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By Nsim Team
Are you interested in a career that allows you to primarily work with a computer, rather than having a lot of face time with the general public? Do you enjoy balancing finances and financial reports? If so, a career as a bookkeeper is worth considering. Here are some quick highlights of working in this field:
• Typically only a diploma or certificate in accounting is needed to qualify for jobs
• Plenty of room for advancement, including the opportunity to be self-employed
• Opportunity to work in relative peace and quiet
Who is a Bookkeeper ?
A bookkeeper is responsible for maintaining all records pertaining to the financial transactions of a small organization. A bookkeeper’s typical functions are to reconcile bank statements, enter bills, invoices, receipts and pay stubs, and process payments.
Bookkeeper Job Duties
• Use various forms of accounting software
• Prepare customer invoices and receive payments
• Enter vendor bills and prepare cheques
• Maintain a general ledger for all transactions
• Prepare financial statements
• Perform bank deposits and reconcile bank accounts
• Liaise with company accountant for taxation preparation purposes
Education Needed to Become a Bookkeeper
There are no standardized educational requirements for becoming a bookkeeper; they can vary widely from one job posting to the next, depending on the scope and responsibility of the position. Below is an overview of how widely it can vary.
No Post-Secondary Education: Some employers may not require formal post-secondary education at all, or even a high school diploma (although the latter is a requirement much more often than not), provided you have a few months or a few years worth of closely related work experience. It's a little more rare, but not entirely uncommon for people to get bookkeeping jobs without related formal education.
Accounting Diploma/Certificate: Most employers will require that you have completed, or are working towards, a post-secondary diploma, certificate, associate's degree in a field related to accounting or business administration. Some may even require a bachelor's degree, but that is quite rare.
Working Toward Professional Designation: Some employers might only hire you if you are working toward a professional accounting designation. This is typically reserved for employers that have the intention of “grooming” you into a full accountant position within their organization upon completion of your designation.
Skills Needed to Become a Bookkeeper
In order to effectively perform the duties of a bookkeeper, you will need the following skills:
• An understanding of industry terminology
• Working knowledge of popular bookkeeping software (such as Quickbooks)
• Working knowledge of office software (such as Microsoft Excel, Word, etc.)
• Able to work with numbers quickly and accurately
• Able to concentrate for long periods of time and maintain accuracy in work
• Able to troubleshoot errors in account reconciliation
• Working knowledge of bookkeeping procedures, such as invoicing and financial report preparation
Who Employs Bookkeepers?
Any organization that has money coming in and money going out needs to properly keep track of it. For that reason, bookkeepers can be employed on a part-time or full-time basis by organizations in almost any conceivable sector of industry. They may be hired either as in-house employees, or as contractors.
The following is an overview of the types of employers you could have as a bookkeeper.
• Temp agencies (as an employee of the temp agency, contracted to an organization)
• Accounting firms
• Bookkeeping contracting firms
• Small, medium or large organizations (as an in-house employee)