Professional Bookkeeping Certification

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The American Institute of Professional Bookkeepers (AIPB) offers the Certified Bookkeeper (CB) credential for those interested in advancing their careers in bookkeeping. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the best job prospects from 2008 to 2018 will be for bookkeepers who hold the CB credential.

Certification Process

  • To be eligible for the Certified Bookkeeper credential, you must minimally have two years of full-time bookkeeping experience or 3,000 hours of part-time/freelance experience. This may be done up to three years after you've taken the test if you did not meet this requirement before taking the certification test. You also must submit a certification fee. As of May 2010, the fee is $25 if you are an AIPB members and $60 if you are not. The last part of the certification process is signing a code of ethics.

Examination

  • The certification examination for the AIPB's bookkeeping certification consists of four parts, all of which consist of multiple-choice questions. The first two parts, each of which consists of two tests, are completed at a testing center. According to the AIPB, these one-hour tests cover adjusting entries, error correction, payroll and depreciation. Parts 3 and 4 of the examination are open book tests that have no time limit. Part 3 covers inventory and Part 4 covers internal control and fraud prevention. There are no costs associated with Parts 3 and 4 of the examination, but Parts 1 and 2 each cost $100.

Examination Workbook

  • To help you prepare for the CB credentialing examination, the AIPB provides a study workbook that delves deeper into the content of the tests. For example, the workbook on adjusting entries for the first test of Part 1 covers sections about accruals, deferrals and other adjustments; accrued revenue and expenses; revenue collected in advance; prepaid expenses; other adjusting entries; and how to go from unadjusted trial balances to financial statements. At the end of the workbook, there is a double quiz to test your knowledge.

Recertification

  • To maintain your CB credential, you must apply for recertification every three years as of May 2010. To do so, you must complete 60 continuing education credits and submit evidence of doing so. If you don't apply for recertification or fail to complete the continuing education credits, your certification is at risk for revocation.

Salary Potential

  • Those with a CB credential from the American Institute of Professional Bookkeepers have salaries that vary based on several factors. One large factor is the job that they work. Those working as full charge bookkeepers have some of the highest reported salaries with a median salary of $36,400 as of PayScale.com. Those working as bookkeepers have a median salary of $32,000 while those working as administrative/office managers have a reported median salary of $31,400 as of May 2010.

References

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