Proper bookkeeping is very important, both for small start-ups and for reputable enterprises. A bookkeeper is a person who records the accounts and transactions of a business. This is a person that does day-to-day, month-by-month entries, literally all the transactions that are happening in the business. Usually, their work is done using some kind of accounting software. Although it might not seem so, this person plays an important role in the success of a business.
Duties of a bookkeeper
Every qualified bookkeeping specialist usually has a number of job responsibilities, which include:
- reception and control of primary documentation
- maintaining bookkeeping files
- payroll processing and payroll tax calculation and payment
- invoice management
- bill tracking and payment
- recording depreciation and other adjustments
- account reconciliations
- assisting the accountant with audits and preparation of reports
- inventory management
- petty cash management
- tracking legislative changes in finance and accounting.
Several bookkeepers, each of whom is responsible only for a specific job (for example a payroll bookkeeper, day-to-day transactions bookkeeper, etc.) may be working in a large business with an accountant coordinating the work of the entire accounting department and preparing financial reports. In a small company, all bookkeeping is carried out by one specialist.
Requirements for a bookkeeper
Of course, the requirements for the ideal employee may differ slightly, depending on personal opinion and preferences. However, there is a list of basic requirements for getting a bookkeeper job. These include:
- basic computer skills and ability to work with accounting software
- minimum 2-year diploma in a related field
- responsibility and punctuality
- detail orientated
- multitasking skills
- good communication skills.
Bookkeeper vs Accountant
A bookkeeper is a person who might work for a company and keep track of all the expenditures, bank statements, and income throughout the entire year. Some bookkeepers own a bookkeeping company and work with clients to provide them bookkeeping services.
At the end of the year, bookkeepers usually prepare financial statements that companies can take to their tax preparer to get their taxes done. In some cases, accountants are responsible for the actual preparation of the financial reports while bookkeepers only assist them. The bookkeepers also help accountants and CPAs with tax preparation.
An accountant will have a degree in accounting. A true accountant does more big-picture stuff for the business, looking at the year in review, planning for the year ahead, budgeting, and can be an advisor for the business in terms of planning and accounting strategies. To become a Certified Public Accountant, an individual needs to pass a state test and meet other requirements.
Who is this profession suitable for?
The profession of a bookkeeper is suitable for people who have good mathematical skills. For work in this area, such qualities as perseverance, responsibility, accuracy, honesty, and the ability to adjust to changes are extremely important. A person who can analyze and summarize information has every chance of becoming a good bookkeeper. Also, a good memory is extremely important. Finally, modern bookkeepers also have to be well versed in accounting software and comfortable learning new stuff.