Starting a work-from-home business can be intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be.
There are ways to minimize risk and set yourself up for success. For example, it’s important to start a business that:
provides an in-demand service (always has customers!)
has high-profit margins (worth your time and investment!)
If you’re not afraid of numbers, a bookkeeper business is one of the smartest businesses you can invest your time and money into. According to the balance small business, accounting and tax services industry (bookkeeping included) is the #1 most profitable small business industry, with a net profit margin of 18.4%. And regardless of how the economy is doing, businesses still need bookkeepers.
Sound good, but not sure how to get started? The following Bookkeeper Launch review is a thorough look inside the freshly updated and upgraded Bookkeeper Launch 4.0, a top-rated course that teaches you how to become a freelance bookkeeper and start your own virtual bookkeeper business.
Name: Bookkeeper Launch (previously known as Bookkeeper Business Blueprint and then Bookkeeper Business Launch)
Creator: Ben Robinson CPA
Free Resources or Training: 3-Lesson Introductory Video Course (including downloadable transcripts)
Introduction to Bookkeeper Launch:
Ben Robinson is a CPA and the creator of Bookkeeper Launch. Over the years, Ben has developed a system for creating great virtual bookkeepers. His process was born out of necessity when he struggled to find and keep quality bookkeepers for his own firm.
Eventually, Ben found that individuals with specific traits made great bookkeepers, regardless of whether they already had bookkeeping experience. Since that time, Ben Robinson’s bookkeeping training system has been continually refined to meet the needs of first, his firm, and then his virtual bookkeeping students. His course, Bookkeeper Launch, is now in its fourth version and Ben has trained over 8,000 people (and counting!) for careers in bookkeeping working from home.
For the latest update, Ben has brought a team of teachers on board who are all working bookkeepers and graduates of the BL course. Curriculum Manager Heidi Ryder led the development of the updated program. Alyssa Lang, “The Workflow Queen,” teaches Setup and Transactions. Elizabeth Olsen covers Cleanup, and has built her business almost entirely on this service. Ben Day provides instruction for Statements, Interpret and Advise, and Conversations to Close with many personal details.
Is Bookkeeper Launch Worth It?
- Hands-on, proven method of training virtual bookkeepers
- Self-paced and presented in a logical sequence which moves students from orientation and foundations to taking on bookkeeping clients in an order designed to promote success
- An all-new index lets students navigate quickly to specific lessons or topics of interest
- Downloadable practice exercises and answer keys
- Ability to take notes on screen while you complete lessons which you can then export into Word
- Transcripts, audio, and captions included with each video lesson
- Additional physical resources accompany video lessons where appropriate
- Templates, checklists, and pricing calculator included
- All additional resources grouped together for easy access
- Besides bookkeeping, the course also teaches marketing, business, and work-life balance skills
- Program overhauled using professional curriculum development by a former student and working bookkeeper
- Strong support (via email, active private Facebook group, Q & As twice a week, Legal Lunch, and Office Hours)
- Q&A recordings layout has been updated to make the library of over 400 classes easier to navigate and reference
- Material to guide students through the early phases of working with clients
- Bonus content available to 5-Star students
- Includes quizzes, unit tests, and final exams
- Certificate of Completion through Credly, a company providing third-party verification
- Lifetime access to the course including all updates and bonuses
- An unconditional, 30-Day money-back guarantee
- Free introductory course (including downloadable transcripts) to get started, and to help you answer the question, “Is bookkeeping a good career choice for me?”
- Completing the course will take hard work and commitment that some people aren’t prepared to invest
- If you have a math phobia, this is not the course for you
- Although it is a much cheaper option than going to college, some feel it is expensive
- You have to remember to save your notes each time or you will lose them
- There are some typos in the video transcripts
Bookkeeper Launch Overview:
Bookkeeper Launch is a self-paced, intensive online course that teaches how to start bookkeeping working from home and create a profitable business designed to succeed in the 21st century.
It contains six main sections (plus two additional “missions”) and has plenty of additional resources, bonuses, hacks, tips, and methods of support. It not only teaches bookkeeping skills, but also the marketing and business skills you need to grow and run a bookkeeper business and the life-style skills to better balance your work and family time.
Bookkeeper Launch 4.0 is set up in a logical sequence, beginning with a mandatory orientation that includes an introduction to the course and a useful section on study hacks. Completing this section unlocks the rest of the course material.
From that point on, the lessons are broken up into fifteen-day segments. The first module, Go, contains foundation bookkeeping skills and tactics for developing leadership and earning mindsets. From there, students work on setting up business systems and using more advanced marketing techniques to build and expand their businesses. The course includes quizzes, unit tests, and two final exams. One final exam is on book knowledge, and the other is practical application.
You do not have to take any of the quizzes, tests, or exams, but if you pass them at 80% or above, you will earn a Certificate of Completion for your website, LinkedIn profile, and social media pages. The Certificate is not just an image anyone can copy and paste onto their site. It is verified by a third party, Credly, and it is clickable. Anyone can click on it and get relevant information.
There are now 3 versions of Ben Robinson’s BookkeeperLaunch:
- Bookkeeper Launch Pro: the full course
- Bookkeeper Launch Premier: the full course & group coaching
- Bookkeeper Launch Team: the full course, group coaching & everything you need to operate a fully scaled online bookkeeping business
Who is Bookkeeper Launch for?
Bookkeeper Launch is a great work-from-home course for people who want to eliminate a commute or the corporate grind, for people who want the flexibility of setting their own work schedule, and for those who want to decide who they work with. Because you can work from anywhere, it is great for those who have spouses whose jobs require them to move periodically. It is also a good option for the aspiring stay-at-home mom (or dad) bookkeeper.
A bonus when you do bookkeeping work from home is that you can take on the number of clients that fits your needs and work when it is convenient for you. This makes bookkeeping home-based jobs ideal for people who want to earn a good income which allows for flexibility.
Who isn't it for? It is not for individuals who can’t stand numbers, who don’t like working with people, who don’t want to put in real work, or who only have an hour or two a week.
Bookkeeper Launch Training & Resources:
The course includes video lessons as well as exercises and hands-on projects and practice. Each video lesson has an accompanying transcript, audio, and captions. The lessons also include physical resources below the video where relevant, such as an Excel spreadsheet or a particular form for an exercise.
Ben and his team teach the material in a very simple and clear manner, First the instructor explains a procedure, then he shows you how to do it, and finally, you have the opportunity to practice the skill yourself and reinforce your learning. Ben uses plenty of stories and comparisons, and topics are often presented in more than one way, making them easier to grasp.
Bookkeeper Launch’s New Roadmap
Bookkeeper Launch now has a new streamlined format. All of the sections and units are viewable on one page, the Roadmap. After the required Introduction (or Systems Check), there are six main sections and two additional missions for those who have completed the course.
Each unit starts with a brief and informative introduction to the unit, followed by what you will discover and do in the lessons to follow. As Ben frequently points out, the information isn’t useful without implementation, and this course is geared toward getting you moving toward your goals through focused action.
The Go section (Days 1-15) is intended to get you started on the right foot and in the best frame of mind for success. It teaches the basics you will need to know to begin your bookkeeping education and develop the mindset to build a successful bookkeeping business. Units include:
- Foundations (Foundational bookkeeping principles)
- Leader U (A brand-new section for developing a leadership mindset)
- Money U (Another new section for developing an earning mindset)
The Ignition section (Days 16-30) will help you learn some basic foundational skills: QuickBooks, dealing with transactions, talking up your new business, and making sure your business and lifestyle match (essential for a happy life!).
- Setup (Navigating QuickBooks Online, cloud-based bookkeeping software)
- Transactions (Contains 116 lessons, plus additional exercises and an answer key!)
- Yakkity Yak (Sharing about your business with friends, family, and neighbors)
- Lifestyle (Building a business that supports the life you want)
In Liftoff (Days 31-45), you will take your bookkeeping learning to the next level and expand those basic skills you’ve learned to go from being just a bookkeeper to a bookkeeping professional. The units in this section are:
- Transactions Projects (Closing Project and Final Project to test your understanding of transactions)
- Statements (Preparing statements and delivering to clients; completely overhauled)
- Traditional Networking (What it is and how to do it)
- Irresistible Selling Statement (What it is, why you need it, and how to create your own)
Next up is Ascent (Days 46-60). In this section you will test your knowledge and learn some advanced skills to help you find and serve your first clients.
- Cleanup (An upgraded unit on how to clean up a new client’s books)
- Final Exams (One on book knowledge and one practical application)
- Online Networking (Another new unit on how to use your time online to help you market your business)
- Conversation to Close (The process that helps you turn leads into paying clients.)
The Acceleration section (Days 61-75) Here you will find vital systems and advice as you begin your bookkeeping career in earnest.
- Get Software Certified (A combination pep talk/ explanation of why this is an important step to take)
- Templates (A library of customizable templates so you’ll never have to “start off with a blank piece of paper”)
- Processes and Checklists (Another library of customizable templates for the processes you’ll need to do as a bookkeeper – these will help you “get more done in less time”)
- Your Money (Ben discusses several money truths and tactics to help you manage your new income)
Orbit (Days 76-90) is the final section in the main course. Here, you’ll get to the nitty-gritty of setting up your new bookkeeping business as a separate business entity, and learn the ins and outs of creating your website and social media marketing (if you choose to use it).
- Tools & Tech (Resources to get the job done faster and better, plus tips on when less is more)
- Setup 7 (The seven essential steps to setting up your bookkeeping business, plus an interview with a lawyer)
- Website and Social Media Marketing (This new unit explores how much to do, when to do it, and the Website Challenge)
Once you’ve completed the six main sections, you’ll move on to Mission 1: Serving 1st Client for 2 Months. These mission units will help you grow your new business while serving your first client in more specialized ways.
- Interpret & Advise (This freshly-overhauled section gives you deeper insight on explaining the statements and becoming a trusted advisor to your clients)
- Spreadsheets (Everyone needs to know the basics!)
- Prospect Follow-Up System (A method to gather and enter information on prospective clients, then follow up with the ones who need you most)
Mission 2: Serving 3+ Clients Now that you have a growing client list, some ways to help your business prosper.
- Email Outreach (Using and implementing email outreach, plus the skills you need to quickly identify the potential clients who are the best fit for your business)
- Referral Partners (How to use referral partner marketing effectively)
- Niche Power (Why specializing in a particular area and becoming an expert pays richly, and how to do it)
Resources and Bonuses: The Extras
As we’ve said before, Ben Robinson is continually expanding and improving the entire work-from-home course, which includes adding new material and adapting the layout of the course. Several sections are filled with new content based on student feedback, and there are four all-new marketing units. There are new teachers and a new, more intuitive interface, all designed to give you the best possible tools as you learn how to become a better 21st-century bookkeeper.
- My Notes (Your notes from all topics in one place – searchable and exportable into Word)
- Live Q & A Recordings (View past Weekly Q & As that go as far back as 2015!)
- Premier Coaching (includes 8 bonus group coaching sessions followed by open mic sessions – only unlocked for Premier students)
- Recommended Reading(Additional information to hone your skills)
- Hacks & Facts (Round table discussions with successful former course members)
- Profit Maximizers (Ways to add more value for your clients while increasing your profit)
- LinkedIn (How to use LinkedIn to effectively market your business to your ideal clients)
- 1099 Blitz (Everything you need to know to help your clients get their 1099s filed properly and on time)
- Breakthrough Marketing (Additional marketing lessons to help attract clients, what to do when you meet with a potential client, sales funnels, ads, etc – only unlocked for Premier students)
5 Stars to Measure Student Success
The course has a recommended study track, a 90-day success plan, and 5 Stars to help keep students motivated and moving forward. Each star represents a different milestone that is necessary to becoming a successful bookkeeper. These five stars are:
- Complete the Course (Complete all lessons through Day 90)
- Bookkeeper Launch Certificate of Completion (Pass all parts of the Knowledge and Practical final exams)
- Software Certificate (Submit your certification in any bookkeeping software program)
- Launch Your Business (Complete the Setup 7 checklist to get your business up and running)
- First Client (Tell Bookkeeper Launch when you have your first client)
The 5 Stars are not only a fun tool to keep students inspired, but those who complete all 5 Stars will also get access to advanced bonus content!
Is Bookkeeper Launch Legit? Judging the Support:
The support for Ben Robinson’s bookkeeping course is extensive. In addition to the unlimited email support, Bookkeeper Launch has a private Facebook group that has spawned many subgroups. Even if you are not a fan of social media, Ben recommends that course members set up a Facebook account to join the group, because it’s an easy way to talk with the BL team, fellow students, and past graduates who continue to take part while running their own businesses.
Not only do the newer students get their basic questions answered, but practicing bookkeepers also help each other sort out complicated situations. It’s also a place where students can celebrate their successes as they grow or get moral support to make it through trying situations.
A Day in the Life of a Virtual Bookkeeper – Sometimes You Need More Support
In addition to the Facebook group and email support, Bookkeeper Launch offers two weekly Q & A sessions. One is specifically for course-related questions, and the other is for client-related questions. The Client Q & As feature three students who will each have one-on-one conversations with their SST (Student Support Team) to help resolve their issue.
There is also the Legal Lunch, which is a monthly Q & A with a lawyer.
The Student Success Team (SST) has daily office hours (Monday through Friday, 9-5 EST) for students who are working with clients and have a challenge needing additional help. They will have the opportunity to work one-on-one with a team member to overcome the difficulty.
Educational Qualifications and Skills Needed:
You don’t need any prior knowledge or experience in bookkeeping in order to take the course and begin your bookkeeping business. Bookkeeper Launch teaches you everything you need to know, from bookkeeping skills to business and marketing skills.
You do not need to be a mathematician; however, you can’t be afraid of or completely hate numbers.
Although you can succeed without prior degrees or experience, Ben is very upfront about certain traits, abilities, and resources you need to have or develop to be successful as a 21st-century bookkeeper.
- Determination: You must be determined to overcome the challenges that you are guaranteed to face as a business owner.
- Be like-able: Bookkeeping is a relationship business. You need to be able to connect with your clients.
- Compassion: Your clients need to know you care.
- Eagle eye: You need to have attention to detail.
- Resourceful: You need to be able to figure out how to overcome challenges.
- Motivation: You need to have a Why that propels you forward even when you don’t feel like it, and you need to know that you are responsible for the outcome.
- Time: You should be able to devote 10-15 hours per week to get your business started.
- Money: You can bootstrap your business to keep costs down, but you will need to invest at least a little money into it.
- Support: You need to learn from others who can help you through the challenges you will face. You also need support from your family and friends.
In addition to everything listed above, you also need to be a little tech savvy. You will need:
- A computer
- High-speed internet access
- Cloud-based bookkeeping software
Ben is very thorough and covers the traits, abilities, and resources fully in his free training.
Ben Robinson is constantly providing more to his students. He regularly updates and offers new course materials, enabling students to become great bookkeepers who are even more valuable to their clients. For those who have successfully built a small bookkeeping business and are looking to take it to the next level, the Bookkeeper Store offers more courses and programs to help you grow, scale, optimize and transform your bookkeeping business.
Bookkeeper Elite is a group that holds four intensive mastermind sessions a year. OPP, which stands for “Outstanding Processes & People,” is a course designed to teach Bookkeeping entrepreneurs how to create effective processes and to bring the right people into their business. Bookkeeper Lab offers 11 core courses plus the BL community, and specialized courses like Pricing and Packaging and New Client Onboarding can help you with specific needs you may encounter as you build your business.
Bookkeeper Launch Cost:
- Bookkeeper Launch Pro: the FULL course
BL PRO 12 PAY = 12 Payments of $249 (as long as payments are up-to-date).
BL PRO FULL PAY = $2499 (save $489 over the 12 month payment plan)
- Bookkeeper Launch Premier: the full course & group COACHING
BL PREMIER 12 PAY = 12 Payments of $299 (as long as payments are up-to-date).
BL PREMIER FULL PAY = $2,999 (save $589 over the 12 month payment plan)
- NEW Bookkeeper Team option: for those scaling to a bookkeeping agency model, two team members will get access to the KNOWLEDGE sections of the course, to understand how you do business
BL TEAM 12 PAY = 12 monthly payments of $499 (as long as payments are up-to-date).
BL TEAM FULL PAY = $4,999 (save $989 over the 12 month payment plan)
All options have an unconditional 30-day money-back guarantee.
Bookkeeper Launch also provides a 30% military discount on all courses.
If you feel this is a bit pricey, consider the pros and cons brought out in this article regarding BL vs. college and figuring out how to build your business on your own.
My Final Opinion:
Bookkeeper Launch has been and continues to be one of my top recommended courses for a number of reasons. First, it’s thorough, covering bookkeeping, marketing, and business skills, and it focuses on taking action. There are many courses out there that teach a skill, but what good is that skill if you don’t have any idea how to run a business or how to find paying clients? Ben’s course teaches it all:
- How to do the work
- How to find paying clients
- And how to run your business
By developing those three skills and taking action on them, you can build a professional career from home and make a real income. The course has a proven track record of creating successful bookkeeping business owners. In other words, there are plenty of Bookkeeper Launch and Bookkeeper Business Launch success stories. You can trust that Ben’s system works if you follow through. And with the new changes, you have even more reason to trust his system.
Having taught bookkeepers for such a long time, Ben really understands what trips people up on the road to creating a successful business. For example, it’s easy to get stuck on details like setting up your website or picking your niche, instead of going out and getting your first client and learning to serve that client exceptionally well. It is based on feedback from previous course members and using insights from Ben’s own experience teaching bookkeeping that Bookkeeper Launch has been restructured and updated. The new material and presentation of the course sets you up for success and eliminates many common challenges faced by new business owners.
Additionally, Ben and his team are excellent teachers:
- They use a simple and clear teaching style that breaks down complex concepts into understandable tasks.
- The course uses a win-win philosophy and the team knows that by teaching bookkeepers to be exceptional, everyone wins: the bookkeeper, their clients, and the teaching team.
- Ben continually looks for ways to improve himself as a teacher, his team of instructors, and the course material. He is continually looking for ways to be more efficient. For Bookkeeper Launch 4.0, this includes a new structure, new lessons, new content, and new teachers.
- Ben really cares about the success of his students, the businesses they’re serving, and their families.
If you do the work and serve your clients well, you will have the foundation you need for a very successful home-based business, limited only by how many clients you take on and how many hours you want to work.
All of this would be plenty to recommend this course. But there’s even more to love. The layout is visually appealing and easy to navigate, and the instructors have an easy, friendly approach that really does feel like a family. You will receive top-notch instruction, but also plenty of warmth and encouragement as you make your way through the material and learn how to build your own bookkeeping business. Ben calls his students a family, and this course will definitely help you see why!
Verdict: It provides a legitimate anywhere anytime career.
Or are you ready to join? Join Ben's BL Family now.
Want More Info?
I’ve had the privilege of interviewing Ben Robinson as well as several past Bookkeeper Launch students who attest to not only the quality of the bookkeeping training but the invaluable skills of balancing work and the rest of life. Here are a few Bookkeeper Launch graduate interviews for you to check out:
- How This Mom Became a Successful Virtual Bookkeeper: Interview with Amy McLaughry
- Careers for Stay at Home Dads: Meet Virtual Bookkeeper Justin Boynton
- How Does Virtual Bookkeeping Work?: Interview With Full-Time Virtual Bookkeeper, Jackie Snaza
- Bookkeeper Launch Preps for Business in the Real World, An Interview with Holly Ferris
And you can hear from Ben himself in the free introductory video lessons or roam around Bookkeepers.com Store. Lastly, if you're looking for resources about bookkeeping outside of the Bookkeeper Launch course, you can check out Ben's podcast, I love Bookkeeping.
Do you have any further questions about Ben Robinson’s course that weren’t answered in this Bookkeeper Launch review? Please ask any of them, big or small, below. If you have the question, someone else probably does too! Do them a favor and ask it 😉 I am here to help. If I don’t know the answer, I will reach out to Ben and his team, or to course members, and find the answer for you…