Corporations and small independent businessmen rely on bookkeepers to record revenue and expenses on computer spreadsheets. Those in larger companies may specialize in either accounts receivable or payable instead of performing all bookkeeping duties. In recent years, because bookkeepers can perform their work with computers, phones and the Internet, some may be permitted to telecommute from home offices. If you can work alone, separate your family life from work and keep the kids occupied when they're home, the job of telecommuting bookkeeper may be perfect for you. You can expect to earn an average salary of nearly $40,000 annually.
Salary and Qualifications
Telecommuting bookkeepers earned average annual salaries of $39,000 as of 2013, according to the job website Indeed. To become a telecommuting bookkeeper, you need a high school diploma and at least one year of bookkeeping experience. Your employer may prefer that you train at the corporate office for several weeks or months, until you learn how to perform your major responsibilities. Once you have two years of experience, you can become a certified bookkeeper through either the American Institute of Professional Bookkeepers or the National Bookkeepers Association, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Other key qualifications for this job include an attention to detail, and math and computer skills. Many bookkeepers use software packages such as Quickbooks, Bookkeeper or Sage 50.
Salary by Region
Average salaries for telecommuting bookkeepers varied somewhat within the four U.S. regions. In the Northeast region, they earned the highest salaries of $47,000 in New York and lowest of $34,000 in Maine. Those in the West made between $28,000 and $43,000 per year, respectively, in Hawaii and California. If you worked in Louisiana or Washington D.C., you'd earn $33,000 or $46,000, respectively, which were the lowest and highest salaries in the South. In the Midwest, your earnings would be $30,000 or $42,000, respectively, in South Dakota or Illinois.
Telecommuting bookkeepers may earn more in certain industries. For example, in 2012, bookkeepers earned some of the highest annual salaries in the motion picture and rail transportation industries at $46,840 and $45,720, respectively, according to the BLS. This is $9,000 to $10,000 more than what all bookkeepers earned – $36,640 per year. Your salary as a telecommuting bookkeeper will be higher in California, Illinois and New York because of higher housing and living costs.
Jobs for bookkeepers, including those who telecommute, will increase 14 percent in the next decade, according to the BLS, which is on par with the national average for all occupations. An improving economy will spur most telecommuting bookkeeping jobs. Companies must also be more accurate with their financial recordkeeping due to the recent financial crisis. Companies may also be more flexible in allowing you to telecommute as a bookkeeper because of increased demand in this field. You may also find jobs with bookkeeping firms who provide outsourcing services to corporations.
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Occupational Outlook Handbook: Bookkeeping, Accounting, and Auditing Clerks
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Occupational Employment Statistics: Bookkeeping, Accounting, and Auditing Clerks
- Inc.: Bookkeeper Job Description
- Virtual Vocations: Remote Junior Bookkeeper
- Indeed: Telecommuting Bookkeeper Salary
- Indeed: Telecommuting Bookkeeper Salary in Maine, and New York
- Indeed: Telecommuting Bookkeeper Salary in Hawaii, and California
- Indeed: Telecommuting Bookkeeper Salary in Louisiana, and Washington, DC
- Indeed: Telecommuting Bookkeeper Salary in South Dakota, and Illinois