Bookkeeper Job Description: What Does a Bookkeeper Do?

Bookkeeper Job Description: What Does a Bookkeeper Do?

A Bookkeeper has the responsibilities of maintaining and recording a company's financial transactions, such as purchases, expenses, sales revenue, payments and invoices into general ledgers, which are used to prepare the balance sheet and income statement. 

Generally, the bookkeepers are responsible for overseeing the first six steps of the Accounting Cycle, while the last two are done by accountants. While there are similarities between an accountant and a bookkeeper, there are a few differences which will be discussed later in this article.

Bookkeeper duties and responsibilities

Bookkeepers are like the back bone of a company's accounting team, they keep up many ledgers which accountants use to prepare key financial reports for making key decisions. A Bookkeeper job description should show the need for an organized candidate who loves numbers and accounting information. 

They prepare financial transactions and generates reports from that information and reconciles accounts to make sure that they are correct. Preparing financial transactions includes posting information to accounting journals or accounting software from source documents like invoices (customers and suppliers), cash receipts, debit and credit notes, etc.

What Do Bookkeepers Do?

The question "what do bookkeepers do" is one of the most often asked questions from aspiring bookkeepers and people going for job interviews. This article gives a detailed answer to the question. 

Generally, bookkeeping job description includes:
  1. Recording transactions such as income and expenses, and posting them to various ledgers.
  2. Processing payments.
  3. Managing daily banking activities.
  4. Preparing financial statements.
  5. Reconciling reports to third-party records.
  6. Work with your tax preparer and help with tax compliance
  7. Prepare payroll
  8. Give advice and recommend ways of process streamlining

What qualifications should a bookkeeper have?

A person applying for bookkeeper Job should have an associate degree in accounting or business administration, or equivalent business experience, as well as knowledge of bookkeeping and Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP). 

Although, having a degree is not compulsory. It is very important to note that candidates who can use accounting software package have an advantage.

What are bookkeeping skills?

A bookkeepers need the following skills to be efficient and productive in their day-to-day activities:
  1. ability to pay attention to detail
  2. teamwork (ability to collaborate with colleagues).
  3. administration skill.
  4. customer service skill.
  5. the ability to use one's initiative.
  6. flexibility and open to change.
  7. maths skills.
  8. excellent oral communication skills.
  9. computer literate and skill in
  10. accounting software packages.

Bookkeeper Job Salary: How much can a bookkeeper earn

Bookkeepers job salary depends on experience, skills and the location of the job. Generally, the average annual salary of a bookkeeper is £17,000 for people starting their careers while an experienced bookkeeper earns about £26,000 per annum. 

How much can a bookkeeper charge per hour?

Freelance bookkeepers charge between $30 to $50 per hour to do basic bookkeeping tasks. Prices can be lower than average if you just need a part-time staff to do simple bookkeeping tasks like data entry. However, be ready to spend more if you’re looking for someone with accounting or tax preparation skills.

Factors that can affect the cost of hiring a bookkeeper for your small business

  1. Types of tasks he will do
  2. Volume and complexity of your business’s financial transactions
  3. Years of experience
  4. Number of working hours per month
  5. Ability to use any type of accounting software (QuickBooks Online is preferred by most bookkeepers)
  6. Your business’s location


  1. Knowledge of bookkeeping practices
  2. Adequate knowledge of generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) and rules
  3. Knowledge of relevant legislation and regulatory requirements
  4. Working knowledge of relevant computer applications and software
  5. Experienced in data management and financial data analysis

Role of bookkeeper vs accountant

A bookkeeper is responsible for recording day-to-day transactions into the books of accounts or computer system, which forms a wider practice of accounting.

Generally, he/she provides trial balance for an accountant, which is a consolidation of all the general ledger accounts, which the accountant uses to prepare the Balance Sheet and Income Statement, and later the Statement of Cash Flows. An accountant reviews the financial records entered by a bookkeeper

Bookkeepers set the ball rolling for accountants to analyze, interpret and prepare financial statements.

They record transactions with the help of software and use built-in data processing tools to prepare financial statements and preset transaction classification to improve efficiency in recording transaction.

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