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How to Become a Bookkeeper?
Accounting and bookkeeping

How to Become a Bookkeeper?

A bookkeeper records the financial transactions of a business systematically. Such transactions need to be identified, accepted, classified, and recorded in a way that allows them to be presented as financial statements and financial information. 

No matter the stage or size, every business needs a bookkeeper. Whether you want to stay on top of your finances or you have a business that’s large enough to require filing, understanding what’s required of your bookkeeping means you need to master a few skills.

Thus, a bookkeeper performs a host of activities, including:

  • Collecting financial data
  • Recognising 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
  • Preparing organised financial statements

Every business needs a bookkeeper to manage its books of accounts effectively. Further, they need to meet the requirements of filing tax returns and financial statements with their local revenue authorities.

To undertake bookkeeping effectively, there are specific skills you need to master. In this article, we will discuss how to become a bookkeeper, how to become a bookkeeper from home and various online bookkeeping courses.

How to Become a Bookkeeper?

It is optional to be a certified bookkeeper. However, an accredited bookkeeper has the necessary skills to effectively manage companies' books of accounts. Moreover, it also adds a credential to your list of professional accomplishments.

Some individuals learn bookkeeping skills on the job. However, seeking further education to become an experienced bookkeeper is always helpful.

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 work experience.

Hence, to advance your career as a bookkeeper, consider the following:

Obtain a Degree

Many bookkeeping jobs only require a high school diploma, but some employers need candidates to have an associate’s or a bachelor’s degree. 

There are many 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 begin their accounting careers.

Community colleges, technical colleges, universities, and online programs offer this degree. 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 to 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 a bachelor's or masters. However, this 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:

  • Bookkeeper
  • Accounting Assistant
  • Administrative Assistant
  • Payroll Clerk
  • Auditing Clerk
  • Tax Preparer

Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting

A Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting can give you 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 a CPA examination.

Various Bachelor’s in Accounting Degrees

A bachelor’s degree in accounting may qualify you to take a professional certification program like a 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)

Undertake Training

Most employers prefer hiring bookkeepers who possess a proper degree. However, some employers hire candidates with just a high-school diploma and like training them on the job.

Training in bookkeeping involves:

Is Bookkeeping Right for You?

Bookkeepers are the professionals who record the day-to-day transactions of a business in an organised manner. Identifying, accepting, classifying, and recording financial transactions requires attention to detail, multitasking, and a lot of number crunching.

If you are wondering whether bookkeeping is the right career choice for you, see the below list of essential skills required to excel as a bookkeeper:

  • Keen interest in administrative and clerical procedures
  • Comfort with numbers and other complex skills like understanding calculators, record keeping, etc.
  • Attention to detail
  • Data entry skills
  • Understand 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.
  • Payroll processing skills, including payroll tax calculations, benefits calculation, depositing payroll taxes, payroll journal entries, reporting payroll taxes, etc.
  • 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 thoroughness

What’s a Typical Day for a Bookkeeper?

As mentioned above, a professional bookkeeper should be detail-oriented, enjoy working with data, be comfortable with routine procedures, and be comfortable with numbers.

The primary task of a bookkeeper is to keep track of the financial transactions of a business and generate relevant and accurate reports. These reports help the accountants, as well as the business owners, understand the financial position of the company.

The following duties are everyday tasks that make up a bookkeeper's workday:

  • Tracking cash flow with the help of online accounting software
  • Monitoring inventory and reporting discrepancies.
  • Recording daily transactions about customer and internal accounts.
  • Having a good understanding of double-entry bookkeeping.
  • Recording purchase invoices in accounting and bookkeeping software, processing payables report, and taking permission from management to pay bills.
  • Preparing and sending invoices to customers when they are due
  • Reconciling bank statements with the company’s financial statements and matching 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 when needed.
  • Checking the general ledger at regular intervals to ensure that the balances and accounts are accurate.
  • Setting up and maintaining a chart of accounts in online bookkeeping software per the double-entry accounting and accounting rules system.
  • Preparing financial statements, including balance sheets, profit and loss statements, cash flow statements, and other financial reports at the end of every month.
  • Undertaking online banking tasks, including processing vendor payments, checking for customer payments, downloading or printing bank statements, etc.
  • Ensuring that all the deadlines are met 
  • Dealing with bookkeeping documents such as customer checks, 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
  • Following accounting policies and procedures
Grow Your Business With QuickBooks

Bookkeeping Certificates and organisations

The following are examples of bookkeeping organisations that provide a host of bookkeeping programs to help you learn and enhance your bookkeeping knowledge. A region-specific alternative may be available in your country. 

The Association of Chartered Certified Accountants

The ACCA is a global association of individuals who want to:

  • Learn bookkeeping and accounting
  • Enhance their bookkeeping and accounting knowledge and skills
  • Share their knowledge and skill via a certification

The members of the ACCA typically include bookkeeping employees of small businesses and non-profit organisations. The ACCA trains and certifies bookkeeping students and employees in bookkeeping, accounting, and payroll. The ACCA also offers a free bookkeeping course, Introduction to Bookkeeping, aimed at business owners and entrepreneurs. No previous knowledge of accounting is required. 

The ACCA's various certifications are recognised around the globe.

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.

You can pursue bookkeeping courses to enhance your employment prospects, demonstrate proficiency to your clients, or even learn how to become a virtual bookkeeper.

Coursera

Coursera is an online platform that offers top instructors from world-class universities and companies courses.

A host of free courses give you access to on-demand video lectures, homework exercises, and community discussion forums.

The paid courses offer quizzes and projects and a course certificate upon completion.

Many of their courses have a cost. You can enrol for free when you enrol in a class or specialization on Coursera. But, to earn a certificate, you need to purchase the course.

When you start your first subscription to Coursera, it will begin with a seven-day free trial. This free trial allows you to try a specialisation course for free. However, your free trial automatically becomes a paid subscription on the eighth day unless you cancel the free trial version.

The following are some of the bookkeeping courses you can take on Coursera:

The Knowledge Academy

With over 30,000 courses across 190 countries, the Knowledge Academy is one of the world’s largest providers of training courses globally. They provide business analysis, project management, business accounting, and bookkeeping courses. 

Corporate Finance Institute

The Corporate Finance Institute (CFI) is an online platform that provides online finance and accounting courses.

The CFI courses offer practical skills, templates, and tools to enhance your accounting knowledge.

These courses are taught by professional Wallstreet trainers who have been teaching for over twenty years.

The below courses are some of those offered in the area of accounting and finance by the CFI:

You can enroll on all these courses for free. However, if you want certification, you must 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 a messenger app and wait for a response. There are a lot of institutes that offer small business workshops, giving valuable insights into bookkeeping and accounting.

These workshops also allow you to meet like-minded professionals. These professionals can provide you with accounting and bookkeeping tips and tricks from their experience.

Quickbooks Certification

Quickbooks offers training classes from the comfort of your home. The QuickBooks comprehensive training program gets users comfortable using QuickBooks software in two days. With this program, you can learn how to become a freelance bookkeeper. 

The Quickbooks training program helps you to:

  • Get up-to-speed in 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
  • Learn to develop powerful reports that help businesses make sound financial decisions
  • Learn how to customise Quickbooks for your business
  • Discover ways to automate and simplify your work
  • Get a passionate instructor who is 100% committed to helping you learn Quickbooks in an engaging way

The topics covered in Quickbooks online classes are as follows:

Foundational Topics

The foundational topics in QuickBooks Online Accounting Software help you:

  • 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 fix any errors
  • Set up online banking and connect your cards. With QuickBooks, you can record numerous transactions all at once
  • Import data from Excel and other sources
  • Learn tricks to use Quickbooks in a faster way
  • Find support when you need it

Everyday Transactions

The following section discusses everyday transactions, including:

  • Estimates, invoices, sales receipts, payments, deposits, credit memos, and customer statements.
  • Generation and customization of sales & customer reports to get more information about customers and sales.
  • Staying on top of any money owed to you and sending timely reminders to customers
  • Knowing what money comes out, including bills, bill payments, checks, electronic payments, debit card purchases, bills vs. checks, petty cash, and vendor credits.
  • Generation and customisation of expense & vendor reports to get more information about how and where you’re spending money.
  • Setting up inventory parts and purchase orders, receiving items, and adjusting inventory.
  • Setting up, adjusting, paying, and reporting sales taxes.

Special Transactions

Learn about special transactions, including how to:

  • Give and receive refunds.
  • Record or apply credits offered to customers or received 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 customise lists to view the information you need.
  • Collapse financial statements.
  • Run reports (like your Profit & Loss Statement) by month or as a percentage of income.

Automation

Get to know QuickBook's powerful tools to:

  • Find transactions and other information you need fast.
  • Speed up your work – tricks to speed up navigation and to work 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 categorise 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.

Customising Quickbooks

Customise Quickbooks to:

  • Customise 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.
  • Customise 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).

Generate Reports

Know how to:

  • Customise the content and look of your reports.
  • Add, delete, resize, and reorder columns.
  • Filter and format the report to get the info you need.
  • Save reports and create memorised/customised report groups.
  • Set up QuickBooks to automatically email reports on any schedule.

Accounting Concepts

Know how to:

  • Understand your financial statements.
  • Set up 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.
  • Set up 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.

Attend Training Classes

Quickbooks offers two types of training: self-paced courses and a Quickbooks certification course.

Self-Paced Courses

The self-paced Quickbooks training is designed in such a way that it fits your working schedule.

All you need to do is 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.

Below 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

If you become a diamond VIP member, you will get access to every self-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.

To become a Quickbooks certified user, you must 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 how to set up Quickbooks, handle money in and out, bank, and much more.

If you cannot find a class near your location, you can 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. To prepare for this exam, you must attend Quickbooks training classes. These classes offer you a good foundation of Quickbooks knowledge.

Once you undertake a Quickbooks training class, you will receive a Quickbooks certification study guide. This guide consists of real-life examples, tips, and tricks to help you prepare for the exam.

Furthermore, it also gives you a practice test which is a great way to prepare for the exam.

Take the Exam

The final step in becoming a certified Quickbooks is to take the Quickbooks certification exam.

Once you have attended the QuickBooks training class, worked through the study guide, and taken the practice exam, you will be ready for the exam.

QuickBooks Video Help

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 valuable features of the product.

This includes creating invoices, categorising expenses, setting up charts of accounts, and much more.

The following topics 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

To find more learning information about QuickBooks and all its functionalities, feel free to visit our video tutorials section and subscribe to our youtube playlist

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, 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/VAT.

Thus, this document acts as a Step-by-Step Guide to getting well-versed in using QuickBooks Online Accounting Software.

Get an overview of:

  • Introduction to QuickBooks Online
  • Navigating QuickBooks Online
  • Online Banking
  • Transactions
  • Budgets
  • Projects
  • Bank Reconciliation
  • Managing GST
  • Running Reports
  • Mobile Apps – Take the Ipad / iPhone Tour
  • Help & Support

Join the Singapore Community

Singapore Quickbooks community is an online hub that allows you to connect with other Quickbooks users in Singapore and worldwide. 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 owner, bookkeeper, or adviser trying to help clients grow, the Quickbooks community is an excellent platform to get your queries answered.

Individuals who are community members answer the queries posted by Quickbooks account holders worldwide. Such questions are responded to from their own experience of using Quickbooks.

Furthermore, every member contributes to the community to build a collective knowledge base.

If you face any issues using Quickbooks, you need to insert the keyword in the search bar and click “search”.