The accountancy industry is very resilient and yields a huge amount of opportunity for everyone, irrespective of your background or ability. As we navigate another inconceivable period of time, an increasing number of people are looking to change their career paths or gain independence by starting their own businesses in finance. In this post, we talk about why and how you can work as a self-employed bookkeeper.
What exactly does a bookkeeper do?
The role of a bookkeeper has changed in the last few years. Previously this used to be very much focussed on data entry; however, with advances in technology there is less emphasis on data entry but more on system management and data analysis. With things such as automatic bank feeds and OCR readers, a lot of the data entry is done for you but, as a bookkeeper, you can add more value interpreting and explaining the data.
What qualifications do I need to be a bookkeeper?
There are a number of bookkeeping qualifications, one of the most popular being the Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT). AAT have two bookkeeping qualifications. The Level 2 Certificate in Bookkeeping is an entry level qualification, for which you need no previous experience or qualifications. This is a great qualification to start a career in bookkeeping. You will receive a fantastic grounding in double entry bookkeeping which is a fundamental skill all bookkeepers need. This qualification is made up of two units, Introduction to Bookkeeping and Principle of Bookkeeping Controls. Students take on average just 3 months to complete this qualification.
Once students have completed the Level 2 Certificate in Bookkeeping or if they have previous bookkeeping experience, they can take the Level 3 Certificate in Bookkeeping. This qualification covers preparing accounts for sole traders and partnerships, it also introduces taxation, VAT and an awareness of payroll. This qualification consists of two units, Final Accounts: Preparing Financial Statements and Tax Processes for Business. Students take on average 6 months to complete this qualification. After completion, students can apply for bookkeeping membership and get the designatory letters AATQB after their name. They can also apply for a practice licence and work for themselves. You can read about the advantages of Bookkeeping Membership and the requirements for a practice licence here.
Can I teach myself to become a bookkeeper?
In short, yes. Thousands of people have studied and qualified from home as a bookkeeper and fitted their studies around work and family commitments. You can study at your own pace and the exams are on demand which allows you to sit the exams when you are ready. With First Intuition Pass Guarantee, you will have our support for as long as you need with no extra fees. All Online and Online Live courses come with your own dedicated personal tutor who can even be contacted on an evening or weekend. First Intuition’s award-winning support and top pass rates mean you can be sure of success.
What is the average salary of a bookkeeper?
Bookkeepers can earn up to £35,000 on average according to the National Careers Service. However, some bookkeepers can take on staff, expand their client base and earn even more.