Kangan Institute Blog

How to Become a Bookkeeper

Bookkeeping is a continuously growing profession in Australia and provides fantastic career opportunities for those who have a mind for numbers. If you are planning on working in bookkeeping, there are a wide range of attributes and professional skills you will need to prepare yourself for a bookkeeping job.

A bookkeeper’s duties are to be across all accounts, including tracking the comings and going of money, paying bills on time on behalf of the business and keeping track of accounts received. As a bookkeeper, your role is to ensure all employees get paid regularly and ensure the business's financial records are accurate and up-to-date. If you are interested in knowing how to become a bookkeeper we have prepared all you need to know.

Should I Become a Bookkeeper?

Some of the character traits required to become a bookkeeper include:

  • Strong analytical and problem solving skills
  • Good organisational skills
  • Numeracy accuracy and diligence
  • Good computer skills
  • Strong attention to detail
  • Patience and dedication

For individuals who like solving problems and enjoy mathematics will be perfect for this profession. When it comes to bookkeeping there are two main types of bookkeepers, contract bookkeepers who work from home and workplace bookkeepers who work in an office environment. Therefore being able to work both independently and as part of a team is an important skill.

A Day in The Life of a Bookkeeper

Bookkeepers usually work in small to medium sized businesses across various industries, and the variety of tasks will be dependent on the size of the business. In larger companies, these responsibilities may be divided among a number of bookkeepers. Whereas, in a small business, a bookkeeper may be required to provide a wider range of activities. Daily tasks may include:

  • Recording the financial transactions of a business in bookkeeping software such as MYOB, Quickbooks or spreadsheets and databases.
  • Arranging payments of accounts.
  • Receiving and processing invoices for payment and receipts to debtors.
  • Processing payroll and maintaining employee records.
  • Calculating profit and loss.
  • Carrying out bank reconciliations.
  • Reporting for the preparation of a Business Activity Statement (BAS).
  • Checking figures and reporting for accuracy.
  • Reporting any irregularities in data to management.
  • Producing balance sheets, income statements and other financial documents.

Work Experience

Work experience is a great way to get a better understanding of what a bookkeeper does every day and it is also a great way to expand your industry networks too. Obtaining work experience or an internship as a bookkeeper with a local business to gain work experience that, combined with your certification, will make you highly competitive in today’s job market. This can also be a great opportunity to help you find an area you are interested in. Work experience will give you the confidence and knowledge when it comes to speaking with potential employers and clients.

Whilst you are looking for a full time position as a bookkeeper you should sign up with a temp agency. They will be able to find you work with an employee quickly and if the employer like you working for them, they may hire you for a permanent role.

Research the Industry

Your first step in finding out if a career in bookkeeping is for you is to take some online testing to see if this career suits your personality. Next, have a look at the job opportunities to see what is currently available. Research your local accounting and bookkeeping companies and see what contract work is available.

Get Certified

Many bookkeepers will be hired by a business to record all business financial transactions leading to the preparation of their Business Activity Statement (BAS). BAS is an essential tax report that businesses have to send to the Tax Office during the year. There are particular qualifications required to perform this duty. To register as a BAS agent you will need to have completed the Certificate IV Accounting and Bookkeeping (FNS40217). BAS services are one of the most frequently requested and essential service you can provide, obtaining registration means you are able to legally provide these services.

These certifications will teach you how to work with different accounting and payroll systems, prepare financial reports and maintain inventory records, giving you the practical skills you will need to apply for bookkeeping roles with accuracy and confidence.

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