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Diane, Professional
Category: Job
Satisfied Customers: 7
Experience:  15 years management/professional
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what are bookkeepers duties

Customer Question

what are bookkeepers duties and responsibilities
Submitted: 11 years ago.
Category: Job
Expert:  Diane replied 11 years ago.
I was a bookkeeper for the A&P years ago. I was to balance the daily sales with cash and checks received for the day (totals of each tellers' drawer). I prepared bank deposits and weekly and monthly reports. My responsibilities were very specific for that job. Years later I was a bookkeeper in a finance department for the phone company. That was after Sarbanes Oxley standards became effective and that job required instituting mechanized controls (very different). Your question seems a little vague, because the answer may depend on what company you work for, what type of tools they use, etc. Each company may have a different type of entry system, requirements, etc.

If you have something a little more specific in mind, maybe I can help you better. I looked on the web for a general answer for you, and this is what I found from:

Bookkeepers perform general accounting duties. They maintain complete sets of financial records, keep track of accounts and verify the accuracy of procedures used for recording financial transactions. They are employed by private businesses, governments and virtually every other type of institution.

As a bookkeeper, you perform a variety of duties. You prepare, control, balance and check various accounts using standard bookkeeping methods. You enter daily financial transactions in a journal either manually or by computer. You maintain general ledgers recording the status of various accounts and make sure that all the accounts balance. You also balance the ledgers and prepare financial statements. To verify the accuracy of computerized and manual accounting and record-keeping systems, you may be asked to perform an audit. You may also prepare statistical, financial, accounting or auditing reports.

There is considerable job mobility in this field, since many different types of establishments have need of bookkeeping services. Experience as a bookkeeper may be a first step toward becoming a clerical supervisor. By acquiring some training, you could even become a professional accountant. Most bookkeepers earn hourly wages.

Do you have what it takes?
You can get a lot of satisfaction from this work if you enjoy working with numbers. Employers look for people who aren't afraid to ask questions and look for answers. Good bookkeepers are constantly improving and updating their skills, both on-the-job and through formal training courses. Many firms pay the costs of courses you take to develop further skills in bookkeeping, accounting and office administration.

To be a bookkeeper, you need to be well organized, careful and thorough. When dealing with large sums of money, you cannot afford to misplace or lose documents. Files need to be maintained and the work must be done on time.

Employers look for reliable and punctual individuals for this job since there is an ongoing and steady amount of work that the employers depend on you to perform well. Unnecessary and frequent absences from work disrupt the work flow and cause problems for other employees.

Many bookkeepers handle cash. It is important that you are a person of integrity and honesty. For this reason, businesses such as large grocery stores often hire only people who have worked for them as cashiers. You also have to maintain a professional appearance.

What you need:
a high school diploma

high school courses in accounting or bookkeeping

a college program in accounting or a related business field

up to 2 years (first level) of a recognized professional accounting program (e.g. Chartered Accounting, Certified General Accounting) may also be useful

previous clerical experience, particularly of a financial nature, may be required

licenses, certificates or registration are not required

Examples of what a bookkeeper does:
Accounts Payable

Accounts Receivable
Bill Payment
Detailed General Ledgers
Payroll and Check Registers
Bank Reconciliation
Financial Statements
Customized Reports
Budget Preparation
Business and Workers Compensation Insurance
Employee Health Insurance
Payroll Services
Payroll Check Writing
Payroll Tax Returns
Tax Services
Monthly, Quarterly, and Annual Payroll Reports
Federal, State and Local Tax Reports and Filings
Business Tax Returns and Tax Planning
Income Tax Returns
Tax Audit Representation

To find out more, contact your high school guidance counselor

your local public library

a community college which offers bookkeeping or accounting courses

retail businesses such as grocery stores that hire bookkeepers

bookkeeping firms

Other related careers
assistant accountant, bank

account information clerk

cost clerk

accounting clerk

budget clerk

finance clerk

Wages & Salaries

find out what level of income is available

Certifications & Associations

CFA, CMA, CGA, CPA -- which is the one for you?

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