Bookkeepers maintain records of company’s financial transactions by creating accounts, posting transactions and guarantee legal requirements agreements. Bookkeepers produce financial transactions and their reports from that information. The process of creation of financial transactions consist of posting information on accounting software or journals and resolve accounts to make sure of the accuracy.
Bookkeepers also known as accounts or finance clerks work in all kind of organizations and businesses and help them in managing the financial records and preparation of accounts. They need to be very organized and have a knack for figures and computing skills. Bookkeepers specialize in particular areas such as credit control or sale and purchase ledger.
Basic roles, duties & responsibilities of bookkeepers
So, what does a bookkeeper do? Here is list of common roles, duties or responsibilities carried out by bookkeepers:
- Arrange purchase orders
- Balance accounts (Double entry bookkeeping)
- Manage sale invoice, receipts and income
- Handle payments
- Help to prepare annual accounts
- Complete VAT returns
- Provide clerical support to accountants
- Manage client assets
- Review and receive broker statements
In large companies, bookkeepers often work as part of the accounting team. However, in small businesses bookkeeper might have to handle cash and banking activities too in addition to this. On some occasions such as end of fiscal year, bookkeepers might have to work extra long hours for weeks.
Employers of bookkeepers
- Private businesses
- Public bodies
- Government offices
- Banks and other financial institutions
- Finance offices and cooperatives
- Corporate and commercial businesses
Temporary jobs and part-time hours are often available for bookkeepers. Self employed bookkeepers have the advantage of flexibility.
Qualification and Training
Qualification from a recognized institution shows bookkeeper’s abilities. The bookkeeper contender should have degree in accounting or corresponding working experience. Candidates with expertise in accounting software packages are given preference.
Employers mostly look for 5 GCSEs consisting English and math. A level in math, economics or business studies could be helpful. Aspiring bookkeepers can take courses in bookkeeping or accounting full time or part time such as certificates in Bookkeeping and Accounting Skills, Manual and Computerized Bookkeeping or just Bookkeeping.
Bookkeepers learn most of the necessary skills while at job working as an assistant or junior. Computing skills, typical office procedures, use of spread sheets, preparing accounts and professional ethics are taught by senior experienced bookkeepers. As you garner some experience, your employers may motivate you to take up higher qualifications such as Diploma in Business and Accounting and Computerized Accounting for Business.
The Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT) provides a variety of accounting qualifications for different levels. AAT degrees are recognized globally by professional accounting bodies.
You can also be a bookkeeper or an accounts clerk through Apprenticeship scheme. You will have to look out for available apprenticeship schemes available in your region.
Required skills or job specifications for bookkeepers
- Ability to concentrate for long hours
- Good computing skills
- Work under pressure and meet deadlines
- Trustfulness and reliability
- Good at working with figures
- Team spirit
- Knowledge of current economic environment
- Analyze information