Bookkeeper Job Description (Skills, Salary, Duties, Certification & More)

Every business in this world revolves around finance. Finance forms the very basis or foundation of any business operating in this world. Before financial analysts comes into play, it is a ground that belongs solely to a Bookkeeper. A book keeper is the one who is responsible for recording all the financial transactions of the organization occurring in the normal course of business. On the basis, of reports generated by a book keeper, crucial financial decisions are made, which affects, owners, stakeholders and government in big way. Thus, the role of a bookkeeper is extremely important and crucial.

The Job Of Bookkeeper Explained Completely

1) Job Description

Businesses are operating since time immemorial and the need to write the daily expenditures and receipts paved way for a new job called a Bookkeeper or simply an accountant. The term bookkeeping often used in place of accounting, is an art of recording the day to day transactions of the organizations. before the advent of technology, bookkeepers used to maintain the daily affairs of the company in a notebook known as Ledger.

In modern times, these manual ledgers have been converted into accounting software, and now the entire business of a company is managed through them. A bookkeeper simply records the daily events of a company, into this accounting software, after following the rules of debit and credit.

2) Must Have Skills

A skillful, proficient, and experienced bookkeeper is every organization’s requirement. In this dynamic world where technologies are constantly evolving, the software is being upgraded, and new methods of performing a task are being discovered, constantly learning new skills and keeping abreast of new software technologies is the need of the hour. Having been in a position that is critical and forms the bases for several crucial decisions, possessing expertise and mastery of the below-mentioned skills is almost inevitable:

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  • Knowledge of at least two accounting software such as:
    • Busy
    • Tally
    • Quickbooks
    • Sage etc
  • Deep knowledge of accounting principles and double entry bookkeeping(mostly followed)
  • Deep knowledge of accounting concepts such as:
    • Materiality
    • Going concern
    • Prudence
    • Matching
    • Conservatism
    • Money Measurement etc
  • Knowledge of various audit tools
  • Knowledge of various important accounting ratios such as:
    • Inventory Turnover Ratios
    • Quick ratio
    • Debt-equity ratio
    • Return on Investment ratio etc.
  • Understanding of various basic accounting terms such as:
    • Assets ( Both Current and Fixed assets)
    • Liabilities
    • Debtors
    • Creditors
    • Bad debts
    • Provisions
    • Reserves and Surplus
    • Share Capital etc
  • Understanding of various accounting reports such as:
    • Balance sheet
    • Profit and Loss Account
    • Trading Account
    • Cash Flow Statement
    • Bank Reconciliation
  • Good communication skills
  • Ability to work under pressure and deadlines
  • Excellent accuracy
  • Ability to pinpoint minute details and a knack for spotting errors

Duties

An bookkeeper can be stationed at various positions, ranging from punching entries in to the accounting software to analyzing the reports generated. A book keeper is usually given a position of analyst, after several years of bookkeeping experience. There are several duties that a book keeper has to follow which include:

  • Recording day to day transactions of a company that can be measured in monetary terms into the accounting software followed
  • Preparing tax returns of the company
  • Preparing and controlling various budgets
  • Maintain accuracy of the accounting data, by performing regular checks and follow-ups
  • Generate various financial reports, useful for senior management
  • Maintaining hard copies of the various financial reports generated by arranging them in a chronological sequence
  • Perform mathematical calculations
  • Assume responsibility for any human error while punching data into the system
  • Maintain payroll of the company
  • Communicate with clients (mostly common in advisory firms)
  • Apply knowledge of various tax and company laws while preparing financial data
  • Perform basic banking operations such as cheque clearing, cash deposit, or remittances
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Certifications

To become a bookkeeper one must have at least a bachelor’s degree in commerce. It can be coupled with a variety of courses, both long term and short term, and both full time and part time available in the field of commerce. Some prominent one’s and widely follow3ed courses are summarised in the table below:

List of long term and full time coursesDuration
Chartered AccountantMinimum 4 years
Company SecretaryMinimum 3 years
Certified Public AccountantMinimum 2 years
Cost AccountantMinimum 4 years
ACCA (Association of Chartered Certified Accountants)Minimum 3 years
List of short term and part time coursesDuration
Diploma in any accounting software6 months
MS Excel Advanced Course6 months
Payroll Management3 to 6 Months
Fundamentals of Accounting6 months
Public Audit and Accountability6 months
Financial Modelling6 to 9 months
Accounting ratios and analysis3 Months

Salary Prospects

Bookkeeping is a profession, that can never go out of style, and will remain their as long as people want to earn money. With huge demand and unlimited scope, a book keeper can expect handsome salaries, which can eventually increase with efflux of time after gaining considerable experience and exposure. A broader understanding of accounting concepts and principles coupled with knowledge of a prominent accounting software would enable you to fetch fat pay checks.

Salary of a book keeper depends upon the following factors:

FactorsReason
ExperienceHigher the experience. higher would be the salary. Every organization wants to recruit a bookkeeper with good practical knowledge, gained while performing duties in a company.
LocationBookkeepers employed at areas involving a higher cost of living are usually compensated dearly as compared to the ones operating in rural or semi urban areas.
KnowledgeBookkeepers aware of more than one accounting software, various audit tools, MS Excel and ERP are paid handsomely, as compared to the ones who are not that learned.

Conclusion

With huge demand and unlimited scope coupled with attractive growth opportunities, bookkeeping is a profession that commerce students always keep on their radar. The prospects of salary hikes after gaining considerable exposure and experience are quite bright that makes this job even more attractive and sought after. One can look at it as a full-time career if one possesses relevant interests and skills. If you like our articles then don’t forget to share them with your family and friends. Also, do let us know, how you feel about our articles through the comments section.

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References

  1. https://eprints.ncl.ac.uk/4787
  2. https://www.jstor.org/stable/247368