How to Become a Bookkeeper

Are you organised and good with numbers? Would you like to help businesses keep track of their finances? A career as a Bookkeeper could be for you…

What do they do?

By law, businesses of all sizes are required to keep a record of their financial transactions – which is where Bookkeepers step in.

Bookkeepers help businesses keep track of their spending by documenting their daily financial transactions, using appropriate accounting software. As well as tracking what clients are spending on a daily basis, they will also monitor and record incoming payments and will sometimes issue invoices to customers.

Other Bookkeeping tasks include:

  • Paying invoices.
  • Chasing late payments.
  • Writing financial reports based on the records kept.
  • Calculating profits and losses.
  • Providing basic tax advice.
  • Processing payroll.

Many people are unsure about the distinction between accounting and bookkeeping. To put it simply, bookkeeping is mainly about accurately recording financial information, whereas accounting involves analysing and interpreting that data.

Bookkeepers will usually hand over a businesses ‘books’ to their Accountant when it’s time to make a tax return.

What skills do I need?

How to Become a Bookkeeper

The right person will:

  • Have strong attention to detail.
  • Complete tasks in an organised and methodical way.
  • Be good with numbers.

What will I love about the job?

  • If you have a passion for numbers and detail, then Bookkeeping can be extremely satisfying.
  • Helping businesses to keep their finances on track.
  • The opportunity to be your own boss and become self-employed.

What are the challenges?

Remaining focused at all times – as any errors can lead to inaccurate financial reports.

How much will I earn?

Bookkeepers earn between £15,000 and £33,000 per year, depending on experience.

Are there opportunities to progress?

Some Bookkeepers go on to become Accountants and Management Accountants.

How do I get started?

You don’t need a degree to become a Bookkeeper, but there are two different routes that you could take…

Apply for a job straight away…

There are many employers who will take on Bookkeepers who don’t have any previous qualifications and train them up on the job. Part of your training will be working towards AAT Level 2 and Level 3 Bookkeeping qualifications with support from your employer. This is a great opportunity to put your theoretical knowledge into practice, whilst getting paid.

…Or build confidence and improve your chances of employment by completing an AAT qualification before you apply

Some people prefer to take their AAT Bookkeeping qualification before they apply for their first role. This could give you the confidence boost needed to apply for the role, and may also mean that you can start earning a higher salary right away.

AAT Level 2 and Level 3 Bookkeeping qualifications will offer you an accredited route into Bookkeeping if you have little or no experience in the role. Avado offer an online course that will allow you to cover all the skills and knowledge that you need to become a professional Bookkeeper – from how to use financial tracking software, through to how to prepare a tax return.

Once you’ve successfully completed the course, you’ll be able to apply to become an AAT Bookkeeping member (AATQB), which will help you to stand out to both clients and employers. Your membership will allow you to add AATQB letters after your name and apply to run your own business as an AAT Licensed Bookkeeper.

Are you interested in becoming a Bookkeeper? Or perhaps you’re already a Bookkeeper and have some tips or a story to share. We’d love to hear from you at [email protected].

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