Early this morning, I finally finished the final exam portion of the Bookkeeper Launch program. The program is structured to be completed in 90-days, but it is self paced. I signed up in late October so it took me almost 8 months! But I also read stories from other where it took them years. So I do not feel so bad in the end 🙂
Before I get too deep into this, there are quite a few fantastic video reviews of Bookkeeper Launch on YouTube. I strongly suggest that you check out those as well.
So here we go!
What, Why & Who is the Program for?
Plenty of people are out there on social media promoting various side hustles and income-boosting opportunities. A good amount of them are selling pipe dreams. To be fair, even those who promote bookkeeping as a path to riches are not giving the full story either. And without a doubt, Bookkeeper Launch has an incredible marketing machine behind it. However from my own personal perspective, I am looking for ways to supplement my income. I also want something that I can do from home. Also, I had some previous experience supporting accountants. So this seemed like a great program. It was pricey though ($2,499 as of this writing). However, they were running a 50% off special and I jumped on it.
The program does focus exclusively on remote/cloud-based bookkeeping and utilizes Quickbooks Online as the accounting software on which to learn. Major caution here: if you are not tech savvy, you may find yourself getting frustrated. There were a few students who griped about not being able to set up their Quickbooks accounts. The course provides instructions. But if things do not go as planned, you need to reach out to Quickbooks. In my case, I tried to sign up with the free license the course provided. I couldn’t — because I already had a Quickbooks account from years ago. It wasn’t a huge deal — I reached out and discovered the issue. I just created a new profile with a different email (easy enough – I have several emails). But some people spun their wheels for a long time or signed up for a 30-day trial (which is available to everyone) instead of the 1-year trial the course offers.
The course itself is delivered online and is self-paced (each section has day ranges like day 31-45 and what not….but you aren’t held to that). You get a mix of videos and quizzes and exams throughout. The layout and presentation is great. I’ve taken many college courses online and this one was just organized beautifully:
As far as difficulty, I would say that the material is a lot — and it is thorough. I never worked full-time as a bookkeeper but I’ve had several accounting courses. I would say that if you do not have any type of background in accounting/bookkeeping — resist the urge to just let the video play and you sit back and try to learn by osmosis. Take notes. Pause the videos. Make sure you understand what is really being said. Because even with my knowledge and experience with accounting; I had to just step away from the final exam a few times and go back and review entire sections again.
With that being said, bookkeeping is the type of work that you just need practice in order to become proficient. I think that being BK Launch certified shows that you have a measurable standard of competency. But you are going to have to pair it with more experience, a good deal of marketing (which you get an intro to in the course), more certifications/degrees and/or more skillsets to really go into business for yourself.
Some Cons & Pitfalls
So I will not hold back on honest criticism of Bookkeeper Launch here. So here we go!
I got the course at a 50% discount — and it’s still pretty steep for me. I did opt to pay monthly — but I’m paying more than my car insurance and I’ll be thankful when my ’12 easy payments’ are done!
Support From the Staff is ‘Meh’
I did not need to reach out to the Bookkeepers.com staff that often. But when I did, their response time via email was a bit slow. There is no chatbot or livechat feature in the course. Most of the help and support comes from the student community — not the staff.
It Is Overwhelming
Bookkeeper Launch is a pretty comprehensive program. It really takes you through just about every aspect of building a business from scratch….even down to picking a business name and creating a logo. The program presents you with a whooping 64 hours of coursework. And a good amount of that time is focused on things besides the mechanics of actual bookkeeping. In that way, it is much less like a college course, and more like a bootcamp.
The Official BL Community has Moved Off of Facebook
So this to me personally, is not a huge ‘con’. But many others did not like Ben Robinson’s decision to move the official BL student community off of Facebook and over to another platform (called Circle). I actually agree it was a smart move ultimately. Facebook is too cryptic and vague in their responsibility towards online social networking groups and I wouldn’t trust them as far as I can throw them to keep my data private. With that being said, the engagement since leaving FB has gone waaay down. And for many people, that extended community was one of the best features of BL Launch.
My take-away is that the Bookkeeper Launch program is the next best thing to having a mentor guide you towards being a self-employed remote bookkeeper. Of all of the CPAs that put themselves out there as bookkeeping/accounting trainers, Ben Robinson is the most personable one. He present information to you in a really understandable and relatable way. He doesn’t drone on and he has designed the course to keep you interested. The BL student community is still fantastic and it is a very supportive and helpful community. Feel free to reach out to me or comment with any other questions or feedback that you may have. 🙂