Is Bookkeeping Certification Necessary?

Bookkeeping task

As a bookkeeper you will be responsible for maintaining financial records for a business or organization. There are currently no formal education requirements for the bookkeeper; however, you will be unlikely to find employment in this field without having gone through a bookkeeping certification program. Here we will talk about the programs available for this career field, the major responsibilities for this position and the bookkeeper’s salary and job outlook.

Bookkeeping Training Courses: Why you should earn a Formal Education

You can find programs for the bookkeeper available at community colleges, universities, online universities or at vocational schools. The cost for one of these programs can range from 2500$ to 5,000$, depending on the learning institution. For this field, you can obtain a two year associate’s degree in accounting or you can enroll in a 6 to 18 month bookkeeping certificate program. These certificate programs can be taken in-class or online and feature coursework that will give the student the knowledge on how to prepare a company’s payroll, examine inventory as well as how to reconcile statements from the bank. The student will also learn how to use journals and ledgers. The courses for one of these programs will involve learning about business communication, financial accounting, office accounting and database applications.

How you can obtain your Bookkeeper Certification

An unorganized pile of paperwork and files, with the hand of a businessman clutching paper sticking out of the clutter.
An unorganized pile of paperwork and files, with the hand of a businessman clutching paper sticking out of the clutter.

In order to obtain certification the student will need to take the American Institute of Professional Bookkeepers exam, which consists of four parts and will require the applicant to have two years of bookkeeping experience prior to taking the exam. Every three years the professional bookkeeper will need to renew their certification for this field by providing the AIPB with proof of a certain amount of continuing education hours. You can obtain your continuing education hours by attending lectures, in-class or online study courses or by taking online exams.

A bookkeeper will work as a financial record keeper, with job responsibilities similar to that of an accountant. A bookkeeper is not required by the state to have completed an accredited education program and is not required to have certification in this field; however, a prospective employer will favor a potential employee that has formal training as it is a sign of their dedication and competency in the field.go to—provides-exceptional-bookkeeping-and-accounting-services-2015-06-06 for more detailed information.

Due to the implementation of accounting software in the work field, bookkeeper programs will feature fewer courses on aspects of the accounting career field and will instead feature courses on how to use the accounting software in a bookkeeper training program.

It’s common for the bookkeeper to go back to school and further their education by acquiring their bachelor’s degree in accounting. This is also a way for the bookkeeper to advance within their place of employment. The annual income for the accountant can range from 32,000$ to 38,000$ depending on the type of company they work for. A background in bookkeeping will also make you an asset as an accountant and increase your salary potential for that particular field, qualifying you for lead positions such as head accountant in a firm.

The Job Description of the Bookkeeper: Working as a Freelance Bookkeeper

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the position of the bookkeeper will bring an average annual salary of 36,000$ to 37,000$. By obtaining your bookkeeping certification, you can significantly increase you marketability in the field and essentially increase your annual salary. Working as a bookkeeper, your day to day tasks will consist of keeping track of a particular company’s spending trends, balancing accounts, processing payments and receipts, sales invoices, making cash flow statements, going over the company’s bank statements, maintaining records of business transactions, balancing ledgers, filing and completing financial this news to get new ideas.

Bookkeeping for Small BusinessesAn increasing amount of bookkeepers will choose to work on a freelance basis, which can be done from the professional’s home office, or they can work part time in at a company, depending on the length of their contract. In order to work as a freelancer in the beginning of your career, you’ll need to take any work that is offered to you, in order to build up your reputation in this field. Usually when working for a client it will be for a two week to four week period. The typical price range for the freelancer will range from 15$ to 25$ an hour and will be based on the size of the company and the amount of work. You can choose to work as a freelancer on the side, in order to supplement your income in this field, or gain experience, or you can choose to do it on a full time basis and can advertise your services on freelance websites or even classified sites such as craigslist.

How long is the Bookkeepers Certification program?

6 to 18 Months
4 to 16 Months
6 to 12 Months
2 to 12 Months

Through what Organization can you obtain certification in this field?


What is the average annual salary for the bookkeeper?

24,000$ to 26,000$
22,000$ to 28,000$
36,000$ to 37,000$
34,000$ to 36,000$

Bookkeeping task

What Career do many bookkeepers end up pursing?

Record keeper
Auditing Clerk

How much will a bookkeeper certification program cost?

2,500$ to 5,000$
2,000$ to 3,000$
3,500$ to 5,000$
4,000$ to 4,500$

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