As a home-based business, bookkeeping is exceptionally attractive to many due to its very low start-up costs and relatively good income potential. Additionally, other than the normal business licenses required in any jurisdiction, there are no professional licenses actually required to enter the field. You will, however, need to either have or acquire a certain level of accounting and math skills but this is readily available locally through any local college and most trade schools.
In fact, for self starters, most of the knowledge you will need can be found on training guides available from any book store. Because this is a very easy business to enter on a part time basis, it will allow you to maintain a regular day job while slowly transition from the role of poorly compensated employee to the much more attractive role of well compensated entrepreneur / mobile creative.
This is a business, of course, where dependability and accuracy is imperative and you will need to be skilled on the use of accounting software such as QuickBooks. As a bookkeeper, you will probably find just modest competition from accountants and CPA's and if you provide quality service, your more reasonable pricing will make you much more attractive to small business owners. In fact, once you have established some references, you can probably count on it.
Because you will likely gain access to personal financial information of your clients, honesty and integrity are an essential component of this enterprise. To get started, you will need some home office essentials such as a computer and printer and file cabinet storage space. You will also need to invest in small business accounting software and perhaps Excel. If you have already done some bookkeeping for an employer you are probably ready to launch. If not, most community colleges offer very affordable training in this area. If you need a little brush up on your math skills, some excellent free tutorials are available through Khan Academy.
On average, you will typically spend about 8-12 hours per month doing the books for each small business bookkeeping client you have. That 8 to 12 hours spent will generate a monthly income of $300 - $400 at a rate of $30 to $40 per hour. As you develop your practice and client relationships, you can adjust how much time you're required to spend fulfilling the needs of your clients and modify your rates accordingly. With 20 average small business clients, this home-based business can generate a $60,000 annual income or more.
A powerful alternative and upgrade when considering a home-based bookkeeping business is to train and become a certified QuickBooks Pro Advisor. All of the training necessary for this designation is available from QuickBooks including over 70 online training courses. Once certified, the Pro Advisor logo can be added to your website and you will be listed on the "Find a Pro Advisor" directory at the Quickbooks website.