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Dear ICB My name is Carol Jacobs and I'm 32 years old. I'm married and have a son (14) and a daughter (7). I was a teenage mother when I matriculated. My parents seperated shortly thereafter, leaving me to work to support my son, mother and three other siblings. After… Read more »

My name is Panacea Molefi and I'm 22 years old. I was born and raised in Rustenburg, and now have a full-time job in Johannesburg as a Finance Assistant. I started my studies at Boston College Bedfordview - the ICB's Accounting Certification Programme. It was my dream to study at a… Read more »

Skills you need to be a successful bookkeeper

Skills you need to be a successful bookkeeper

Article by Jason B Stevens
Article source 

All businesses need to keep financial records and this is handled by a bookkeeper. There is no shortage of work for bookkeepers as all levels of business, both in the public and private sector, require financial records to be maintained. As a bookkeeper you may choose to work for a large company or run your own small business from home. There are many finance courses available that specialise in bookkeeping that will give you the recognition and necessary skills.

Personal skills

As a bookkeeper you will find that the tasks involved are many and varied. Having an aptitude for numbers is vital, but you will also need computer skills, be good at problem solving and be able to record data accurately. You must be systematic in your approach, be organised and also be able to pay attention to detail to avoid making errors. Importantly you should be discreet and trustworthy as you will be dealing with a company's financial information.

Skills needed

The basic role of a bookkeeper is to enter financial data and produce reports generated from this information. Being able to offer your employer more technical advice would improve your career success, so you might want to extend your training.

You'll need to be able to provide accurate information to your employer to assist with business decisions by preparing reports. You'll need to keep financial records up to date and handle calculations such as:

  • What amounts are due?
  • Balance the books. 

Good data entry and computer skills are essential, and having touch typing skills are an added bonus. You'll need to be able to liaise with the accountant when it comes to the end of the financial year and prepare all the necessary information, which can include:

  • Payroll
  • Accounts receivable.
  • Accounts payable.

Tasks

These are varied and include:

  • Data entry.
  • Accounts payable and receivable.
  • Preparing cheques.
  • Handling any cash and doing the banking.

A bookkeeper can handle stock control and may also be in charge of the payroll. Data entry is a big part of a bookkeeper's job as well as record keeping. Depending on the size of the company, a bookkeeper could also be in control of the general administration.

Training

Undertaking a course will allow you to become a professional bookkeeper and from here your choice of workplace is not limited to a large company. There are bookkeeping services that have qualified bookkeepers on their payroll who are consigned to different clients. You may choose to work within an accountancy firm or for a private company. There are plenty of opportunities as there are many different industries that all require their financial records taken care of. Bookkeepers are required in the public sector too, and some people prefer the security of a government position.

Many successful bookkeepers start up their own business and some even work from home, which is a good option if you are a parent and need to balance your work around child care. This way you can take on as many clients as you feel you can handle. Getting the right bookkeeping training will help ensure you a satisfying career.

Click here for information on bookkeeping courses offered by the ICB.

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