What does a bookkeeper do?

Bookkeeping can be a long and fulfilling career. Bookkeepers are tasked with keeping high-quality, accurate accounting records. Tasks undertaken by bookkeepers can include inputting sales and purchases ledgers into accounting software as well as expense receipts and sales income. They will be in charge of reconciling income and expenses as well as the sales and purchase ledger. A bookkeeper will also categorise costs, input capital expenditure and look after prepayments and accruals. They will normally make provisions for corporate tax and oversee depreciation journals. They may also need to raise invoices, chase payments, pay in cheques and other administrative tasks.

Become a valued team member

Most bookkeepers have a robust relationship with the accountant they work alongside. They will normally collaborate with each other on a regular basis to make the department more efficient and solve issues quickly. When accurate records are kept by bookkeepers, the accountant’s life becomes easier. When the accountant looks after more technical areas, things are made more straightforward for the bookkeeper. Great bookkeepers can become pivotal to the success of businesses. Badly-maintained records can cause big problems for companies. A bookkeeper’s main role is to ensure all numbers add up. All businesses need to keep records of their financial transactions, which means all businesses need someone to oversee their books.

Enrol on the right course for you

Whilst it’s possible to get an entry level position without prior experience, you’re more likely to be taken on for a role if you have bookkeeping qualifications. There are many bookkeeping and accounting qualifications on offer from the IAB. You’ll usually begin with a Level 1 Award in Bookkeeping before embarking on Levels 2 and 3. You may then wish to aim for a Level 4 Diploma in Personal & Business Tax. Many different courses are available, such as courses that specify in practical payroll, applied payroll, manual bookkeeping, applied and computerised bookkeeping. It’s wise to speak to someone from the organisation to find out what to do next and what the best options are for you, your current circumstances and your career goals.

Improve your career chances

Your career opportunities can be boosted significantly once you obtain IAB qualifications. These qualifications can help you become a valued part of any team or even work on a self-employed basis. If you’re running your own company, you’ll have all the skills you require to oversee your own books. You could go on to become a registered bookkeeper, accounting professional or chartered accountant. One way to find out whether a bookkeeping course will be right for you is to ask current and past students about their experiences. Most training providers will be more than happy to help you if you do have any queries about how the courses are run.

What about distance learning?

There are options available to you if you wish to learn bookkeepers’ skills at home. Distance Learning was once postal-based but now allows you to get the skills you need via online learning courses. You can get all the advice you need from leading professionals via telephone calls and e-mails, whilst working at your own pace and receive the same quality of training you would get if you were sat in a classroom. A growing number of people are becoming qualified bookkeepers via distance learning. With distance learning, you don’t need to put your life on hold whilst you get the skills you need. You can still hold down a job or even look after a family whilst you learn. Whether you want to study on a full or part-time basis, options are available.

Guest post provided by the International Association of Book-keepers (IAB)