6 Oct, 2023

What Does A Bookkeeper Do? - What To Know

What Does a Bookkeeper Do? - What to Know
Written by: - Phil Baker

In day to day life, you might have heard the bookkeeping profession mentioned from time to time. However, you might not know what it means. From the name alone, it would be easy to assume that a bookkeeper is somebody who works with books, similar to a librarian. But this isn’t the case. 

Bookkeepers do work with books, but they are very different from librarians. This is because of the types of books that they work with. Instead of working with literacy books, bookkeepers work with the books and records that a company keeps regarding their finances. But what does a bookkeeper do? 

Well, in this guide, we’ll be taking a look at exactly what a bookkeeper does, and lots more. So, keep on reading! 

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What Does a Bookkeeper Do?

As we have mentioned, a bookkeeper is not the same as a librarian. Instead, bookkeeping is a profession that is more akin to accounting. It is a bookkeeper’s job to provide accurate, and current, information about the finances of a business. In essence, it is a bookkeeper’s responsibility to know exactly what is going on with the finances of the company that they work for. 

A bookkeeper is responsible for managing either some, or all, of a company’s accounts. In financial terms, these accounts combined are known as the general ledger, and it is the bookkeeper’s job to manage this. 

Managing the general ledger includes tasks such as recording day-to-day financial transactions for the company. This includes coming to decisions regarding which payments need to be remitted, and submitted, and also recording all these transactions within the general ledger. In addition, the bookkeeper may also receive payments from customers/clients. 

In short, a bookkeeper manages a number of the financial transactions for a company. So, if you are looking for a career in finance, this might be one that you are considering. With that in mind, let’s take a look at what skills are needed to be a bookkeeper. 

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What Skills Are Needed To Be a Bookkeeper?

So, if you are thinking of starting a career in bookkeeping, you likely want to know what skills are needed for this profession. When it comes to bookkeeping, there are two different things to consider: skills and qualifications. 

In terms of skills, one of the most important skills that you will need is numeracy. Working as a bookkeeper involves working with numbers, so you will need to have basic numeracy skills to be able to make it in this career.

By this, we don’t mean that you have to be able to add big numbers together using just your head. But, you will need to feel comfortable working with numbers. You will also need to pay close attention to detail and use critical thinking. 

All these skills combined will help you out when it comes to sitting the necessary qualifications to be a bookkeeper. Depending on where you live, you will need to complete different qualifications in order to work as a bookkeeper. If you want to find out which qualifications you need, you should get in touch with either the Institute of Certified Bookkeepers, the American Institute of Professional Bookkeepers, or the National Association of Certified Public Bookkeepers to find out more.  

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What is the Difference Between a Bookkeeper and an Accountant?

Now that we have taken a look at what a bookkeeper is, let’s now take a look at what the difference is between a bookkeeper and an accountant. As we mentioned earlier, these are two professions that often get mixed up. So, let’s take a look at what the difference is between the two. 

Well the key difference between a bookkeeper and an accountant is the way in which they interact with the financial records that they use. A bookkeeper handles the day-to-day finances of a company, ensuring that financial transactions are recorded in the general ledger. But, an accountant does a little more than that. 

While an accountant may also manage the day-to-day financial transactions for a business, they are also responsible for providing insight and analysis of data. This will include looking at previous accounting reports to give insight, generating reports, performing audits, and lots more. 

In some ways, bookkeeping and accountancy are very similar, but in a lot of ways these two professions are different from one another. One major way that bookkeeping and accounting differs is the way in which it is taught. With that in mind, let’s take a look at if bookkeeping can be self taught. 

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Can Bookkeeping Be Self Taught?

Finally, let’s take a look at whether, or not, bookkeeping can be self taught. If this is a career that you are thinking about entering, you probably want to know if this is something that you have to attend education in order to be taught. So, let’s find out. 

One of the best things about bookkeeping is that this skill can actually be self taught. To begin with, you can learn a lot about bookkeeping by simply researching it on the internet. But, if you want to go into this profession, then you should also complete a course before you get started. Thankfully, a lot of courses are available online, and you can teach yourself the information provided. 

While there are a lot of professions where you must have a college degree in order to get started, bookkeeping is not one of them. There is no need to have a degree in order to be a bookkeeper, and this is one of the biggest attractions to this career. All you need is some basic numeracy skills, and a course, and you are ready to get started!

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business paper


In short, a bookkeeper is somebody who manages the general ledger for a company. This includes managing day-to-day transactions, and ensuring that they are all recorded within the ledger. A bookkeeper’s job can also include producing financial statements, such as a balance sheet. 

So, a bookkeeper is not a librarian. Instead, they play an important role in managing the finances for a company. 

You can use services like our pay stub creator and others to ensure proper management of your work and personal finances without the two mixing.

Thanks for reading! 

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