Bookkeeping is one of the oldest and most important professions in the world. Bookkeepers maintain accurate company records, financial transactions, and statements.
This article provides some tips on how to teach yourself how to become a bookkeeper. It will also give you some information on skills needed to succeed in this profession.
Roles of a Bookkeeper
To become a bookkeeper, you’ll first need to understand what a bookkeeper does and the education and skills required to become one.
A bookkeeper’s work is to keep track of company finances by creating financial records for all transactions that occur in the company. They also maintain the company’s books and records by calculating taxes and payrolls, paying bills and invoices, reconciling bank statements, preparing financial statements and budgets, and managing investments or other assets such as stocks or bonds held.
They do this by using accounting software such as QuickBooks or Xero and following generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP).
As a bookkeeper, you’ll have different responsibilities depending on the size of your employer. For example, if working for a small business, you might also be responsible for handling payroll or managing inventory. If you work in public accounting, you may also be responsible for preparing tax returns.
Skills Needed to Become a Good Bookkeeper
The main requirement for becoming a bookkeeper is knowing how to keep books. A four-year degree in accounting is not required, especially if you possess the following skills;
• Organized and detail-oriented
• High level of accuracy and organization
• Ability to handle multiple tasks at once, such as bills and daily transactions
• Ability to use computer software and adapt to new programs easily
• The terminology and procedures involved in financial record keeping
• Basic math skills, an understanding of debits and credits, and a working knowledge of double-entry accounting.
How to Become a Bookkeeper
Step 1. Learn Accounting
To become a bookkeeper, you’ll first learn basic accounting skills. If you don’t know how to balance your checkbook, start there. Learn the difference between a debit and a credit, the difference between cash and accrual accounting, and how to use the various reports generated by accounting software.
You can practice these skills on software like QuickBooks or Quicken as you learn them. These programs are often available at local libraries or on the internet. Once you feel comfortable with these basic skills, you can seek more advanced training.
Step 2. Take Free or Low-cost Online Bookkeeping Courses
Bookkeeping coursework covers general bookkeeping principles and the specific accounting software used by many businesses. Accounts receivable, accounts payable, payroll, trial balance, and journal entries are covered in typical bookkeeping classes.
Free/low-cost bookkeeping courses include
• Coursera courses
Coursera is a large online learning platform. Many free online courses are available, including courses in accounting and bookkeeping. Most of these courses are done in partnership with other online universities, are accredited, and have certificates of completion.
They offer various courses in different subjects. Some of the courses are free, and some are pay-as-you-go. You can learn and expand your knowledge on bookkeeping at Coursera at a minimal expense.
• Corporate Finance Institute
Corporate Finance Institute is an online community college that offers specialized training in corporate finance, including stock trading and investing. You can learn from the world’s best instructors in just three months. Corporate Finance Institute also offers new students six months of free access to their online course materials. This includes a large selection of free video training courses covering topics such as stock trading and investing and bookkeeping and payroll.
• Intuit bookkeeping basics
Intuit is the bookkeeping division of the software giant Intuit Inc., formerly QuickBooks. The QuickBooks bookkeeping software is a great place to get started with bookkeeping, but if you want to advance your career and learn more advanced techniques, you should consider enrolling in one of the company’s online courses. There are several different courses available, designed for beginners and advanced users. You can learn QuickBooks fundamentals and more advanced topics, such as the payroll module.
Step 3. Enroll In Internship Programs
You may also want to look for an internship with a company in your area that uses bookkeepers. This will give you some hands-on experience.
Once you have completed formal training and gained some practical experience, you will be ready to seek employment as a bookkeeper for a company in your area or even as an independent contractor working from home.
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