What are the Different Bookkeeping Jobs?

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  • Written By: Carol Francois
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 10 November 2019
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There are three different types of bookkeeping jobs: starting your own small business, working for an accounting firm, and teaching. A bookkeeper is responsible for managing the accounting records for a business or company. They are most often employed by small to medium enterprises and can complete all the accounting requirements, with the exception of an audit, which must be completed by an accountant.

In order to qualify for bookkeeping jobs, you will need a diploma or certificate in bookkeeping or accounting. Admission to these programs requires high school credits in accounting, math, computer technology, and English. In addition to a bookkeeping certificate, candidates can apply for certification. Upon competition, the bookkeeper now has recognized credentials that provide assurances of the candidate's skills in bookkeeping.

The most common source of bookkeeping jobs is to open your own business. The first step is to register your firm with the appropriate government agencies. The next step is to obtain clients. This can be done through advertising, business connections, or referrals.

A very popular method is to have a two-stage plan. In the first stage, find employment with an accounting services firm. Get to know the clients and the accountants. When you are ready to open your own firm, let the clients and your employers know. If they were happy with your work, they will provide referrals and clients will come to you.


There is no conflict, as accounting services firms do not typically provide bookkeeping services. Instead, they focus on audits, financial statement production, and tax filing. If the bookkeeping services are provided by someone trained in their method, there should be less work for them to do.

If you choose to work for an accounting services firm, take the time to learn new skills and expand your role. Volunteer to work with difficult clients or to complete complex review exercises. These processes will provide new skill sets and enhance your knowledge, should you decide to open your own bookkeeping business.

Bookkeepers can become instructors at local community or career colleges, teaching courses to accounting students and other bookkeepers. In order to become an instructor, many bookkeepers complete a certificate program in adult education. Learning the most effective way to teach adults can be a huge help when making this career transition.

People who report the greatest satisfaction in bookkeeping jobs are detail-oriented, meticulous, and enjoy working independently. Although there is a certain degree of socialization when you become a bookkeeper, the vast majority of the work is solitary. If you enjoy a social work environment and interaction with other people, look for positions in an accounting services firm.


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