What Does a Bookkeeper Do? A Simple Explanation

what exactly does a bookkeeper do

Without bookkeeping, accountants would be unable to successfully provide business owners with the insight they need to make informed financial decisions. On the other hand, the single-entry method of accounting presents a distorted view of business results. This accounting method records one entry to one account for each transaction. Posting activity to your checkbook is a single-entry accounting system.

what exactly does a bookkeeper do

That way,  you can take advantage of all your write-offs come tax time. These help you track all your incoming and outgoing transactions in chronological order, giving you a good a picture of your business’s financial health. This involves recording all transactions to find the “balance,” or the difference between a business’s total debits and total credits. The daily responsibilities of a bookkeeper vary based on the type of professional you hire. (More on that shortly!) They also depend on what level of services you’re looking for.

What Exactly Does A Bookkeeper Do?

If all your mental powers have been focused on getting your business off the ground, you might not yet fully understand what a bookkeeper does. In this guide we break down the day-to-day role of a bookkeeper, and why a good one is worth holding onto. The bookkeeper is generally responsible for overseeing the first six steps of the Accounting Cycle, while the last two are typically taken care of by an accountant. While there is a general overlap between the two professions, there are a few distinctions that are later discussed in this article.

  • Learn how QuickBooks Live Bookkeeping can help you streamline your bookkeeping and free up time spent on finances.
  • If your business is big, public, or buys and sells on credit, double-entry bookkeeping is the best way to keep track of your finances.
  • These help you track all your incoming and outgoing transactions in chronological order, giving you a good a picture of your business’s financial health.
  • That way, you can be well prepared when it’s time to file taxes with the IRS.

And at a certain point, your time is better spent building your business than navigating DIY tutorial videos. When it comes to selecting a bookkeeping style, business owners have several options. Learn how QuickBooks Live Bookkeeping can help you streamline your bookkeeping and free up time spent on finances. When comparing accountants and bookkeepers, know that an accountant may also be a bookkeeper. Familiarizing yourself with what a bookkeeper does and what accounting clerks do can help you narrow down your financial needs. If you were to ask someone to explain the difference between bookkeepers and accountants, they’d likely say they’re the same.


Check out our helpful guide for deciding when is the right time for your business to invest in hiring a bookkeeper. Below is a sample bookkeeper job description that you can customize to meet the needs of your business. However, you want to at least include education, experience and licensing requirements in your job description.

A bookkeeper can expect to earn a salary in the range of $30,000-$60,000 a year in the US. However, compensation will widely vary depending on the employer, location, and candidate experience. Bigger companies tend to offer better compensation for bookkeepers; this is largely due to the increased volume of transactions and data. A multinational corporation performs hundreds of transactions a second, while a small business might perform less than a hundred in a day. From there, you will get a report form the payroll company that tells you how to enter the information into QuickBooks.

What Are the Benefits of Hiring a Bookkeeper? – The Jobs, Skills, Salary & Career Paths of Bookkeepers

Appreciating what a bookkeeper can do for your business ultimately frees you to focus on other priorities—like managing your inventory, your team, and your company’s growth. You can also get more certifications to what exactly does a bookkeeper do show you know how to do more advanced bookkeeping tasks. It is beneficial for you in your role as a bookkeeper if you enjoy going through the specifics of a project and making sure that no stone is left unturned.

The two foundational tasks in small business bookkeeping are data entry and bank reconciliation. Let’s walk through the core duties, common additional duties, and advanced bookkeeping. Most often, their reports go to business owners and managers to help them make decisions. Some bookkeepers, however, are actually involved in strategy development. Not only do the daily responsibilities of bookkeepers vary, but there are also different types of bookkeeping services you can seek out. A bookkeeper is someone who tracks and records the money going in and out of a business on a daily basis.

For example, accounting software now makes it pretty easy for bookkeepers to prepare financial statements, a task that was traditionally reserved for accountants. Freelance bookkeepers typically charge between $30 to $50 per hour for basic bookkeeping tasks. Prices can be lower than average if you just need someone part-time to do simple tasks like data entry. However, if you’re looking for someone with accounting or tax preparation skills, be prepared to spend more. Accountants use the records a bookkeeper provides and their own expertise to help build budgets, assess finances, and make business decisions.

Also, there is no doubt that bookkeeping can sometimes cause a lot of stress. However, many ways exist to reduce this stress and ensure operations go smoothly. Bookkeepers who are proactive in all parts of their job have a good chance of success, even if they have to deal with some pressure and gain experience. Bookkeeping is a task that requires dedication and hard work and comes with its own set of stresses. As with many jobs, the amount of stress that comes with bookkeeping depends on the size of the business, the bookkeeper’s qualifications, and the amount of experience they have. Providing evidence that you are committed to your role is essential.

As mentioned above, being proficient in accounting software such as QuickBooks will increase your value. You can find online video instruction at lynda.com or you may also find courses on QuickBooks being taught at a local technical school near you. If you’re unfamiliar with local and federal tax codes, doing your own bookkeeping may prove challenging. On the other hand, if you have in-depth tax and finance knowledge beyond the bookkeeping basics, you may be able to get the job done.

what exactly does a bookkeeper do

A bookkeeper is someone who records the day-to-day financial activities of your organization so you (and your accountant) can use that information to make better business decisions. Not only does keeping accurate books offer visibility into the financial health of your business, it helps you stay compliant with various tax authorities. Bookkeepers are important to the success of businesses and organizations because https://www.bookstime.com/articles/kashoo they keep track of their financial records. It needs accuracy, attention to detail, responsibility, and the ability to deal with stress. Using technology to enter data and do other tasks is an important skill for people who want to become bookkeepers. For any bookkeeping job, you need to know how to use software like Microsoft Excel, and candidates must have experience with spreadsheets and other software.

How to Become a Bookkeeper – The Jobs, Skills, Salary & Career Paths of Bookkeepers

In that case, you may have to work with accountants and employees from other departments in the company who may need your help. It might also include managing employee benefits, insurance, and tax withholding. They’re the kinds of things that a sole proprietor or small- to medium-sized business might hire a bookkeeper for.

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