6 Steps to Become a Bookkeeper

If you would like to know how to become a bookkeeper in 6 easy steps then you have come to the right place.

The bookkeeping industry has recently become its own industry moving away from the traditional accounting. There are so many more profitable tasks for fully qualified and great accountants that they don't want to be doing the bookkeeping for their clients. There is not enough money in it for them and they would rather focus on more profitable areas.

This is also a great industry for those mums and dads who would like to stay at home with their kids. In all my years of business the bookkeeping was my favourite business task as I was able to work around my kids schedule and adapt as they grew.

When they were younger I would complete the bookkeeping when they had their midday nap, then as they started go to bed earlier at night I would start after I put them to bed and now that they are at school I can get it done when they are at school and I am still there to pick them up and take them to their sports and parties. Has been a great lifesaver giving me something "to do" to keep my mind active during those crucial years of my kids lives.

So, how do you get into this industry? Here are my steps:

Step 1: Research the industry, take some online tests to see if bookkeeping suits your personality and have a look at the job vacancies to see what is available. Also, research your local accounting and bookkeeping companies and see what competition is around if you are thinking about contract work

Step 2: Complete a basic bookkeeping course to see if you would like to continue in this industry before committing to a fully accredited course that requires some extensive commitment of your money, time and knowledge.

Step 3: Complete an accredited bookkeeping course. Depending on where you are the legislation may be different about the types of requirements for becoming a bookkeeper. In Australia you need to complete either of the following qualifications:

  • FNS40207 Certificate IV in Financial Services (Bookkeeping) which is changing to FNS40210 Certificate IV in Bookkeeping
  • FNS40607 Certificate IV in Financial Services (Accounting) which is changing to FNS40610 Certificate IV in Accounting

Either of these qualifications are required to become a BAS Services Agent to allow you to submit BAS's to the Australian Taxation Office on behalf of a small business or your bookkeeping clients.

Step 4: Get some work experience - the best way to get into the industry is to commit some time to getting your experience up. This will put you in good light when you begin applying for bookkeeping jobs AND will give you confidence that you know what you are talking about when talking to potential employers or clients.

Step 5: Research the different types of bookkeeping software available. The 2 that I would recommend would be either MYOB or Quickbooks. Both of these programs are much the same ... if you have used one before stick with that and focus on that as your specialty. Otherwise, it may be a matter of working out which program your employer/clients use

Step 6: Keep up to date with the Bookkeeping Industry News and join a bookkeeping association. As a really good bookkeeper you need to know your stuff and if you are not confident in what you are saying then your employer/client is not going to have confidence in your ability.

"Where do I start?" I would suggest a 7 Day Online Bookkeeping Course that will give you an understanding about the industry and what is required as a bookkeeper. By the time you complete this course you will know whether you would like to be a bookkeeper and if this industry is for you.

About the Author: Tammy Love has been working as a bookkeeper for businesses and in her own bookkeeping business for over 14 years. She is now an accredited Bookkeeping Trainer for a Registered Training Organisation delivering training in the classroom, RPL as well as by correspondence and online.

If you would like to know more about enrolling in the BAS Service Agents or FNS40210 Certificate IV in Bookkeeping Course through online, RPL or self paced correspondence with Tammy click here >>

Comments 4 comments

Grace 4 years ago

Thanks for your article Tammy. I totally agree with what you say in Step 4 - get some work experience. At the moment I am studying online for a Certificate IV in Accounting, and am trying to get some work experience, but without success yet. Would you have any advice for people like me as to how to go about getting work experience? Thank you.

George eyre 2 years ago


Dave 18 months ago

Great information, I couldn't agree more on step number 4, experience is King! After I got some experience, I ended up setting up my own shop, http://bookkeeperguides.com/ has also been super helpful.

DayBooks 8 weeks ago

After you get a client that say they want you to do the books.

What kind of checklist would you bring to get that client started?

How do you take over their books in a seamless way?

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