How Much Do Bookkeepers Make? Let’s Break It All Down

Discovering how much you can make as a bookkeeper may come as a bit of a surprise to some.  It’s time to get those wheels spinning a bit in your head and see the potential in starting your very own bookkeeping business.

Know from the get-go that there are a bunch of different factors that are going to determine the amount that you can ask for but with the right guidance, there is a general range that you can expect to fall into.

Without further or do let’s break down the possibilities as to how much a work from home bookkeeper can earn.

How Much Do Bookkeepers Make?


How To Get Paid As A Bookkeeper

Before I get into how much you can make as a bookkeeper, I thought it would be important to touch on real quick how you will truly be a success in the field of bookkeeping.

After all, what good is knowing how much you can make if nobody wants to take you on as their bookkeeper?

To provide value to your clients you simply need to be personable. Care about your clients’ business.

Find ways to improve their finances and simply listen to them. By doing these simple things, you are going to guarantee your success as a bookkeeper.

Don’t simply be someone that simply organizes their books. There are a million other bookkeepers that can do that.  Learning to be the best bookkeeper possible is going to be your ultimate goal here

You need to be the one that takes a vested interest in not only their finances but also who they are as business owners themselves and their everyday lives.  If you can get to the point to where they are coming to you for guidance outside of bookkeeping you have now become their most trusted advisor, not just their bookkeeper! Do these things, and you can bet that the clients and the money will begin to flow in.

Now that that is out of the way let’s get back into how much you can make as a work from home bookkeeper.

A Hypothetical Breakdown

Okay, let’s do a little number crunching to give you a general idea of what you can expect in terms of cash flow for your business.

For this example, let’s say that you are going to charge your client $300 a month for your bookkeeping services. This is a pretty good number to expect when obtaining clients, but I should also mention that I have seen bookkeepers earn far more a month per client.

It really just depends on what all is involved with the business, but $300 a month is a pretty good number to expect.

So, the first thing that we have to do is add in expenses that you will incur to do the bookkeeping for each client that you obtain. It would be misleading for me not to mention this part of it.

So, we are going to subtract $50 a month from the $300 to go towards your expenses.  That leaves you $250 profit per month per client.

Multiply that times twelve and you get a profit of $3,000 per client per year. Getting five clients will approximately bring you $15,000, ten clients $30,000, twenty clients is going to bring in $60,000 a year.

How Much Time Per Client?

You may be saying to yourself, that’s all fine and dandy Nate (that’s my name in case you didn’t know… geez here is my About page) but how much time will I be putting in towards each one of my clients per month? That is also an important piece of the puzzle.

After all, what good is it making $250 a month per client if you are spending 40 hours a month doing their books?

You should expect, on average, to spend about 3-4 hours per month per client. Keep in mind that this may be a little longer when you are first beginning since it will take a little time to familiarize yourself with your client’s situation.

Also, in many cases, you may have to clean up your clients’ books from back before they hired you. I should mention that you WILL charge extra for that as well.

But, back to the time. So, you’re spending 3-4 hours per month per client. In this example, we will just say 4 hours per month.

So, if you have 5 clients, that is 20 hours per month or 5 hours a week. 10 clients come out to 40 hours a month and with 20 clients you should expect to spend about 80 hours a month doing their books, or 20 hours a week if you talking about a normal 5 day work week.

Let’s say that your goal is to work 40 hours per week (Monday through Friday) just like you would in an average full-time job. After doing the math we know that you would need 40 clients.

How much monthly positive cash flow will that bring you? How does $120,000 a year of pure profit sound to you?  Remember this is after we subtracted your expenses… not too shabby if you ask me.

Let’s Keep It Real

Please keep in mind that this is a rough example of the potential that you can earn as a bookkeeper. There are many factors that go into the above examples but generally speaking that is a pretty good expectation.

You should be able to see how you are able to turn this into a full-time income. You also have to keep in mind that you’re not going to have 40 different small businesses knocking on your door the second you start your business.

Building up your clients is a step-by-step process. The better you get at marketing your business the quicker they will come knocking on your door asking for your services.

I am not here to exaggerate things. Starting any legitimate business takes a lot of hard work and bookkeeping is no different.

But, with the right attitude combined with the right characteristics that make up a great bookkeeper, this can lead to a pretty lucrative business for you.

Quick side note, did you know that bookkeeping has the highest profit margins out of any other business?

screenshot of highest profit margins

Along with this is the fact that it also has one of the lowest start-up costs out of any business! It’s a win-win for you!

Are You Ready To Learn Bookkeeping Online?

Great! If your answer is yes then I have to say that I think you have made a very wise decision, but where do you go from here.

Now that I have answered that all-important question, how much do bookkeepers make it’s time to take that next step.

How do you learn everything you need to know about bookkeeping and how to market your business? Allow me to show you my review of the top bookkeeping course available online.

Even if you are not sure if this is the right move for you, check out the review for a detailed explanation of EVERYTHING that you will learn on the inside.

Don’t cheat yourself by thinking you cannot do this without looking into it a little further. I simply ask that you make an educated decision before you move along to something else.

Whatever you decide, best of luck to you in whatever you do. So, if you would like to learn more check out my #1 recommended bookkeeping course online.

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!


12 thoughts on “How Much Do Bookkeepers Make? Let’s Break It All Down”

  1. Nice article on bookkeeping. I took a bookkeeping class in high school and thought about getting a degree in it, but ended up in computer programming. $300 a month per client? That’s sounds good! Of course, keeping up with the clients information must take some time and effort. I’m good with numbers, but keeping everything organized is another issue.

    1. Nothing wrong with a degree in computer programming, that’s for sure.  When you take on new clients there is definitely more that needs to be done to get things in order.  The nice thing is that there is typically an extra “cleanup charge” to do this and although $300 a month per clients is a pretty good gauge to go by, there are students that have clients that make much more than that.

      As far as keeping everything organized, there is software out there that makes this much easier to accomplish so that something to consider as well.  Thanks for stopping by Kevin!

  2. Great article and forwarded it to my sister as she is a bookkeeper and sometimes worries about that little earns. I have often told her that she has a great job. Even on parental leave, she was able to work with her small clients. You wrote about building a client base, and I have always told her that the customer base, even the smallest, is one of the cornerstones of bookkeeping business.

  3. This is an interesting article.

    I had no idea Bookkeeping was that lucrative ($120,000.00 / year sounds pretty good).

    Besides, the flexibility of working from home is one of the things more and more people are looking for these days.

    Now, I believe there’s a need for a specialized software, am I right? How much would it cost? Would there be any other initial cost to consider?

    1. Thanks Eliane!  Of course it would take time to get to that point but it is definitely possible.  Yes there is software that you are going to need but its not over the top by any means and what ends up happening is is that are able to pass some of the costs off on your potential clients.  Feel free to check out my article that talks about the startup costs that are involved to give you a more in-depth look.

  4. If I were to start a bookkeeping business, what should I anticipate my startup costs to be if it is a low cost business with high profit margins?

    Also, would I be asking my friends and family for their business when I am first starting out as a new bookkeeper?

  5. Nate; Bookkeeping is not a bad choice after all personality I know of software on the market that will make the job easier for Bookkeepers. It is imperative that people who are inclined to work in this capacity to build their clientele by advertising their service so that client can know the avelibelity of the service they offers. You will agree that every business needs a Bookkeeper ( Accountant) be it small or large, won’t you? DorcasW

    1. I agree with you 100% that every business needs a bookkeeper.  As a business owner, I would recommend to find a bookkeeper as opposed to doing them yourself.  Use your energy growing your business not doing your books.

  6. I found this article as I am going through the process of trying to create new streams of income. With some training, it sounds like bookkeeping could be something worth taking a closer look at.

    After reading your article, I just has a few questions.

    Do clients often ask for a discount if they have multiple businesses?

    It seems like there are a lot of folks offering bookkeeping. Any ideas on how to differentiate yourself?

    Thanks for the info!

    1. As far as your 1st question is concerned with offering discounts, that is really hard for me to answer since that is going to simply depend on how you want to run your business.

      As far as how to differentiate yourself from other bookkeepers, that is actually what Bookkeeper Business Launch teaches you.  Not simply how to be a bookkeeper, but how to be the best possible bookkeeper by providing value to your clients.  By going above and beyond, you make your bookkeeping business more valuable then just about any other bookkeeper out there and Ben shows you exactly how to do this

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