Career Choice: Bookkeeper

Career Choice: Bookkeeper
  • Opening Intro -

    Bookkeepers provide financial records for organizations.

    Sometimes known as accounting or auditing clerks, bookkeepers are responsible for gathering, computing, categorizing and recording numerical data to complete their financial record-keeping.

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Such professionals are also tasked with ensuring the accuracy of the information received, by posting transactions to the correct categories and verifying the receipts of other workers. Bookkeepers typically have some training beyond high school with a significant number having at least an associate degree in accounting.

Duties

Except at the smallest firms, bookkeepers typically report to an accountant to have their work verified and signed off. Bookkeepers must be computer savvy, working with the latest accounting software programs to record and store information. Bookkeepers are adept at math and understand how to categorize expenses, comply with government regulations and operate calculators and other recording equipment. Bookkeepers produce a variety of financial reports and reconcile the General Ledger.

Education

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, bookkeepers typically need entry-level education to carry out their day to day tasks. However, some companies require bookkeepers to demonstrate competency and may require an associate or bachelor’s degree or at least the completion of a bookkeeping course. Obtaining an A.S. in Accounting can beneficial, specifically an Associate Degree In Accounting Miami. Such programs are typically for two years and produce at least 60 credits, with students taking courses in accounting, statistics and bookkeeping as they hone their skills.

Salaries

According to the BLS, the average salary of a bookkeeper was $34,740 as of 2011. Nearly 2 million people are employed in this capacity, for one of the largest professions in the United States.

Bookkeepers in the 10th percentile earned $21,400 per year while those in the 25th percentile earned $27,400 per year. The median salary was $34,700 per year. Those in the 75th percentile earned $43,400 per year while those in the 90th percentile earned $53,200 annually.

The highest median annual salaries for bookkeepers was $48,200 in the District of Columbia, far outpacing the top state, Connecticut where professionals there earned $40,700 per year. Massachusetts, Maryland, Alaska and California all came in well above average with Arkansas, Montana, Oklahoma, West Virginia and South Dakota bringing up the rear.

Job Outlook

The BLS forecasts that the job growth for bookkeepers from 2010 to 2020 will increase by 14 percent, paralleling the average for all jobs. Some states including Idaho, Georgia and Utah are expected to enjoy an above average increase in the number of bookkeepers while job growth in New York, Nevada and Massachusetts is expected to be stagnant. In Florida, job growth is forecast at 4 percent including for those with an Associate Degree in Accounting.

References

O*Net OnLine: Summary Report for: 43-3031.00 – Bookkeeping, Accounting, and Auditing Clerks

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Occupational Outlook Handbook — Bookkeeping, Accounting, Auditing Clerks

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