How to Become a Bookkeeper

shutterstock_184338557The role of a bookkeeper can vary widely, depending on the size of a business. Generally speaking, bookkeeping is the keeping of accurate, up-to-date business records and, while commonly mistaken as the same thing as accounting, it is just one part of the accounting process.

A bookkeeper is one of the most important human assets of a company, as they are the ones who will keep on top of a company’s entire financial records. A bookkeeper needs to ensure all details of day-to-day financial transactions are recorded, and will need to provide a clear overview of money flowing in and out of a business.

This career is considered a ‘safe’ employment option, as despite automation causing downsizing in administrative and accounting departments, bookkeepers are expected to see a 14% growth in employment options by 2020. They are an essential part of any growing business.

What to expect

A bookkeeper’s responsibilities vary from one company to the next, but common duties include:

  • Keeping up-to-date with financial records and bank reconciliations: This is the most important role, and entails keeping records of every financial transaction. You will need to install a regular reporting system and reconcile the accounts to make sure they balance every month. Any strange activity must be reported immediately to prevent fraud.
  • Accounts receivable and payable: You will need to invoice customers, receive payments, deposit money and, if necessary, initiate debt collection proceedings. You will also need to process purchase orders, match them against supplier invoices, and keep track of vendor invoices to ensure prompt payment.
  • Keeping abreast of changes in regulation: You will need to be aware of all important lodgement dates, and ensure your employer is compliant with current tax legislation.
  • Preparing financial statements: This will include preparing an income statement, balance sheet and cash flow statement, and may be required monthly, quarterly and annually.


shutterstock_125937002Before you enroll in any formal education, it’s important to look at whether a role as a bookkeeper would suit your personality and skill set. You must be:

  • Patient
  • Have an eye for detail
  • Good at math
  • Organised
  • Computer savvy
  • Good at communicating

If this describes you, then this can be a rewarding career.

Bookkeeping programs are available at local colleges and universities, and can be completed in as little as nine weeks. For those with time constraints and other commitments, an online course can be completed in your own time.

The most common types of programs offered include Certificate of Completions. A good course should be in conjunction with the federal government and bookkeeping industry. It should also include a range of units, from preparing financial statements and maintaining asset and inventory records to communication in the workplace and the use of technology and equipment.

If flexibility is what you require, the International Career Institute (ICI) offers excellent distance learning education, teaching everything you need to know about the bookkeeping industry via home study. You’ll be able to fast-track your career, learn the inside secrets from others in the industry, and will save money associated with travelling to classes. Interest free payment plans are available, and you can study at your own pace with no assignment deadlines.

If a career in bookkeeping suits your interests and abilities, visit our site today.

Online, career focused education that suits your lifestyle.

See our courses
Gladys Mae


Gladys Mae serves as the General Manager and Head of Student Services at the International Career Institute. Gladys holds a degree in Mass Communication - Broadcast Media from the University of San Jose-Recoletos. She joined ICI in 2010 and has over the past 12 years been instrumental in providing leadership and guidance to staff and students alike. Prior to joining ICI Gladys led a multifaceted career with key roles in the banking and business process outsourcing industries.