Career Development

What Does a Bookkeeper Do?

Find out what a bookkeeper does, how to get this job, and what it takes to succeed as a bookkeeper.

Bookkeepers are responsible for keeping track of the finances of a business or organization. They commonly use software applications to record financial transactions and balance them against each other to ensure that everything adds up. They may also be responsible for preparing financial statements and reports for internal or external stakeholders.

Bookkeepers must be detail-oriented, organized, and able to work independently with minimal supervision. They must also be able to read and interpret financial statements and records, including journals, ledgers, account statements, etc.

Bookkeeper Job Duties

A bookkeeper typically has a wide range of responsibilities, which can include:

  • Calculating the cost of inventory items, including the cost of materials and labor used to produce them
  • Posting transaction information to company ledgers, including journals and subsidiary ledgers
  • Reconciling company bank statements to ensure that all transactions have been recorded correctly
  • Preparing financial statements such as profit and loss statements, balance sheets, and other reports required by federal or state laws
  • Preparing estimates of taxes due on behalf of clients for federal and state income tax purposes
  • Recording financial transactions in an organization’s accounting system using computer software, spreadsheets, or paper records
  • Preparing reports to track where money is going within an organization
  • Maintaining financial records for businesses by processing invoices, bills, payments, and other transactions
  • Preparing tax returns for individuals or businesses by calculating taxable income, calculating deductions, and identifying credits for which the taxpayer may qualify

Bookkeeper Salary & Outlook

Bookkeepers’ salaries vary depending on their level of education and experience. They may also receive bonuses or commissions, depending on the company they work for. In general, bookkeepers with more experience and education will make more money than those with less.

  • Median Annual Salary: $44,500 ($21.39/hour)
  • Top 10% Annual Salary: $69,500 ($33.41/hour)

The employment of bookkeepers is expected to decline over the next decade.

Bookkeepers will be displaced by computerized accounting systems, which are becoming more cost-effective and efficient than human bookkeepers. As a result, some bookkeepers may lose their jobs or have less opportunity for employment. However, many bookkeepers will continue to be needed to ensure that these computerized accounting systems work properly.

Bookkeeper Job Requirements

A bookkeeper typically needs to have the following qualifications:

Education: A minimum of a high school diploma is often a requirement for bookkeepers. Many employers prefer candidates who have completed some post-secondary education, such as an associate’s degree in accounting or business.

Training & Experience: Most employers will require a candidate to complete an on-the-job training program. This training program will help the bookkeeper learn the company’s specific processes and procedures. The training program may last for a few weeks or a few months, depending on the company.

Certifications & Licenses: Generally, you don’t need certifications to become a bookkeeper, but they can help demonstrate your skills and qualifications to potential employers.

Bookkeeper Skills

Bookkeepers need the following skills in order to be successful:

Technology: Bookkeepers use technology to record financial data, enter data into spreadsheets and track invoices and payments. It’s important for bookkeepers to be comfortable with technology and able to adapt to new software and systems. Technology skills can also help bookkeepers learn new software and tools to stay up to date with the latest technology.

General ledger: General ledger is the bookkeeping system that records all financial transactions. Bookkeepers use general ledger to record all financial transactions and maintain the company’s financial records. Understanding how to use general ledger is a valuable skill for bookkeepers.

Bookkeeping methods: There are several methods bookkeepers use to record financial data, including cash, accrual and modified cash. Knowing the methods your company uses can help you become a better bookkeeper. You can ask your employer what methods they use and read up on the methods to learn more.

Basic accounting: Bookkeepers should have a basic understanding of accounting principles and practices. This can help them interpret financial data and make informed decisions about how to record and organize data. It can also help them communicate with other finance professionals.

Mathematics: Bookkeepers use basic math skills to perform calculations and record data. They also use advanced math skills to analyze financial data and make calculations. For example, they might use advanced math skills to prepare financial statements.

Bookkeeper Work Environment

Bookkeepers work in a variety of settings, including corporate offices, small businesses, and public accounting firms. They typically work regular business hours, although they may have to work overtime during busy periods, such as at the end of the fiscal year. Bookkeepers who work in public accounting firms may travel to their clients’ places of business to provide on-site bookkeeping services. Most bookkeepers work full time, and some work more than 40 hours per week.

Bookkeeper Trends

Here are three trends influencing how bookkeepers work. Bookkeepers will need to stay up-to-date on these developments to keep their skills relevant and maintain a competitive advantage in the workplace.

The Growth of Online Accounting Tools

As online accounting tools become more popular, bookkeepers will need to learn how to use them in order to stay competitive.

Online accounting tools can help bookkeepers save time and money by automating many of the tasks that are traditionally done by hand. By learning how to use these tools, bookkeepers can streamline their workflow and become more efficient.

Accountants Need to Know More Than Bookkeeping

As businesses become more complex, accountants will need to know more than just bookkeeping in order to be successful. This means that bookkeepers will need to be well-versed in a variety of areas, such as risk management and auditing.

By expanding their knowledge base, bookkeepers can become more valuable to their employers and be in a better position to find work in a variety of industries. Additionally, this trend will likely lead to an increase in demand for bookkeepers in the future.

Data Security and GDPR Compliance are Top Concerns

The trend that bookkeepers should be aware of is the increasing concern over data security and GDPR compliance. As data breaches become more common, businesses are becoming more aware of the need to protect their data. This means that bookkeepers need to be familiar with the latest data security measures and how to implement them.

In addition, bookkeepers need to be aware of the new GDPR regulations and how to ensure that their clients are compliant. This can be a complex process, but it is important for businesses to protect their customers’ data.

How to Become a Bookkeeper

A career as a bookkeeper can be extremely rewarding. It’s a great way to get started in the accounting profession and can lead to other opportunities in the field. As a bookkeeper, you’ll be responsible for recording financial transactions, preparing financial statements, and providing other financial advice.

To become a successful bookkeeper, it’s important to have strong math skills and knowledge of accounting principles. You should also be able to use accounting software programs and have strong organizational skills.

If you’re interested in becoming a bookkeeper, there are many online and offline courses available that will teach you the necessary skills. You can also find online job postings and career advice articles to help you get started in this field.

Related: How to Write a Bookkeeper Resume

Advancement Prospects

Bookkeepers can advance their careers by becoming certified public accountants (CPAs). To become a CPA, bookkeepers must pass a rigorous exam and meet other requirements, such as completing 150 semester hours of college coursework. CPAs often move into management positions or open their own accounting firms.

Bookkeepers can also advance their careers by becoming certified professional bookkeepers (CPBs). To become a CPB, bookkeepers must pass a certification exam and meet other requirements, such as having two years of experience. CPBs often move into management positions or open their own bookkeeping businesses.

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