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

Have you ever considered starting your own bookkeeping business? If so, let’s look at whether this job is a good fit. In this article, we’ll explore the essential traits that make a great bookkeeper. 

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 on, then you will make an excellent candidate.

7 Traits That Make A Great Bookkeeper

Maybe you’re thinking about starting your new bookkeeping business but you are a little scared to jump in with both feet. After all, nobody wants to invest time and money in a new business only to realize that they have no clue what you’re doing or what they were getting themselves into.

Before you start your new career with both feet, there are certain criteria that you need to ask yourself. Let’s do this self-evaluation and see where you come out.

1. Must Be Organized

Organization is crucial for bookkeeping success.  If you’re cluttered and disorganized you won’t be as productive or accurate. Additionally, when taking on new clients, you’ll often need to perform financial “house cleaning” to organize their records before starting bookkeeping tasks. This requires strong organizational skills to efficiently tidy up their finances. And when you take on multiple clients, you’ll need to stay organized to keep their files and data separate.

2. Must Be Detail Oriented

Being detail-oriented is crucial in bookkeeping because even minor mistakes or oversights can have significant consequences, such as inaccurate financial records, missed deadlines, compliance issues, etc.  A bookkeeper needs to ensure accurate data entry, and provide reliable financial reports. Some would say that this trait can be learned, but in my opinion if you are not a detail-oriented person, bookkeeping may not be a good career choice for you.

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!

3. Be Proficient at Accurate Data Entry

While math is not important in bookkeeping, data entry is a big part of the job.  Although many of the tasks which used to be done by hand (e.g. entering credit card expenses) are now automated via bank feeds, there is still always a degree of manual entry involved.  If you are dyslexic, or prone to typos and data entry errors, all is not lost.  Be sure to become adept in copying and pasting, and get in the habit of double- or triple-checking your numbers to stay on the safe side.

4. 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.

5. 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.  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!

6. Must Be A Hard Worker

This one speaks for itself but I feel that it is important to mention that starting any 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.

7. Must Handle Multiple Projects

Don’t confuse this with multi-tasking. I am not really talking about doing lots 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 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 their bookkeeping cycle you will be able to prioritize what needs to be done and when.

8. 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. 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.  Your personality is what will lead your clients to trust you and refer you more business.

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. But 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 check 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!

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