How One Childcare Worker Made the Leap and Became a Self-Employed Xero Bookkeeper

When Agnest decided to transition from a career in childcare to becoming a self-employed bookkeeper she didn’t make the decision lightly. She had no experience in bookkeeping and as a mother to two small children, she knew that a change would require determination and a long-term commitment. However, as Agnest soon found out, making money from bookkeeping was more achievable than she’d initially thought.

Time For a Change

Agnest had worked in childcare for 12 years and although she enjoyed interacting with children and their families, she was starting to feel less satisfied with her career. 

After she became a mother, Agnest’s priorities changed. She needed the flexibility to deal with unforeseen events such as a sick child or a trip to the hospital to visit a family member. 

Attending events and appointments with the kids after school became problematic if she was rostered on to work at the childcare centre, and the rigidity and stress of it all became too much. Additionally, she was struggling to make ends meet on her low pay rate.  Something had to give.

Agnest sat down with her husband and discussed her options. She examined the parts of her job that she enjoyed, and those which she would like to change. Upon reflection, Agnest realised that she was at her happiest when she was working within more defined parameters and using her problem solving skills to get the ‘right’ answer. She had some experience doing basic administrative tasks and this was what gave her the most job satisfaction.

After researching various industries and working opportunities, Agnest decided that a career as a self-employed bookkeeper would allow her to:

  • Work from home, giving her more freedom and flexibility to manage her time.
  • Improve her job satisfaction by doing work that she was naturally good at.
  • Earn more money, as the hourly rate for a junior bookkeeper was higher than her current rate of pay in childcare.

With this in mind, Agnest decided to enrol in a bookkeeping course and commit to a better life for herself and her family.

Learning New Skills

Agnest enrolled in the Bookkeeping and Online Business Pro Training Package. This course not only helped her to reach advanced levels working with Xero and MYOB, it also gave her the skills to run her own business as a contractor. These included:

  • Office administration and practice with all the major Microsoft Office programs.
  • Tools such as Dropbox, OneDrive and Google Drive to facilitate working remotely from home.
  • One-to-one tutoring from experienced licensed bookkeepers.
  • Industry Connect, which allowed Agnest to speak with industry professionals such as BAS agents and accountants and learn first-hand what it’s like to do the job.
  • Digital Marketing resources and support. Agnest learned how to market her own business and create online ads for her services. Furthermore, she was also coached on how to respond to enquiries, ask qualifying questions and follow up leads from prospective clients.

Agnest says that her favourite part of her training was the case studies. Working with real-life examples and completing practical exercises help her to learn faster, rather than simply reading the theory.

Xero Rescue Bookkeeping Agnest (1)

One of the reasons Agnest has been able to make the transition from childcare to bookkeeping so rapidly is due to being able to start the course the same day she enrolled. She was also grateful for the online support provided by 123 Group, and was able to get her questions answered straight away through either email or chat.

The Bookkeeping Business License Marketing Package


Learning technical skills of how to use MYOB & Xero is one thing but the one aspect of starting a bookkeeping business that most people aren’t prepared for is the marketing and sales side.

Digital Marketing for a bookkeeping business involves creating offers and ads and then speaking with prospective clients to identify ideal clients.

You can learn about all of these tasks in our “Selling Academy” articles.

How One Training Course Changed A Life

Since completing her course and participating in these digital marketing and sales tasks Agnest’s life has changed and she feels more empowered. She is able to meet her work obligations without compromising her family time.

  • Agnest says that she is growing as a person and as a small business owner, and she is becoming more confident speaking with people about their businesses. She is realising that she can define her clients and contribute to their business either by using her own knowledge and expertise, or by referring them to other industry professionals.
  • Subsequently, Agnest is starting to build a solid network for referrals and reciprocal business. She is getting connected with local accountants and small businesses, and systematically marketing her bookkeeping services to the local community.
  • Agnest is now assisting her husband in his own small business, which reduces stress for the whole family. She is also working with a couple of new clients and they are very happy with her work. This will hopefully generate some favourable online reviews and lead to more bookkeeping work.
  • As Agnest continues to grow her client list, she is also furthering her studies. She is currently working through Xero certification, something she could not have done without doing the 123 Group Xero Pro Connect training course.
  • Agnest says that she would eventually like to become a BAS agent, so that she can offer a wider range of services and earn even higher rates.

This has truly been a life changing experience.


With a clear understanding of your strengths and weaknesses plus a willingness to make changes and undertake the right training, it IS possible to transition out of a job you hate into the job of your dreams. 

Consider your options carefully and make a decision about how you want to work, based on your own interests and goals. You can turn your dreams into reality and live your best life. It’s never too late!

Explore other graduates who are available for bookkeeping work across Australia.

In Her Own Words: Watch An Interview With Agnest

start a bookkeeping business, become a freelance writer, become a licenced real estate agent

Agnest has been in the childcare industry for 12 years and although she loves the kids and the work, she is ready for a career change where there is more opportunity to work flexible hours and earn better pay.

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Become a Bookkeeping Contractor

Reach advanced level and confidence with your accounting skills using MYOB & Xero and use your training and support to run your own business working as a contractor either as side hustle or as your main focus.