How to Become a Bookkeeper Requirements

what is a bookkeeper

Unlike accounting, bookkeeping zeroes in on the administrative side of a business’s financial past and present. Accounting, on the other hand, utilizes data from bookkeepers and is much more subjective. When you think of bookkeeping, you may think it’s all just numbers and spreadsheets. Bookkeeping is the meticulous art of recording all financial transactions a business makes. By doing so, you can set your business up for success and have an accurate view of how it’s performing.

  • Sometimes, your situation might not require a dedicated bookkeeper — but you could still use a hand with recordkeeping and expense tracking.
  • You may also be an ideal bookkeeping candidate if you want a good job with a respectable wage and decent security but may not be looking for a long-term career.
  • While it may be easy to confuse the two, they are not the same thing.
  • A cash flow statement provides an overview of all your cash transactions.

But depending on your situation, proper bookkeeping can also come with a steep learning curve. Modern accounting software is the repository of all financial transactions for your company and can generate requisite reports in real-time. So even if you have accounting software, odds are, you still need a bookkeeper to manage the software, enter data, file reports, identify errors and keep everything current. One way to think about it is that bookkeepers lay the groundwork for accountants to analyze and prepare financial statements.

Key Differences

Bookkeepers are not expected to have a four-year or five-year college degree in accounting. However, the bookkeeper must be able to work quickly and accurately. Today’s bookkeeper must be comfortable with accounting software such as QuickBooks and electronic worksheets. Being what is a bookkeeper proficient with accounting software allows a bookkeeper to stand out from the others. The BLS reports the median annual salary for bookkeepers as $45,560. Several factors can impact salary, including education, certifications, professional work experience and location.

As of 2020, there were more than 1.6 million bookkeeping jobs in the United States. As a business owner, you probably like to spend your time growing your business or connecting with customers — not compiling financial statements. They’re similar to regular financial reports, except that they zero in on a particular aspect of your business. For example, if you run an online store, you can ask a bookkeeper to produce management accounts on your bestselling products. Management accounts are meant to help owners or managers of a business make decisions using financial data. Ledgers are important because they can be used to create documents for your business, like income and cash flow statements.

The Accrual vs Cash Basis of Accounting

Start by deciding on the system you want to use, whether it’s an online program, paid software or a spreadsheet. Next, set aside a dedicated time either weekly or biweekly to review your bookkeeping, reconcile transactions and complete necessary data entry. Finally, you’ll want to decide how all receipts and documents will be stored. You can either keep hard copies or opt for electronic files by scanning paperwork. When it comes to selecting a bookkeeping style, business owners have several options.

  • The double-entry system of bookkeeping is common in accounting software programs like QuickBooks.
  • They’re here to answer your questions and make sure you feel guided the whole way.
  • Although accrual basis statements are more accurate, many business owners find cash basis reports easier to understand.
  • That way, you can be well prepared when it’s time to file taxes with the IRS.
  • Responsibilities for bookkeepers can vary widely from business to business, though there are a number of very common bookkeeping responsibilities.
  • Typically, double-entry bookkeeping uses accrual accounting for liabilities, equities, assets, expenses and revenue.
  • A bookkeeper must be able to shift focus easily and catch tiny, hidden mistakes in a budget or invoice.

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