Bookkeeping is the process of regularly updating and maintaining business records of an individual or company.
With this method, businesses can effectively keep track of the cash flow, and monitor the profits and losses for a given period of time. Federal agencies and local tax agencies also require small and large scale businesses to have accurate bookkeeping.
What is the role of a bookkeeper?
A bookkeeper is the person who is responsible for keeping and updating the financial records of a business that he or she is working for. The data are kept in ledgers or journals, colloquially referred to as “books” as these pieces of paper can reach hundreds and even thousands of pages. The duties of a bookkeeper include recording all the financial transactions made by the business. The amount for each payment and the details for which the payments were made and received are taken note of by the bookkeeper. The income and the expenses are all recorded in the journal or ledger, and must be balanced out when accounted for.
Accounting periods usually last a month, or can be quarterly and the ledgers may be taken by the bookkeeper to the accountant who makes the computations for the taxes, and issuing the official reports to the IRS or Internal Revenue Services. For small-scale businesses, a bookkeeper is hired as a regular employee, and the services of an accountant are only acquired when needed. For large scale companies, an accounting staff is preferred over a bookkeeper for efficiency purposes.
How to Get a Bookkeeping Certification
To get bookkeeping certification, a high school diploma is the first requirement. During high school, a student who aspires to get bookkeeping certification must take courses related to the field such as computers, mathematics, and English to establish a firm foundation for possible trainings and job offerings in the future.
While attaining higher education is optional, it can be an advantage especially in choosing a career path such as financial management, payroll, and bookkeeping. Acquiring higher education can open more career opportunities to those with bookkeeping certification. The most common diploma courses to take for this field are an associate degree in business, or an associate degree in accounting. In some cases, where companies really look deep in to the educational attainment of an applicant, a bachelor’s degree in any business related course may prove to be rewarding in getting the desired position.
Another requirement in getting a bookkeeping certification is experience or job training. As a trainee, you will be paired with an experienced bookkeeper to teach you the skills needed in order to become an efficient bookkeeper for the company you are working for. As different companies may have varying needs or requirements, it is important that you get an idea of how a typical day of a bookkeeper goes, and how clients and employers want the work done.
The Next Step in Bookkeeping Certification
The next step to get a bookkeeping certification is to attain the certified bookkeeper designation. With this, at least 2 years of work experience in the field is required.