Bookkeeping: 9 Things You Should Know (Explained)

Bookkeeping has been around for thousands of years, used to keep a record of herd and crop numbers.

That means people have been applying for bookkeeping roles throughout the ages.

So you might be wondering what it is like being a Bookkeeper and if it’s a good job.

Here are 9 things you should know about being a bookkeeper

Being a Bookkeeper a good job?

Being a Bookkeeper is a good job if you enjoy repetitive data entry, record keeping, and comfortable working with numbers.  Bookkeeping can be a fun role and can be used as a step into an accounting role.

The good news is Bookkeeping is not difficult to learn and can be learned on the job.

There are numerous online bookkeeping courses, check out another article on this, and Bookkeeping can be self-taught.

So now we have answered the main question, let’s uncover the main questions relating to being a bookkeeper and if it’s a good job.

What exactly does a Bookkeeper do?

Bookkeepers can be described as the financial record keepers of financial accounting.

A Bookkeeper or sometimes known as a Bookkeeping clerk is someone who records the day-to-day financial transactions in day books.

Transactions such as purchases, inventory, sales, receipts, payments to people or organizations.

Bookkeepers typically enter this information into day books, such as petty cash ledger, customer ledger, supplier ledger, etc.

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What skills do you need to be a bookkeeper?

To be an effective bookkeeper you will need the following skills

1) Data Entry Skills

Having excellent data entry skills is a must for any Bookkeeper. Being able to accurately enter data in a timely manner is essential.

The most proficient Bookkeepers accurately touch type data into the system.

2) Communication

Working alongside other finance staff, including accountants you will need to have good communication skills.

You will be exposed to a greater number of people if you work in a larger organization

You will need to be focused on getting your job done accurately, whilst having to converse with other members of the organization.

Will also need to be comfortable talking with accountants about finance-related questions.

3) Bookkeeping basics

For performing any role you need to understand the basics. This is no different with bookkeeping.

To be successful at bookkeeping you need to understand where to enter the financial records.

Learning the basics of bookkeeping can be done by watching YouTube videos, online courses, or reading books.

4) Attention to detail

Understanding that making a mistake can cause you and your organization hassles and rework, it’s important to have attention to detail.

Having attention to detail also shows that you care about your role and by making sure the numbers your entering at correct.

Sometimes this involves checking and rechecking your numbers.

Do you need to be good at Maths to be a Bookkeeper?

Bookkeeping does not require you to be good at maths but it does help. The key math requirements involve basic addition, subtraction, and division. There is no need for any type of more advanced mathematics, such as calculus or statistics. 

Being proficient with accounting software and Excel spreadsheets is also more important than being great at maths.

Having a basic grasp of bookkeeping and an eye for detail is more important.

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What Qualifications are needed to become a Bookkeeper?

Most bookkeepers get their bookkeeping role after leaving high school with a high school qualification and learn on the job.

Having a degree is not required but does help. Most bookkeeper qualifications are at certificate or diploma level.

Having a bookkeeper qualification will help you land a role. Some organizations won’t be concerned if you don’t have a qualification.

However, some businesses will make it a mandatory requirement for hiring a bookkeeper.

Check out the related article Can Bookkeeping be Self Taught? (Explained) and Should I Study Bookkeeping or Accounting?

Bookkeeping Profession Dying?

Bookkeeping is not dying, just changing and evolving. Many laborious tasks a bookkeeper would once have done have now been made more efficient by streamlined processes (some of these now online which would have once been completely manual).

With online banking continuing to increase and the rise of artificial intelligence will our finance jobs be safe?

The role of bookkeeping will change and adapt to the increased adoption of software, artificial intelligence, and online banking.

There will always be a role for bookkeepers and accountants. So the role of bookkeeping is not dying.

Check out the related article to Why is it so difficult trying to land a bookkeeping job?

Is it Hard being a Bookkeeper?

Bookkeeping is not hard so long as you understand the basics of bookkeeping, have an eye for detail, enjoy data entry, and are comfortable with numbers.

How much do Bookkeepers earn?

Hiring a bookkeeper or charging yourself as a Bookkeeper will be around $40 per hour. However, depending on the nature of the task, book-keeper charges may vary. Basic accounting services start at around $33/hr, but depending on the complexity of the task, rates can rise to $70/hr.

Final Thoughts

If you enjoy working with numbers, perform transactions, and have attention to detail you should consider becoming a bookkeeper.

Being a bookkeeper can also be used as a stepping stone into an accounting role.

Hope you found this article helpful. For related Bookkeeping articles see below