Job Description: What Does a Bookkeeper Do?

Juliet D'cruz

Updated on:

Accounting is an intricate part of every business. It is how a business owner tracks earned revenue and outgoing expenses. In medium to large size businesses, there is an accounting department. The job description for those roles includes accounts payable and accounts receivables.

The separation of duties creates a checks and balances system.

In smaller companies, the business may rely on a bookkeeper. This person can assume the duties of all accounting matters. With technology, the bookkeeper might not be an employee of the company but an independent contractor working virtually.

Are you considering a career as a bookkeeper? Keep reading to learn more about what a bookkeeper does and the education requirements.

Bookkeeper Job Description

Bookkeepers are responsible for managing the day-to-day financial transactions. They ensure the financial ledgers balance at the end of the month. A bookkeeper could also have payroll duties.

Typically, bookkeepers do not handle tax preparation. However, it is not unheard of if they have the experience. In most cases, taxes duties are left to a certified Public Accountant (CPA).

Business owners need to have a clear understanding of what their bookkeeper’s role will entail. It is easy for the duties of a bookkeeper vs. those of an accountant to overlap.

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A career opportunity in accounting that does not require a college degree is a bookkeeper. You should have a working knowledge of Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP). Some companies may require college accounting coursework or certifications.

To become a certified Professional Bookkeeper, you’ll need to complete coursework from an accredited institution. The benefit of obtaining a certificate is to demonstrate competency in various areas of accounting.

A certified professional bookkeeper can command a higher salary. It is an excellent negotiating tool to have in a field that is in high demand.

Job Duties

Because career opportunities vary, so will the duties. The responsibilities you may get assigned as a bookkeeper can vary, let’s review a few of them.

Creating and maintaining ledgers and cross-posting in various locations, including  AR and AP categories in accounting software. Processing cash, checks, credit card, and ACH/EFT payments and balancing daily bank activity to the general ledger.

Preparing monthly, quarterly, and annual financial statements. Working closely with a CPA or other accounting professional. Processing payroll and other payroll duties.

You may also get called on to train employees in other accounting roles.

Business owners need to have a clear understanding of what their bookkeeper’s role will entail. It is easy for the duties of a bookkeeper vs. those of an accountant to overlap.

Are You Ready to Pursue a Career as a Bookkeeper?

The job description for a bookkeeper is not all-encompassing. Each business has its requirements. Bookkeeping duties performed for one company may not mirror those in another company.

It is beneficial to have as many accounting skills as possible. Acquiring training on multiple software platforms is another plus.

If you’re not entirely sold on a career in bookkeeping, it’s okay. Our education section has additional articles to consider for a career path. Check them out now.

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