How to become a Bookkeeper
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How to become a Bookkeeper

Bookkeeping is a popular career route and one that is currently growing in demand. Although a career in bookkeeping can be mentally taxing and occasionally stressful it can also be highly rewarding. If you have a head for numbers perhaps bookkeeping is the career for you.

If you are looking for more information about bookkeeping as a profession you are in the right place. In this article, we aim to give you more details to enable you to decide whether bookkeeping is the right career choice for you. We will look at an overview of the day-to-day tasks of a bookkeeper and examine the best way to start your career in bookkeeping.

Bookkeeping is an important profession in all industries due to the fact that every business, regardless of size, is legally required to record their financial transactions in the form of ‘books’. It is the role of the bookkeeper to ensure that these transactions are collated and recorded in order to ascertain how much money a company is making and spending.

Common tasks and day-to-day duties of bookkeepers include:

  • Receiving and processing sales invoices and receipts for payment
  • Drafting statements to show income and payments.
  • Processing the company payroll
  • Calculating profit and loss
  • Estimating revenue and expenditures
  • Managing ledgers, and ensuring that the books ‘balance’
  • Completing legislative tasks such as VAT and PAYE
  • Providing periodic financial reporting
  • Involved in the preparation annual accounts
  • Providing general administrative support to the accountant

Examples of the financial documents that you will be working with include:

  • Sales Ledgers
  • Purchase Ledgers
  • General Ledgers
  • Journals
  • Bank Reconciliations
  • Invoices
  • Statements
  • Remittances

In terms of the salary that you can expect as a bookkeeper, this depends on your level of experience and where you are located in the UK. The salary of a bookkeeper varies between £17,000 and £35,000 throughout the UK depending on location.

If you decide to progress your career by becoming an accountant you will find that your salary will increase. Furthermore, a self-employed bookkeeper can expect to set their own hourly/daily rate.

Do you have what it takes?

Arguably, a bookkeeper’s number one quality will be a strong aptitude for numbers. Other key skills and qualities include:

  • First-class organisational skills
  • Good communication skills.
  • Computer skills for accessing bookkeeping software such as Sage
  • Attention to detail
  • A methodical approach to work
  • Honesty and trustworthiness when dealing with sensitive documents.
  • Customer service expertise
  • Initiative and an ability to be self-motivated
  • Flexibility and an ability to adapt to new skills.

It is likely that you will be working in an office so you should make sure that this is a good fit for you before you begin your bookkeeping journey.

What do future prospects look like for bookkeepers?

It’s likely that bookkeepers will be needed for as long as there are businesses operating, therefore, bookkeeping is a reliable choice for a stable career.

As bookkeepers are in demand, there are, typically, plenty of jobs available, meaning that you will likely have the choice of finding a role that fits around your schedule. You may opt for regular ‘nine to five’ office hours with holidays and benefits included as part of your contract, or you might decide to work temporary short-term contracts as a self-employed freelancer. This would give you even more freedom to choose your hours.

In terms of career progression, it is possible for a bookkeeper to train in order to progress to become an accountant, and then go on to become a management accountant.

With the relevant training, you will take on more and more complex work. Additional training may also arm you with the knowledge required to set up your own business as a freelancer.

How do I become a bookkeeper?

There are a number of routes into bookkeeping, rather than one standard career path. Here are some of the most common routes into bookkeeping:

  • Studying to become a bookkeeper by studing an online course.
  • Undertake an apprenticeship with a firm that will provide on-the-job training.
  • Move into this role from another role in the same company (for example, administration).
  • Apply directly to an entry-level bookkeeping job and gain on the job experience.

Studying a bookkeeping course with a reputable training organisation like e-Careers, where you can gain the knowledge and qualifications required to enter the industry is the most flexible and cost-effective route into a career in bookkeeping.  The most recognised qualifications in bookkeeping are the Institute of Certified Bookkeepers (ICB) and the AAT.  e-Careers bookkeeping courses come with Sage modules allowing you to gain a recognised bookkeeping qualification as well as getting experience in adopting what you learn in a Sage environment.

There are a number of widely-recognised bookkeeping courses that you can study to give you a good grounding in the area of bookkeeping. These include:

e-Careers has won numerous industry awards for their work in accounting and bookkeeping, including those from ICB and AAT.

Getting a qualification is a great way to show your commitment to potential employers and to arm yourself with the skills you need to become an entry-level bookkeeper.

Entry requirements

e-Careers bookkeeping courses are great for beginners and there are no formal entry requirements to start learning.  You just need enjoy numbers and be ready to spend some time getting skilled.

Thank you for reading our guide to the profession of bookkeeping. If you decide that bookkeeping is for you we’d like to wish you the best of luck on your journey!

Accreditation

AAT
ICB
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