Skills You’ll Need
Let’s start with the skills you need to be a good bookkeeper. How much we get to use our skills largely determines how satisfying we find our jobs. So ask yourself if you:
- Are organised and methodical. Bookkeeping requires high attention to detail and organisation. After all, you’re managing bank accounts, possibly hundreds of invoices, checks, and so forth. Receipts might come to you from all directions as well. If you’re great at establishing a system and working thoroughly, you could make an excellent bookkeeper.
- Like working with documents. Bookkeepers work with a lot of receipts, checks, invoices, order forms, etc. So if you don’t mind keeping track of a variety of documents and using them to track expenses, you would enjoy this profession.
- Find satisfaction from working with numbers. No surprise here! Bookkeepers mainly work with numbers. If you loved math in school and enjoy seeing numbers add up, you’d love keeping financial records for someone. All-day long, you get to make sure the numbers make sense and put your mathematical senses to work.
- Can communicate well. Half of your job will be talking to employers, clients, customers, etc. about their bills. You’ll need to communicate well about how the company is doing financially and how they could improve their spending habits. If there are mix-ups with customer transactions, you’ll probably need to tactfully coordinate with them as well.
- Like working independently. It’s true that you spend a lot of work time coordinating with other people. But to be a good bookkeeper, you should be self-motivated. You also spend a good amount of time crunching the numbers at a desk, and if you have a hard time working quietly alone, you might struggle in this job.
- Are honest. This might be the most important quality of them all. When you handle someone else’s finances (especially for an entire company), you can’t be tempted to steal money or abuse your stewardship in any way. You need to be honest at all times so your employer and clients can trust you.
Logistics: Pay and Workload
Another main component of job satisfaction is your workload and pay. So let’s get down to it: Starting out, you’ll make around $45,000 a year, and senior bookkeepers usually make about $60,000 a year. Of course, your salary depends on your location and the company you work for. But largely, your amount of experience determines your pay. If you specialize, you earn even more.
Bookkeepers usually work 39 hours a week, so it’s a regular day job. But one advantage to bookkeeping is that it allows for part-time work. A lot of parents and people with irregular schedules choose part-time bookkeeping for work because it’s so flexible.
If these factors are important to you, bookkeeping might be your calling in life. Most importantly, you just need to decide what type of work you like to do and whether you have a knack for working with details.