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What Does a Bookkeeper Do?
Ever wondered what a bookkeeper does day-to-day? If so, you’re in the right place…
What is a bookkeeper?
A bookkeeper is a financial professional responsible for recording and maintaining a business’s financial transactions. They play a pivotal role in helping businesses and small business owners keep track of their income, expenses, and overall financial health.
In a nutshell, they are the financial heartbeat of an organisation, ensuring every dollar is accounted for and every transaction is accurately recorded. But what does a day in the life of a bookkeeper look like?
What does a bookkeeper do?
A bookkeeper typically starts their day by checking emails and prioritising tasks for the day. They might start with reconciling transactions from the previous day, ensuring all financial data aligns with bank accounts and statements.
Throughout the day, a bookkeeper will record financial transactions, update financial statements, and check financial records for accuracy. They may also be involved in preparing invoices, processing payroll, and even assisting with budget planning and forecasting. A crucial part of their role involves generating financial reports such as balance sheets, income statements, and cash flow statements.
Despite the seemingly monotonous nature of these tasks, no two days are identical in the life of a bookkeeper. Each day brings its own set of challenges and triumphs, making this role both dynamic and rewarding.
Bookkeeper vs accountant
While both bookkeepers and accountants work with financial data, their roles within an organisation are distinct.
A bookkeeper is primarily concerned with the accurate recording of financial transactions. Their role is transactional and focuses on the day-to-day financial activities of a business.
On the other hand, an accountant takes a more analytical approach. They use the data compiled by bookkeepers to interpret, classify, and summarise financial data. They also provide financial advice and are involved in strategic planning and decision-making.
In essence, while a bookkeeper maintains the financial records of a business, an accountant diagnoses the issue and offers solutions.
A bookkeeper’s duties extend far beyond data entry and spreadsheets. They are responsible for:
Maintaining and updating financial records
Reconciling bank statements with general ledgers
Managing accounts receivable and payable
Assisting with tax preparation and tax returns
Providing administrative and clerical support as needed
In addition to these bookkeeping tasks, a professional bookkeeper might also be involved in conducting audits and providing bookkeeping services that require a deep understanding of accounting systems and software such as QuickBooks.
Essential skills for a bookkeeper
Bookkeepers often handle multiple financial documents and tasks. Strong organisational skills are necessary to keep track of all these elements without getting overwhelmed.
Attention to detail
Accuracy is crucial in bookkeeping. Every digit matters, and a good bookkeeper must have an eye for detail to ensure that all financial records are precise.
In today’s digital age, proficiency in bookkeeping software and spreadsheet programs is a must. Familiarity with programs like QuickBooks, Microsoft Excel, and other financial or accounting software is highly beneficial.
While it’s primarily an accountant’s job to analyze financial data, bookkeepers also need analytical skills to spot trends, discrepancies, or anomalies in financial records.
When discrepancies arise, a bookkeeper should be able to investigate and resolve them efficiently. Problem-solving skills are vital in maintaining the integrity of financial data.
Meeting deadlines is critical in bookkeeping. Efficient time management ensures that all financial reports and records are updated and submitted on time.
Bookkeepers handle sensitive financial data. It’s imperative to maintain confidentiality and exercise discretion with all financial information.
Equipped with these skills, bookkeepers play an indispensable role in managing the financial aspects of a business, paving the way for informed decision-making and financial stability.
Bookkeepers are integral to any business. Their meticulous attention to detail and unwavering commitment to accuracy keep businesses financially healthy and compliant.
A career in bookkeeping can be incredibly rewarding, offering opportunities for continuous learning and professional growth. Take the first step towards your career and explore bookkeeping courses, today!
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