Qualifications of a Bookkeeper

by Khary Reynolds; Updated September 26, 2017
Becoming a Bookkeeper can be a rewarding experience

Bookkeeping is a demanding profession that can be very rewarding. A bookkeeper understands how a business works and tries to pinpoint and provide key numbers that can help increase its efficiency. The system used in bookkeeping is also called the double entry and was invented hundreds of years ago by a monk. The essentials of double entry have endured to this day and all businesses practice it. Businesses are required by law to record every financial transition whether by putting down on paper or keeping it on computers. Bookkeeping provides career opportunities for the young and old, men and women from all backgrounds. However, a summary of qualifications is needed if you want to become a bookkeeper.

High School Diploma

You need at least a high school diploma to start a career in bookkeeping. This ensures that you are able to learn and adapt to new things and that you have the minimal education required dealing with finances. As a bookkeeper you have a big responsibility on your shoulders as you handle the company’s money flow through invoices, receipts, accounts and payments. A bookkeeper must also be very detail-oriented. The smallest mistake can be costly to the business.

Optional Postsecondary Education

Most companies require you to have a high school diploma only. However, some positions require an degree in business or accounting. A bachelor's degree is usually not required, but it can be a very important part of securing a job. As a graduate you can start in the company’s bookkeeping position and work your way up through the finance department. You will also receive formal training of their procedures before starting work.

Other Skills

As a bookkeeper, you need to have well-developed communication skills. You also need to have decent multitasking skills and be able to focus your attention in more places than one. Computers are becoming second nature to all bookkeeping positions. You will need to be familiar with computers if you intend to work as a bookkeeper. Having knowledge in computer accounting software can also have a big impact in securing a new position. Get familiar with the most known and widespread versions to get ahead of the competition. You also need to be a very discreet and trustworthy person, because you will often come in contact with confidential material.

Certification

Get certified if you plan to handle all of the records for a big company. Certification demonstrates you have the skills required to handle big responsibilities. You will need it in to show that you are ready to deal with payrolls, balancing accounts and other key parts of bookkeeping. To get certified you will need to have at least two years of experience in the field and pass an examination. Certified bookkeepers adhere to a strict code of ethics and might be required to maintain education periodically to remain certified.

About the Author

Khary Reynolds has been writing professionally since 2010. He has an extensive background in sales, marketing, business and real estate. Reynolds holds a master's degree in real estate from the University of Maryland, College Park.

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