In order for a variety of businesses and institutions to run smoothly, bookkeepers are hired to manage day-to-day finances. This career field plays a huge role in every sector of the economy by maintaining financial accuracy for various clients. From the largest to the smallest of companies, bookkeeping is necessary to keep track of income, expenditures and more.
For the right candidate, a job in this field provides a number of advantages. The benefits of a bookkeeping career include a stable income, relevant job experience and potential room for growth. A diverse amount of bookkeeping jobs are available throughout the U.S., giving these professionals freedom to work in any industry. Self-employment is also available to workers in this career area. With such a variety of job options available for bookkeeping, interested candidates should determine their eligibility status right away.
Requirements for Bookkeeping Careers
Companies hiring bookkeepers decide on the specific requirements that must be met by applicants. Bookkeepers who possess the skills, experience and knowledge about specific subjects are more likely to be hired by a client. Employers value applicants with previous experience in the field. After a bookkeeper is hired, they must continually complete on-the-job training to build upon their current expertise and skill level.
Generally, aside from a high school diploma, there are no strict education requirements for bookkeeping careers. However, employers often prefer candidates with post-secondary education or relevant experience in the field. Having a two or four-year degree is beneficial to applicants. Degrees in accounting, finance and business are helpful for a bookkeeping career.
Professionals in this career area must demonstrate their knowledge and skill level in various subjects to prove job eligibility. The most important skill required for bookkeeping is the ability to constantly work with numbers. Bookkeepers must have extensive knowledge of mathematics in order to accurately maintain the finances of a company. In this career, completing math problems correctly should be second nature. Bookkeepers are required to crunch numbers and enter important data daily, so there is no room for error or careless mistakes.
Personality Qualities and Interests
Certain personality traits can make an individual an ideal bookkeeper. Being organized, reliable and timely is necessary for success in the field. Candidates should be able to work independently and meet required deadlines. Additionally, bookkeepers must possess oral and written communication skills in order to clearly communicate with colleagues and managers. Bookkeepers must have ability to multitask, because the job requires constant juggling and time management of different projects.
Bookkeeping may be a fitting career for professionals who enjoy using computers, learning technical skills and thinking critically. Technical knowledge is necessary to excel in this career field and navigate a wide variety of data. Bookkeepers must have computer skills including familiarity with spreadsheets and software programs that are used on a daily basis. The ability to type and input data quickly is also beneficial for workers in this career field.
Work Environment for Bookkeepers
The work environment of a bookkeeper varies based on where the individual is employed. Generally, this career involves an office environment that is quiet and conducive to critical thinking and data entry. The pace of an office could increase at certain busy times of the year. For example, tax time is usually a busy period for bookkeepers.
Some bookkeepers are self-employed and work from home for individual clients. Many self-employed workers use a home office to complete daily tasks for the job. In these situations, phones and other forms of digital communication are often used to interact with clients.
Most bookkeepers working in an office are employed full-time and work regular business hours. However, part-time employment is not uncommon. The usual workweek for bookkeepers is Monday to Friday. Working on the weekend and public holidays is uncommon.
The business hours for self-employed workers may be irregular. These individuals have the ability to manage their own time and create a unique work schedule.
Daily Responsibilities of Bookkeepers
Every day, bookkeeping professionals maintain the financial records and monetary information of their employers. Examples of institutions that hire bookkeepers include government offices, schools, accounting firms, businesses, tax preparation services and more. The responsibilities in this career field vary based on the company or client providing employment. However, there are typical responsibilities associated with the career.
Bookkeepers monitor all transaction information within an institution. This includes expenditures, receipts, accounts payable and accounts receivable. The profits and losses of a company are recorded, in addition to expenses and income. If the client or institution is receiving any cash, checks and/or vouchers, these payments are processed by bookkeepers.
Another common task in this career field is creating financial reports and invoices. Financial reports and invoices are generally distributed quarterly, monthly, yearly and/or after other allotted periods of time. Financial reports and invoices are important for businesses, as they reveal the profits and losses over certain periods. Financial forms, including tax forms, are generally processed by bookkeepers. In some cases, bookkeepers verify and/or distribute payroll within a company. On any given day, these career professionals may work on multiple projects at once.
Income for Bookkeepers
The income for bookkeeping careers varies based on the job, location and experience of the worker. The median income for this career field is around $39K per year. Individuals with more experience usually receive higher pay. Furthermore, as a bookkeeper grows with the company or clients, their salary usually increases. In certain areas of the country, salaries for bookkeepers are higher than normal. These areas may be lacking in candidates within the bookkeeping field. Conversely, salaries may be lower than the median amount in other locations. Employment for bookkeepers is expected to reduce slightly over time. This is because of new technology and automated systems that may decrease the demand for bookkeepers in the future.
Potential for Growth
Workers employed as bookkeepers have substantial potential for growth. This career field can lead to higher-paying jobs, such as accounting, financial management and financial advisement. Bookkeepers often work alongside accountants, and exceptional candidates could acquire an accounting position within their current employer.
Bookkeepers can also become certified through an accredited program, some of which may be offered online. Obtaining a bookkeeper certification can lead to higher pay and the ability to work as a supervisor.
Because the educational requirements for bookkeeping are usually low, workers in the field can often finance higher education during employment. Doing this could result in greater career advancement opportunities over time.