Do I Need a Degree in Accounting to Become a Bookkeeper?

accounting and auditing

In order to obtain the bookkeeper certification accredited by the NBA, you need to complete the accounting fundamentals course and pass the uniform bookkeeper certification exam. Recording purchase invoices in accounting and bookkeeping software, processing payables report, and taking permission from management to pay bills. Have an understanding of operating accounting software to record and analyse financial data such as QuickBooks Online Accounting Software, Google Docs, Microsoft Office, etc. Most employers prefer hiring bookkeepers who possess a proper degree.

First, let’s look at the differences between an accountant and a bookkeeper. While the titles are at times used interchangeably, and there is often some overlap of job duties, the two have distinct responsibilities and often varying levels of education. Bookkeepers generally handle daily record maintenance and reconciliation of bills, statements, and invoices.

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Other ways to get valuable bookkeeping experience and on-the-job training is through an internship. You can then learn how to use multiple accounting software programs and work tools on the job. Internships can also provide ways for you to get your foot in the door with a specific organization.

How do you become a bookkeeper for beginners?

  1. Pursue a high school degree. Unlike accountants, many bookkeepers have associate's or bachelor's degrees.
  2. Acquire training. Bookkeeping training can come from a variety of sources.
  3. Apply for positions.
  4. Become a freelancer.
  5. Consider certification.

For example, if you’re interested in performing financial entries for a company, make sure you earn your Bookkeeping and/or Accounting Certification. If you’re of the mindset that you can never have too much experience, then you can seek avenues to gain more bookkeeping experience either during your time in academia or immediately after. This training class is the stepping stone towards QuickBooks certification. These workshops also give you an opportunity to meet like-minded professionals. These professionals can give you accounting and bookkeeping tips and tricks from their own experience. The Knowledge Academy is one of the world’s largest providers of training courses globally.

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You could spend as little as a few hours or weeks taking Udemy’s various bookkeeping courses. Either of these certifications will give you legitimacy in the field and help you land your first job as a bookkeeper. Every business – or at least every successful business – keeps careful track of its money.


Founded in 1902, Franklin is an accredited nonprofit university offering flexible college degrees online and at locations in Ohio and the Midwest. Accountants have higher salary and growth expectations than bookkeepers. To maximize earning potential and secure long-term job stability, it’s worth pursuing a career as an accountant.

Places to get certifications

Bookkeepers don’t necessarily need higher education in order to work in their field while accountants can be more specialized in their training. Because bookkeepers tend to work for smaller companies, they may not be paid as much as accountants. Knowing the differences between the two can help people find their niche in the industry and can give guidance to companies on who to hire for their needs. When a bookkeeper wants to leap to being an accountant, they will need to take the CPA exam, plus earn a bachelor’s degree , if they do not have one already. Fifty states plus the District of Columbia require accountants to earn 150 credit hours of college education before taking the national four-part Uniform CPA exam. Public accounting generally pays the most to a candidate right out of school.

  • Some of the skills required for the role include attention to detail, a basic understanding of math, organization, and computer skills.
  • A bookkeeper is skilled at keeping documents and tracks a wide net of financial information.
  • Of course, a background in accounting practices will help you ride out a learning curve as a new bookkeeper.
  • If you have never worked in bookkeeping you will not be able to get a job working it from home.
  • These courses are typically inexpensive, between $50 and $100 on average.

Becoming a certified bookkeeper bookkeeper requires you to pass an exam to get a bookkeeping certificate. An undergraduate degree will take 2-4 years and can pursue higher-paying positions in the field than those without a credential. Professionals who learn through on-the-job training can grasp essentials after about six months in entry-level roles. According to Monster’s salary data, the median bookkeeper salary is $42,099 per year. However, that could range from $34,300 to $50,883 depending on your experience, educational background, and location.