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Becoming a Bookkeeper

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Why Study Bookkeeping?

Do you enjoy working with numbers? Are you looking for a finance role with an excellent work-life balance? A career in bookkeeping could be ideal for you.

 


 

What Does a Bookkeeper Do?

A bookkeeper is responsible for the day-to-day financial aspects of a business. Usually working 9-5, bookkeeping is a respected and stable profession.

Some of your everyday duties would be:

  • Processing and recording financial transactions
  • Producing reports such as annual tax returns
  • Checking figures, records and reports for accuracy, and correcting any differences
  • Communicating with individuals to ensure invoices are paid and received on time.

 


 

Where Can I Work?

Every profession needs a bookkeeper, so you’ll have the freedom to work in the industry of your choice, from fashion to technology, or the non-profit sector.

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Bookkeepers can choose to work in a large company, handling specific sections of the finances, or even heading up a team of bookkeepers.

Alternatively, you could work in a smaller business and be in charge of all of the finances. If you want a more flexible approach, you could become your own boss and work with clients across multiple industries.


 

How Much Could You Earn?

If you’re employed by a business, you can expect to earn between £18,000 to £25,000 depending on location and experience. However, if you become a self-employed bookkeeper, this could vary greatly depending on the type and number of clients you work with.

Some of the job titles you can expect to do once you’ve studied bookkeeping are:

Clerical Assistant

Coordinate the office functions including any paperwork, records and data management.

Accounts Clerk

Perform general accounting support tasks in an accounting department including updating and maintaining accounting journals, ledgers and other records detailing financial business transactions.

Finance Assistant

Assist the Finance Director in managing, processing and troubleshooting different accounts and transactions.

Accounts Administrator

Provide administrative support to accountants, such as preparing statutory accounts and checking to make sure payments, amounts and records are correct.

After studying the AAT Level 3 Advanced Certificate, you can move onto more advanced roles such as:

Professional Bookkeeper

Manage all aspects of the general ledger, accounts receivable, and accounts payable, as well as handling payroll information, credit card statements, and cash flow.

Accounts Manager

Responsible for all areas relating to financial reporting. You’ll be responsible for developing and maintaining accounting principles, practices and procedures to for accurate and timely financial statements.

Ledger Manager

Proving an indispensable service to the finance team, accountable for the whole purchase ledger process, from purchase orders through to invoices and reconciliation.

 


 

What Skills Do You Need?

You’ll spend most of your day working with reports and figures, so having strong analytical skills and a keen eye for detail is essential. These skills will help you spot mistakes and check for accuracy. Being good with numbers is beneficial, but not essential, as you’ll generally use bookkeeping software.

Bookkeepers often work autonomously so you need to be self-motivated and happy to work on your own. Excellent communication skills are also required because you’ll be dealing with suppliers, customers, or clients regularly, over email, phone, or in person.

 


 

How To Get Qualified as a Bookkeeper

The Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT) offer a short bookkeeping qualification, split into two levels, which focuses on the core bookkeeping modules. You don’t need any previous experience to complete this, just a willingness to learn. Competing this short course gives you a standalone qualification and allows you to practice as a Bookkeeper. You can also choose to continue your studies with exemptions against the full AAT qualification to train as an accountant.
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