In this article, you will learn:
- How to Become a Bookkeeper?
- Is Bookkeeping Right for You?
- What’s a Typical Day for a Bookkeeper?
- Bookkeeping Certificates and Organizations
- Free and Low-Cost Online Bookkeeping Courses
- In-Person Bookkeeping Courses
- Provincial-Specific Bookkeeping Courses
- Quickbooks Certification
- Join Global Community
- Attend Training Classes
- Video Help
- User Guide PDF
A bookkeeper records financial transactions of your business in a systematic manner. Such transactions need to be identified, accepted, classified and recorded in a way that these can be presented in the form of financial statements.
Therefore, in the words of Carter, ‘Bookkeeping is an art and science of correctly recording all those transactions in books of accounts that result in a transfer of money or money’s worth.
Thus, a bookkeeper performs a host of activities including:
- collecting financial data
- recognizing transactions of monetary nature and measuring them in terms of money
- recording the financial impact of the monetary transactions
- classifying the effects of the financial transactions and
- preparing organized financial statements
Thus, every business needs a bookkeeper as they need to manage their books of accounts effectively. Further, they need to meet the requirements of filing tax returns and financial statements with their local revenue authorities.
So, in order to undertake bookkeeping effectively, you need to master certain skills. In this article, we will discuss how to become a bookkeeper and various online bookkeeping courses.
How to Become a Bookkeeper?
It is not mandatory to be a certified bookkeeper. However, a certified bookkeeper has the skills to manage the books of accounts of your clients 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 to maintain accurate financial records and handle 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
If you need to serve well as a bookkeeper, you must undertake formal education in bookkeeping and accounting. Many bookkeeping jobs only require a high school diploma. But there are employers who require candidates having 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 towards attaining higher degrees including bachelors or master’s. However, such a degree does not prepare students to take up 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 so that you can start advising businesses, individuals, and organizations.
It is the minimum degree required demanded by various States in case you wish to take the CPA examination.
Certified Public (CPA) Accountant Degree
A CPA degree is a professional certification in the accounting field. Such a degree demonstrates you have obtained the requisite experience and education to be a certified accountant.
It is important to note that all CPAs are accountants but not all accountants are CPAs. Only those accountants who have cleared the CPA examination and earned the credential can advise businesses, analyze their financial statements, and put signatures to the documents to be submitted to the local authorities.
Various Bachelor’s in Accounting Degrees
Thus, a bachelor’s degree in accounting may qualify you to take the CPA exam. The following are the options in 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
- Softskills like writing negotiation and presentation
Undertake Certified Courses
You need to obtain voluntary certification through institutes like the American Institute of Professional Bookkeepers (AIPB). Institutes like AIPB recognize bookkeeping as a profession.
Besides AIPB, other notable professional organizations for Bookkeepers include:
- National Association of Certified Public Bookkeepers (NACPB)
- Institute of Certified Bookkeepers (ICB)
- National Bookkeepers Association (NBA)
Such institutes offer professional education in order to enhance your skills and obtain knowledge.
In addition to this, such institutes also provide bookkeepers with job opportunities or new clients. They send regular updates to professional bookkeepers to update them with new rules and procedures.
In order to become a certified bookkeeper, you must have a minimum bookkeeping experience of two years and also pass an exam.
Furthermore, you also need to keep meeting the educational requirements every three years in order to maintain the Certification.
Online Bookkeeping Programs
Is Bookkeeping Right for You?
Bookkeepers are the professionals who record the day-to-day transactions of a business in an organized manner. This process of identifying, accepting, classifying, and recording financial transactions requires attention to detail, multitasking, and undertaking a lot of number crunching.
Therefore, if you are wondering whether Bookkeeping is the right career choice for you or not, you must have a look at the following skills that a professional Bookkeeper must possess:
- Keen interest in administrative and clerical procedures
- Comfort with numbers and other hard skills like the ease of using calculators, record keeping, etc.
- Have attention to detail
- Possess data entry skills
- Have an understanding of operating accounting software to record and analyze financial data such as QuickBooks Online Accounting Software, Google Docs, Microsoft Office, etc.
- Enjoy set procedures and routines
- Love working with data
- Possess basic accounting and bookkeeping knowledge including bank reconciliation, debits, and credits, accounts receivable, accounts payable, accrual accounting, basic financial statements, journal entries, general ledger, etc.
- Have payroll processing skills including payroll tax calculations, benefits calculation, depositing payroll taxes, payroll journal entries, reporting payroll taxes, etc.
- Having people and interpersonal skills like the ability to work with others, problem-solving, correcting errors, supervising, oral and written communication, etc.
- Ability to manage financial transactions and flow of cash including payments, billing, invoicing, payments, customer relations, etc
- Capability to maintain confidentiality and maintain thoroughness
What’s a Typical Day for a Bookkeeper?
As mentioned above, a professional bookkeeper must be detail-oriented, should enjoy working with data, is comfortable with routine procedures, and must be comfortable with numbers.
Thus, the primary task of a bookkeeper is to keep a track of the financial transactions of a business and generate relevant and accurate reports. Such reliable reports help the accountants as well as the business owners about the financial position of the business.
Therefore, the following are the duties of a bookkeeper that he needs to perform on a day-to-day basis:
- Tracking cash flow, that is, what comes in and goes out of business with the help of online accounting software
- Tracking inventory and reporting any discrepancies.
- Recording daily transactions pertaining to customer accounts as well as internal accounts.
- Having a good understanding of double-entry bookkeeping to carry out the necessary Bookkeeping duties.
- Recording purchase invoices in accounting and bookkeeping software, processing payables report, and taking permission from the management to pay bills.
- Preparing and sending invoices to the customers when such invoices become due
- Reconciling bank statements with the company’s financial statements and match various accounts in case of any errors.
- Preparing and processing payroll details.
- Ensuring the accuracy of statements in terms of correct journal entries, amounts, postings, etc.
- Adjusting journal entries in case there is a need.
- Checking general ledger at regular intervals to ensure that the balances and accounts are accurate.
- Setting up and maintain a chart of accounts in online bookkeeping software as per the double-entry system of accounting and accounting rules.
- Preparing financial statements including balance sheet, profit and loss statement, cash flow statement, and other financial reports at the end of every month.
- Undertaking online banking tasks including processing vendor payments, check for customer payments, download or print bank statements, etc.
- Ensuring that all the deadlines are met by the due date
- Dealing with bookkeeping documents such as checks from customers, bank and credit card statements, purchase invoices, etc.
- Handling customer and supplier phone calls pertaining to invoices and payments.
- Following-up with customers for overdue payments
- Follow accounting policies and procedures
Bookkeeping Certificates and Organizations
The following bookkeeping organizations provide a host of bookkeeping programs to help you learn and enhance your bookkeeping knowledge.
National Bookkeepers Association
National Bookkeepers Association (NBA) is an association of individuals who want to:
- learn bookkeeping
- enhance their bookkeeping knowledge and skills
- share their knowledge and skill via a certification
The members of the NBA typically include bookkeeping employees of small business and non-profit organizations. Such an association helps bookkeepers develop knowledge and skill via bookkeeping education and accreditation. Furthermore, the NBA trains and certifies bookkeeping students and employees in bookkeeping, accounting, payroll, tax, excel, and Quickbooks.
This certification is recognized throughout the United States. In order to obtain the bookkeeper certification accredited by the NBA, you need to complete the accounting fundamentals course and pass the uniform bookkeeper certification exam.
American Institute of Professional Bookkeepers (AIPB)
The American Institute of Professional Bookkeepers (AIPB) is an organization that was established in 1987 to recognize bookkeeping as a profession.
This organization offers national certification – the Certified Bookkeeper (CB) designation to the bookkeepers after passing an exam. The CB designation to bookkeeping is the same as what is CPA to accounting.
The bookkeepers can advance their skills, knowledge, and marketability via the self-study professional education offered by AIPB to both the members and non-members.
Once you pass the final exam and receive a certificate of completion, you can use such a certificate to showcase it to your clients or colleagues.
National Association of Certified Public Bookkeepers (NACPB)
The NACPB is an organization that provides bookkeeping training, tools, exam preparation, and testing for the NACPB members and non-members.
This organization informs, trains, certifies, and licenses bookkeeping students, job applicants, employees, and professionals.
The bookkeeping certification accredited by the NACPB is recognized throughout the United States and its properties. Such a certification provides assurance to employers as you obtain bookkeeping knowledge and skill via its course.
All you need to do is complete the accounting fundamentals course and pass the bookkeeping certification exam.
Free and Low-Cost Online Bookkeeping Courses
Free and low-cost online bookkeeping courses are an excellent way to learn bookkeeping. These courses focus on bookkeeping fundamentals to enhance knowledge and bookkeeping skills.
The following are the bookkeeping courses that you can pursue to enhance your employment prospects and demonstrate proficiency to your clients:
Coursera is an online platform that offers courses by top instructors from world-class universities and companies.
There are a host of free courses that give you access to on-demand video lectures, homework exercises, and community discussion forums.
The paid courses, however, offer quizzes and projects, and a course certificate upon completion.
Many of their courses have a cost. When you enroll in a course or specialization on Coursera, you can enroll for free. But, in order to earn a certificate, you need to purchase the course.
When you start your first subscription to Coursera, it will start a seven-day free trial. This free trial allows you to try a specialization course for free. However, on the eighth day, your free trial automatically becomes a paid subscription, unless you cancel the free trial version.
The following are some of the bookkeeping courses that you can take on Coursera:
- Financial Accounting Fundamentals
- Introduction to Financial Accounting
- Fundamentals of Accounting Specialization
Corporate Finance Institute
The Corporate Finance Institute (CFI) is an online platform that provides online finance and accounting courses.
The CFI courses offer you practical skills, templates, and tools to enhance your accounting knowledge.
These courses are taken by professional Wallstreet trainers who have been teaching for over twenty years.
The few of the courses in the area of accounting and finance offered by the CFI include:
- Accounting Fundamentals
- Reading Financial Statements
- Financial Analysis Fundamentals
- Budgeting and Forecasting
- Excel Crash Course
- Introduction to Corporate Finance
- Fixed Income Financials
You can enroll for all these courses for free. However, if you want certification, you will have to purchase the CFI self-study bundle and FMVA certification.
In-Person Bookkeeping Courses
Taking physical classes for bookkeeping offers many benefits. Provided you have a flexible working schedule that gives you enough free time.
One of the benefits of attending in-person bookkeeping classes is you can clarify your doubts by speaking to the instructor in-person.
This is unlike the case of online courses, where you have to send an email. Or send a message to the instructor on the messenger and wait for his response. There are a lot of institutes that offer small business workshops, giving valuable insights on bookkeeping and accounting.
These workshops also give you an opportunity to meet like-minded professionals. Such professionals can give you accounting and bookkeeping tips and tricks out of their experience.
Provincial-Specific Bookkeeping Courses
Quickbooks offers training classes from the comfort of your home. Learning Quickbooks can be a challenge as it takes time and a lot of money. In order to get comfortable with online accounting software, you just need to invest two days in this comprehensive training program.
The Quickbooks training program helps you to:
- get up-to-speed within no time
- learn the best ways to learn day-to-day transactions and get the information you need out of QuickBooks
- solve specific problems with the help of expert instructors
- discover tips and tricks that save time and powerful report tools that help your business to make good decisions
- learn how to customize Quickbooks for your business
- discover ways to automate and simplify your work
- get a passionate instructor who is 100% committed to make you learn Quickbooks in an engaging way
The topics covered in Quickbooks online classes are as follows:
The foundational topics about QuickBooks Online Accounting Software would help you to:
- Learn about your version of Quickbooks and compare it with other versions
- set up your company in the correct way. If you are already set up. Learn how to make good the errors that you have committed
- set up online banking and connect your cards. Learn the way Quickbooks can record numerous transactions all at once
- import data from Excel and other sources
- tricks to use Quickbooks in a faster way
- how to find support when you need it
Every Day Transactions
The following section talks about everyday transactions including:
- Estimates, invoices, sales receipts, payments, deposits, credit memos, and customer statements.
- Generate and customize sales & customer reports to get more information about customers and sales.
- Know who owes you money and the top ways to remind customers to pay.
- Know what money goes out including bills, bill payments, checks, electronic payments, debit card purchases, bills vs. checks, petty cash, and vendor credits.
- Generate and customize expense & vendor reports to get more information about how and where you’re spending money.
- Set up inventory parts, purchase orders, receive items, adjust inventory.
- Set up, adjust, pay, and report sales taxes.
Learn about special transactions including how to:
- Give and receive refunds.
- Record and/or apply credits you give customers or receive from vendors.
- Record credit card transactions – and train QuickBooks to do this for you.
- Discover when (and how) to Void vs. Delete a check.
- Track customer deposits/down-payments.
Tips and Tricks
Get to know expert tips and tricks on how to:
- Clean up your vital lists like Customers, Vendors, and Accounts.
- Sort and customize lists to view the information you need.
- Collapse financial statements.
- Run reports (like your Profit & Loss Statement) by month, or as a percent of income.
Get to know QuickBooks powerful tools in order to:
- Find transactions and other information you need fast.
- Speed up your work – tricks to speed up navigation and working in multiple windows/screens.
- Keyboard shortcuts that save you time.
- Set up recurring transactions. You enter it once and QuickBooks automatically enters it in the future.
- Create your own shortcuts.
- Bank accounts and credit cards:
- Teach QuickBooks to categorize and enter transactions for you.
- Learn when and how to add, match, and exclude.
- Process downloaded transactions and tips and tricks to save you time.
- How to reconcile your bank account and fix errors.
Customize Quickbooks in order to:
- Customize your invoice and other forms.
- Add logos and custom fields to invoices and other forms.
- Use custom fields to track information unique to your business or customers.
- Tailor your company preferences/settings to match your business.
- Create custom reports.
- Customize who has access and what they can/can’t see.
- Set up users with different access rights & permissions.
- Track changes and who made them (audit log/trail).
Know how to:
- Customize the content and look of your reports.
- Add, delete, resize, and reorder columns.
- Filter and format report to get the info you need.
- Save reports and create memorized/customized report groups.
- Set up QuickBooks to automatically email reports on any schedule.
Know how to:
- Really understand your financial statements.
- Setup your chart of accounts correctly.
- Change and fix your accounts to ensure accurate reports.
- Cash vs. Accrual accounting. What’s the difference and which should you use?
- Understand and know when to use general journal entries.
- Setup and use subaccounts.
- Set a closing date to protect your accounting records.
- Best way to add and work with your accountant.
- Reconcile bank and credit card transactions.
Know how to:
- Set up employees, deductions, and company contributions.
- Set up company payroll preferences.
- Understand the payroll cycle and how it works in QuickBooks.
- Track and invoice for employee and/or vendor time.
- Process paychecks
- Make tax deposits
- Make non-tax payments (health insurance, child support, etc.)
- Prepare payroll forms
- Payroll reports
Join Global Community
Global Quickbooks community is an online hub that allows you to connect with other Quickbooks users around the world. This platform answers your queries pertaining to your Quickbooks account as experts share their knowledge with those who need help.
Whether you are a small business or a bookkeeper or an adviser trying to help clients grow, Quickbooks community is a good platform to get your queries answered.
Individuals who are the members of the community answer the queries posted by Quickbooks account holders around the world. Such queries are answered out of their own experience of using Quickbooks.
Furthermore, no one person answers the query as each and every member contributes to the community in order to build a collective knowledge base.
In case you are facing any issue using Quickbooks, all you need to do is insert the keyword in the search bar and click ‘search”.
Attend Training Classes
Quickbooks offers two types of training: self-paced courses and Quickbooks certification course.
The self-paced Quickbooks training is designed in such a way that it fits your working schedule.
All you need to do is simply start and stop the training at your own convenience. Once you subscribe to the training course, it never expires. Therefore, you can watch the videos as and when you like.
Following are the various Self-Paced Courses offered by QuickBooks:
- Mastering QuickBooks (Pro/Premier) Level 1
- Mastering QuickBooks (Pro/Premier) Level 2
- Mastering QuickBooks Desktop Payroll
- Pro/Premier Course Bundle
- VIP Course Bundle
- Mastering accounting basics for Quickbooks desktop
- Mastering Word and Excel for Quickbooks desktop
It’s important to note here that if you become a diamond VIP member, you will get access to every delft-paced course offered by Quickbooks. This means more than 100 hours of QuickBooks training, live weekly webinars, live Q & A sessions, and live support from Quickbooks instructors.
Quickbooks Certification Course
Quickbooks certification course gives you concrete skills and knowledge about Quickbooks Online Accounting Software.
In order to become a Quickbooks certified user, you need to follow the steps below:
Attend a Training Class
Quickbooks offers a two-day mastering Quickbooks class. This training class is the stepping stone towards Quickbooks certification.
In this class, you will learn about how to set up Quickbooks, handling money in and money out, banking, payroll, and much more.
You can find the classes across the nation. In case you are unable to find a class near your location, you can even attend a webinar from the comfort of your home or office.
Prepare for the Exam
The next step in becoming a Quickbooks certified user is to prepare for the Quickbooks certification exam. In order to prepare for this exam, you need to attend Quickbooks training classes as these classes offer you a good foundation of Quickbooks knowledge.
Once you attend a Quickbooks training class, you will receive a Quickbooks certification study guide. This guide consists of real-life examples and tips and tricks to help you to prepare for the exam.
Furthermore, it also gives you a practice test which is a great way to get ready for the exam.
Take the Exam
The final step in becoming a certified Quickbooks is to take the Quickbooks certification exam.
Since, you have already attended a Quickbooks training class, worked through the study guide, and have taken the practice exam, you are absolutely ready to take the exam.
You don’t have to worry about finding a certified testing center to take the exam. This is because Certiport – the Quickbooks third-party testing provider, authorizes various testing centers across the United States. Therefore, it’s easy to find a testing center.
Quickbooks also provides a webinar held by expert QBO accountant Hector Garcia. In this webinar, the QBO accountant covers how to set up Quickbooks online and provides guidelines on some of the useful features of the product.
This includes creating invoices, categorizing expenses, setting up charts of accounts, and much more.
The following are the topics that are covered in this 1 hr 30 minutes webinar:
- Why choose Quickbooks online?
- Setting up a new company
- Settings, language, and home currency
- Basic navigation
- Chart of accounts
- Tracking sales or invoices and customer accounts receivables
- Tracking expenses or bills and supplier accounts payable
- Inventory management
- Expenses and billable time
- Project profitability tracking
- Tracking sales tax and VAT
- Budgets and financial reports
- Banking and reconciliations
- Document attachments
User Guide PDF
The QuickBooks User Guide PDF is a document that acts as a training guide for those who are progressing through QuickBooks Online Training.
This guide walks you through various aspects of QuickBooks Online right from choosing the type of QuickBooks Online version, navigating QuickBooks Online, Setting Up your company with QuickBooks to Online banking, running reports, managing transactions, and GST.
Thus, this document acts as a Step-by-Step Guide in getting well-versed with using QuickBooks Online Accounting Software.
So, get an overview of:
- Introduction to QuickBooks Online
- Navigating QuickBooks Online
- Online Banking
- Bank Reconciliation
- Managing GST
- Running Reports
- Mobile Apps – Take the Ipad / iPhone Tour
- Help & Support