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There are four steps required to get a bookkeeping certification: post-secondary education, bookkeeping experience, pay the association fees, and write the certification examination. A bookkeeper is responsible for maintaining the accounting records for a business. They are able to complete all the accounting requirements for a small to medium business, ranging from payroll processing to the production of monthly financial reports.
A bookkeeping certificate is available from the American Institute of Professional Bookkeepers (AIPB). This association is responsible for creating and maintaining the certificate as a professional standard for its members. The purpose of the certificate is to provide assurances to potential employers that the candidate has a certain level of training and experience.
The first requirement to obtain a bookkeeping certificate is to complete a post-secondary education program in bookkeeping. These programs are typically eight to 12 months in length and are available from a wide range of community and career colleges. Admission requirements include high school courses in accounting, math, and English.
Part of the qualification requirements for a bookkeeping certificate is a specific amount of work experience. This experience can be supported through letters from employers or accounting firms who conducted audits on the books that you were managing. The level of experience and responsibility is important. Make sure to carefully read the experience requirements before applying for certification.
In order to complete the certification process, membership dues are required. In addition to professional certification, membership has the additional benefit of towering opportunities, access to training seminars, and annual conferences. Professional associations often arrange for discounts on commonly used services, such as automobile or business insurance.
The bookkeeping certificate examination is four parts. The first two parts of the exam itself are multiple choice and must be completed at a Prometric Test Center. The last two parts of the examination are open book and can be completed at home. Exam preparation seminars are often organized by the AIPB in anticipation of the examination.
The exam preparation seminars are optional, but it is a good idea to review the examination preparation materials well in advance of the exam. Look up the last day to register for the preparation seminar and make that your study deadline. Begin your preparation program as if the study deadline is the examination date.
On the study deadline, write a mock examination and mark it. If your mark is high enough to meet the passing requirement of 75 percent, continue with your own study program. If not, you have enough time to register for the preparation course, which should improve your score on the final examination.
Looking into courses at your local community college or even online are good resources to obtain a bookkeeping certificate.
I also recommend checking out Home Team Accounting and the Cloud Accountant Institute to learn more about how bookkeeping is done nowadays with the advent of cloud accounting and APIs.
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