Bookkeeping is a profession that is essential to all companies from multinational corporations to the entrepreneurs’ small business. The bookkeeper job description includes recording money transactions, compiling data for financial reports and ensuring accuracy. They do this using software especially for bookkeeping purposes. It can include the use of spreadsheets as well as databases too. They enter financial transactions, receive cash payments, record checks and process payments.
In this article, we will detail the overall duties and qualifications of a bookkeeper job description. It’ll talk about schooling, job duties, working hours and future prospects in the field.
Job Overview: What Does a Bookkeeping Professional Do?
A bookkeeper works in the financial aspect of a business. He or she will enter financial payments as well as track expenses, payments, liabilities and capital. They normally work within a company’s financial department but might also be the entire department. They’ve had advanced training, which can include a few years of college.
Bookkeeper Job Duties
A bookkeeper has a variety of duties related to their profession. Below you can find an overview of the main responsibilities linked to this profession.
- Enter deposits and payments into bookkeeping software.
- Record and review payables and receivables.
- Pay bills.
- Update and keep current with employee information for benefits.
- Enter and create payroll checks.
- Reconcile credit card statements.
- Call customers regarding past due accounts.
- Create and review monthly profit and loss statements.
- Reconcile bank statements.
- Create and review monthly inventory and sales reports.
- Pay sales tax on a quarterly basis.
- Pay estimated taxes to the IRS.
- Prepare materials on insurances, workers’ compensation, loan accounts and year-end capital assets.
- Review and prepare annual reports for accountant.
Bookkeeper Essential Skills
General Business Knowledge. The bookkeeper job description within a company is expanding as they’re interacting with other departments. They need business skills that will translate to those interactions. Bookkeeping professionals need to understand the overall health of a company to understand its finances.
Math Skills. The ability to work with numbers and analyze data compiled by financial reports is vital to this occupation. Those who don’t have a head for numbers and math concepts will have a difficult time as a bookkeeping professional.
Information Technology. Bookkeeping professionals will take advantage of cloud computing as well as accounting software to prepare and store financial records. They must understand how it all works together.
Communication Skills. The bookkeeping professional working with different departments will need good communication skills. They’ll be communicating in meetings, creating email correspondence and giving presentations.
Becoming a Bookkeeper Professional
While some skills can be learned on the job, advanced education is most often required to become a bookkeeper. Along with college courses and degrees, there are certifications that can be acquired as a bookkeeping professional.
Qualifications & Training
The bookkeeping professional should have at least two years of post-secondary education. Employers want bookkeeping and accounting knowledge before they’ll hire a bookkeeping professional.
If the bookkeeping professional has a few years of experience, he or she can get a certification by the American Institute of Professional Bookkeepers. The certification requires the bookkeeping professional to complete a 4-part examination that is given at a Prometric Test Center nationwide. The test covers topics like payroll, depreciation, bank reconciliation, inventory and fraud prevention.
While rare, some people can get hired out of high school for entry-level bookkeeping tasks like entering payment data, but for overall bookkeeping professionals performing all the duties of a bookkeeper requires some work experience. That experience can develop from the entry-level position to other aspects of bookkeeping for the person to gain more complete knowledge. Eventually, they can become knowledgeable enough to get certified as a bookkeeper.
During most of the year, this type of job has regular business hours from 8 a.m. to 4 or 5 p.m., but in tax season, the bookkeeping profession can get hectic. End-of-the-year accounting can require some overtime and extra hours.
Bookkeeping professionals can sometimes work from home or freelance with various businesses too. In that case, they can make their own hours as they see fit. Bookkeeping professionals who dictate their hours can work full- or part-time depending on how many clients they have.
Job Outlook & Advancement Opportunities
While employment directly with companies is expected to drop 8 percent from 2014 to 2024 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, freelance and contract work will be tied with the growth of the small business. Instead of working directly with companies on staff, bookkeepers will spend their time working with a variety of small businesses to make up their work day.
Bookkeepers entering and leaving the field cause it to be constantly in flux, which means that while job growth might be slow, there will be constant opportunities for those wanting to enter bookkeeping and accounting positions.
Those wanting to enter the bookkeeping profession should expect to get an advanced education. It’s rare to enter the field with no experience or schooling, as these are requirements that feature in the bookkeeper job description. It’s a job that requires computer and technical knowledge as well as an aptitude for math and numbers. The field won’t grow, but there will be constant positions opening along with growth in small businesses. It could lead to more opportunities in unconventional paths like freelance or contract work.
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