The Evolving Role of Bookkeepers in Today's Business Landscape
Bookkeeping is an essential function of any business, as it involves recording and maintaining financial transactions. Bookkeepers are responsible for keeping accurate records of a company's financial activities, such as sales, purchases, payments, and receipts. If you're interested in pursuing a career in bookkeeping, here's what you need to know.
Responsibilities of a Bookkeeper
Bookkeepers jobs are responsible for a variety of tasks, including:
- Recording Financial Transactions: Bookkeepers record all financial transactions, including sales, purchases, payments, and receipts.
- Managing Accounts Receivable and Accounts Payable: Bookkeepers are responsible for managing a company's accounts receivable (money owed by customers) and accounts payable (money owed to suppliers).
- Reconciling Bank Statements: Bookkeepers ensure that the company's bank statements match its financial records.
- Generating Financial Reports: Bookkeepers generate financial reports, such as profit and loss statements and balance sheets.
- Maintaining Financial Records: Bookkeepers maintain accurate and up-to-date financial records.
Skills Required for Bookkeeper Jobs
To succeed in a bookkeeping role, you'll need to have the following skills:
- Attention to Detail: Bookkeeping involves a lot of data entry and number crunching, so you'll need to have excellent attention to detail.
- Organizational Skills: Bookkeepers need to be organized and efficient in managing financial records.
- Math Skills: Bookkeepers need to be comfortable with numbers and able to perform basic arithmetic.
- Communication Skills: Bookkeepers may need to communicate with clients, suppliers, and other members of the company's finance team.
- Technology Skills: Bookkeepers should be comfortable using accounting software and other financial tools.
Education and Training Requirements
While a college degree isn't always required for bookkeeping jobs, many employers prefer candidates who have completed a degree in accounting, finance, or a related field. Some employers may also require bookkeepers to hold professional certifications, such as the Certified Bookkeeper (CB) credential from the American Institute of Professional Bookkeepers (AIPB).
In addition to formal education and certification, bookkeepers can also benefit from on-the-job training and experience. Many bookkeeping roles provide on-the-job training, and some employers may offer continuing education opportunities to help bookkeepers stay up-to-date with the latest financial practices and technology.
Salary and Job Outlook
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual salary for bookkeeping, accounting, and auditing clerks was $42,410 in May 2020. However, salaries can vary widely based on factors such as education, experience, and industry.
In terms of job outlook, the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that the employment of bookkeeping, accounting, and auditing clerks will decline by 6% from 2019 to 2029. This is primarily due to the increasing use of automated accounting software and outsourcing of bookkeeping tasks to countries with lower labour costs.
However, despite this projected decline, bookkeeping jobs are still in demand. Companies of all sizes and industries require bookkeepers to maintain accurate financial records and ensure compliance with tax laws and regulations.
Types of Bookkeeping Jobs
Bookkeeping jobs can be found in a variety of industries, including:
- Accounting Firms: Many bookkeepers work for accounting firms, where they provide bookkeeping services to multiple clients.
- Small Businesses: Small businesses may hire bookkeepers to manage their financial records in-house.
- Nonprofits: Nonprofits may hire bookkeepers to manage their financial records and ensure compliance with grant requirements.
- Government Agencies: Local, state and federal government agencies may hire bookkeepers to manage their financial records and ensure compliance with tax laws and regulations.