certificate in bookkeeping

Bookkeeping professionals are primarily responsible for maintaining and updating financial records for organizations, and keeping a check on the accuracy of financial statements. They usually work with records like receipts, expenditures, accounts payable, accounts receivables, and profit and loss statements. They may also maintain the general ledger of the company and post all credits and debits. Job responsibilities for bookkeepers may also include payroll management, making purchases, preparing invoices, sending checks or other forms of payment to the bank, and reviewing overdue accounts. Considering the nature of work, bookkeeping clerks spend a lot of time using specialized bookkeeping and accounting software like database and spreadsheet packages.

Although bookkeeping clerks usually hold a high school diploma and acquire relevant skills on the job, employers prefer prospective employees to have acquired some postsecondary formal education. Therefore, earning a bookkeeping certification online may enhance your job prospects and indicate to employers that you are committed to the field. Many institutes allow you to earn certificate programs through online education courses. Online programs provide students with some benefits like maintaining a full-time job while completing their studies, or saving students money because they do not have to pay for commuter costs, room and board, textbooks, or meal plans. Also, you will be able to study within the comfort and convenience of your home and according to your own study schedule.

The coursework of online bookkeeping programs generally provides knowledge and skills in areas like:

  • Assets, liabilities, and owner's equity
  • Revenue, expenses, and trial balance
  • Accounting for cash and payroll accounting
  • Retail and wholesale accounting
  • Financial reports
  • Accounting systems

Even though it's not compulsory, it is advisable for bookkeeping professionals, particularly those who wish to advance their careers to become certified. There is more than one certification body. You may acquire the status of a Certified Bookkeeper (CB); this certification is awarded by the American Institute of Professional Bookkeeper. In order to become eligible to take the four-part test you should have two years of relevant work experience. There is another certification test that is offered by National Association of Certified Public Bookkeepers. This test is online and comprises of fifty multiple choice questions. You will need to correctly answer 80 percent of the questions to pass the test. Both certifications are widely accepted and recognized. Although you could study on your own, there are many institutes that offer specialized instruction for those who intend to take either of these certification exams.

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), in 2012, bookkeeping, accounting, and auditing clerks earned a median annual wage of $35,170. The BLS estimates suggest a fairly good job outlook, with as fast as average growth rate of 11 percent from 2012 to 2022. Since almost every type of organization needs to keep track of its finances, bookkeepers may be employed in several industries like retail, wholesale, manufacturing, service, and not-for profit. Examples of some positions include:

  • Professional Bookkeeper
  • General Ledger Bookkeeper
  • Full-charge Bookkeeper
  • Accounts Payable Clerk
  • Bookkeeping Clerk
  • Accounts Receivable Clerk
  • Contract Accountant
  • Payroll Clerk
  • Freelance Bookkeeper


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