How to Become a Bookkeeper
Have you been looking for a rewarding career that can help make you steady money in today’s unsteady economy? Then you may have been looking into bookkeeping. This is a stable career field that, even though it’s been around for hundreds of years, isn’t set to go away any time soon.
So what exactly does a bookkeeper do?
Really, it differs from job to job, but in general, they keep track and organize records on all the financial doings of a person or company. Depending on the size of the business, you could be keeping all the financial records, or you could be more focused, by concentrating on an area like accounts receivable or accounts payable.
So, what kind of skills do you need to be a successful bookkeeper?
First and foremost you need to have a good attention to detail. When it comes to financial records, even a small mistake can cause big problems in the long run. If you make mistakes often, you’ll probably be better suited to another career. While it may not be something you want to admit now, if you get a job and make mistakes right off the bat, you’re probably not going to have the job for very long.
It used to be that bookkeeping was exactly that – keeping the financial books, but nowadays, pretty much everything has been digitized. So, if you want to become a bookkeeper, it’s important to learn how to use computers. Even if you can’t get experience on specific financial software at first, you need to learn to use a variety of software. This will help you learn to use computers in general and let potential employers know that you have the ability to learn new technologies.
So if you have the skills and the desire to be a bookkeeper, how do you get started?
Ideally, you should get a strong start while you’re still in high school by taking math, computer, and if possible, finance classes.
Most employers now require their potential employees to have more than a high school education. Depending on the job, you’ll probably need at least an associate’s or even a bachelor’s degree. Look into degrees in finance, accounting, or other financial areas. It will also help you to continue with computer and other technical classes.
If you’re not really sure what classes or degree to pursue, take a look at job announcements for the kind of career you’ll potentially want to have. While the requirements may change, it will definitely point you in the right direction.
Once you get a job as a bookkeeper, don’t stop there. The field of finance is constantly changing and progressing as new laws and ideas come through.
Continue to take classes, gain certificates, or even pursue another degree. This will help keep you in demand and advance you further within your career field. If you like what you’re doing, you might even consider furthering your career by becoming an accountant or other financial professional.