Bookkeepers help the companies that employ them to monitor finances and balance their books. They keep track of company income and expenditure and are responsible for filing financial documents, such as invoices, in a consistent and orderly fashion. A bookkeeper may also communicate with suppliers, customers and creditors, particularly if he works for a smaller company.
Bookkeepers use sales ledgers to monitor company profits. The ledgers keep track of paid and unpaid customer invoices and contain a separate account for each customer, alongside details of bills and statements that have been sent to customers.
Purchase ledges enable a business to keep track of money it owes to suppliers and other creditors. Company bookkeepers monitor this type of expenditure with spreadsheets or computerised accounting software and keep notes of additional charges, such as late payment fees.
Bookkeepers employed by small businesses carry out a variety of financial and administrative tasks. These might include producing annual financial statements, managing the company payroll, banking cash and checks and preparing financial reports and summaries for managers. Bookkeepers involved by larger companies have more clearly-defined roles, such as purchase clerk or payroll administrator and may report directly to accountants.
Good communication skills are an asset for a bookkeeper, as she might be expected to liase with clients and suppliers. He may advise his employer about forthcoming tax audits or be responsible for troubleshooting disputes with supplies over pricing inconsistencies.
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