How to become a Bookkeeper

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

Personal requirements of 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 in Bookkeeping or Accounts Administration. Entry requirements may vary, but employers generally require Year 10. For more details, see Section 2. Ask your career adviser about the possibility of starting some of this training in school.

Duties & Tasks of a Bookkeeper

Bookkeepers may perform the following tasks:

  • 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.

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.


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.

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.

Costing Clerk

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

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.

Additional Information
To work as a BAS agent or tax agent, you must be registered with the Tax Practitioners Board and meet minimum requirements for education and experience. See for more information about registration and entry into these occupations.
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