The Oxford Dictionary defines a bookkeeper as, “a person whose job is to keep records of the financial affairs of a business.” The Bureau of Labor Statistics lists the following as the most common duties of a bookkeeper:
- Uses bookkeeping software, spreadsheets, and databases
- Enters (post) financial transactions into the appropriate computer software
- Receives and records cash, checks, and vouchers
- Puts costs (debits) and income (credits) into the software, assigning each to an appropriate account
- Produces reports, such as balance sheets (costs compared with income), income statements, and totals by account
- Checks for accuracy in figures, postings, and reports
- Reconciles or notes and reports any differences they find in the records
- In addition, they are often responsible for payroll, making purchases, preparing invoices and keeping track of overdue accounts
To become a bookkeeper you must possess a specific group of qualities. Prelude Accounts identifies seven of the most important qualities that an employer will look for in a bookkeeper.
- Organizational skills- bookkeepers need to be able to manage their time and workload and keep records accurately and neatly. They will be managing the financial accounts for a business so precise math and organization is imperative to keep accounts current.
- Conscientiousness- companies want their bookkeepers to feel invested in their work. They want them to work to the best of their ability and meet the needs of the company. Companies want their bookkeepers to have integrity and always do the right thing with the company’s money.
- An understanding of your business- companies want their bookkeepers to take time to understand what the company does and what products or services they offer. They also want their bookkeepers to understand the kind of customers and clients they will be serving. This gives them a better understanding of how to manage accounts and take care of issues as they arise.
- An exceptional memory- this is an appealing quality if there is an instance where a historical account needs to be recalled. Having someone who can remember the circumstances is helpful.
- Familiarity with new technology- technology is always advancing and while a paper and pencil ledger is possible, most companies are using some type of technologically based program for their bookkeeping. The use of such programs actually makes thing easier on the bookkeeper!
- Professional, polite demeanor- some companies will use their bookkeepers to follow up on late payments or have them contact suppliers. A bookkeeper needs good oral and written communication skills.
- A basic understanding of accountancy and new developments in the sector- “A good bookkeeper would have half an eye on developments within the accountancy sector, and should be able to adapt their processes accordingly as well as flag with you issues that may require the attention of a professional accountant,” according to Prelude Accounts.
Military One Source recently identified transferable skills that can move with you. While this particular article relates to accounting, many of the same qualities are needed for bookkeeping. All companies have some sort of financial records that they keep and bookkeeping will give you a good foundation for keeping those records. While bookkeeping is available in most companies, if you are unable to find a bookkeeping career after moving, these are all skills that could be transferred to other careers as well as you move from place to place.
- Analyzing, verifying and finding patterns in data
- Critical thinking
- Strategic planning
- Oral, written and auditory communication skills
- Working independently and in collaboration with coworkers
- Attention to detail
- Understanding, interpreting and applying tax law
- Proficiency using computer accounting and word processing software
Most bookkeepers work in the office setting. They work with a wide variety of companies from accounting firms, to hospitals, to insurance companies and much more. All businesses need someone to keep their finances in order and this is where a bookkeeper is advantageous. If you are organized, like math and want to help business with their bookkeeping needs, sign up for Ed4Career's Administrative Bookkeeping Professional Program today and start your portable career!
Ed4Career is happy to offer many opportunities for Complete Career Training Programs including our Administrative Bookkeeping Professional Program. This program includes QuickBooks® Pro, Professional Bookkeeping, Administrative Assistant, Start Your Own Bookkeeping Business and Microsoft Excel® 2016 courses. These courses also prepare the student to sit for different national certifications!
Upon successful completion of this course, students will be prepared to sit for the Intuit QuickBooks certification exam.
Upon successful completion of our Professional Bookkeeping course, students will be prepared for an entry-level position as a bookkeeper in an office setting and will be prepared to sit for the NACPB national certification exam. NACPB's Bookkeeper Certification assures employers you have bookkeeping knowledge and skill. You obtain the Certification by passing the Uniform Bookkeeper Certification Examination.
Upon successful completion of our Administrative Assistant course, students will be prepared for an entry-level job as an Administrative Assistant in an office setting and to sit for the NCCB national certification exam to become a Certified Administrative Assistant (CAA).
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