How to Become a Bookkeeper

Learn how to become a bookkeeper to open up more opportunities for advancement at your place of business, or increase your job prospects in the open market. If you have a couple of traits, you might have what it takes to get into bookkeeping.

First, you need to be good with mathematics. A good bookkeeper needs to be a natural mathematician, because math is a large part of your job description. Of course, you’ll have the tools so you don’t add everything up in your head, but being a math whiz helps with the second trait.

Second, you need to be details-oriented. This means you need to be able to spot inconsistencies in the bookwork, and otherwise spot bookkeeping errors or notes that don’t make any sense.

How to Become a Bookkeeper

Having a good head for math helps you keep an informal tally in your own head, so if some gross mistake happens, you’ll spot it. Obviously, having an eye for details means you need good powers of concentration. A good bookkeeper doesn’t let their mind wander to tonight’s ballgame, or spend time on Facebook, instead of their business’s financial books.

Background in Math and Computers

These are natural talents I’m talking about, though. You need to supplement natural traits with training and instruction. Take business courses, consumer math courses, and even applied mathematics classes to supplement your experience and math talent. You probably want to take computer classes, too, since more bookkeeping assistants use PCs to track their numbers.

All of this coursework can be taken in high school, so if you’re still in grade school, it’s not too early to begin preparing to keep books in your adult career.

College Business or Accounting Courses

Next, continue to prepare by getting an associates (2 year) degree in either business, accounting, or finance. You should study concepts like tax preparation, ledger balancing, payable accounts, and receivable accounts. This prepares you for many of the concepts you’ll deal with time and again in future years.

Learn to Use Computer Accounting Programs

While you’re attending college or on your own time, because literate with the personal computer and its use as a tool in record keeping. You want on your resume that you know how to use the automated accounting programs used by the businesses you’ll apply to. This gives you a leg up in getting a job, and lack of these skills could cause employers to go in another direction.

Current computer accounting programs you’ll want to understand are Quicken and Peachtree. Others are likely to become prominent in future years, so you may be taking computer courses periodically throughout your bookkeeper career.

Get More Education

These are the skills you need to start a career in bookkeeping. If you want to advance in that same career, you’ll need to take advanced courses in accounting, business, and finance. The scope of your studies should reflect the scope of your ambitions within your current company, or inside the bookkeeping industry as a whole.

For instance, you might want to become a notary public, because bookkeepers are often required to notarize financial documents, as they see these documents the most, anyway. It’s a good idea for a bookkeeper or accountant to become a notary public.

National Bookkeeping Certification

Another example where further study incurs further responsibilities (and a higher salary) is the National Bookkeeping Certification exam. This is not require to become an official bookkeepers, but those who are a Certified Public Bookkeepers or CPB tend to command higher salaries, and make you entitled to a higher salary on the job market.

If you work in a small town or you intend on staying with one firm or business, this might not matter, but CPBs are sought-after by companies, and therefore you’ll get paid mroe than a non-certified bookkeepers in your career field.

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