Bookkeepers work with a variety of clients and are responsible for managing the day-to-day financial activities associated with a client’s business. They monitor and record all incoming and outgoing transactions, create budgets, balance the ledgers, and can even manage payroll. Becoming a bookkeeper begins with a strong understanding of finances and organization, as well as a love of numbers.
While there are a large number of courses available for accountant education and training, a large number of accountants are self-taught as no certifications are required to work as such. The skills needed to become a successful bookkeeper are often gained by working in a career in the financial industry or even balancing your personal budgets. Many bookkeepers hone and develop their expertise over time, while others choose to complete seminars, read books, or take classes online.
Accounting for your small business
Keeping up with your small business records may be a task you’re willing and able to tackle on your own. The system you choose to use does not need to be complicated and the ledgers should be simple, especially if you have few or no employees. The most important parts of doing your own bookkeeping are staying organized and keeping track of details.
Start by deciding which system you want to use, whether it’s an online program, payment software, or a spreadsheet. Then set aside dedicated time, either weekly or bi-weekly, to review your accounting, reconcile transactions, and complete any necessary data entry. Ultimately, you’ll want to decide how all receipts and documents will be stored. You can keep hard copies or opt for electronic files by scanning documents.
Start your own accounting business
If you find that you have a talent for the process and enjoy it, you may want to consider starting your own bookkeeping business and providing this service to others. There is always a demand for experienced and efficient bookkeepers in almost every industry. Companies often outsource the organization of their finances to independent professionals and then hire accountants for more complex matters and for tax filing.
Before you launch your new accounting business, take the time to familiarize yourself with different accounting software, have a solid understanding of profit and loss, know how to run financial reports, and decide what types of clients you’re interested in working with.
When you start out, market yourself as a professional who is well versed in managing accounts, reconciling transactions, providing financial summaries, and balancing budgets. Ask for testimonials from people who have used your services in the past and spread the word about your offerings through a website or social media.