Book-keepers handle financial records for large and small organisations. Book-keepers are needed for a variety of institutions, including not-for-profit agencies, churches, schools and corporations. They handle financial matters such as payroll and payroll tax filing, profit and loss statements, balance sheets, accounts payable and accounts receivable. They are generally the first point of contact for any audits that occur in the organisation and may also be responsible for filing income tax returns.
Book-keepers keep financial accounts organised by posting journal entries that show where money is coming in and going out of an organisation. You are responsible for reconciling statements for bank accounts. Book-keepers handle payroll for the organisation. You may collect time sheets or time cards and payroll tax forms. You print paychecks, deposit payroll taxes and ensure that they are paid on time. Book-keepers also send out employee W-4 forms at the end of the year.
Book-keepers are also responsible for accounts receivable and accounts payable. You receive invoice payments and post the payments to the correct accounts. Some book-keepers handle collection matters. You pay any bills that come into the organisation. Book-keepers work with auditors to ensure that adequate documentation is prepared and submitted concerning internal and external audits.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), most bookkeeping positions require a high school diploma. However, some organisations require a book-keeper to possess an associate's degree. Organizations rarely require a book-keeper to have a bachelor's degree. On-the-job training is usually provided to book-keepers when you start work. You may also be required to take specialised training, depending on the type of computer software you will be using. There is a specialised certification that book-keepers may obtain through the American Institute of Professional Bookkeepers. The Certified Bookkeeper title demonstrates that the holder possesses adequate skills and knowledge, has passed an examination, has more than two years experience in bookkeeping and adheres to a code of ethics.
Book-keepers must be detail-oriented because you must keep financial records that are error-free. If you work with customers or vendors, you should possess excellent communications skills. Book-keepers must also be discreet and keep company financial records confidential.
According to the BLS, book-keeper jobs are growing by approximately 10 per cent from 2008 to 2018. Book-keepers are generally replaced in organisations as attrition occurs. The median salary for book-keepers in 2008 was approximately £20,800 ($32,000) a year. Book-keepers generally receive benefits such as health insurance and retirement plans. You may have opportunities to advance into positions such as auditor, accountant and management.
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