Accountants and auditors are usually the professionals who receive praise for their financial work for a company, but bookkeepers are also a crucial part of any firm’s finance department. These professionals record day-to-day financial transactions, record cash flows, and lines of credit. Many people think bookkeepers are busy “crunching numbers” all day long, but their jobs duties include a lot more than just recording transactions. The complexity of finance has broadened the job description of bookkeepers. From using bookkeeping software to making sure all the financial statements balance every month, bookkeepers perform a range of tasks.
The Art Institute of Pittsburgh - Online Division
What do bookkeepers do?
Bookkeepers may seek jobs in all kinds of private and public organizations. The main job duties may include:
- Record and classify transactions
- Use accounting and bookkeeping software for recording, calculating, and storing data
- Check and balancing sheets
- Regenerating reports for business purposes
- Receiving and recording bank checks or cash
- Applying correct codes, accounting procedures, and mathematical techniques for data entry
- Keeping track of federal, local, and state regulations
- Compiling statistical reports
How do I become a bookkeeper?
- Earn a high school diploma or GED
- Earn an associate’s degree or a diploma in bookkeeping
- Get a certification (not necessary but is highly recommended)
- Acquire familiarity with bookkeeping software
- Land an internship
- Apply for an entry-level job
All bookkeepers are supposed to have a high school degree. After completing your high school education, you could either get a two-year associate’s degree in related fields such as accounting, or you may choose to enroll in a diploma program in bookkeeping. It is important that you have some sort of qualification or certification in bookkeeping. Employers prefer hiring bookkeepers who are skilled, qualified, and certified.
Enrolling in a Bookkeeping Program
The requirements for admission may vary slightly for each school; however, students will usually be required to do the following:
- Submit the official high school transcripts
- Have a minimum 2.5 GPA
- A letter(s) of recommendation
Objectives of Bookkeeping Programs
- Students will be able to organize all kinds of financial data
- Students will learn how to make reports according to organizational needs
- The program will equip students with communication skills (written and verbal)
- Students will learn how to apply various analytical techniques for financial statement analysis
- Students will be able to use different accounting software and spreadsheet programs
- Students will be able to prepare journal entries, double-entry, and ledger accounts
What will I learn in a bookkeeping course or certificate program?
The coursework of a bookkeeping program is geared towards providing students with skill needed for entry-level job positions in the field. The curriculum of a bookkeeping program at each school may vary slightly, but the following general subjects are usually covered:
Introduction to Accounting/Bookkeeping
This course will provide students with fundamental knowledge of journals, payrolls, financial statements, and the accounting cycle. Understanding the basic concepts of this field is important for advanced studies ahead.
In this course, students will learn about the basic principles and regulations of payroll accounting. The course will cover topics such as filing returns, business registrations, tax planning, and licenses.
QuickBooks will allow students to learn how to record transactions, prepare invoices, and record payroll. Emphasis is laid upon the development of various financial reports and management of financial data.
All bookkeepers are supposed to have strong communication skills at workplaces. This course is designed to help improve communication skills of students. Topics such as non-verbal communication, cultural diversity, and communication styles are covered in the course.
Using Computers for Business
In this course, students will learn how to use office suite programs for bookkeeping processes. Much of the course is covered in a learning lab where students will acquire practical experience in using programs for word processing, spreadsheets, databases, and presentations.
Financial Statement Analysis
This course will highlight analysis techniques used in businesses. Students will learn how to analyze various statements. Horizontal and vertical analysis, trend percentages, acid test ratio, and cost behavior analysis are a few of the topics covered in the course.
Not for Profit Financial Management
This course covers the basic management principles used in different industries and non-profit fields. Students will acquire in-depth knowledge of the basic tools of financial management.
The courses mentioned may not be exactly titled the same or required for each program, but you will take similar courses that will help you learn the concepts of bookkeeping.
Online Bookkeeping Courses
Are you worried about having enough time or being able to take time away from work to attend classes? You may not have to worry because there are online programs in bookkeeping available. Many accredited institutes are now offering online bookkeeping programs. With this type of opportunity, you are able to study from your home or any other location, and you may never have to go to a campus for classes. A computer and an internet connection is all that you will need to study online.
Benefits of Online Courses
- Lower costs (no textbooks or traveling expenditures)
- Flexibility and convenience
- Self-paced programs
- Suitable for people working full-time or part-time
- Individualized attention
- Students create their own schedule and study when they have time
Getting certified in this field could help you qualify for better job opportunities. There are a few organizations that offer bookkeeping certification. The American Institute of Professional Bookkeepers (AIPB)is an organization that works towards promoting this occupation, revising law for bookkeepers, and offers professional bookkeeping certification.
O*NET on line has data regarding the occupational growth of bookkeepers. These professionals are expected to grow in demand at a steady rate in the coming few years, and they have projected job openings of approximately 370,000. The annual median income of bookkeepers was $35,730 in 2013.US News & World Report
has ranked this occupation among the best business jobs nowadays.
Q:My search for bookkeeping classes mentioned payroll accounting. What would I learn with this course?
A:Payroll accounting would be mentioned when searching for bookkeeping classes. This course directly deals with accounting systems and different methods used when bookkeeping. Students with the help of this course will also learn about recording payrolls, payroll taxes and the importance of complying with federal and state legislative guidelines. Students interested in this course are advised to search our website for more information.
Q:What is meant by professional level Bookkeeping Courses?
A:Bookkeeping courses are available at all levels. Professional bookkeeping course is designed for management related purposes of businesses. Students learn how accounting information is processed in businesses, what are limited companies, how to prepare books for small and large firms, government account management, how to depreciate assets, determine inventory and accruals, install software for accounting purposes, and manage prepayment accounts.
Q:What will I learn in Bookkeeping Programs?
A:Bookkeeping programs are designed to prepare individuals for the job position of a bookkeeper. These professionals are required in almost every type of business and play a key role in the financial department of organizations. The program provides training on preparing balance sheets, journals and ledgers, and managing payroll accounting sheets.
Q:What are some of the bookkeeping courses in America and what topics do they cover?
A:Several bookkeeping courses or degrees are offered in the United States, such as an associate's degree in bookkeeping. These degrees cover various courses and topics including business tax accounting, analysis and interpretation of financial statements, introduction to bookkeeping, principles of accounting, financial management, information technology and book keeping software, and basic financial management.
Q:How long are Online Bookkeeping Classes?
A:Online bookkeeping classes are typically a part of either a bookkeeping degree or a short course on bookkeeping. An individual bookkeeping class can be anywhere between an hour long to even four hour long lectures. Some online bookkeeping classes are conducted in the evenings for working professionals while some are held in the daytime. All of this depends on the school you decide to enroll in.
Q:What are the options available to me in online bookkeeping courses?
A:Online bookkeeping programs provide students with in-depth knowledge of the field. Some of courses covered are: accounting equation, foundations of business, principles of accounting, accounting information systems, revenue, expenses, and trial balance, assets and end-of-the-month activities, management theory and practice, business communication for accountants, Microsoft excel, cash and payroll accounting, assets, liabilities and owner's equity and financial reports.
Q:What is taught in bookkeeping courses online?
A:Bookkeeping courses enable you to organize and maintain important records. Their main areas of focus include: preparation of balance sheets, income statements, and cash and payroll accounting; basics of the general journal and ledger; assets, liabilities, and owner's equity; and revenue, expenses, and trial balance. Most programs also require you to complete a final bookkeeping project involving a sole proprietorship.
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