How to Become a Bookkeeper?
It is not mandatory to be a certified bookkeeper, however a certified bookkeeper has the necessary skills required to manage companies' books of accounts effectively. Moreover, it also adds a credential to your list of professional accomplishments.
Some individuals learn bookkeeping skills on the job. However, it is always helpful to seek further education in order to become a professional bookkeeper.
As a bookkeeper, you are responsible for maintaining accurate financial records and handling all the accounting processes for a business.
Some employers may require you to have only a high school diploma for an entry-level bookkeeping position. However, most employers expect you to have additional education and some type of work experience.
Hence, to advance your career as a bookkeeper, you can go for the following:
Obtain a Degree
Many bookkeeping jobs only require a high school diploma, but there are employers who require candidates to have an associate’s or a bachelor’s degree.
There are a host of programs available in the field of business administration and accounting.
Associate Degree in Accounting
An associate degree in accounting is a two-year degree that helps candidates to begin their careers in accounting.
Such a degree is offered by community colleges, technical colleges, universities, and online programs. The common types of associate degrees in accounting include an Associate of Science (AS) in Accounting and an Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in Accounting.
An associate degree provides foundational knowledge to the candidates so that they can seek out entry-level jobs in the industry.
Jobs For Associate Degree Candidates
An Associate Degree in Accounting is the foundational step toward attaining higher degrees including bachelor's or master's. However, such a degree does not prepare students to take up an accounting license program like a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) examination.
Therefore, candidates having an associate degree in accounting may take up entry-level positions. These include:
- Accounting Assistant
- Administrative Assistant
- Payroll Clerk
- Auditing Clerk
- Tax Preparer
Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting
A Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting can provide you with the fundamental knowledge necessary to start advising businesses, individuals, and organisations in financial and accounting matters.
It is the minimum degree required for accounting license programs you may wish to take, such as the CPA examination.
Various Bachelor’s in Accounting Degrees
Thus, a bachelor’s degree in accounting may qualify you to take a professional certification program like the CPA exam. The following are the options for a bachelor’s degree in accounting:
- Bachelor of Science in Accounting (BS)
- Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA)
- Bachelor of Arts in Accounting (BA)
Most employers prefer hiring bookkeepers who possess a proper degree. However, there are employers who hire candidates with just a high-school diploma and prefer training them on the job.
Training in bookkeeping involves:
- Learning double-entry bookkeeping
- Online accounting software
- Managing payroll
- Accounts payable and accounts receivable
- Learning hard skills like analytics
- Technology skills
- Functional accounting and finance skills
- Leadership or management training
- Soft skills like writing negotiation and presentation