How to Write a Job Description for an Office Manager & Bookkeeper


Few people receive training in how to write a job description, yet many people have to do it at least once in their professional lives. Having an accurate, thoughtful job description for an office manager and bookkeeper (a vital position) can mean the difference between attracting the right applicants for a job and attracting unsuitable candidates who could negatively impact the organization.

Bookkeeping requires experience and specialized training.
(office image by peter Hires Images from

Things You'll Need

  • Paper
  • Writing utensil
  • Computer
Step 1

Prepare for the writing process. Sequester yourself in a quiet place where you will not be disturbed. Hang a sign on the door if necessary to guarantee you won't be interrupted. Allot at least a full hour to the task, preferably two or three. Breathe deeply, do a few stretches, and sit down with blank paper and a writing utensil.

Use a "do not disturb" sign saved from your last hotel visit.
do not enter image by Vonora from
Step 2

Make a list of all the things the prospective office manager and bookkeeper will be responsible for, including daily, weekly and sporadic duties. Neglecting to mention that the office manager at your company is traditionally responsible for setting up and cleaning up after the twice-yearly Employee Appreciation Brunch could lead to dissatisfaction and irritation on the new manager's part later.

Specifically describe any duties outside the usual purview of an office manager.
brunch image by michele goglio from
Step 3

Augment your preliminary list by doing complementary lists. For example, make separate lists of the computer programs the manager and bookkeeper should know, the kind of personality traits that the position requires and company encourages (such as "sense of humor" or "highly organized"), and the type and extent of experience he should have in the field.

Many workplaces want cheerful, positive employees.
laughing on phone image by jimcox40 from
Step 4

To be reasonably sure you haven't missed anything, do a mental exercise where you walk through the office manager and bookkeeper's average day. Make sure you've written down that the office manager will need to water the plants in the morning if that is a task that will be expected of her.

If possible, interview the current office manager to make sure you don't miss anything important.
impiegato image by haruspex from
Step 5

Type up and revise the job description. Ask colleagues and supervisors to look at it and give feedback.

Get feedback from as many people as possible.
workers image by Daniel Wiedemann from

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Tips & Warnings

  • If you're really stuck, search a job listing site for office manager and bookkeeper positions. Don't copy another company's job description, of course, but do read them to spark inspiration for the one you're trying to write.
  • In the United States, it is illegal for an employer to state (or hire based on) certain preferences or ask certain questions in a job interview. For example, you can't discriminate against someone based on their military background. Know the labor laws that apply to your region and industry.


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