How to Become a Bookkeeper With No Degree

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Bookkeepers maintain the accounting records of companies. Full-charge bookkeepers handle the entire accounting process, while other bookkeepers are only responsible for specific tasks. Most employers require bookkeepers have a high school diploma, though the level of work experience required varies by employer. If you do not have a college degree or appropriate work experience, there are still ways to find a job as a bookkeeper. Learning relevant computer software, taking accounting courses and obtaining certification can help you in your career as a bookkeeper.

  • Learn to use computer programs such as Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Access and Quickbooks. Taking courses in these subjects increases your chances of gaining employment. If you can't afford a community college course or other paid training program, check your local library for free classes and instructional books.

  • Take bookkeeping and accounting courses to increase your knowledge, even if you aren't ready to pursue a degree program. Learn the basics of debits, credits, journal entries and bank reconciliation.

  • Improve your organizational skills. Bookkeepers must be organized since the company and other employees depend on the work they perform. If you have a bad memory for tasks, get in the habit of using to-do lists or electronic calendars to remind yourself of what needs to be done.

  • Create a resume that lists all of your accounting courses, certifications and relevant work experience. Include applicable keywords for the bookkeeping position you are seeking, such as accounts receivable, accounts payable or payroll, as well as computer applications that you know how to use.

  • Apply for entry-level bookkeeping jobs. You can look for entry-level jobs on online job boards and in your newspaper's classified section. Send your resume to employers offering jobs that match your qualifications. Some positions require only a high school diploma or GED certificate.

  • Practice your interview skills. Become familiar with your resume so that you are able to speak about it with confidence in your interview. Ask a friend or relative to help you with a mock interview so you can practice your interview skills.

  • Seek relevant certification. The American Institute of Certified Bookkeepers offers the Certified Bookkeeper designation. You must pass a four-part exam, sign a code of ethics agreement and have two years of relevant work experience before or after the examination.

  • Volunteer as a bookkeeper for a local nonprofit group. If you are having difficulty finding a bookkeeping job, beef up your resume with some hands-on experience through volunteering.

Tips & Warnings

  • Don't engage in unethical practices as a bookkeeper. You can lose your certifications and even suffer legal penalties.

References

  • Photo Credit Hemera Technologies/PhotoObjects.net/Getty Images
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