Bookkeepers maintain financial records, keep track of accounts, and check financial records for accuracy. Most bookkeeping positions require you to have a high school diploma or GED. However, some employers prefer hiring candidates who also have postsecondary training. Gain the math and computer skills needed to work as a bookkeeper by pursuing bookkeeping training.
Overview of Bookkeeping Classes
The prerequisite for both bookkeeping certificate programs and associate’s degrees in accounting is only a high school diploma or GED. If you are interested in becoming a bookkeeper, and you are still in high school, it is recommended that you take courses in algebra, pre-calculus, calculus, and accounting principles.
Curriculum for Bookkeeping Programs
Bookkeeping certification programs typically last less than one year and some programs allow you to complete your coursework entirely online. Bookkeeping classes that you may be required to take include the following:
- Accounting basics
- Payroll administration
- Cost and managerial accounting
- QuickBooks introduction
What You Will Learn in Your Bookkeeping Courses
Graduates of bookkeeping programs are typically able to apply accounting concepts and financial analysis tools to identify and correct errors, prepare payroll transactions, apply concepts of accrual accounting to transactions spanning fiscal periods, and much more.
Professional Certification Options
After completing their bookkeeping classes, some graduates eventually pursue the Certified Bookkeeper (CB) designation awarded by the American Institute of Professional Bookkeepers. In order to obtain this certification, candidates must have at least two years of full-time bookkeeping experience. The National Association of Certified Public Bookkeepers also offers a certification for bookkeepers.
Job Options for Bookkeeping Grads
All organizations are required by law to record their financial transactions. Bookkeepers are responsible for an organization’s accounts and perform general accounting duties, such as the following:
- Record all financial transactions
- Receive and record cash, checks, and vouchers
- Check for accuracy in figures, reports, etc.
- Calculate profit and loss
- Produce reports, such as income statements and balance sheets
- Reconcile or report differences found in records
Traits of a Good Bookkeeper
Employers look for bookkeepers who are reliable, punctual, well organized, and thorough. It is also important for bookkeepers to be of honesty and integrity since they are often required to handle cash. Most organizations have computerized their financial records, so it is essential for bookkeepers to know how to use specialized accounting software, databases, and spreadsheets.
Bookkeeping Employment Outlook
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment of bookkeepers is expected to grow 11% from 2012 to 2022, which is about as fast as average for all occupations. As the number of organizations increases, more bookkeepers will be needed to keep their books. Jobs for bookkeepers will also increase as companies pay more attention to the accuracy of their books and regulations become stricter in the financial sector. In 2012, bookkeepers earned a median annual wage of $35,170. With additional experience and education, bookkeepers also have the option of becoming accountants or auditors.
Bookkeeping is a flexible career choice because various types of businesses and organizations need bookkeepers. Although many bookkeeping positions do not require previous experience, having postsecondary training in bookkeeping and knowledge of standard bookkeeping practices can keep you one step ahead of the competition. Put your knack for numbers to good use by pursuing bookkeeping training today.