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Become A Bookkeeper

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Working As A Bookkeeper

  • Getting Information
  • Interacting With Computers
  • Processing Information
  • Documenting/Recording Information
  • Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work
  • Mostly Sitting

  • Repetitive

  • $40,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Bookkeeper Do

Bookkeeping, accounting, and auditing clerks produce financial records for organizations. They record financial transactions, update statements, and check financial records for accuracy.

Duties

Bookkeeping, accounting, and auditing clerks typically do the following:

  • Use bookkeeping software, online spreadsheets, and databases
  • Enter (post) financial transactions into the appropriate computer software
  • Receive and record cash, checks, and vouchers
  • Put costs (debits) and income (credits) into the software, assigning each to an appropriate account
  • Produce reports, such as balance sheets (costs compared with income), income statements, and totals by account
  • Check for accuracy in figures, postings, and reports
  • Reconcile or note and report any differences they find in the records

The records that bookkeeping, accounting, and auditing clerks work with include expenditures (money spent), receipts (money that comes in), accounts payable (bills to be paid), accounts receivable (invoices, or what other people owe the organization), and profit and loss (a report that shows the organization’s financial health).

Workers in this occupation have a wide range of tasks. Some are full-charge bookkeeping clerks who maintain an entire organization’s books. Others are accounting clerks who handle specific tasks.

These clerks use basic mathematics (adding, subtracting) throughout the day.

Bookkeeping, accounting, and auditing clerks use specialized computer accounting software, spreadsheets, and databases to enter information from receipts or bills. They must be comfortable using computers to record and calculate data.

The widespread use of computers also has enabled bookkeeping, accounting, and auditing clerks to take on additional responsibilities, such as payroll, billing, purchasing (buying), and keeping track of overdue bills. Many of these functions require clerks to communicate with clients.

Bookkeeping clerks, also known as bookkeepers, often are responsible for some or all of an organization’s accounts, known as the general ledger. They record all transactions and post debits (costs) and credits (income).

They also produce financial statements and other reports for supervisors and managers. Bookkeepers prepare bank deposits by compiling data from cashiers, verifying receipts, and sending cash, checks, or other forms of payment to the bank.

In addition, they may handle payroll, make purchases, prepare invoices, and keep track of overdue accounts.

Accounting clerks typically work for larger companies and have more specialized tasks. Their titles, such as accounts payable clerk or accounts receivable clerk, often reflect the type of accounting they do.

The responsibilities of accounting clerks frequently vary by level of experience. Entry-level accounting clerks may post details of transactions (including date, type, and amount), add up accounts, and determine interest charges. They also may monitor loans and accounts to ensure that payments are up to date.

More advanced accounting clerks may add and balance billing vouchers, ensure that account data are complete and accurate, and code documents according to an organization’s procedures.

Auditing clerks check figures, postings, and documents to ensure that they are mathematically accurate and properly coded. They also correct or note errors for accountants or other workers to fix.

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How To Become A Bookkeeper

Most bookkeeping, accounting, and auditing clerks need some postsecondary education and also learn some of their skills on the job. They must have basic math and computer skills, including knowledge of spreadsheets and bookkeeping software.

Education

Employers generally require bookkeeping, accounting, and auditing clerks to have some postsecondary education, particularly coursework in accounting. However, some candidates can be hired with just a high school diploma.

Training

Bookkeeping, accounting, and auditing clerks usually get on-the-job training. Under the guidance of a supervisor or another experienced employee, new clerks learn how to do their tasks, including double-entry bookkeeping. In double-entry bookkeeping, each transaction is entered twice, once as a debit (cost) and once as a credit (income), to ensure that all accounts are balanced.

Some formal classroom training also may be necessary, such as training in specialized computer software. This on-the-job training typically takes around 6 months.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Some bookkeeping, accounting, and auditing clerks become certified. For those who do not have postsecondary education, certification is a particularly useful way to gain expertise in the field. The Certified Bookkeeper (CB) designation, awarded by the American Institute of Professional Bookkeepers, shows that those who have earned it have the skills and knowledge needed to carry out all bookkeeping tasks, including overseeing payroll and balancing accounts, according to accepted accounting procedures.

For certification, candidates must have at least 2 years of full-time bookkeeping experience or equivalent part-time work, pass a four-part exam, and adhere to a code of ethics.

The National Association of Certified Public Bookkeepers also offers certification. The Uniform Bookkeeper Certification Examination is an online test with 50 multiple-choice questions. Test takers must answer 75 percent of the questions correctly to pass the exam.

Advancement

With appropriate experience and education, some bookkeeping, accounting, and auditing clerks may become accountants or auditors.

Important Qualities

Computer skills. Bookkeeping, accounting, and auditing clerks need to be comfortable using computer spreadsheets and bookkeeping software.

Detail oriented. These clerks are responsible for producing accurate financial records. They must pay attention to detail in order to avoid making errors and recognize errors that others have made.

Integrity. Bookkeeping, accounting, and auditing clerks have control of an organization’s financial documentation, which they must use properly and keep confidential. It is vital that they keep records transparent and guard against misappropriating an organization’s funds.

Math skills. Bookkeeping, accounting, and auditing clerks deal with numbers daily and should be comfortable with basic arithmetic.

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Bookkeeper Jobs

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Bookkeeper Career Paths

Bookkeeper
Accountant Senior Accountant Accounting Manager
Assistant Controller
6 Yearsyrs
Accountant Senior Accountant Controller
Corporate Controller
12 Yearsyrs
Accountant Finance Analyst Senior Finance Analyst
Manager Finance Planning And Analysis
8 Yearsyrs
Accounts Payable Clerk Payroll Administrator Office Manager
Office Manager Of Human Resources
6 Yearsyrs
Charge Bookkeeper Office Manager
Accountant And Office Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Staff Accountant Charge Bookkeeper Office Manager
Accounts Receivable Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Staff Accountant Senior Accountant Controller
Accounting Director
11 Yearsyrs
Staff Accountant Finance Analyst Controller
Finance Controller
9 Yearsyrs
Accounts Payable Clerk Finance Analyst Accounting Manager
Plant Controller
10 Yearsyrs
Substitute Teacher Consultant Accounting Manager
Senior Accounting Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Accounts Payable Clerk Accounts Receivable Specialist Credit Analyst
Credit Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Accounts Receivable Specialist Credit Analyst Credit Manager
Credit And Collection Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Substitute Teacher Consultant Assistant Controller
Assistant Director Of Finance
7 Yearsyrs
Consultant Senior Finance Analyst Accounting Supervisor
Accounts Payable Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Auditor Senior Auditor Assistant Controller
Comptroller
6 Yearsyrs
Auditor Senior Finance Analyst Accounting Supervisor
Manager, Accounting Operations
7 Yearsyrs
Charge Bookkeeper Accountant And Office Manager
Account Human Resources Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Substitute Teacher Executive Assistant Office Manager/Administrative Assistant
Office And Operations Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Front Desk Clerk Accounting Clerk Project Accountant
Management Accounts Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Cost Accountant Accounting Supervisor Accounts Payable Manager
Account Operations Manager
6 Yearsyrs
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Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
Charge Bookkeeper 5.4 years
Payroll Bookkeeper 4.2 years
Bookkeeper 4.0 years
Accountable Clerk 3.7 years
Accounting Clerk 3.4 years
Accounting Staff 2.8 years
Top Careers Before Bookkeeper
Cashier 8.0%
Accountant 4.9%
Secretary 3.7%
Manager 2.7%
Teller 2.7%
Internship 2.0%
Top Careers After Bookkeeper
Accountant 7.1%
Cashier 6.9%
Owner 2.7%
Manager 2.5%
Secretary 2.5%
Controller 2.4%

Do you work as a Bookkeeper?

Bookkeeper Demographics

Gender

Female

75.5%

Male

14.9%

Unknown

9.6%
Ethnicity

White

61.7%

Hispanic or Latino

15.9%

Black or African American

11.2%

Asian

7.6%

Unknown

3.7%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

54.3%

French

7.2%

Chinese

6.4%

Mandarin

5.8%

Russian

4.7%

Cantonese

3.0%

Portuguese

2.7%

German

2.1%

Italian

1.8%

Arabic

1.8%

Japanese

1.6%

Hindi

1.5%

Vietnamese

1.5%

Polish

1.4%

Korean

1.0%

Armenian

0.9%

Tagalog

0.8%

Hebrew

0.6%

Ukrainian

0.6%

Urdu

0.6%
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Bookkeeper Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

32.0%

Strayer University

6.5%

Kaplan University

6.4%

Ashford University

4.8%

Southern New Hampshire University

4.8%

Liberty University

4.6%

University of Houston

4.2%

Miami Dade College

3.5%

Florida Atlantic University

3.1%

American InterContinental University

3.1%

Northern Virginia Community College

3.0%

Monroe College

2.9%

Baker College

2.9%

Baruch College of the City University of New York

2.9%

University of Central Florida

2.7%

The Academy

2.7%

San Francisco State University

2.6%

San Jose State University

2.5%

University of Maryland - University College

2.4%

Florida International University

2.3%
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Majors

Accounting

42.1%

Business

26.8%

Finance

3.9%

Health Care Administration

3.2%

Psychology

2.5%

Nursing

2.0%

General Studies

1.9%

Management

1.9%

Criminal Justice

1.9%

Education

1.6%

Medical Assisting Services

1.5%

Computer Science

1.4%

Liberal Arts

1.4%

Legal Support Services

1.3%

Marketing

1.2%

English

1.2%

Human Resources Management

1.1%

Communication

1.1%

Elementary Education

1.1%

General Education, Specific Areas

1.0%
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Degrees

Bachelors

37.0%

Other

27.5%

Associate

18.6%

Masters

8.3%

Certificate

5.7%

Diploma

2.0%

License

0.5%

Doctorate

0.3%
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Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary
Average Yearly Salary
$40,000
View Detailed Salary Report
$31,000
Min 10%
$40,000
Median 50%
$40,000
Median 50%
$40,000
Median 50%
$40,000
Median 50%
$40,000
Median 50%
$40,000
Median 50%
$40,000
Median 50%
$53,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
Kroger
Highest Paying City
New York, NY
Highest Paying State
Alaska
Avg Experience Level
4.0 years
How much does a Bookkeeper make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Bookkeeper in the United States is $40,820 per year or $20 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $31,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $53,000.

Real Bookkeeper Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Bookkeeper Artviz, LLC Miami, FL Jan 07, 2016 $85,984 -
$87,863
Bookkeeper Monolith Materials Redwood City, CA Jan 03, 2016 $73,045
Bookkeeper Helping Hands Adult Day Health Care Center Alta, CA May 19, 2016 $63,066
Bookkeeper Helping Hands Adult Day Health Care Center Alta, CA Aug 10, 2015 $63,066
Bookkeeper for East European Programs Cultural Homestay International San Anselmo, CA Dec 14, 2016 $57,304
Senior Bookkeeper Cherry Valley Healthcare Banning, CA Aug 12, 2015 $55,640
Bookkeeper Momentum Education Inc. New York, NY Jan 04, 2016 $55,000
Bookkeeper 7-Eleven Store #23450C NY May 05, 2016 $54,163
Bookkeeper L&B Universal, Inc. Chantilly, VA Apr 12, 2015 $53,206
Bookkeeper Koryo Books Enterprise Inc. New York, NY May 25, 2016 $52,154
Bookkeeper Dream Nj Inc. Little Ferry, NJ May 07, 2016 $52,154
Bookkeeper Junee Commercial and Company Inc. Islandia, NY Aug 16, 2016 $52,154
Bookkeeper L & N Dental Laboratory Wallington, NJ May 12, 2016 $51,979
Bookkeeper Airwaves Wireless, LLC Houston, TX Dec 27, 2016 $43,500
Bookkeeper KOAM Physical Therapy, PC NY Aug 18, 2015 $43,500
Bookkeeper C&S Specialty, Inc. Norwood, NJ Jun 26, 2015 $43,140
Bookkeeper World Ambulette Transportation, Inc. NY Nov 20, 2015 $43,139
Bookkeeper Cititicket Inc. Fort Lee, NJ Jul 06, 2015 $43,139
Bookkeeper A.W. Ross Inc. Passaic, NJ Jun 03, 2015 $43,139
Bookkeeper The Crystal Evangelical Church of New York NY Aug 07, 2015 $43,139
Bookkeeper All State Printing Clifton, NJ Jul 08, 2015 $43,139
Bookkeeper 5 Star Taxes & Accounting, Inc. Chicago, IL Aug 04, 2015 $40,165
Bookkeeper Touch of Beauty Supply, Inc. Harvey, IL Sep 10, 2015 $40,165 -
$46,675
Bookkeeper New Age Realty Inc. D/B/A Century 21 Universal Chicago, IL Sep 12, 2015 $40,165
Bookkeeper 5000 Years Food, Inc. Chicago, IL Nov 12, 2015 $40,165
International Bookkeeper Contractors USA Manassas, VA Aug 01, 2015 $40,000
Bookkeeper Apex Tax Services Inc. Austin, TX Sep 19, 2016 $40,000

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Top Skills for A Bookkeeper

  1. Payroll
  2. Financial Statements
  3. Quickbooks
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Perform bookkeeping functions including accounts payable, accounts receivable and payroll for family excavating company.
  • Reconcile financial statements for a non profit construction company.
  • Organized company information on QuickBooks.
  • Controlled store safe, managed change fund, and prepared daily bank deposits of all cash and check proceeds.
  • Maintained general ledger accounts in QuickBooks accounting software.

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Top 10 Best States for Bookkeepers

  1. Alaska
  2. Connecticut
  3. Rhode Island
  4. Minnesota
  5. New Jersey
  6. Delaware
  7. Texas
  8. New York
  9. District of Columbia
  10. Washington
  • (23 jobs)
  • (176 jobs)
  • (48 jobs)
  • (348 jobs)
  • (389 jobs)
  • (37 jobs)
  • (981 jobs)
  • (632 jobs)
  • (64 jobs)
  • (324 jobs)

Top Bookkeeper Employers

Jobs From Top Bookkeeper Employers

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