Every business needs someone to handle the bookwork and that’s a trend unlikely to change anytime soon. For anyone considering becoming a bookkeeper, that means there’s little chance this is a career that won’t be around in the future. If you’re thinking about becoming a bookkeeper, here are 6 things you need to know.
The job description
Bookkeeping is the job of dotting the ‘Is’ and crossing the ‘Ts’ when it comes to numbers in the business world. It ranges from handling account payments and ensuring the incomings tally up with the outgoings, to lodging government paperwork for a business. In most businesses, this role will require the use of a computer where the bookkeeper checks the incomings and outgoings of staff against their own records. A bookkeeper can handle anything from tax returns to payroll and financial monitoring.
The skills required
A love of numbers and the finer art of reconciling paperwork is the first and foremost requirement of a bookkeeper. It’s the attention to detail that sets a good bookkeeper apart from their peers. They can spot 8 instead of a 3 at 60 paces, and have a penchant for scouring receipts in search of glaring errors. A bookkeeper is one of the most trusted staff members in a business.
In order to perform well, bookkeepers must have a comprehensive understanding of finances using spreadsheets and databases. They know their debt from their expenditure and their nett profits from their gross.
While many a small business boasts an informal bookkeeper in the form of the proprietor or their spouse, professional bookkeepers usually have some accreditation. These days it’s classed as a separate field to accounting and is recognised by Diploma, Degree or Certificate.
Software is the primary platform of technology for bookkeepers, whether it’s Quickbooks, MYOB or a similar program. These are packages designed to assist in the bookkeeping process with up-to-date information such as tax tables, salary withholdings for superannuation, sick leave and long service entitlements.
Plenty of businesses hire in-house bookkeepers to oversee the day-to-day accounts of their business, whether on a full-time, contract or casual basis. This means a self-employed bookkeeper might have multiple clients they work for, completing the paperwork either on-site or from their own business or home.
Staying in the loop
Like any field, the skills of a bookkeeper require upgrading over time, especially when it comes to the latest information and software to assist them doing their job. Companies such as Australian Bookkeepers Network offer a range of support services for members in the profession, including technical support, networking and resources.
Bookkeeping can be a hugely rewarding profession. It offers steady employment, professional advancement and even the ability to have a career from home. This role provides the backbone of small business, allowing proprietors to do their job while someone independent keeps their eye on the books.
Has it always been your passion to work as a bookkeeper? Share your thoughts in the comments section.