7 Traits That Make A Great Bookkeeper – Do You Have What It Takes?

Have you ever considered starting your own bookkeeping business? If so, then I have some good news for you. There are a lot of traits that make up an excellent bookkeeper and they don’t all require degrees in accounting or fifty years experience!

In this article, we’ll explore 7 essential traits that make a great bookkeeper. So if want to know more about being the best keep reading!

If you can check each one of these off, or at least be able to improve on the ones that you feel like you fall short one then you will be in good shape when all is said and done.

7 Traits That Make A Great Bookkeeper


You’re thinking about starting your new bookkeeping business but you just cannot seem to pull the trigger. Am I right? You are a little scared because the last thing that anyone wants is to invest in a new business only to realize that you have no clue what you’re doing or what you were getting yourself into.

Before you jump into your new career with both feet, there are certain criteria that you need to ask to evaluate yourself. In doing so, you may save yourself a lot of pain and frustration down the road.

Without further or do let’s dive in and see what we can come up with.

1. Must Have A Positive Outlook

In a nutshell, you are going to have to overcome certain situations as you build and grow your business. Being a business owner can be lonely since when things do not go your way, you will have no boss to turn to.

It will be your responsibility alone to figure out and resolve any issues you come across without getting down on yourself.  Luckily, there are ways that you can get the help you need when these kinds of situations arise.

Just know that any issue or problem can be overcome.  By remaining positive, you all but guarantee that any problem will be easily resolved.  And in most cases, once you encounter a particular issue once the next time it happens you will know exactly what to do.

2. Must Be A Difference Maker

What do I mean by this? Simple, you have to care about what you are doing. You have to care about your clients and always have their best interests at heart.

Don’t just be the bookkeeper that simply does data entry. Be the bookkeeper that will break everything down and find where you are able to save your clients money within their business.

When you can do this, then you become far more valuable than you can ever imagine.  Learn to be the best and you will earn the best possible income!

3. Must Be A Hard Worker

I probably don’t have to go into much detail with this one since I think that it pretty much speaks for itself but I feel that it is important to mention that starting any legit business from home, whether it’s bookkeeping or not, is going to take lots of hard work.

You must be willing to put the hard work in to receive the benefits down the road. If you are not willing to work hard learning about bookkeeping, as well as, helping out your clients, then you’re only going to be a below-average bookkeeper at best.

4. You Must Be Organized

Being organized is important for a couple of different reasons. First of all, if you are a slob then you are probably not going to make a good bookkeeper.

Things always run much more efficiently when you are organized and you have your ducks in a row.

The second reason why this is important is that a lot of times you will be doing “house cleaning” when you first sign on new clients. You are going to have to be able to clean and organize all of their finances before you even begin with the actual bookkeeping.

Don’t let this scare you, you can easily learn how to do this as well.

5. Must Handle Multiple Projects

Don’t confuse this with multi-tasking. I am not really talking about doing a bunch of tasks at once, rather, recognizing which projects need to be done and in what order.

As a bookkeeper, you are going to have many clients (cha-ching), and these clients are going to demand your attention.

Out of these many clients, they are all going to be at different stages of their businesses, as well as, at different points when working with you as their bookkeeper.  By understanding where each client is at in the bookkeeping needs you will be able to prioritize what needs to be done and when.

6. Must Be Detail Oriented

You can probably imagine how and why this trait is super important. After all, you are dealing with other people’s finances.

While it is nice to have this particular trait from the beginning, this is something that can be learned!

Not only that, if you are able to find or suggest ways for your clients to improve their bottom lines, then chances are, that you are going to retain those clients for a very long time.  On top of that, your clients are going to refer other clients to you as well!

7. Must Be Personable

Bookkeeping is first and foremost a relationship business. That is what your clients pay you for.

If your clients cannot relate to you then you are going to have a hard time developing their trust in you. I know that I have this listed as the #7 trait to make a great bookkeeper, but this one is the most important!

You simply cannot be a number cruncher. You need to be a number cruncher that truly cares about the numbers that you are crunching and convey that to your clients in a real and human way by being a real person, not just someone they deal with online or someone that simply straightens out their books.

How Many Bookkeeping Traits Fit You?

So right now you are thinking one of three things. First, you read through this list and realized that bookkeeping is not for you.

That’s fine, this business is not for everyone. It is far better to realize that now before investing your precious time and money only to realize after the fact that bookkeeping isn’t for you.

The second thing you may be thinking right now is, I cover most of these with no problems but could probably improve in a couple of areas.

The important thing to remember is that you KNOW the traits to make a great bookkeeper. Even if you feel like you fall short in one or two of these areas, simply knowing what they are and having a willingness to improve on them puts you in a very good position to succeed.

The last thing is that you cover all of these traits without any problems at all. And to that I say, what are you waiting for? Congrats, I think you found your new home business!

What Do You Do Now?

So now that you know what it takes to be a great bookkeeper, maybe you’re thinking, so how do I learn to become a bookkeeper? I’m glad you asked!

I want you to check out my review on my #1 recommended bookkeeping course online. Even if you have no experience as a bookkeeper this class is for you. If you do have experience then this is also for you.  Not only do you learn to be a bookkeeper but also, how to market your new bookkeeping business online and offline!

I hope that you found this article useful and informative. If you have any questions, comments, or concerns please don’t hesitate to drop a comment below and I will be sure to get back to you ASAP!

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16 thoughts on “7 Traits That Make A Great Bookkeeper – Do You Have What It Takes?”

  1. Hey that’s an honest review of great information and informative article because these are really must tabs if you don’t have one of these days I see now you won’t make it as a bookkeeper but these develops of traits can be wrong and as I especially thank you for you’re number one recommended course

  2. Although I don’t know much about bookkeeper job, this post is interesting for me. My ex-wife is in this business for about twenty years. I just wanted to see does she fit in your provided 7 Traits That Make A Great Bookkeeper. Her skills ticks all boxes, except the trait six maybe sometimes was not so perfect. Point seven „relationships“ she was good with clients just our relationships somehow broke down.

    1. Thanks for responding.  The nice thing about the 7 traits is that once you know what they are you can improve in the areas that you feel you may be lacking in.

  3. This is really helpful. I always wanted to be a bookkeeper as a side hustle, but the thing is I just didn’t know where to start. It’s so many concepts and things you have to take in all at once, it can be overwhelming. But I am very interested in bookkeeping and think it can be a huge success for me so i’m sticking with it. This is a great list, showed me some areas that I need to work on. Great article, definitely sharing this on facebook.

    1. Thanks for the positive feedback Garrett as well as the Facebook share.  I am glad that you found it to be informative after all that what I am here for 😉

  4. Nate a fantastic outline of the attributes of a good book keeper. I have to say it rules me out on more than one trait. I would fail in 3 of the 7 you have listed which leads me to think that maybe I should employ a good book keeper to do my work. You have outlined all the characteristics I need to look for such as being positive, organised, paying attention to detail, being able to handle multiple projects and more. This is very useful information and you added a link to get help but also acknowledged book keeping is not for everyone. Its certainly not for me, I have been struggling with the farm books all day today and seem to have got nowhere. . Perhaps I should outsource to someone who meets all the criteria you have listed.
    I am sure a lot of people will think differently about the role of a book keeper after reading this.
    Thank you for a very informative and well laid out site.

    1. Thanks for the positive comments Judy!  While it is an amazing program it really isn’t for everyone and I feel it is super important to be up front with others that my be interested before they decide to invest their hand earned money.  But, if you do cover all seven traits or at least know where you may fall short and are willing to work on it, BBL can take you to the next level.

  5. I graduated with a bachelors in finance and have been in a position as an accounting clerk. If I want to be a well rounded bookkeeper, do I need to be versatile and know different kinds of platforms for record keeping like quickbooks and excel?

    Also, are there any specific certifications necessary to be a good bookkeeper as well?

    1. Hi Jessie, It is really up to you to tell the truth.  Within Bookkeeper Business Launch you have the opportunity to get your certification with Quickbooks, as well as, Xero (Xero certification is free as a student).  It is simply a matter on what your preference is.  Obviously, the more certifications that you have the better.  Xero is also included with the price of the course which is pretty cool.

  6. Hello there! I found your your article very informative and helpful. I’m planning to start a bookkeeping business but the same as you said I’m kinda scared to pull that trigger because it might not be a good business. Luckily, I read your article about the traits that make a great bookkeeper. Do you think that if I have this traits I will be successful with it?

    1. How are you doing John!  There is not a doubt in my mind that you would be successful at bookkeeping.  It’s normal to be a little scared when starting anything new.  The good news is that if you are interested in the Bookkeeper Business Launch course there are a couple of things that are going to help you out.

      1. When you sign up for the free training videos Ben will go through these traits more in depth and let you know everything that is involved in starting your own bookkeeping business.  Trust me when I say that there are zero surprises!

      2. If you decide to purchase the full program you are going to have a full 30 days to check things out and decide if this is really something that you want to go after.  And you don’t have to jump through hoops to get your money back.  It’s no questions asked.

  7. Hey Nathan:

    Thank you for this post. Although I’m not cut out to be a bookkeeper (numbers and I are not friends), I am pleased to find guidelines for finding a good one.

    I do think you’re right about being (and showing) that you are a caring person. In any business, being excellent in your work is a given, I think. It’s also very important that you show that you care about the person you are working with on projects that are a benefit to them.

    1. Thanks Netta!

      You are right, Actually showing your clients that you truly care about them is the number one way to grow, not just your bookkeeping business, but any business for that matter.  With bookkeeping though, you are dealing with these businesses finances so I think it becomes even more critical.  A bookkeeping business isn’t for everyone. That is what makes the free training videos so great, Ben tries his best to help you determine if it;s a good fit for you before having to pay a single dime.

  8. Hi Nate, thanks for the great article. Book keeping is one of the most important things in business and it the reason while most businesses succeed and others fail.
    When i started working as a procurement personnel that is when i realized the power of book keeping
    I highly recommend a person to get acquainted with book keeping before starting any business.


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