Are bookkeepers entrepreneurs? Is it really possible to be a bookkeeper and an entrepreneur at the same time? Bookkeepers are generally considered to be super nice people. It’s also a profession that women predominantly do, sometimes as a part time role, often working from home. It also tends to be associated with drinking lots of tea and coffee. Not much wrong with that! But can bookkeepers be classed as entrepreneurs or associated with entrepreneurship? In order to answer the question, it’s necessary to define the word and the concept and look at the characteristics individually?
What is an entrepreneur?
Investopedia: An entrepreneur is an individual who creates a new business, bearing most of the risks and enjoying most of the rewards. The process of setting up a business is known as entrepreneurship. The entrepreneur is commonly seen as an innovator, a source of new ideas, goods, services, and business/or procedures.
Key Differences: An entrepreneur is someone who locates the need of society and tries to meet the same, with their innovative idea. A creative idea is conceived and all the necessary steps are taken to convert the idea into reality. This would include putting up the capital, the workplace, labour and all the essential resources to produce the product, whilst bearing all the risks so as to gain profits in the future. Entrepreneurship refers to the process of establishing a business entity, intending to get profit, as a future return.
The following apply to a freelance bookkeeper:
- Taking a risk by setting up a company
- Seeing and seizing a new opportunity
- Taking advantage of technology
- Understanding the mechanics of running a business
- Having ambition, motivation and enthusiasm
- Desire to develop a business
- Thinks differently – searching for new ways of doing things
- Necessity to be agile and adaptable
So are bookkeepers entrepreneurs?
Could it be said that ‘number crunchers’ are not naturally inclined towards being risk takers? But by establishing a company, you are surely taking a risk? You are certainly addressing the needs of society and making your vision a reality. Becoming a bookkeeper certainly fulfils entrepreneurship by establishing a business entity, intending to get profit, as a return in the future. Where it might fall down is in the creativity and innovative element, but anyone who deals with numbers knows that you have to be very creative at times!
No two entrepreneurs are the same!
However, if you put a selection of so called entrepreneurs into a room together, they would certainly have lots of things in common including being resilient, agile, tenacious and passionate, all of which apply to bookkeepers. (They would also undoubtedly have traits that were quite dissimilar.) Bookkeeping is a fast moving profession and therefore involves being agile, adaptable and determined. Perhaps you could say that where entrepreneurs differ is in the personal risk, the size of their vision and goal. And if bookkeepers are not entrepreneurs, they are certainly a valuable business asset, a sounding board and at times a shoulder to cry on. It’s true that bookkeepers are closer to their clients than almost any other business professional.
What does Team 4 Solutions think?
So it’s yes and no! But definitely more yes than no. In many respects we feel bookkeepers are entrepreneurs. We would love to hear what you think. However, entrepreneur or not, one thing is clear, we would love to encourage more young people to see bookkeeping as a profession and as a destination, not a stepping stone to becoming an accountant. It’s a career that can take you anywhere if you have ambition and can be a lot more versatile than accountancy. By working as a bookkeeper with other business owners you will learn so much about how to run a business and how not to, and bookkeeping can take you anywhere. All you need is the vision.