

Another thing you’ll most definitely need is a reliable file-sharing system so you can exchange documents with your clients.

Google Drive or Dropbox can be ideal options.

• A Separate Bank Account For Business:

Business account for business transactions; make this a rule for yourself.

Not only will you be documenting all your business transactions in one place, but you’ll also have a solid line between personal and business finances.

This practice can also help you manage your taxes well.

  1. Pricing:

Pricing is a dreadful task for most people looking to build their startup.

How do you figure out the fair price?

Setting it too low may be too demanding of you, or putting it too high can scare the customers away.

The average salary of bookkeeping professionals is $10 to $25 per hour, where the average rate is about $17.

Keeping these numbers in mind, you can explore freelancing websites to see what people are charging for what services.

Once you have an idea of the market, you can calculate and price yourself accordingly, giving you a competitive edge over other people.

  1. Customer Outreach:

The last step is finding customers for your business. So how do you do that? Enter, marketing!

Regardless of the type of business you own, marketing has become the key to a successful liftoff of your company spaceship.

There are many marketing practices you can benefit from, such as SEO, copywriting, advertisements, social media campaigns, etc.

Final Word:

Setting the foundation stone for your own bookkeeping business is incredibly straightforward, and all you need is commitment and a will to become a successful entrepreneur.

We hope these steps have helped you to learn all there is to know about starting a freelancing bookkeeping business.

If you read everything thoroughly, you’re now ready to embark on this corporate journey. Good luck!

So now we have laid out the steps to set up our own Bookkeeping business let’s discuss the main queries relating to learning Bookkeeping

Is Bookkeeping Hard to Learn? (Solved)

Bookkeeping is not hard to learn, so long as you are comfortable with basic arithmetic, attention to detail, working with spreadsheets, and using basic accounting software (Quickbooks, etc). 

If you are not very strong in these areas, that’s okay. Areas, where you are not strong, can be improved through self-learning.

Nowadays, there is plenty of free and online material available (keep reading below)

How Long Does It Take to Learn Bookkeeping? (Must Read)

Studying bookkeeping can take anywhere between 3 months to 3 years depending on the length of the course.

That can be learned through an online course or a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting which will take up to 3 years.

Online courses take a matter of weeks depending on how many subjects you take on.

Alternatively, learning bookkeeping on the job takes anywhere between 3-12 months depending on the complexity of the role.

Related articles refer to these links

If you don’t have an Accounting background the best way to learn Bookkeeping from the ground up is through easily accessible online courses, starting with Bookkeeping 101.

Being a Bookkeeper Hard? (Must Read)

Being a bookkeeper is not hard, you do need to have an eye for detail, be comfortable with basic maths, and numbers, and have integrity. 

You also need to understand the basics of bookkeeping and be confident with an eye for detail in recording and tracking financial expenses on a daily and monthly basis.

Once you learn how to transact, bookkeeping is not a difficult job. It can be learned on the job, through self-study, or a formal college degree program. The arithmetic required in bookkeeping is also not difficult. You can work as a bookkeeper if you can add, subtract, multiply, and divide.

Bookkeepers Need To Be Good At Maths?

To be a bookkeeper, you do need to be comfortable with basic maths. Basic maths such as addition, subtraction, and division.

There is no requirement to have advanced mathematics skills or knowledge.

Bookkeeping Require a Certificate to Practice?

You don’t require certification to practice Bookkeeping.

However, having a Bookkeeping certification can help you land a job.

So some bookkeeping, accounting, and auditing clerks become certified.

For those who do not have postsecondary education, certification is a particularly useful way to gain expertise in the field.

The Certified Bookkeeper (CB) designation, awarded by the American Institute of Professional Bookkeepers, shows that those who have earned it have the skills and knowledge needed to carry out all bookkeeping tasks.

Including overseeing payroll and balancing accounts, according to accepted accounting procedures.

For certification, candidates must have at least 2 years of full-time bookkeeping experience or equivalent part-time work, pass a four-part exam, and adhere to a code of ethics.

The National Association of Certified Public Bookkeepers offers the Certified Public Bookkeeper (CPB) certification.

To obtain the certification, candidates must pass the four-part Uniform Bookkeeper Certification Examination.

This examination is used to test a candidate’s competency which is useful in being able to demonstrate to potential employers (and even for your peace of mind) that you have the competency and skills to perform Bookkeeping

What is QuickBooks, Do I Need To Learn It?

QuickBooks is software that replaces traditional paper-based journals and spreadsheets.

QuickBooks automates many aspects of bookkeeping by calculating sales tax, tracking products and automatically updating transactions in the register, and customer and vendor journals.

QuickBooks is not the only accounting, and bookkeeping software on the market, however, is very popular with small and medium-sized businesses.

With many small to medium businesses using QuickBooks knowing how it works may help you land a Bookkeeping role or be used if starting up your own business from home.

Learning how to use QuickBooks can be a challenge for those who do not have knowledge of bookkeeping systems or have limited knowledge of accounting.

If you’re not strong with bookkeeping or bookkeeping systems not to worry, the good news is there is plenty of material online.

For example, Udemy offers affordable courses such as “QuickBooks Desktop Basic to Advance Training Course”

So how much time does it to self-learn QuickBooks?

Courses take anywhere between 8 hours to 12 hours. Courses can be taken via webinar or self-paced reading.

It might also be useful to demonstrate the ability to use QuickBooks by being certified.

Courses are provided with certification or exams costing around $150.

Final Thoughts

It has never been easier to self-teach yourself bookkeeping, with a huge amount of material online at an affordable price.

With any course, to be successful best start with learning and mastering the basics, including understanding the terminology.

Depending on your level of Bookkeeping knowledge this may involve introductory Bookkeeping courses such as Bookkeeping 101.

Hope you have enjoyed this article, for further information about bookkeeping see below

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