As we celebrate International Women’s Day, it’s crucial to recognize the pivotal role women play in various professions like finance, which is traditionally dominated by men.

One subset of that field is bookkeeping, where women have been the backbone for centuries. Today, I want to shed light on how empowering bookkeepers aligns with the broader goals of women’s empowerment, drawing from my own experiences and insights.

Allow me to introduce myself. I’m Nana—a woman, a black woman, a mother, and a finance professional with a CPA, CA designation. Throughout my career, I’ve often found myself as the sole representative of my demographic in professional settings. I have not had the luxury of being part of a group who is automatically trusted and respected.  Dealing with biases and misconceptions has been a familiar challenge but I’ve learned to focus on being my authentic self and advocating not only for myself but for those around me.

So, what does this have to do with bookkeeping? Let’s delve into it.


Warren Buffet once said, “Price is what you pay. Value is what you get.” This resonates deeply with bookkeepers seeking to elevate their profession. Many cite challenges such as growth, work-life balance, and operational efficiency. Embracing technology, particularly AI, can alleviate these pain points, allowing bookkeepers to focus on strategic tasks that clients value.

Clients find it difficult to pay a hefty price to accomplish something they deem as doable by themselves (even when they wouldn’t do it themselves). Shifting from mundane tasks to financially informed analyses positions bookkeepers as indispensable contributors to their clients’ businesses. With this approach, not only can she charge for the work she does, but more importantly, she can recover her fees.

However, women, in particular, often struggle with setting boundaries, leading to burnout. It’s crucial for bookkeepers to prioritize their wellbeing by being assertive about their value and setting clear boundaries. Whether it’s defining processes, a compulsory tech stack, or adjusting fees based on quantifiable parameters, assertiveness is key to maintaining work-life balance and fostering employee retention. Many women are conditioned to interpret that as bossy but I urge them to think about this in a broader context: If you are not setting and holding boundaries for yourself (focusing on your values), what is the likelihood that you are doing so for

a) your employees (who, statistics indicate, are likely to be women); or

b) your clients (who look to you to drive value for them).

Furthermore, delegating tasks and leveraging external support are essential strategies for bookkeepers prioritizing their mental and physical health. Whether it’s through insurance-covered services or employee assistance programs, embracing these resources is vital for sustainable success.

Articulating the value of services is equally important. Instead of focusing solely on tactical accomplishments, such as the number of returns completed, the amount of time spent on the engagement, or even simply that the engagement is complete, bookkeepers should highlight how their activities contribute to clients’ bottom lines or other business goals.

This may require upskilling in performance measurement and metrics reporting to ensure fair compensation for their expertise. By now, we’re likely familiar with the gender wage gap. It’s worth considering whether men’s communication styles, particularly in how they highlight their achievements or promote themselves, align with the values of their audience, potentially contributing to their success.

Women excel at building relationships, making them invaluable assets in business development. By reallocating time saved from automation to activities like professional development and client engagement, leaders can better understand clients’ needs, and deliver and articulate value effectively.

In conclusion, empowering bookkeepers is not just about advancing a profession; it’s about challenging biases and creating opportunities for women to thrive in traditionally male-dominated fields. By embracing technology, setting boundaries, and articulating value, bookkeepers can command respect and pave the way for future generations of women in finance.

Happy International Women’s Day to all the remarkable women making their mark in every corner of the world!


Authored by Nana Guenther, Senior Practice Solutions Expert at Dext