Anyone here a self employed bookkeeper?

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Well-Known Member
Mar 14, 2012
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Northern California
I recently learned that I have retinitis pigmentosa and have been declared legally blind, I can no longer drive. I'm considering a home based bookkeeping business for myself as I have 20 years of experience as a payroll specialist for a local community college and getting back and forth to work will be tough. I'm 47 and still have decent central vision (with a +14.50 correction for severe nearsightedness) and the doctors see no reason why I can't continue to work via computer and earn a living for myself.

I'm at the research stage and would love to touch base with bookkeeping folks who are self employed especially those that might be home based. The greater portion of my work experience has been payroll but I'm interested in learning all facets of bookkeeping (accounts payable/receivable, general ledger, set ups, inventory, etc). I live in a rural community with lots of small sole proprietor type businesses but I'm also interested in branching out into "virtual" work as well for clients who might not be in my immediate area.

I've met with a local nonprofit that assists folks in new business start ups and they feel I will have more work than I can take on but I'd love to chat with a real bookkeeper who can give me the nitty gritty on what they do day in and day out.

Any info would be greatly appreciated, thanks!
Great write up and I look forward to hearing what others have to say. I'm sorry to hear about being declared legally blind and do hope you continue to share with us here on the mini LB forums...
Thanks Paintponylvr for your kind thoughts. I've had severe nearsightedness corrected with eyeglasses for nearly all my life so at least I'm accustomed to the less than stellar vision and have made do for most of my life pretty well. The inability to drive now coupled with living in a rural area is really pushing me to find something that I can do from home and still make a decent living to help support our family as we've both always worked full time outside of the home.

I feel like I have a pretty deep skill set in payroll fund accounting but I also have what I consider really valuable skills in terms of "customer/client/employee" service and I've been exploring the world of virtual assistants and trying to brainstorm what services and what market I could provide those to. In this world of technology so much can be done via computer, the Cloud, etc that I know there's got to be a spot for me somewhere in all of it.

Again thanks for your kind thoughts and I'm grateful to fellow horse folks and my minis for helping me get through this :)
I'm sorry to hear this and will be praying for you. No longer being able to drive is a big game changer but it sounds like you are going in the right direction. With your experience you will do fine and eventually love working from home.
Debby thanks so much for your kind thoughts!

The "no driving" has been an adjustment but thankfully I have family close by and several good friends who have generously offered to drive me when needed.

Having worked most of my adult life I'm nervous but also excited about the idea of starting my own home based business, just takes time to figure out exactly what my services are and who to market them to.

Onward we go!
Wishing you good luck with your new business.

I started my own bookkeeping/tax service years ago. It was short lived, but fun and I was glad to have tried it. I worked hard at it although it never was full time. I worked as a secretary days and did the bookkeeping as a side job. I started with no clients and cold called. I would go in person and talk to the owners of the businesses. I slowly built my clients up to 2 small businesses and two large businesses for bookkeeping/payroll and some business/partnership tax returns, in about a year's time. I also offered free bookkeeping classes to small businesses and was did some consulting work for a non profit. My husband retired from the Navy and we moved away from the area about two years later. I sold my business about a year before we moved and a year after I started it. I continued to work for the new owner until we moved. So it all worked out. After we moved, I worked at a CPA firm.
Charley thanks so much for sharing your experience with me and also your kind thoughts. I'm continuing to research further and there is a whole other world out there "virtually" that I think I might be able to tap into, perhaps not even in the field of bookkeeping. I'm at the research and development stage and doing a lot of brainstorming on my experience/skills/passions and hopefully will be able to carve out a niche for myself. Wondering if I can somehow also incorporate my lifelong passion for horses into it as well.

Thanks again for sharing, much appreciated!

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