Bookkeeper Business LaunchJulie Aydlott
The Bookkeeper Business Launch was created by Ben Robinson, CPA to help train and prepare people with no experience in bookkeeping and accounting and then to open their own virtual bookkeeping business.
When I first started updated my third edition book into the video edition of How to Open your Own In-Home Bookkeeping Service I received an e-mail from a customer asking me if I have ever heard of Ben Robinson’s course and what I thought of it. At that time I had not, so I e-mailed Ben and asked for more detail and told him I was updating my book to a video series and wanted to include his training information. Ben provided a complimentary review of his program which took a few weeks to go through. As far as some websites saying his program is a scam or isn’t legit, I would beg to differ. It includes well developed training and information along with a great Facebook forum for students to ask questions and get responses. I do believe that Ben has put a great amount of effort, material and funding into creating the training program. Just because something has a price tag that some find too high does not make it a scam.
Which bring us to, is it worth the price tag? Considering his training program which costs between $1,999 and $2,400 for the Bookkeeper Business Launch, depending on what payment method you choose, because you are learning bookkeeping and accounting in a class type setting, the value in the training is appropriately priced with other programs available whether it is Universal Accounting Center, Penn-Foster or other class type settings. The higher cost on the training program is also the added modules for learning how to start a virtual bookkeeping business.
The downside to the Bookkeeper Business Launch training program – It is not with the training program itself, it is with the statement that you can run a virtual bookkeeping business with no experience. After reviewing the program and the Facebook forum, the training is detailed and in-depth but is a mere few months of training. After reading a lot of the posts by in-experienced bookkeepers who are providing bookkeeping services to small businesses, it is concerning to say the least. Specifically for liability issues when negligence in bookkeeper could cause a financial loss to the client. Some of the questions that they are asking leads one to believe that they are in over their head and unless they have a mentor or a CPA that they can have review their work, the small business could have incorrect financial reports leading to tax implications and liabilities for the bookkeeper as well. Mistakes could also lead to financial loss for the business so not having any experience is not the best idea for the client. If you do not have any bookkeeping experience and take a course that tells you that you can open a bookkeeping business after you complete their course, it is imperative that you do not claim to have more experience than you do. It is also imperative that you have someone who can make sure you are doing your work correctly. This would most likely be the client’s CPA. If the client doesn’t have a CPA or Enrolled Agent to assist with tax planning and year end taxes, recommend that they get one. This will protect you as well in the long run.
When I am conducting fraud examinations and internal control reviews, one item that is powerful is whether or not the bookkeeper misrepresented their skills therefore being negligent and causing financial harm to the business. There is not an easy out for this if it can be proven, and it can be easy to prove. That being said, if you are brand new to bookkeeping and are going to jump right in and start your own virtual bookkeeping business through Bookkeeper Business Launch or any other training platform, make sure you only offer the services that you know you can do. If the client asks questions that you don’t know the answer to, go find the right answer. Make sure the client has a qualified CPA or Enrolled Agent who prepares the tax returns and can assist with closing out the books and records the proper way. Do not wing it, never wing anything and never tell the client that you have experience that you don’t. Finding a mentor is often difficult which is why it is best to build a relationship with the person who is preparing the tax return for your clients, especially a CPA.