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what is a bookkeeper

It also offers a payroll certification, which requires additional education. In small businesses, payroll bookkeeping is usually included in bookkeepers’ general duties. Larger companies or public organizations may hire payroll bookkeepers as a separate role.

For example, note which software you want a candidate to be familiar with–including general programs that your office uses. Have any lingering questions about what a bookkeeper does or whether you need one? You can also download the Keeper app and start chatting with a bookkeeper right away. This post is to be used for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal, business, or tax advice.

What are some of the most rewarding aspects of working as a bookkeeper? Some of the most challenging aspects?

Each person should consult his or her own attorney, business advisor, or tax advisor with respect to matters referenced in this post. Bench assumes no liability for actions taken in reliance upon the information contained herein. You can also look at the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants to find CPAs with skills in certain areas, such as employee benefits or personal finance. Accountants will either quote a client a fixed price for a specific service or charge a general hourly rate. Basic services could cost as little as $20 an hour, while advanced services could be $100 or more an hour.

what is a bookkeeper

It is not uncommon for an experienced bookkeeper to make a career transition into accounting or another profession. As bookkeepers work closely with raw data, they tend to develop a good understanding of how a business works. Not only are you entrusting your bookkeeper with sensitive data, you are relying on their accuracy to maintain the financial records for your business.

Send Out Invoices and Manage Accounts Receivable

This can include assisting businesses with the processing of paychecks and tax payments to employees. Another big responsibility of bookkeepers is that they prepare invoices and send them to your clients so you can receive payment on time. Managing what is a bookkeeper the accounts receivable ledger is also likely to be done by a bookkeeper – as well as chasing up late payments so your records are always accurate. A bookkeeper can stay on top of your business’ accounts daily for all transactions.

  • While these programs are cost effective, you are paying with your time.
  • Of course, education depends on the individual or bookkeeping service you hire.
  • Bookkeepers are not expected to have a four-year or five-year college degree in accounting.
  • This can include assisting businesses with the processing of paychecks and tax payments to employees.

As you begin the process of drafting your job description, consider putting together the top 10 functions of a bookkeeper for your company. You want to make sure that these are clearly reflected in your job description so that candidates understand your specific needs and how their skills align with those needs. Below is a sample bookkeeper job description that you can customize to meet the needs of your business. As a business owner, you probably like to spend your time growing your business or connecting with customers — not compiling financial statements.

What advice would you give to students considering becoming a bookkeeper?

After much deliberation and a large salary cut, I moved to a startup and fell in love! I was also surprised that what I came to build wasn’t already built. It made me think, “Hmm, maybe there are other companies out there that need my help.” This eventually led to the start of my business. Bookkeepers also make sure to maintain accurate foreign currency accounts, utilising current exchange rates. This can be made much easier with compatible digital bookkeeping apps that can instantly analyse exchange rates without wasting much time.

Some of these factors include your level of education and experience, whether you hold any relevant certifications, and where you live and work geographically. It’s usually bookkeepers who make payments on behalf of your small business. This can include anything from payment of supplier invoices, petty cash and expenses.


To earn the certified public bookkeeper license, bookkeepers must have 2,000 hours of work experience, pass an exam, and sign a code of conduct. They must take 24 hours of continuing education each year to maintain their license. A good bookkeeper never cuts corners, and they are indispensable to business owners who want to spend time growing their business, instead of maintaining it.

  • Because accounting roles require actual analysis of the accounts versus simply inputting of numbers, individuals working in this type of position also benefit from having analytical skills.
  • Bookkeeping, which is also called “record keeping,” is the part of accounting that involves writing down business transactions and other events in the form of journal entries in the accounting system.
  • However, remote work opportunities have become increasingly available since the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Today, many use Pacioli’s core bookkeeping and accounting principles to streamline business finances.
  • Additionally, some states do recognize a form of accountant-client privilege, with Florida, Pennsylvania, Colorado, and Missouri being a few.
  • We highly recommend all businesses use a double-entry accounting system as they have become easy to use even for nonaccountants.

It needs accuracy, attention to detail, responsibility, and the ability to deal with stress. When applying for jobs, a candidate’s resume or CV should also include any relevant work experience. It is simple to state that you will attend to a task or project when possible.

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