What Does a Bookkeeper Do?
Bookkeepers generally work with in-house accounting departments at a company or as part of a team at an accounting firm that handles company ledgers for multiple clients to ensure accuracy and compliance with finance law. Bookkeepers enter data into spreadsheets and bookkeeping software, compile reports, gather and organize bank statements, highlight discrepancies in company records and research possible reasons for errors or differences in expected versus actual account balances. Bookkeepers can also be in charge of basic administrative duties for the accounting team.
Bookkeeper Skills and Qualifications
A successful Bookkeeper has a mix of formal education, certifications, and real-world experience. Math skills are arguably the most important for Bookkeepers, but they must also have:
- An eye for detail
- The ability to meet deadlines
- The ability to communicate complex data in a clear way
- Exceptional organization skills
- The ability to prioritize projects
- The ability to meet deadlines
- Customer service skills
- Excellent data entry skills
- Payroll accounting skills
Bookkeeper Salary Expectations
On average, the annual salary for Bookkeepers is approximately $36,700—or $17.65 an hour. This estimate is taken from a collection of over 9,000 salaries submitted anonymously to Indeed over the past three years. Bookkeepers tend to stay with an employer for one to three years. Salaries reported to Indeed range from minimum wage to as high as $35 per hour.
Bookkeeper Education and Training Requirements
Bookkeepers typically have a bachelor’s degree or higher, often in a field like business, accounting, math or economics. Some may have a master’s degree in a related area, but it’s also possible to find highly qualified candidates without a college education. In fact, many employers post entry-level roles requiring that a candidate only have a high school diploma. Bookkeepers may also have certifications from groups like the Association of Certified Public Bookkeepers, as well as additional training in areas such as finance or accounting. If your business uses certain software or a coding system to organize financial data, you can request relevant experience in your job posting.
Bookkeeper Experience Requirements
The typical work experience required of Bookkeepers depends on the role being filled. Entry-level employees, for example, may only need a high school diploma to be considered for the role. Other entry-level Bookkeeper postings may request an associates degree or higher, making exceptions for employees with related experience. Mid-level Bookkeepers will have a few years of experience and, most likely, a college degree. Senior-level Bookkeepers will likely have a college degree or higher, plus five or more years of experience—including some time leading a team or spearheading projects.
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