The purpose of most businesses is to profit. But how will you know if you don’t have financial records? That’s why bookkeepers are important in any business. And if you have the skill, it’s one of the best online jobs in the world.
Accountant vs. Bookkeepers
Are accountants the same as bookkeepers? A lot of people interchange their roles. Bookkeepers record financial transactions. While an accountant can interpret, classify, analyze, and report financial data. Of course, accountants can also bookkeep if they want to.
Simply put, with the sheer number of transactions of a business, a separate bookkeeper might be required to just record all the data. Or maybe, the transactions are simple enough that a bookkeeper is all they need on their payroll.
For both careers, you can expect similar salary ranges, depending on skill levels and certifications.
But regardless, how do you differentiate yourself from the rest of the bookkeepers out there? Here are 7 essential skills to become a sought-after bookkeeper.
Journalizing with Accounting Standards in Mind
Accounting has different treatment for specific transactions. And I won’t go into detail because it might be too technical. But as a bookkeeper, you must know these to properly debit and credit every transaction. You must ensure that these two are always equal.
How do you record purchases? How about sales through or through credit? Do you include the travel expenses of your client’s vacation as a business expense?
You should know these to record the transactions as accurately as possible.
Attention to Detail
Sometimes, transactions can be recorded routinely. But one simple detail might change the way you record it. For example, cleaning expenses for the business is a normal expense. I mean, some parts of the office might really need professional cleaning.
But cleaning expenses charged for the house of the owner are not. If you didn’t spot the address on the receipt, you would’ve recorded it the same way.
You need attention to detail for your bookkeeping career.
Alongside the skill above, you also need problem-solving skills. How do you classify certain income and expenses? How do you compute your total sales with the discounts given?
Specific details might not be available all the time. You should know how to go with these questions and find the best solution to record the transaction.
How do you keep your data? Is it filed at your whim? Or do you have a system of organization for it?
As a sought-after bookkeeper, you must incorporate your organization skills in the process. Check if the business has a working system already and try to follow and improve it.
If not, you should suggest a way to organize the data properly. In this way, you can help your client. And make your job easier in the long run.
Yes, calculators and excel files can foot the amounts accurately. But you should still have math skills to double-check.
There will be times when you (or your colleagues) might have an error in recording. Again, debits must be equal to credits.
How do you spot them? You should have math skills and some techniques to spot mistakes efficiently.
In accounting, time is of the essence. Some data might be needed already as soon as possible, especially during taxation season. So you need to manage your time to accommodate all tasks and beat the deadlines.
Data Entry Skills
With time management, you also need data entry skills for fast and accurate recording. These skills will be handy when you are recording bulk transactions per day.
I mean, transactions of a thriving business are never-ending. You should be prepared for it.
It’s a modern era. Gone are the days of manual recording with physical books. Instead, businesses now use software like Google workspace to record their accounts. Some even have accounting software to integrate everything together.
Do you know how to use them?
You should be tech-savvy enough to create records with the given software.
Honesty and Integrity
It’s easy to become unscrupulous when you hold financial data. Especially for small companies without proper responsibility segregation, you can cheat your way to their finances.
Yes, you might get away with it. But what if you get found out? You will have a hard time finding clients that can trust you.
In this field, you should be professional enough to be honest and hold integrity. Of course, we are talking about money here. So if you want to grow your practice, it’s one skill that’s non-negotiable.
You will not be working alone. You will be talking to your team, your colleagues, and your boss. Do you know how to communicate online?
It might be tricky because you don’t see them in person. But you should know how to mingle and relay your ideas with minimal miscommunication.
Accounting standards are changing every day. There will be practices where the treatment for recording will be different as years go on. You should be up-to-date with these changes.
Enroll in accounting newsletters. Follow thought leaders in your field. You can even join Facebook groups, Quora threads, or Reddit posts to update you on the latest happenings in the field.
In this way, you are sure to be relevant in your career.
Are you ready to become a sought-after bookkeeper? With the skills above, you are sure to be one of the best in the field. If you need opportunities in this career, you can check this link for more.
Cheers to a thriving remote working job!