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 have customers!)
- has high-profit margins (worth your time and investment!)
If you’re not afraid of numbers, a bookkeeping business is one of the smartest businesses you can invest your time and money into. According to Entrepreneur Magazine, the 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 even sure how you’d begin? The following Bookkeeper Launch review is a thorough look inside the brand new changes to Bookkeeper Launch, a top-rated course that teaches how to become a virtual bookkeeper and start your own bookkeeping business if you so desire.
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)
Bookkeeper Launch 4.0 is out! I'm in the process of updating this review to share what's changed, what's been added, and all the details you need to make an informed decision about whether this course is right for you.
Check back soon for the scoop!
Introduction to Bookkeeper Launch:
Ben Robinson is a CPA and also the creator of Bookkeeper Launch, the course previously known as Bookkeeper Business Blueprint and then Bookkeeper Business Launch. Over the years, Ben has developed a system for creating great virtual bookkeepers. His system was born out of necessity when he struggled to find and keep quality bookkeepers for his own firm. He eventually started hiring individuals that had specific traits regardless of whether or not they had bookkeeping skills. He found that individuals with certain traits made great bookkeepers. Since that time, Ben has continually refined his training system. His course, Bookkeeper Launch, is now in its third version and Ben has trained over 4,000+ bookkeepers and counting.
- Logical sequence (Starts with strong foundation and builds)
- Hands-on training
- Teaches marketing and business skills, not just bookkeeping skills
- Proven method of training virtual bookkeepers
- Includes quizzes, unit tests, and final exams
- Certificate of Completion through Credly, a company providing third-party verification
- Downloadable practice exercises and answer keys
- Strong support (via email, active private Facebook group, Q & As twice a week, Legal Lunch, and Office Hours)
- Transcripts, audio, and captions are included with each video lesson
- Additional physical resources with each video lesson
- Templates, checklists, and pricing matrix included
- Revamped and re-sequenced marketing section
- Enhanced search feature
- Ability to take notes on screen while you complete lessons which you can even export into Word
- Teaches the skills needed to build a professional career you can work around the needs of your family
- Lifetime access to the course including all updates and bonuses
- Free introductory course (including downloadable transcripts) to get started
- An unconditional, 30-Day money-back guarantee
- Completing the course will take hard work and commitment that some people aren’t willing to put in
- If you have a math phobia, it is not 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 build a virtual bookkeeping business designed to succeed in the 21st century. It contains four main sections 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 business.
The course is set up in a logical sequence, beginning with foundational bookkeeping skills. It then moves into teaching basic business and marketing principles so you can find and serve your first client. 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 if you do not want to, but if you pass them at 80% or above, you receive a Certificate of Completion for your website, LinkedIn profile, and social media. 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.
For detailed information about what the course entails, the syllabus outlines everything that is included in the course.
There are now 3 versions of Bookkeeper Launch:
- 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 makes a great career 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 moms who want to work from home.
One great thing about the course is that you have the flexibility to work on your own schedule. And with a home-based bookkeeping business, you can take on the number of clients you can manage and work when it is convenient for you.
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 relevant physical resources below each video, such as an Excel spreadsheet or a particular form for an exercise. Ben teaches the material in a very simple and clear manner, using a “Tell, Show, Do” approach. First he explains a procedure, then he shows you how to do it, and finally, you have the opportunity to practice and reinforce the skill by actually doing it. He also uses plenty of stories and comparisons, and often presents topics in more than one way of making them easier to grasp.
Bookkeeper Launch Education Center
Bookkeeper Launch now has a new streamlined format. All of the sections and units are viewable on one page, the Bookkeeper Launch Education Center. There are four main sections. The Skills section covers bookkeeping skills. This section is essentially the “book-learning” section of the course. It teaches the basics you will need to know to complete your bookkeeping work and deliver the information to your clients. Units include:
- Foundations (Foundational bookkeeping principles)
- Setup (Navigating QuickBooks Online, cloud-based bookkeeping software)
- Transactions (Contains over 200 lessons!)
- Statements (Preparing statements and delivering to clients)
- Cleanup (A brand new unit on how to clean up a new client’s books)
- Final Exams (One on book knowledge and one practical application)
- Interpret & Advise (Explaining the statements and becoming a trusted advisor)
In addition to the new Cleanup unit, Ben has also added information on taxes (in the Interpret & Advise unit) so that you have the basics on how to answer clients in such areas.
The Clients section focuses on getting your first client using inexpensive or free marketing methods. Units include:
- Get Ready to Earn (Thinking like a business owner)
- Yakkity Yak (Sharing about your business with friends, family, and neighbors)
- 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)
- Specialized Groups (How to find them and contribute)
- Consult to Close (The specific process that turns leads into clients)
The Systems section covers efficiency in your business. Now that you have a client (or two or three), this section of the course is designed to help course members officially set up business systems and learn to manage life as a home-based business owner for maximum results and enjoyment of life. Units include:
- Lifestyle (Building a business that supports your lifestyle)
- Your Money (Lessons on money truths)
- Processes & Checklists (Thorough walk-through of business systems)
- Templates (A growing library of templates so you don't have to start from scratch)
- Tools & Tech (Resources to get the job done faster and better)
The Clients – Advanced section focuses on advanced marketing techniques. With systems in place, you are ready to grow while efficiently serving the clients you already have. Prior to this point, these things can side-track you from the most important tasks – learning the bookkeeping skills, finding your first client and serving them well. It’s now time to focus on advanced marketing to expand your business to your desired level. Units include:
- Get Your Website (Setting up and customizing your website)
- Prospect Follow-Up System (Developing an efficient system for following up with prospects in your business)
- Email Outreach (Using and implementing email outreach)
- Referral Marketing (Using referral marketing effectively)
- LinkedIn (Using the LinkedIn platform to find clients)
- Niches (Specializing in a particular area and becoming an expert)
Resources and Bonuses: The Extras
Ben Robinson is continually expanding and improving the entire course and that includes adding new resources and bonuses. For example, the course has recently updated its transactions and statements module to reflect the changes within QuickBooks. He also added a unit on spreadsheets seeing that it could benefit many of his students.
For those who have successfully built a small bookkeeping business and are looking to take it to the next level, Ben also offers Bookkeeper Elite as well as the OPP Course. 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. He is constantly providing more to his students and keeping all course material updated, enabling them to become great bookkeepers who are even more valuable to their clients.
- Launch Your Business (Steps to getting your business set up in 7 days)
- My Notes (Your notes from all topics in one place – searchable and exportable into Word)
- Live Q & A Recordings (View past Weekly Q & As)
- Premier Coaching (includes 8 bonus group coaching sessions followed by open mic sessions – only unlocked for Premiere 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)
- Spreadsheets (Everyone needs to know the basics!)
- 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 Premiere students)
- Website Challenge ( Step by step video guide on how to set up a domain and hosting – then create your website)
5 Star Student Success Banner
The course has a recommended study track and a 90-day success plan, but the latest addition to help keep students on track is the 5 Star Student Success Banner. It contains five stars, each representing a different milestone that is necessary to becoming a successful bookkeeper. These five stars are:
- Complete course (These are the 18 units that are needed to start your business, the advanced courses are not included in earning this star)
- Bookkeeper Launch Certificate of Completion
- Software Certificate
- Launch Your Business
- First Client
The 5-star banner is not only a fun tool to keep students motivated, but those who complete all 5 Stars will also get access to advanced, additional content! This bonus content will include tips on productivity, processes, budgeting, bench-marking, and communication with clients.
Support for Bookkeeper Launch:
The support for Ben’s course is extensive. In addition to the frequent Q & A sessions, Bookkeeper Launch offers unlimited email support and a private Facebook group. Even if you are not a fan of social media, Ben recommends that course members set up a shell Facebook account in order to join the group. The group is not only for the new students – many graduates continue to take part. Not only do the newer students get their basic questions answered, but practicing bookkeepers also help each other sort out complicated situations. The group is also a place where the students can celebrate their successes as they grow or get moral support to make it through trying situations.
New Methods of Support
The previous methods of support are all still included in the new version. However, as Ben discovers new ways to support his students he adds even more. Ben now offers two weekly Q & A sessions instead of one. One is specifically for course-related questions, and the other is for client-related questions. The Client Q & As will 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. He is also adding 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 1-on-1 with a team member to overcome the challenge.
Educational Qualifications and Skills Needed:
You do not need any prior knowledge or experience in bookkeeping in order to take the course and begin your bookkeeping business. The course 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 do not need any degrees or experience in bookkeeping to get started, Ben is very upfront about certain traits, abilities, and resources you need to 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 client needs 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 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.
Bookkeeper Launch Cost:
- Bookkeeper Launch Pro: the FULL course
BL PRO 12 PAY = 12 Payments of $199 (as long as payments are up-to-date).
BL PRO FULL PAY = $1,999 (save $389 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 see 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.
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.
Bookkeeper Launch also provides a 30% military discount on all courses.
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 run a business or how to find paying clients? Ben’s course teaches everything:
- 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. 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.
Taking feedback from previous course members and using his insights from his own experience teaching bookkeeping, Bookkeeper Launch has been restructured. 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 is an excellent teacher:
- He has a simple and clear teaching style that breaks down complex concepts into understandable tasks.
- He has a win-win philosophy and knows that by teaching bookkeepers to be exceptional, everyone wins: the bookkeeper, their clients, and him as the teacher
- He continually looks for ways to improve himself as a teacher and the course material and is continually looking for ways to be more efficient.
- 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.
Verdict: It provides a legitimate anywhere anytime career.
Or are you ready to join? Join Ben's BL Family now.
Want More Info?
Beyond the continual improvements to the course, Bookkeeper Launch comes highly recommended, because it is a method that is proven and has many students who have built successful businesses after completing the course. I’ve had the privilege of interviewing Ben Robinson as well as several past Bookkeeper Launch students. Here are a few Bookkeeper Launch graduate interviews for you to check out:
- Bookkeeper Launch Preps for Business in the Real World, An Interview with Holly Ferris
- How This Mom Became a Successful Virtual Bookkeeper [Interview with Amy McLaughry]
- How Does Virtual Bookkeeping Work?: Interview With Full-Time Virtual Bookkeeper, Jackie Snaza
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…