What Does A Bookkeeper Do?

What’s it like working in Bookkeeping

As a bookkeeper your job will require you to work with financial records and transactions of your clients. Things that fall under this record are usually things such as receipts, expenditure, accounts receivable, account payable, loss and profit records.

The majority of organisations like accounting firms, payroll organization and tax prep services tend to hire the services of bookkeepers. That being said, bookkeepers can also be employed by a wide range of businesses and entities such as governmental departments, small & medium scale businesses, and schools.

There are some bookkeepers that work solely for one client, while others tend to freelance their services to as many businesses as they can handle.

When you work in bookkeeping, you can expect to have general responsibilities such as:

  • balancing and recording financial transactions
  • entering business income and expenses into either physical or computer ledgers
  • send payment in form of cheques, cash, vouchers and other forms to clients
  • receive vouchers, cheques and cash, as well as process them on behalf of your clients
  • generate and distribute company invoices so as to collect cash owed to client or business
  • take receipt of invoice and ensure that listed services and products are delivered as stated
  • make sure that invoices match purchase orders and contracts
  • calculate payroll in a bid to ensure that every employee hired by client or business receives their accurate wage in a prompt manner
  • ensure payment processing is prompt and correct


Typically, bookkeepers have regular working hours, which are from 9 to 5. The work a bookkeeper does on a public holiday or weekend is limited, however, it might be necessary to work longer hours during peak business periods like beginning of a new fiscal year or tax season.


While bookkeepers are extremely important and responsible for ensuring financial records are kept intact, it is actually not required for an individual to get special certification for their duties. To be a bookkeeper, all you need is a secondary school education. Having previous bookkeeping experience as an intern or having studied accounting gives you an advantage.

That being said, it has become a norm for companies to search for bookkeepers that have degrees in fields that are related to the role. These fields are business studies, accounting, and finance.


To be a bookkeeper you need to have a wide array of skills. The list below is just a few of the skills required of a bookkeeper by an employer or business client:

  • software skills as businesses are moving from physical ledgers to computerized ones
  • data entry skills are imperative as bookkeepers must be able to quickly enter financial information that is accurate from numerous sources
  • mathematical skills as bookkeepers must be able to analyse information without having to rely on the computer for calculations
  • prowess and understanding of double bookkeeping procedure
  • organizational skills of the highest order
  • honesty
  • great communication skills
  • reliability
  • discretion

As stated earlier, these are just some of the skills that are required of bookkeepers.