Becoming a Bookkeeper

There is a wide assortment of different careers in accounting that people can pursue to improve their career standing, possibly earn more money and enjoy their quality of life more. Bookkeeping is one of these career paths that will allow all individuals the opportunity to work in a fast paced career lifestyle in the accounting field. One of the key benefits of this position is that most of these jobs are fulfilled by people with a high school education. As of May 2020, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports a median salary of $42,410 for bookkeepers.

The primary responsibilities for a bookkeeper include using software, spreadsheets and online databases. The duties also include posting financial transactions. In many cases, the bookkeeper is responsible for receiving and recording all of the cash, check and voucher transactions that take place in the business. The accounting career information that the bookkeeper learns also includes putting debits and credits into the software for the appropriate account. These job skills vary by employer. Some bookkeepers will be required to produce financial reports, balance sheets, income statements and totals for multiple accounts. If there are any discrepancies in the statements that the bookkeeper creates, the individual will also report this information to his or her direct superior. The responsibilities are extremely important to the overall function of the business, and that is why the job outlook for bookkeepers is likely to grow 14% in the next eight years (according to the BLS).

This career fits into the accounting world because the job requires a great deal of mathematical accuracy and work. It is imperative that bookkeepers work directly with the accountants on a daily basis and provide timely and accurate information. The opportunity for advancement is possible with a great work ethic and some advanced training. It is possible that with the right amount of experience and education, a bookkeeper could become an accountant or auditor. Some bookkeepers may also go through the process to become a Certified Bookkeeper. This process involves at least two years of bookkeeping experience, a four hour exam and an adherence to the code of ethics.

Become a Bookkeeper

To become a bookkeeper, a high school diploma or equivalent is usually required. The position requires a solid mathematical skill set and technological capabilities. Potential employers will be looking for someone to hire that also has great interpersonal skills and great attention to detail. A college education is not typically required to attain this position, but continued education only helps anyone that is a candidate for the job. The Bureau of Labor and Statistics suggested that about 25% of all bookkeepers had at least an Associate’s Degree in the accounting field. Much of the training for the position will be on-the-job, but the prerequisites required to perform many of the tasks can be learned with the advanced degree. It is possible for many bookkeepers to receive more training with the help of the employer, but that is not always a viable option. There are numerous careers in accounting, so anyone looking for these types of positions should be able to find a great job placement.

About 25 percent of all bookkeepers work full-time, but that number is increasing as more businesses require accurate data information. Some accounting assistants also work extended hours during the busiest times of the years. Bookkeepers that work with tax preparers may find extra hours during tax season, and retail bookkeepers may find extra work throughout the holiday seasons. Most of these positions are placed in offices or cubicles. It is imperative that the individual has the proper computer skills to get the work done as quickly and accurately as possible. Many future bookkeepers may want to take a few courses in accounting from local universities to improve the chances of landing a job in the accounting field.

The opportunity to become a bookkeeper is possible for anyone that is looking to find a great career or change careers. The work is steady and the opportunity for growth is possible.

May 2020 Bureau of Labor Statistics salary and job market trends for bookkeeping, accounting, and auditing clerks represent national data, not school-specific information. Conditions in your area may vary. Data Accessed May 2021.