The job description of a Bookkeeper is essential in the running of any business. A bookkeeper account for all financial transactions, including costs, purchases, invoices, sales revenue, and payments. People in this role are responsible for maintaining and recording all financial transactions.
The bookkeeper plays a crucial role in an organization. They are primarily responsible for collecting and data entry of all financial transactions. They may be responsible for the full accounting or certain stages of the accounting cycle. This will largely depend on the size of the organization and how the accounting systems are structured.
In the majority of job descriptions of Bookkeeper, this role is in charge of documenting and managing a company's financial activities, such as purchases, costs, sales revenue, invoices, and payments. They will be responsible for recording financial data into general ledgers, the records used to compile income statements and balance sheets.
The accounting cycle begins with the time the transaction takes place and continues to close the accounts. This cycle starts and ends with the financial statements. Keeping tabs on the entirety of the accounting process, from beginning to end, is one of the primary responsibilities of a bookkeeper.
In larger organizations, the job description of a Bookkeeper may include duties such as supervising and reconciling multiple financial transactions. Whilst carrying out these duties, a bookkeeper is exposed to various software and computer systems, thus, making computer literacy particularly valuable to this role.
The role of the Bookkeeper on an accounting team is analogous to that of the engine room; hence, it is essential to emphasize the ability to manage one's time effectively and organize one's work.
Job Description of Bookkeeper: Overall Purpose of the Job
Responsible for maintaining a range of ledgers used to produce vital financial reports. The duties include recording transactions, for instance, incomes and expenditures, and posting them to several financial accounts.
In some organizations, the responsibilities of a bookkeeper involve providing financial, administrative, and clerical support to the organization. They handle the recording of financial transactions from start to finish. They maintain complete sets of financial records, keep track of accounts, and verify the accuracy of procedures used for recording financial transactions.
Job Description of Bookkeeper: Primary Duties
When considering the primary duties and responsibilities to include in the job description for a bookkeeper, consider the duties listed below:
- Maintains accurate records of all financial transactions.
- Records all day-to-day financial transactions.
- Makes journal entries of all financial transactions.
- Posts journal entries to the general ledger.
- Carries out reconciliation of all financial transactions.
- Maintains the trial balance, using a reconciliation of general ledgers
- Verifies that transaction records appear in the correct books
- Creates and checks customer ledger, suppliers ledger, and general ledger.
- Conveys financial books to the trial balancing stage.
- Conducts fractional checks of the posting process.
- Completes tax forms.
- Ensures correct data entry and maintains records.
- Creates reports covering financial transactions.
- Processes accounts receivable.
- Processes accounts payable.
- Reconciles sales taxes, payroll taxes, and bank accounts at the end of each month.
- Reconciles entries into the accounting system
- Records of debits and credits.
- Maintains the trial balance by a reconciliation of general ledgers.
- Uses knowledge of local laws to comply with reporting requirements.
- Monitors any variances from the projected budget.
- Reconciles reports to third-party records such as bank statements.
- Checks petty cash reconciliation and signs off.
- Monitors stock take to ensure accuracy and completeness of records.
- Provides management with reports specifying and comparing factors affecting prices and profitability of products or services.
- Prioritizes payments and ensures sufficient cash flows to make payments.
- Files all relevant documents.
Related: Job Description for Payroll Specialist
Job Description of Bookkeeper: Educational Requirements
Candidates for the role of Bookkeeper are often required to qualify(s) in accounting. Depending on the size and sector, Bookkeepers are often required to have a diploma or a degree in accounting. The most cited education requirement for a Bookkeeper is a degree in Finance, Accounting, or related qualification.
Listed below are the standard qualifications often seen in job descriptions of a Bookkeeper:
- A first Degree in Finance, Accounting, or related qualification
- Professional qualification of CIMA/ACCA/ CIS is preferred
- Postgrad Diploma in Financial Management and Administration
Job Description of Bookkeeping: Experience Level required
The person holding the role of a bookkeeper is often required to have extensive experience handling financial transactions in a similar bookkeeping environment. This role requires a person with computer literacy regarding specific accounting and financial software. Limited exposure to technology may limit the efficiency of any individual who occupies this role.
Listed below are the general experience requirements for this role:
- 3 years experience in the accounting field.
- Highly experienced in statutory returns.
- High command of Microsoft packages.
- High command of accounting software includes but is not limited to Sage Evolution & Sage VIP Payroll & SAP.
- Exposure to modern management accounting systems.
- Experience in preparing timeous reports
Job Description of Bookkeeper: Knowledge, Skills, Abilities, and Other Characteristics (KSAO)
The KSAOs in this role is important when developing a job description for a bookkeeper.
Listed below are some of the required KSAOs for this role:
- Accounting knowledge is a prerequisite
- A fair understanding of accounting standards
- Good report writing skills.
- Good coordination skills.
- High levels of attention to detail.
- Excellent interpersonal skills.
- Goal orientated.
- Problem identification, problem-solving, and decision-making skills are required.
With the diversity of industries and sectors of operation, the role of a bookkeeper can be anywhere from narrow day-to-day bookkeeping to broader and more complex financial accounting. For instance, on the one hand, a bookkeeper in a relatively small organization does not have to worry about advanced reconciliations and management accounting/finance. On the other hand, in larger organizations, a bookkeeper's duties may include supervising and reconciling multiple financial transactions.
Due to the complexity associated with various technological software and systems, some job descriptions for bookkeepers tend to need candidates with knowledge of accounting and Microsoft packages. The dynamics in the world of work have also seen a postgraduate diploma being a prerequisite for bookkeepers.
Employers sometimes require candidates with professional qualifications, such as ACCA, in this role.
I do not see anyone being successful in the job of Bookkeeper if they do not have an advanced appreciation of financial operations and accounting principles. Also, it is impossible to see how someone can be effective if they have not mastered various accounting and computer packages such as those supported by digital technology.
I see some people struggle to distinguish between an Accountant and a Bookkeeper. The act of documenting transactions into a system, which is a component of the broader and more general accounting activity, falls within the purview of a bookkeeper. In most cases, a bookkeeper will supply an accountant with the trial balance, which is a consolidation of all the general ledger accounts. This is the input that the accountant will use to produce the Balance Sheet, Income Statement, and subsequently, the Statement of Cash Flows.
Brandon Murambinda is an Organisational Design and Development Consultant at Industrial Psychology Consultants (Pvt) Ltd, a management and human resources consulting firm. Email:[email protected] or visit our websites https://www.thehumancapitalhub.com/ and www.ipcconsultants.com
View Brandon Murambinda's full profile