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Should you become a bookkeeper?

posted by Rob on Thursday, 15 November 2018

Are you great with numbers and like the idea of mining data, surfing spreadsheets, and keeping a business’s accounts up to date? Then you might find that bookkeeping is an ideal starting point for a long career in finance.

Managing finances is hard for many, which is why businesses hire a sturdy bookkeeper to manage their transactions. Therefore, the demand for quality bookkeepers will always be high, making it an excellent career choice. 

What is a bookkeeper?  

Bookkeepers are data-entry magicians that accurately process and record financial information for a business, such as financial reports tracking company spend. 

Opportunities are available both in house, where you will be in charge of one set of accounts, or with a bookkeeping company, where you will be responsible for multiple accounts.

Bookkeepers are often hired by small or medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and will utilise specialist software to prepare critical data that lets business owners make those all-important financial decisions.

What are the responsibilities of a bookkeeper?

Bookkeeping duties vary based on the size and type of company they work with. Here are some of the responsibilities they may encounter:

  • Recording financial transactions
  • Balancing accounts and maintaining accurate ledgers
  • Processing payroll
  • Managing company debts and bills
  • Calculating tax payments and completing VAT returns
  • Preparing checks, payment and bank deposits
  • Paying vendor invoices
  • Maintaining internal records and financial paperwork
  • Drawing up information for auditors, accountants and business owners
  • Developing financial statements such as balance sheets, cash flow, income and profit and loss statements
  • Working with relevant computer software

What is the difference between an accountant and a bookkeeper?

There are similarities between accounting and bookkeeping, which are often confusing. However, the main difference is that a bookkeeper records and prepares financial data that accountants will then use to provide advice. 

Additionally, the entry requirements for a career in bookkeeping are lower and easier to acquire than accounting qualifications.

Do you need a degree to become a bookkeeper?

Unlike accountancy, where firms usually look to hire graduates with bachelor’s degrees, all you need to start your professional career in bookkeeping is a Level 2 ICB Bookkeeping qualification, which allows you to attain Associate ICB status and qualify as a bookkeeper.

What can you do with a bookkeeping certificate?

There are three exciting career options you can aim for once you are qualified. 

1. Industry Bookkeeping

When you work for an industry-based firm, you’re primarily working in-house for one business. Depending on the size of the company, you’ll likely have a varied workload such as recording financial data and dealing with payroll and tax returns.

2. Accountancy Practice Bookkeeping

When you work for an accountancy practice, you’ll handle the bookkeeping for several clients. Your duties will vary depending on the client’s arrangement with the practice.

3. Become a self-employed bookkeeper

Once you understand the tricks of the trade, you’ll have everything you need to establish your own business. You can start offering clients your impressive bookkeeping services straight away, at a price of your choosing. 

Another benefit is that, as you’ll be removing the middle-man, you’ll be reaping all the profits and the rewards. If you are unsure how to start your business, check out our post on how to start your own bookkeeping business.

Invest in a bookkeeping course online

If the prospect of a career in bookkeeping excites you, start your journey today with an online course. Here at Oxbridge, we offer everything you need to flourish, grow and become a fully-qualified and certified ICB Bookkeeper.

Our short introductory course is a great way to ease into the basics of bookkeeping. All of our online distance learning bookkeeping courses have been carefully designed to offer you maximum flexibility.

These include:

We also offer bookkeeping course bundles.

Whether you’re a school leaver looking to jump into the industry or are an adult looking for a career change, Oxbridge can help you get there. 

Start your journey to become a certified ICB Bookkeeper today by calling us on 0121 630 3000.