Responsible for most of an organization’s accounts, bookkeepers are given the task of recording all expenses, receipts, profits, and losses of a business to produce financial statements.
Using specialized electronic accounting software, spreadsheets, or databases, bookkeepers are essential finance experts who ensure that all account data is complete and accurate to keep an organization running efficiently.
Daily Duties for Bookkeepers:
- Entering financial transactions into the appropriate electronic software to create accurate updated statements
- Collecting data from cashiers, confirming receipts, and delivering cash or checks to a bank for deposit
- Handling payroll, making purchases, preparing invoices, or keeping track of overdue accounts
- Assigning the debits and credits to an appropriate account within the software
- Developing balance sheets, income statements, and total reports by account for the organization’s supervisors or managers
- Checking financial records for accuracy in figures, postings, and reports
- Reporting any discrepancies found in the financial statements
Bookkeeper Job Description
What do bookkeepers do? Most bookkeepers fulfill these duties by being employed in the accounting, tax preparation, bookkeeping, or payroll services industries. Others may find employment in retail trade, wholesale trade, technical services, healthcare organizations, hotels, or financial insurance companies. Bookkeepers usually work in offices, but those who work for multiple firms may need to travel often to visit their client’s place of business.
Although one-quarter in the profession are working on a part-time basis, the majority work full-time with a longer than 40-hour work week to meet deadlines at the end of the fiscal year, during tax time, and when accounting audits are performed. Bookkeepers normally work independently, but they sometimes must collaborate with accountants, supervisors, auditing clerks, managers, and clients depending on the size of the finance department.
Skills Needed to Be a Bookkeeper
While bookkeepers must have at least a high school diploma, many employees prefer candidates who have some post-secondary education with coursework in accounting or on-the-job training to learn the highly specialized skills of the profession. Bookkeepers must possess an extensive knowledge base on mathematics, technology, accounting, finance, spreadsheets, and bookkeeping software to carry out their daily tasks.
In order to lead a successful career, bookkeepers are required to have strong computer skills for using specialized software, arithmetic skills for dealing with numbers daily, organization skills for producing accurate financial records, and communication skills for interacting with clients or customers. Since it is essential that all financial statements are free of errors, bookkeepers should also be honest and detail-oriented in handling an organization’s funds properly.