The Important Role of Bookkeepers in Our Changing World

As the world around us changes, an aspect of the business world does not: the need for a talented bookkeeper. No matter how technological and virtual businesses become or how varied their services, the one commonality they still need is accurate financial books and records. Accounting failures are the primary reason so many businesses fail.

With an experienced bookkeeper, a company can budget its income and expenses. That budget is a roadmap for a business’ continued success. Advancements in technology have not harmed career prospects in this field; instead, they have made the bookkeeping process more organized with faster results. The UK fintech industry is growing rapidly, and that makes bookkeeping a career field that offers secure employment.

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The difference between bookkeeping and accounting

While bookkeeping and accounting do have some overlapping components, primarily the skills necessary for success in either field, there are clear differences between these positions. Bookkeepers usually begin their careers in an entry-level role focused on maintaining a company’s business records. A bookkeeper also records and classifies all transactions, including payroll, sales, and bill payments.

Accountants pick up where bookkeepers leave off. Using information that the bookkeeper has compiled, an accountant review’s the bookkeeper’s financial statements and analyses them. The accountant then takes that information and creates a report that interprets it for the business. That report is then used by the company to make critical business decisions.

The skills needed to become a bookkeeper

While having a flair for numbers is certainly an important aspect of being a bookkeeper, this position calls for a variety of skills to ensure success in this field. Here are the skills desirable in a bookkeeper:

  • Computer and technology skills are necessary to perform your role as a bookkeeper. Familiarity and experience with accounting software, tax software, and spreadsheets are essential to this field.
  • Basic bookkeeping skills, particularly in accounts payable and receivable, debits and credits, deposits, auditing and balance sheets, are core skills required to be a successful bookkeeper.
  • Payroll bookkeeping skills are needed for various aspects of a company’s payroll. Payroll tax calculations, overtime, reporting payroll taxes, determining wage and salary calculations, and depositing payroll taxes are some of the critical responsibilities of a bookkeeper.
  • Hard skills like math level, record keeping, using calculators and typing speed are the type of skills a bookkeeper needs. You can learn hard skills like these through bookkeeping courses and study.
  • Soft skills, including critical thinking, oral and written communication, problem-solving, supervising others, planning and organization, and attention to detail are important to a bookkeeper’s daily tasks.

The benefits of becoming a virtual bookkeeper

A virtual bookkeeper completes the majority of assigned tasks through computerized bookkeeping software. Through these means, a bookkeeper can review and update financial statements, post financial transactions, and reconcile accounts. While there are plenty of benefits for a company in hiring a virtual bookkeeper, this situation is equally beneficial for the bookkeeper.

As a virtual bookkeeper, you can work on your schedule from anywhere you choose, even from home. That level of flexibility allows the kind of work-life balance that is hard to find in other career fields. Virtual bookkeeping means you can work with clients globally, expanding your job-seeking opportunities. The bookkeeping career is a lucrative one, with UK salaries averaging between £25,000 – 38,000

Why bookkeeping is a great choice for stay-at-home parents (100 words) 

Virtual bookkeeping is an excellent career choice for stay-at-home-parents. First, learning bookkeeping skills by enrolling in online courses is easy and allows you to earn a diploma at your own pace. From there, you can obtain a job telecommuting as a bookkeeper, which enables you to work flexible hours, giving you more time during the day to spend on household work and family. 

Working from home as a virtual bookkeeper means you can work at home while caring for your children, and if your children are school-aged, you may choose to work in a park or cafe until they come home. Another advantage is not having to pay for child care and an ability to be there more frequently for your family. 

Ultimately, working from home means you can freelance as a virtual bookkeeper, or you can start your own business. Managing your own business gives you even more potential income and opportunity for freedom, flexibility, and family.

Follow the numbers and start your career as a bookkeeper

If you have a head for numbers and a desire to make a difference in the business you work for, a career as a bookkeeper might be right for you. With the flexibility to work in an office or virtually, bookkeeping is a career that provides a good income and a healthy work-life balance. Get your career started by enroling in ICI’s Bookkeeping courses, and let your career add up from there.

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Gladys Mae

Gladys is the Associate Director of Admissions & Student Services with over 10 years of experience at the International Career Institute.