skip to main content


Bookkeeper Information

What is a bookkeeper?

Bookkeepers perform general accounting duties. They maintain complete sets of financial records, keep track of accounts, and verify the accuracy of procedures used for recording financial transactions. They are employed by private businesses, governments, and virtually every other type of institution.

As a bookkeeper, you perform a variety of duties. You prepare, control, balance, and check various accounts using standard bookkeeping methods. You enter daily financial transactions in a journal either manually or by computer. You maintain general ledgers recording the status of various accounts and making sure that all the accounts balance. You also balance the ledgers and prepare financial statements. To verify the accuracy of computerized and manual accounting and record keeping systems, you may be asked to perform an audit. You may also prepare statistical, financial, accounting, or auditing reports.

There is considerable job mobility in this field since many different types of establishments have need of bookkeeping services. Experience as a bookkeeper may be a first step toward becoming a clerical supervisor. By acquiring some training, you could even become a professional accountant. Most bookkeepers earn hourly wages.

Do you have what it takes?

You can get a lot of satisfaction from this work if you enjoy working with numbers. Employers look for people who aren't afraid to ask questions and look for answers. Good bookkeepers are constantly improving and updating their skills, both on the job and through formal training courses. Many firms pay the costs of courses you take to develop further skills in bookkeeping, accounting, and office administration.

To be a bookkeeper, you need to be well organized, careful, and thorough. When dealing with large sums of money, you cannot afford to misplace or lose documents. Files need to be maintained, and the work must be done on time.

Employers look for reliable and punctual individuals for this job since there is an ongoing and steady amount of work that the employers depend on being performed well. Unnecessary and frequent absences from work disrupt work flow and cause problems for other employees.

Many bookkeepers handle cash. It is important that you are a person of integrity and honesty. For this reason, businesses such as large grocery stores often hire only people who have worked for them as cashiers. You are also expected to maintain a professional appearance.

What do you need to be a bookkeeper?

  • A high school diploma
  • High school courses in accounting or bookkeeping
  • A college program in accounting or a related business field
  • Up to two years (first level) of a recognized professional accounting program such as Chartered Accounting, Certified General Accounting (optional)
  • Previous clerical experience, particularly of a financial nature (may be required)

Licenses, certificates or registration are not required .


What does a bookkeeper do?

  • Accounts Payable
  • Accounts Receivable
  • Bill Payment
  • Detailed General Ledgers
  • Payroll and Check Registers
  • Bank Reconciliation
  • Financial Statements
  • Customized Reports
  • Budget Preparation
  • Business and Workers Compensation Insurance
  • Employee Health Insurance
  • Payroll Services
  • Payroll Check Writing
  • Payroll Tax Returns
  • Tax Services
  • Monthly, Quarterly, and Annual Payroll Reports
  • Federal, State, and Local Tax Reports and Filings
  • Business Tax Returns and Tax Planning
  • Income Tax Returns
  • Tax Audit Representation

Who can you contact to learn more?

  • Your high school guidance counselor
  • Your local public library
  • A community college which offers bookkeeping or accounting courses
  • Retail businesses such as grocery stores that hire bookkeepers
  • Bookkeeping firms

What are other related careers?

  • Assistant bank accountant
  • Account information clerk
  • Cost clerk
  • Accounting clerk
  • Budget clerk
  • Finance clerk

How much do bookkeepers earn?

This web site lists salary information: http://www.bookkeeperlist.com/salary.shtml.


What certifications and sssociations are available?

CFA, CMA, CGA, CPA, CB, PB -- which is the one for you? Visit http://www.bookkeeperlist.com/cga.shtml for more information.