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Bookkeeper Job Description

Arjun Kulkarni
The basic job of a bookkeeper involves creating and maintaining financial records of a company by utilizing accounting software to record transactions from documents such as checks, invoices, receipts, and the like.
In recent times, bookkeeping has become a profession with an ever-changing profile. While some experts argue that with the advent of electronic banking and accounting, bookkeeping software can easily replace professionals.
On the other side, others believe that recent financial conditions worldwide demand that bookkeepers be hired to ensure the accuracy of accounts by following rigorous rules and regulations.
Having said that, the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects a 14% growth from 2010 to 2020 in this field. So in such a continuously evolving profession, what does a bookkeeper do?
Job Description

The duties and responsibilities of bookkeepers may vary from company to company. Usually, a bookkeeper working for a smaller company will have a larger range of functions to perform, some of which may not directly be within the scope of bookkeeping.
In a larger company, his job will be restricted only to bookkeeping as the company will employ other people for other tasks related to accounting. Sometimes, he may be required to start from an entry-level clerical job so as to understand the job responsibilities better, which definitely adds to work experience.
Overall, a bookkeeper may be expected to perform some or all of the following functions based on his education, experience, and the type of organization he works for, in accordance with the accounting laws and standards of the country of operation.
  • Maintaining the financial records of the company using bookkeeping software and online spreadsheets.
  • Maintaining supporting documentation as ready reference of any recorded transaction
  • Maintaining records of subsidiaries
  • Preparing and processing payroll/s
  • Checking financial reports and records for accuracy
  • Preventing, rectifying, or reporting errors made while recording, posting in or balancing any account
  • Reconciling all accounts periodically
  • Preparing monthly, quarterly, half-yearly, and yearly financial statements
  • Calculating taxes, collecting bad debts, paying creditors, and analyzing financial statements
  • Designing the accounting system for the company (if it is a start-up)
  • Assisting with preparation for audits
  • Producing accounting reports and income and expenditure statements
  • Drawing up the trial balance and the balance sheet of the company at the end of the year
  • Maintaining the petty cash fund
  • Maintaining and ordering office supplies
  • Processing sales invoices, receipts and returns
  • Maintaining past accounting records of the company
  • Assisting in the development of the annual budget of the company and monitoring the budget
  • Maintaining a monthly profit and loss statement
  • Assessing investments made by the company periodically and overseeing cash flow
  • Safeguarding and securing all financial records of the company
  • Staying up-to-date with changes in the state and country-wide financial laws

Educational Qualifications and Other Requirements

The preferred educational requirements of a bookkeeper are as follows.
  • An associate's or bachelor's degree in accounting
  • Bookkeeping certification (obtainable after 2 years of bookkeeping experience), with continuing education every 3 years to maintain the certification
  • While basic education is mandatory, most learning is accomplished on the job, which takes about 6 months.
Apart from the aforementioned education, a bookkeeper is expected to be well-versed with accounting practices, the GAAP and the tax laws of the country of operation. In addition to this, he should also be computer literate and know how to operate the various accounting software along with MS Office.
In addition to the earlier point, he may also need to be well-versed with data management and financial data analysis software, in case he is also in charge of analysis of financial statements and data.
A bookkeeper is expected to be highly accurate, and possess the knack to spot any glitches in records. Presence of mind, excellent organizational skills, and the ability to learn and adapt quickly are skills that are mandatory for any candidate willing to take up this profession.
Salary Range

The salary of a bookkeeper depends on a variety of factors. These include the range of functions he is expected to perform, the size of the company, and the non-monetary benefits that the employing company gives him. The average salary of a bookkeeper as provided by the website Indeed is US $36,000. The salary may range from US $28,000 to US $50,000.
Job experts suggest that bookkeepers have the liberty to join any field of interest, as their services are required by all industries. So whether it is health or event-planning or food, take your pick and develop your skills according to your chosen industry.