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According to experts, the demand for bookkeepers is expected to increase significantly over the next decade. This may be the result of several different factors, like the creation of new businesses and retirement of a large portion of the workforce. Bookkeepers provide a critical service to business organizations of all sizes and if you are interested in a career as a bookkeeper, then you have a few different options when it comes to your bookkeeper training.
Specialized Bookkeeper Training
The training required for an entry-level position with a company will depend on what type of bookkeeping you will be doing. If you’re managing the accounts receivable for a small business for example, you will probably need to be quite familiar with accounting software like QuickBooks. If you’re working in the accounting department of a large corporation then you may be expected to have a specialization, like auditing procedures.
You can receive specialized training for bookkeeping at a number of locations. You may take courses at a community college in accounting, for example. This may be sufficient for a position with a small business, but some companies will require you to have a four-year degree in accounting. The requirements will vary depending on the position that you are applying for.
Generally speaking, it is a good idea to have a strong understanding of basic bookkeeping principles and software prior to applying for a bookkeeping position. You should know how to analyze a P and L statement, for example.
Another option for bookkeeping training may be private training companies. There are a number of organizations that provide specialized courses at a reasonable cost for aspiring professionals.
In order to become a certified bookkeeper, you must take a college level certified bookkeeper course from an accredited organization. Most community colleges have courses that are approved by the American Institute of Professional Bookkeepers. You also need 2 years of bookkeeping work experience either as a full-time/part-time employee or as a freelancer. Your employer or contracting organization will verify this achievement with the state.
After you have attained sufficient experience and education as a bookkeeper, you can then take the bookkeeping certification exam. This exam is divided into 3 different test sections and you’ll need to achieve a score of at least 70% on each section in order to pass. If you do not achieve a score of at least 70% on any section of the exam, then you will need to retake that section until you pass. You can find study guides for this exam at your local community college.
Once you’ve passed the exam, you will need to sign a code of ethics document and obtain a certain number of continuing education hours over the next 3 years. Once you are certified as a bookkeeper, you will now be able to add Certified Professional Bookkeeper to your title and resume.
Not all positions will require you to have a bookkeeping certification, but you will need to learn the basics for most positions.