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Bookkeeping without a license

What are the requirements for bookkeeping without a license?

Are you thinking about starting your business but don’t have the time or resources to pay or become a licensed bookkeeper?

Or are you looking to start up a bookkeeping business?

Either way, plenty of online resources can help you keep your business or client’s business finances in order without needing a license.

Can I do bookkeeping without a license?

Yes, you can do bookkeeping without a license; however, you must understand the concept of bookkeeping to avoid messing up the books. You’ll need to understand basic record keeping, the effects of Debits and Credits, and master categorizing transactions. Basic knowledge of Accounting is a plus but is not required. Although a license is not mandatory, it is recommended that you’re certified by a Software that can verify your credentials.

Bookkeeping without a license

How do I become a bookkeeper without a degree?

If you would like to learn more ways to become a bookkeeper, I have just the answer for you! You can grasp the bookkeeping process for your business, help a family member keep their books in order, or even support a local business near you. Whatever the reason is, it is achievable.

Like anything new, keep in mind that it may be a learning curve, and it takes time and dedication to understand fully. BUT, with the proper structure, you’ll get the grip of things sooner than you think.

Things to consider when learning or opening a bookkeeping business:

  1. Make a list of courses to follow
  2. Read books and articles on bookkeeping services
  3. Look up exam study material
  4. Consider software certification programs
  5. Practice to become a professional bookkeeper

Bookkeeping with no experience

Make a list of courses to follow.

When starting a bookkeeping business or being involved in your business’s financial records, you must understand the key terms of bookkeeping. To do so, organize courses to follow to emulate the roles of professional bookkeepers.

Include courses revolving around Debits and Credits, categorization, recording expenses, chart of accounts, and Financial Statements. You can also look into Accounts Receivable, Accounts Payable, small business accounting software, and how to become a freelance bookkeeper. This will allow you to gain a deep understanding of the bookkeeping process.

You can construct a list of courses by creating a folder on YouTube named “Bookkeeping” and then saving and adding videos. If you like, set up different levels. The first set of courses can be as basic as possible, such as basic bookkeeping, a chart of accounts, transactions, assets, and liabilities, and expense accounts.

You can generate intermediate courses. The intermediate course can include categorizing transactions, Bank reconciliation, understanding Debits and Credits, and Financial Reports. It can consist of what accounts are associated with the Income Statement, what accounts are in the Balance Sheet, and what is an owner’s equity.

Last but not least, set advanced courses. This can include depreciation, journal entries, adjusting entries, how to interpret the different forms of Financial Statements, and the list goes on as more videos will be suggested to you.

Bookkeeping education requirements

Read books and articles

You can also opt into reading books and articles where you’ll find valuable information. Look up popular Bookkeeping books on Amazon. The best part of it all, Amazon offers different options to choose from. You can purchase paperback books, eBooks, and audiobooks. Choose whichever option best fit your learning style.

A simple Google search can be helpful as well. You can land the exact information you need to be written in an article, such as this one. :-D. Always bookmark your favorite articles and revisit them as often as you need. Having valuable information at the tip of your fingers is always helpful. The more you learn, the more you’ll get that AH HA feeling. Also, constantly check out as I’ll continuously upload new content.

Look up Exam study materials

You can extend your library by looking up exam materials for advanced knowledge. Accountants attend community colleges or higher to obtain a degree or maintain their license through continuing education.

Professional bookkeepers interested in maintaining bookkeeping businesses seek to continue professional education. Study materials will help you understand the role of a certified bookkeeper. 

Who knows, this might be the beginning of your bookkeeping business.

Certified public bookkeeper

Software Certifications

Although this is not required, it is a good step to consider.

Cloud-based software is available to help individuals become certified and assist business owners in recording transactions through the site. You can look into QuickBooks ProAdvisor, Xero, Sage 50, SAP certification, etc. Certifications are a good way to verify your knowledge.

Cloud-based Accounting or Bookkeeping software also provides training. For example, as a certified Quickbooks advisor, you’re trained on the software and basic bookkeeping services. You may need to understand bookkeeping basics to grasp the information, as anyone new to bookkeeping may not pass. These pieces of training are comprehensive and require a deep understanding to assure clients are getting the best service possible.

You can check out the same cloud-based software listed above for businesses looking into doing their books. Softwares are available to businesses needing a subscription cloud-based system to keep track of their financials. You can also hire an independent bookkeeper to keep track of your financial management.

Business owners have the option to reach out to a specialist for help. If you need assistance getting set up or an Accountant on retainer, feel free to reach out via QuickBooks Online Accountant.

Bookkeeping service

Last but not least, practice, practice, practice!

Once you are confident that you can do your own books, put your new skills to the test. You can do so by doing the following: 

  1. Start by becoming a bookkeeper for someone you know. 
  2. Keep track of your expenses and keep tabs on your “books.” As a bookkeeper, you always want to stay informed. Continuously enhance your skills and always find ways to assist your clients.

Once you get into the groove of bookkeeping, work on generating your clientele. and be an asset to your clients. Always be honest and upfront with them. If you don’t have an answer for them right away, let your clients know you’ll get back to them.

Build a team of experts. Reach out to someone who may know answers to questions you would not have known otherwise. The best part about being a service provider, you can make connections with different experts such as Lawyers, Accountants, Tax Professionals, etc. Building your team of experts will help continue your learning path.

If you don’t feel confident in providing bookkeeping services to clients, there are other options.

Options available for bookkeepers without a license

If you’re considering a career in bookkeeping but don’t have a license, there are a few options open to you. One option is to find a certified public accountant (CPA) who will offer you training and help you gain bookkeeping or accounting experience. You can also find an accounting firm specializing in bookkeeping and ask if they would be willing to employ you as a temporary bookkeeper.

While you are working in their accounting department, learn their processes so you can open your own bookkeeping service. Although there’s more to opening a bookkeeping service, you can start with the basics like applying for a business license and Employer Identification Number (EIN). This will ensure you follow the rules and procedures to operate legally in your State.

Learn bookkeeping

Types of Bookkeeping licenses available to anyone who doesn’t want to operate without a license

An individual can be a certified bookkeeper by taking advantage of a few certifications. This can help you confidently apply for bookkeeping jobs and meet the bookkeeping qualifications. It can also pave the way to become part of the many bookkeeping professionals out there.

Let’s look at a few options to become certified.

  1. Obtaining a certified public bookkeeper license
  2. Pursuing an associate degree or bachelor’s degree with on the job training
  3. Completing the Certified QuickBooks Advisor certificate
  4. Gaining advanced knowledge when you have the QuickBooks advisor experience

Is it hard to be a bookkeeper without a license?

Bookkeeping is hard if you don’t know what you’re doing. You can easily be left feeling confused and pulling your hair out. Look at it this way; if your books have miscategorized or duplicate transactions under the same account, you’ll need to know how to fix it. And, to correct anything, you’ll have to know where to go and what to do. You won’t be able to get your accounts balanced if you do not understand what you’re doing.

Finding mistakes is not easy for anyone who doesn’t know the accounting basics. Imagine 10’s or 100’s of errors. Tackling this project may be disastrous, and you’ll make more of a mess than doing good. 

Bookkeeping can be hard if you don't know what to do

If you need help cleaning up your books, feel free to schedule a free consultation and we can discuss it further.


Most people believe that Bookkeepers need a license; however, bookkeeping can be done without a license. Do keep in mind that if you’re thinking of turning it into a paying job, it is recommended to get certified. You can teach yourself to become a Bookkeeper without a license. Simply learn the basics, create a list of courses to follow, look up exam materials, and advance your skills as you go along.

Read books and articles to tap into hidden material. Look up books on Amazon that have good reviews and are highly recommended. Bookmark your favorite articles and sites to stay updated on new content. I’ll also post content often, so check in at

Cloud-based software’s are available to individuals and business owners looking into bookkeeping. Softwares also provide training videos. Once you’re certified, you’ll be able to use their platform to service your clients. Remember, always enhance your skills and avoid the feeling of being unsure. If you’re not confident in what you’re doing, it’s best to reach out to a specialist. This way, you’ll avoid the frustration of messing up the books.

If you are a business owner in need of services and would like assistance setting up your QuickBooks or keeping an Accountant on retainer, feel free to reach out via QuickBooks Online Accountant.