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Bookkeeping Careers

What is Bookkeeping?

Many people have heard of accounting, but are usually left wondering what is bookkeeping? Or what’s a Bookkeeper? Bookkeeping is a major part of the accounting process. It is the recording of financial transactions including purchases, sales, receipts and payments made by an individual person, an organisation or a non-profit corporation.

As technology has advanced, so has the job role of a Bookkeeper – bookkeeping responsibilities are now usually done using a computerised accounting software package, such as Sage. Despite there being software available to assist in bookkeeping, Bookkeepers are still required to have knowledge of debits and credits and a basic understanding of financial accounting, which involves the balance sheet and income statement.

Typical job responsibilities of a Bookkeeper include,
but are not limited to:

  • Maintaining records of financial transactions
  • Processing sales invoices, receipts and payments
  • Responsibility for completing VAT returns
  • Preparing invoices for the
    Inland Revenue
  • Monitoring organisational bank statements
  • Cash flow statements
  • Organising financial paperwork and completing administration tasks

Opportunities in Bookkeeping

Once you have secured the relevant qualifications and experience you will be ready to embark upon a career as a Bookkeeper within the accounting and finance industry. Bookkeepers are also desirable in a number of industries where an accounting department is necessary. You can expect to work in a variety of industries from construction to engineering, and marketing to the healthcare sector.

Bookkeeping isn’t the end of the career path for all Bookkeepers. Some professionals go on to become Accountants, Financial Supervisors, Financial Analysts or Financial Managers. The skills developed as a Bookkeeper often overlap with these roles meaning you are already prepared to advance your career to the next step.

Whilst changing careers entirely isn’t for everyone, others decide to change industry but maintain their position as a Bookkeeper. Although the role of a Bookkeeper will not be too dissimilar from industry to industry, professionals can see greater job satisfaction and motivation from changing industries.

How to start a career in Bookkeeping

There are a number of skills that are desirable in individuals looking to start a career as a Bookkeeper. Whilst not all attributes are essential, most are advantageous, these include:

Software skills
Most organisations and businesses utilise a form of accountancy software, so it is desirable that potential candidates have experience of using accountancy software.
Data entry
You will be required to enter financial data with accuracy and attention to detail.
Organisational skills
Bookkeepers are entrusted with a large of number financial documents so to ensure these do not get misplaced or mixed up, they need strong organisation skills.
Attention to detail
When dealing with financial matters there is a high level of importance that these are factually correct, thus requiring high attention to detail.
Computer literate
Most daily tasks will be completed on a computer using an accounting software, an email networking system and Microsoft Office software.
Level of mathematical ability
While accountancy software is there to assist Bookkeepers in their day-to-day duties, they will need a level of mathematical ability and competency to complete daily tasks.
Communication skills
Bookkeepers will be responsible for communicating with business clients and colleagues within the organisation, thus, they require good verbal and written skills to communicate financial matters effectively.

As well as possessing desirable skills, individuals wishing to start a career in bookkeeping will either require a relevant diploma, apprenticeship or degree, depending on the organisation. In some cases, organisations will be willing to take individuals with no experience at entry-level if they have essential and desirable key characteristics and attributes.

Online Bookkeeping certification courses

Learn bookkeeping with a range of bookkeeping certification courses available at e-Careers. If you’re a complete novice to the bookkeeping industry or you’re a professional looking to validate your bookkeeping skills, there are a variety of bookkeeping certification courses available.

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