How to become a Bookkeeper

Bookkeeper

Bookkeepers record and put together summaries of the financial transactions of a business or other organisation for management purposes.

Personal requirements for a Bookkeeper

  • Aptitude for working with numbers
  • Good organisational skills
  • Able to work as part of a team
  • Able to meet deadlines
  • Good communication skills

Education & Training for a Bookkeeper

To become a bookkeeper you usually have to complete a VET qualification in bookkeeping or accounts administration. As subjects and prerequisites can vary between institutions, you should contact your chosen institution for further information. You can also become a bookkeeper through a traineeship. Entry requirements may vary, but employers generally require Year 10.


Duties & Tasks of a Bookkeeper

Bookkeepers:

  • Receive and record invoices and arrange payment
  • Prepare and send invoices to debtors
  • Check and process loan applications
  • Calculate and distribute wages and salaries
  • Prepare regular reports and summaries of accounting activities
  • Prepare financial statements and debtors' listings
  • Check customers' credit ratings
  • Verify recorded transactions and report irregularities to management
  • Prepare reconciliations of accounts.

Tasks

  • Keeping financial records, and maintaining and balancing accounts using manual and computerised systems.
  • Preparing and producing financial statements, budget and expenditure reports and analyses using account books, ledgers and accounting software packages.
  • Preparing invoices, purchase orders and bank deposits.
  • Reconciling accounts against monthly bank statements.
  • Verifying recorded transactions and reporting irregularities to management.
  • May be required to prepare forms reporting business tax entitlements and obligations such as the amount of goods and services tax paid and collected.
  • Monitoring cash flow and lines of credit.

Working conditions for a Bookkeeper

In larger organisations, a bookkeeper's duties may be divided among a number of different positions.


Employment Opportunities for a Bookkeeper

Bookkeepers are employed in a wide range of industries, including finance, property, business services, manufacturing and government. Job opportunities depend on the state of the economy, the growth of new businesses and the level of computerisation of financial procedures. Many bookkeepers are self-employed, subcontracting to private companies. Part-time, temporary and contract employment is common. Competition for some positions may be strong.


Specializations

Collection Officer

A collection officer keeps records of people who are behind in payments, prepares reports of loans and accounts that have amounts owing and forwards these on for legal action.

Payroll Officer

A payroll officer calculates, prepares and processes wages, taking into account overtime and deductions such as tax, the Medicare levy, health insurance payments and superannuation.

Costing Clerk

A costing clerk calculates and investigates wages, materials, overheads and other operating costs.

BAS (Business Activity Statement) Agent

A bas (business activity statement) agent prepares the books and records of a business to assist in the completion of BAS obligations, including those relating to payroll. They also prepare and lodge Business Activity Statements and provide advice relating to tax obligations.

Bookkeeper

Bookkeepers record and put together summaries of the financial transactions of a business or other organisation for management purposes.

  • Average age
    Average age
    48 years
  • Future Growth
    Future Growth
    Stable
  • Gender Share
    Gender Share
    91% female
  • Average full-time
    Average full-time
    42 hours
  • Weekly Pay
    Weekly Pay
    $1,234
  • Skill level rating
    Skill level rating
    Lower skill
  • Unemployment
    Unemployment
    Lower unemployment
  • Full-Time Share
    Full-Time Share
    33% Full-Time
  • Employment Size
    Employment Size
    116,000 workers
  • Employment Size
    Employment by state
    ACT: 1.1%
    NSW: 27.6%
    NT: 0.9%
    QLD: 20.4%
    SA: 6.7%
    TAS: 1.8%
    VIC: 28.9%
    WA: 12.6%
  • Employment Size
    Age brackets
    15-19: 0.6%
    20-24: 2.1%
    25-34: 13.3%
    35-44: 23.6%
    45-54: 28.8%
    55-59: 12.5%
    60-64: 9.5%
    65 and Over: 9.6%
  • Employment Size
    Education level
    Advanced Diploma/Diploma: 17.6%
    Bachelor degree: 18.7%
    Below Year 10: 5%
    Certificate III/IV: 17.4%
    Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate: 5.8%
    Year 10 and below: 15.2%
    Year 11: 7.1%
    Year 12: 18.2%
    Years 11 & 10: 22.3%
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