How Do You Become A Bookkeeper? Tips To Becoming A Bookkeeper
Bookkeeping is the process of recording financial transactions and is part of the accounting processes of a business. Some of these transactions include managing sales, receipts, purchases and payments made by an organization or individual. A bookkeeper is, therefore, a professional whose primary responsibility is to manage, process and record the financial transactions and affairs of a business or individual.
To become a bookkeeper, there are several requirements that one has to meet. These professionals are basic; entry-level accounting clerks tasked with the responsibility of recording all the financial transactions of a business’ general ledger. It is vital that a bookkeeper possesses basic math skills for him or her to enter purchases, invoices, payroll and other forms of expenditures into a company’s database. It is also their responsibility to create the financial statements that managers and accountants need to evaluate a company’s monetary status.
It is worth noting that bookkeeping has a higher turnover rate as one advances – that means that there are always job openings for anyone furthering their skills as a bookkeeper. In this article, we’ll be looking at some of the steps you could take to become a certified bookkeeper.
Possessing a high school diploma is enough to fill a bookkeeping position with some on-the-job training. However, many of today’s employers are looking for candidates with some tertiary education. If you have an associate’s degree or certificate in bookkeeping, then it shouldn’t be that hard to find employment. However, you could still get employed if you study auditing and accounting at a vocational school or community college.
The important thing, however, is to ensure that your degree is accepted and is accredited by regional accounting agencies and bodies. A good bookkeeping curriculum will introduce you to topics such inventory management, fraud prevention, internal controls, payroll, and financial statement analysis. It is also advisable that you take some lessons in computer science as this could prove helpful when learning Microsoft Excel and Quickbooks.
Get Some Experience
While studying bookkeeping, it is advisable that you consider applying for co-ops and internships to gain hands-on experience with ledgers, balance sheets, financial reports, and invoices. Knowing how to keep track of deferrals and accruals is necessary. Once you’ve had some experience, consider applying for available positions in private corporations, banks, accounting firms, securities brokerages, government agencies, retail stores, and so forth. If you are lucky enough to get employed, you will probably have to work under the watchful eye of an experienced colleague or supervisor to learn some specialized tasks. An important thing to note is that on the job training could last anywhere from 6 to 12-months, but that’s dependent on your bookkeeping background. 2-years full-time experience is necessary before you can progress to the next level.
Acquire Professional Certification
The best way to become a bookkeeper is to pursue professional certification. Not only does this give you the know-how, but it also proves that you are an authority in the field. To become a Certified Bookkeeper, you will be required to pass a four-part exam. In America, the first two exams are done at Prometric Test Centers, while the other two are basic, open workbook tests. These tests often have multiple choice questions covering topics like inventory controls, depreciation, payroll, bank reconciliation, entries adjustments, and error correction. To be certified, you will have to pass the exams with an average score of 75% or higher and will be required to sign a Code of Ethics.
The average yearly salary for a bookkeeper in the US with a high school diploma currently stands at $38,000. However, bookkeepers holding a college degree stand to make well over $56,000 annually.
A career in bookkeeping can be the perfect platform to launch yourself into a career in auditing, accounting information systems, finance, or accounting. As a bookkeeper, it is vital that you master the skills required to maintain clean financial records.