How To Become a Bookkeeper

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A bookkeeper is someone who is in charge of a company's accounting, including recording and keeping up with accounts and financial records. Bookkeepers usually work in an office setting, and are employed by the government, businesses, and other institutions. Bookkeepers deal with large amounts of money, so ideal candidates must be organized, thorough, punctual, and honest.[1]


Flickr: edinburghcityofprint
Education High school diploma[2]
Starting pay $21,270[3]
Median pay $34,030[2]
10 yr growth Average[2]
Related professions Accountant, financial clerk, loan officer[4]
Author Allison Hughes

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Bookkeeper Job Overview

Throughout the course of a day, a bookkeeper is in charge of a variety of duties. These include preparing budgets, accounts receivables, financial statements, and income tax returns. Bookkeepers also write payroll checks, handle health insurance for employees, provide representation for audits, complete payroll reports throughout the year, and pay bills.[1]

Bookkeeper Education

Although a college degree is not required, 25 percent of bookkeepers receive an associate's degree or bachelor's degree in accounting or a related financial field. They may take classes in mathematics and computers, learning about bookkeeping software and spreadsheets.[5] Organizations like the American Institute of Professional Bookkeepers provide their members with bookkeeping tips each week, helping to increase a bookkeeper's ongoing education.[6]

Bookkeeper Training

Most of a bookkeeper's training is administered on the job. Training is typically offered by a fellow employee or supervisor and usually includes a hands-on approach that demonstrates how tasks are completed in the office. In addition, some companies may require classroom training, especially in computer software programs. Training of this nature may take up to six months to complete.[5]

Bookkeeping Certification and Exams

Although not a necessity, some bookkeepers elect to become certified. The certification gives them the designation of Certified Bookkeeper (CB). This designation tells potential employers that the bookkeeper is able to carry out a wide range of tasks, including balancing accounts, overseeing payroll, and all related duties. In order to become certified, most bookkeepers need to obtain at least two years of experience and pass a four-part exam. The National Bookkeepers Association certifies individuals who take and pass an online exam with 50 multiple choice questions.[5]

Becoming a Bookkeeper

Information about a career in bookkeeping

Also See: How to Become a Bank Teller, How to Become a Loan Officer, How to Become an Accountant, How to Become an Interpreter, How to Become a Financial Planner, How to Become an Auditor, How to Become an Actuary


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