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Become A Bookkeeping Assistant

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Working As A Bookkeeping Assistant

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

  • Repetitive

  • $38,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Bookkeeping Assistant 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 Bookkeeping Assistant

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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Bookkeeping Assistant Career Paths

Bookkeeping Assistant
Bookkeeper Accountant Senior Accountant
Accounting Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Bookkeeper Accountant Accounting Manager
Assistant Controller
6 Yearsyrs
Bookkeeper Accountant
Accountant And Office Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Accounts Payable Clerk Payroll Administrator Office Manager
Accounts Receivable Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Accounts Payable Clerk Finance Analyst Controller
Accounting Director
11 Yearsyrs
Accounts Payable Clerk Payroll Specialist Office Manager
Accounts Payable Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Accounting Assistant Staff Accountant Senior Auditor
Audit Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Accounting Assistant Finance Analyst Controller
Finance Controller
9 Yearsyrs
Accounting Assistant Finance Analyst Accounting Manager
Plant Controller
10 Yearsyrs
Staff Accountant Senior Accountant Accounting Manager
Senior Accounting Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Staff Accountant Charge Bookkeeper Office Manager
Office And Operations Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Assistant Specialist Credit Analyst
Credit Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Assistant Account Executive Customer Service Manager
Collections Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Assistant Consultant Controller
Assistant Director Of Finance
7 Yearsyrs
Accounting Clerk Credit Analyst Credit Manager
Credit And Collection Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Accounting Clerk Cost Accountant Assistant Controller
Comptroller
6 Yearsyrs
Accounting Clerk Cost Accountant Accounting Supervisor
Manager, Accounting Operations
7 Yearsyrs
Charge Bookkeeper Senior Accountant Accountant And Office Manager
Account Human Resources Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Charge Bookkeeper Project Accountant
Management Accounts Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Tax Preparer Payroll Administrator Accounts Payable Manager
Account Operations Manager
6 Yearsyrs
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Average Length of Employment
Charge Bookkeeper 5.4 years
Bookkeeper 4.0 years
Bookkeeping Clerk 3.9 years
Accountable Clerk 3.7 years
Accounting Clerk 3.4 years
Finance Clerk 2.7 years
Top Careers Before Bookkeeping Assistant
Bookkeeper 8.6%
Cashier 8.0%
Secretary 3.6%
Internship 3.6%
Volunteer 2.7%
Assistant 2.6%
Server 2.5%
Manager 1.8%
Top Careers After Bookkeeping Assistant
Bookkeeper 10.7%
Cashier 7.9%
Accountant 3.1%
Assistant 2.9%
Server 2.8%
Internship 2.5%
Manager 2.0%
Teller 2.0%
Volunteer 2.0%

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Top Skills for A Bookkeeping Assistant

  1. Payroll
  2. Financial Statements
  3. Quickbooks
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Take off's from plans, ordering, keying locks, PO reconciliation, estimating & bookkeeping/payroll.
  • Interact with Property Managers in obtaining information needed to prepare accurate financial statements and analysis of actual/budget variances.
  • Reviewed account receivables entered into database and QuickBooks.
  • Prepared bank reconciliations and bank deposits.
  • Refreshed on bookkeeping data entry and bank reconciliations.

Bookkeeping Assistant Demographics

Gender

Female

74.5%

Male

15.5%

Unknown

10.1%
Ethnicity

White

57.0%

Hispanic or Latino

20.5%

Black or African American

10.5%

Asian

8.3%

Unknown

3.8%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

52.3%

Mandarin

7.0%

Chinese

6.1%

French

5.6%

Portuguese

4.7%

Russian

3.7%

Italian

3.3%

Cantonese

3.3%

German

2.3%

Korean

1.9%

Japanese

1.9%

Polish

1.9%

Gujarati

1.4%

Vietnamese

0.9%

Hindi

0.9%

Ukrainian

0.9%

Swedish

0.5%

Romanian

0.5%

Armenian

0.5%

Albanian

0.5%
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Bookkeeping Assistant Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

21.6%

Kaplan University

7.8%

Miami Dade College

5.9%

Baruch College of the City University of New York

5.1%

Florida International University

4.7%

New York University

4.3%

University of Texas at San Antonio

4.3%

Ashford University

3.9%

Santa Monica College

3.9%

California State University - Fullerton

3.5%

Temple University

3.5%

University of California - Los Angeles

3.5%

Monroe College

3.5%

Santa Rosa Junior College

3.5%

Broward College

3.5%

University of Houston

3.5%

Southern New Hampshire University

3.5%

Florida Atlantic University

3.5%

Northern Virginia Community College

3.5%

Sonoma State University

3.1%
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Majors

Accounting

34.3%

Business

25.7%

Finance

4.9%

Psychology

3.9%

Criminal Justice

2.6%

Health Care Administration

2.5%

General Studies

2.4%

Liberal Arts

2.3%

Education

2.3%

Management

2.2%

Communication

2.2%

English

2.0%

Medical Assisting Services

2.0%

Nursing

1.9%

Human Resources Management

1.8%

Economics

1.6%

Computer Science

1.4%

Elementary Education

1.4%

Marketing

1.3%

Secretarial And Administrative Science

1.3%
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Degrees

Bachelors

40.0%

Other

27.7%

Associate

16.0%

Masters

7.3%

Certificate

5.9%

Diploma

2.2%

License

0.5%

Doctorate

0.5%
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