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What are the qualifications of a bookkeeping service provider?

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Quick Answer

Professional bookkeepers must possess a high school diploma at minimum. Bookkeepers interested in more opportunities can also enroll in either a certification program or an associate’s degree program. The most experienced bookkeepers also hold a Certified Bookkeeper designation.

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Full Answer

While in high school, aspiring bookkeepers should try to take courses related to math, computers and English, which can help them acquire the skills necessary to progress in the field. After high school, bookkeepers can pursue either a certificate or an associate’s degree. These courses cover all aspects of the trade, including recording costs, valuing inventory, analyzing financial data and the use of various computer programs, such as Microsoft Excel and QuickBooks. Students also learn about other topics such as business math and payroll administration.

Certification or an associate’s degree can help bookkeepers find better employment opportunities, but some companies may hire them on without these credentials and train them in-house. Typically, a new hire is paired with a more experienced bookkeeper to learn the company’s policies and practices.

The most advanced credential for bookkeepers is the Certified Bookkeeper designation. Acquired through the American Institute of Professional Bookkeepers, this certification is only available to bookkeepers with two or more years of professional experience. Applicants must pass a four-part test to receive the certification and must adhere to organization’s code of ethics after passing the exam.

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