Advanced Bookkeeping for Freelancers: Benefits and How to Get Started

If you’re a bookkeeping freelancer who’s new to this industry or looking for a way to advance your career, having an Advanced Bookkeeping certificate would be a good kick-start. The Advanced Bookkeeping certificate helps you achieve your career goals by providing the professional knowledge and skill set required to perform an accounting job role. Gaining this certificate can help you become a professional bookkeeper and allow you to more effectively run your business. 

This article will explain the Advanced Bookkeeping certificate in detail, from its definition, benefits, and how to get started. 

Benefits of gaining an Advanced Bookkeeping certification

Advanced Bookkeeping is a unit in the AAT Advanced Certificate in Bookkeeping and Advanced Diploma in Accounting. The assessment’s purpose is to test learners’ advanced bookkeeping skills to the extended trial balance stage so they can compile final accounts for various types of businesses.

Some of the main benefits of completing the Advanced Bookkeeping assessment are the following:

Advanced Bookkeeping certification is universally accepted

The Advanced Bookkeeping certification is a symbol of excellence all over the world. It is recognized worldwide as a proof of professionalism and is highly demanded in the accountancy sector. 

The Advanced Bookkeeping course is also the most up-to-date and provides practical exposure and guidance for a successful bookkeeping career. This certification gives future bookkeepers a chance for some good career opportunities and the ability to solve the real-world issues of any business undertaking.

Build up an impressive resume for freelancers

Financial management is the backbone of every business and the main part of organizational growth. The demand for accounting and financial expertise is increasing across all industries.

Completing the practical business-focused Advanced Bookkeeping course helps you develop essential bookkeeping skills, such as managing accounts, finances, budgets, and cash flow. 

This certification helps build an impressive resume with the professional level of excellence employers look for. These certifications increase the chances of getting hired by a reputed organization.

Gain the knowledge and skills that employers need

The Advanced Bookkeeping course gives you a much broader range of knowledge and skills, more than you’re likely to be able to gain from work experience alone. Having the ability to be more adaptable and flexible gives access to a wider range of opportunities. As a bookkeeping professional, you’ll have greater resilience and confidence in handling change.

Bridge your career gaps

Even if you’re taking a gap from university or work, gaining this certification is still a good choice. It helps you to build up knowledge and skills. It will fill the gaps and boost the confidence to apply for the jobs.

Increase your potential earnings

If you are working in the finance sector and looking for further career progression in the field, having an Advanced Bookkeeping qualification can bring you additional opportunities. Advanced accounting and bookkeeping techniques from the course encourage you to apply for top position roles. 

Below are some common jobs and expected salaries for each level. 

  • AAT Access Level 1: Through this level, you can earn up to $14,600 per year as a clerical assistant or cashier
  • AAT Access Level 2: When you’re at level 2, you’re capable of earning $23,790 – $26,840 per year as an account clerk, finance assistant, or account administrator. 
  • AAT Access Level 3: Completing this level can help you earn up to $35,000 per year by performing as a ledger manager, senior bookkeeper, or accounts manager. 
  • AAT Access Level 4: This is the highest level, which makes you capable of earning $39,040 – $51,850 by performing on the job roles like tax supervisor, VAT accountant, commercial analyst, payroll manager, senior financial officer, cost accountant, or assistant financial accountant.

How to get started with the Advanced Bookkeeping course

You don’t need a bookkeeping background or bookkeeping skills to get a start in the Advanced Bookkeeping course. Since Advanced Bookkeeping is a unit in the AAT Bookkeeping course, you can start from the entry-level and scale up gradually. 

No specific age or location is required to start the AAT course. The only requirement is your strong desire to start a career in the accounting sector.

You can start with any qualification depending on your existing skills and experience. If you already have some accounting experience, you can use the AAT Skillcheck to determine which qualification is right for you.

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Moreover, the cost of the Advanced Bookkeeping course is reasonable. It shows your dedication and commitment to improving your career. Your invested proper focus, funding, and time for the course will result in great opportunities, high salaries, and clear career paths.

Investing in education can bring you more value than expected if you’d like to follow a freelance career. Having the crucial skill set and qualifications can help you attract more clients and valuable contracts. 

The bottom line

Learning and self-development are like an expedition. Whether you are a student searching for a career start or improving your professionalism to handle more challenging tasks in your current job, having an Advanced Bookkeeping certificate would be a good start.

With the qualifications, you will be able to achieve your professional goals, discover your capabilities, and open your mind. You’ll find confidence and desire to explore new opportunities that are now within your reach.

Don’t forget to subscribe to the Shoeboxed blog for more helpful bookkeeping knowledge and best practices for freelancers! 

About Shoeboxed

Shoeboxed is a receipt management application that turns your receipts and business documents into a digital format in just one click by taking a picture straight from your smartphone or scanning a pdf. It automatically extracts, categorizes, and human-verifies important data from your receipts so that you can go over and check your records anytime with ease. Shoeboxed ensures you will always have your receipts securely stored and ready for tax purposes.

Access your Shoeboxed account from your web browser or smartphone app. Stay audit-ready with Shoeboxed for FREE now!

Bookkeeping for Freelancers: 4 Proven Best Practices

If you’re a freelance writer, accountant, translator, or consultant, you’ll likely do your own bookkeeping. Though bookkeeping for freelancers is crucial for a freelance business, keeping an accurate log of your clients and business cash flow isn’t always easy. 

If you’re struggling to keep up with your financing, check this article for the four proven best bookkeeping practices for freelancers! 

Keep track of your records

Staying on top of your bookkeeping is critical to filing your taxes. Besides staying organized, you also need to keep track of some essential information, documents, and expenses for tax seasons, including: 

  • Total hours you worked on a project
  • Cost per hour for each client
  • Records of products or services you’ve provided to your clients
  • Internet and phone bills
  • Power and utility bills
  • Office supplies
  • Educational expenses
  • Software subscription fees  
  • Office rent (if you work from home, you can claim mortgage and property taxes)

In most states, freelancers are required to keep business financial documentation for up to six years for tax purposes. It’s a good practice to keep your documentation and data well organized and safely preserved, regardless of where you work or how much money you make.

Try to incorporate a coherent archiving system that allows you to access your financial data like bills, receipts, and notes quickly and efficiently. You never know when you’ll need to find some random document from the past! 

You can also check out our step-by-step guide on filing taxes as an independent contractor to get yourself ready for tax season.  

Separate your personal and business expenses

It might be difficult to keep your personal and company finances separate as a freelancer. Most freelancers will likely pay their business expenses with their personal money. However, this immediate benefit will lead to a huge hassle to sort through and separate personal and business expenses. It can also be an extra cost if you hire an accountant or bookkeeper to do it for you.

You should open up a business-only bank account as soon as you start your freelance business. It doesn’t necessarily need to be a business account. A second bank account would be sufficient when you’re just getting started.

This separation in your finances helps you better visualize where your money is going and coming from, making your tax preparation and cash flow analysis considerably more precise. This simple practice also helps you avoid financial problems in the future and determine which expenses are necessary for your work.

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Set reminders for payment

A freelancer is likely to work with many projects and clients, meaning that your payment depends on your clients’ schedules. 

Staying on top of your income may be difficult when you’re waiting to be paid. Since your clients likely focus on their business and forget upcoming bill dates, you may receive your payments later than expected. These overdue payments can affect your cash flow and planned income. 

A solution to this is to send out invoices with clear due dates and set up automatic reminders for payments and overdue payments. A little effort can go a long way in helping you receive your payments on time. 

File your taxes

Filing taxes can be a challenge for a freelancer, especially when you need to handle all of your business’s aspects.

Before you file your tax returns, think about your business structure. As a freelancer, your business is most likely a sole proprietorship. In this case, you pay your business taxes on your tax return by filing a Schedule C form with your Form 1040 Individual tax return. On the other hand, if you’re in a partnership or have formed an LLC (limited liability company), you can consider hiring a tax professional or using accounting software. And Shoeboxed can help you with that! 

Shoeboxed is a receipt management application that turns your receipts and business documents into a digital format in just one click by taking a picture straight from your smartphone or scanning a pdf. It automatically extracts, categorizes, and human-verifies important data from your receipts so that you can go over and check your records anytime with ease. Shoeboxed ensures you will always have your receipts securely stored and ready for tax purposes.

The bottom line

By incorporating some of the helpful best bookkeeping practices for freelancers outlined in this article, you can streamline your financial record-keeping, spend more time on your business’s core tasks and bring the best services to your clients. If you’d like to discover more helpful accounting and bookkeeping knowledge, tax tips, and engaging entrepreneur stories, don’t forget to subscribe to the Shoeboxed blog
Access your Shoeboxed account from your web browser or smartphone app. Stay audit-ready with Shoeboxed for FREE now!

3 Practical Tips to Become a Successful Freelance Accountant

Working as a freelancer is a dream come true for many accountants. You get to choose the hours you work, where you work, who you work with, and how you work. The good news is becoming a freelance accountant has never been easier, thanks to the mass online transformation of modern business. 

If you are interested in becoming a successful freelance accountant, read on to find useful and practical information that will help you achieve your career goals.

What is a freelance accountant? 

Just like a corporate accountant, freelance accountants help manage their clients’ money so that they can allocate resources and run their operations more efficiently. 

Listed below are some common examples of a freelance accountant’s tasks and responsibilities:

  • Record financial transactions on digital ledgers 
  • Prepare invoices and send them to their client’s customers on time 
  • Process and distribute payroll for client’s employees
  • Create financial statements and tax reports 
  • Ensure their client’s financial operations are compliant with the law
  • File tax returns and assist business owners with finding ways  to minimize their tax 
  • Create a budget for a business

See also: 4 End of Year Tax Tips for Freelancers.

3 Practical tips to become a successful freelance accountant 

These 3 tips will help steer your freelance accounting career in the right direction. 

Check them out!

1. Assure your customers that you are qualified 

You should obtain at least one accounting-related qualification before starting your freelance business. Not only does it give you the necessary knowledge to perform your work, but it also serves as proof to your potential clients that you can handle the job. The more accounting qualifications you have, the greater the chance that you’ll snag a client at a competitive rate. Here are three common ways that a freelance accountant can show that they are qualified: 

  • Have a Bachelor’s Degree 

While a bachelor’s degree in the field is preferred, any business or accounting-related degree that involves accounting, auditing, tax courses, or credits is also beneficial.  

  • Get Certified or Licensed 

Although it’s not compulsory, many businesses will only work with freelance accountants who are either certified or licensed (some clients want both!). Some professional certifications that can help you stand out are: Certified Management Accountant (CMA), Certified Internal Auditor (CIA), and Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA).

  • Acquire Experience

Working experience is a great way to prove that you know what you are doing! On your online profiles, make sure to include in detail any of your accounting work experience such as what your tasks were, which company you worked for, how long you worked there, etc. 

As important as your qualifications are, you should also constantly update your knowledge whenever you can with webinars, networking events, and professional courses.

See also: What Are The Differences Between A Bookkeeper And An Accountant?

2. Invest in equipment, software, and online tools 

Once you’ve decided to go freelance, you have to be prepared to spend a considerable amount of money on a laptop, a stable Internet connection, and accounting software and tools. There are many online accounting software on the market today, and you should choose carefully based on your accounting specialty and budget. You might want to consider some popular accounting software such as Quickbooks, Xero, Freshbooks, and Bench

When working as a freelance accountant, you usually won’t actually work in your client’s office space, so it will likely be up to you to provide the infrastructure needed to store paper files. This can be inconvenient, especially if you have a smaller living space. To solve this problem, use Shoeboxed. Shoeboxed is a software that helps you digitize your documents, especially financial receipts, in a snapshot. They will then be securely stored in the cloud, where you can go back and search for your files anywhere, anytime.    

See also: The Digital Accounting Era: Five Steps For Accountants To Succeed.

Advertising is the way to connect you with potential clients. Start small with the traditional way – word of mouth. Tell your family, friends, and former colleagues about your freelance business and what you have to offer. Next, you can create social media profiles, purchase advertising space or create marketing campaigns that show your skills and services. Advertising can have a massive impact on the growth of your freelance career, especially at the start.

See also: Financial Services Marketing: Definition, Benefits and Best Practices for Small Businesses.

Where can you find freelance accounting jobs? 

Many new freelance accountants get their first jobs through friends, family, or networks from their previous workplaces. But if that option is not for you, don’t worry. There are many freelance job websites that can help you find clients. 

Listed below are the biggest and most well-trusted websites for freelance accounting jobs:

  1. Fiverr: On this platform, freelancers can post and advertise details of their services. Potential customers looking for a freelance accountant will scroll through and choose a suitable one. When you register as a freelance accountant on Fiverr, you can classify your services into basic, standard, and premium packages.
  1. Paro: Paro is more specific to financial services, and accounting is listed among jobs such as bookkeeping, financial analysis and planning services, and even CFO services. According to Paro, only the top 2% of finance freelancers make it through their rigorous vetting process, which includes a skills assessment, interview, test project, and reference check. 
  1. Upwork: Upwork is pretty much the same as Fiverr. Millions of jobs are posted on the site, and there are over 5,000 skills on offer, including accounting. One downside of being on a platform this size is that you have to really stand out against thousands of competitors to get clients.

Final thoughts 

Becoming a freelance accountant is a pretty straightforward process. If you constantly improve your knowledge, acquire modern accounting tools, and put yourself out there online, you will soon be able to build a successful freelance business. 

What’s Shoeboxed? 

Shoeboxed is an application that lets you digitize paper receipts in just a few seconds. It automatically extracts and categorizes important data from your receipts, which then gets approved by a team of data experts. Quick, reliable, and trustworthy, Shoeboxed guarantees to organize your piles of documents in the best way you can imagine! 

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