What Are The Qualities Of A Successful Bookkeeper?

Bookkeepers are the engine of any business. Without them, a business wouldn’t be able to keep up with their day-to-day financial decisions, and without good management of funds in a business, we all know what happens. A bookkeeping course can prepare you and equip you with the right skills to manage your business’ funds or become a successful bookkeeper who services other businesses. Let us look at some of the qualities you will gain from taking a bookkeeping course to become a success in your career. 

‘Being Organised’ Is The Name Of This Game 

You cannot enter the bookkeeping world and not gain organisational skills as this is the type of career that is a prerequisite. Because bookkeepers have to engage with a lot of other team members and staff, it is important to be organised to be able to manage the different deliverables that each department needs to complete. Another thing about being a bookkeeper is that you will need to work in the finance department, and that requires organisational and teamwork skills, as you will have to file reports, invoices and prepare presentations for the team, to name a few. 

Communication Skills 

A bookkeeping course will also offer you a glimpse into the practical world of accounting, and with that comes acquiring good communication skills. Because you will need to discuss the finances of the company with either the finance department, the owner or EXCO of a business, or both, you will need to have good communication skills and a bookkeeping course can help out and lead you in the right direction. Some of the communication skills you will need to acquire are: 

  • Listening – This is probably the main communication tool. You have to be able to listen and understand what is being asked and expected of you. 
  • Non-verbal communication – Be cognizant of your body language. While you have to appear professional, you should not appear unapproachable as that will have your audience or those you are addressing feeling hostile and uncomfortable. 
  • Clarity and conciseness – Say just enough in order not to overload your audience with information and offer them backup material if your information consists of a lot of jargon and stats. 
  • Be friendly and empathetic – You are dealing with the money side of the business. This means it may be slightly stressful for some of the people you will interact with. Always try to remain calm and friendly as that will let your clients and suppliers know that you care about them and not just the business.
  • Receive and provide feedback – Be willing to accept feedback and always ensure when you give feedback, it is clear, concise and not filled with criticism.

Armed with a bookkeeping qualification and these skills, your career stands to elevate to new heights. 

Software For Running The Business Swiftly 

According to Bookkeeping Express (a successful bookkeeping business that also offers tips and tricks on how to manoeuvre the bookkeeping world), “When bookkeepers utilise the latest business software and technologies, it’s an indication that they’re committed to increasing efficiencies and providing a more robust service. If your bookkeeper knows how to leverage accounting software and other kinds of business software to streamline things like invoicing, payments, and payroll, you’ll know how every aspect of your business ties into the other – operationally and financially.” A bookkeeping course will help you prepare for the software you will use and how you can learn new ones once they are launched. If you master understanding how accounting software works, then you are well on your way to being a superhero bookkeeper at your company or business. 

If the above-mentioned qualities are sparking your interest in bookkeeping, you might find that you already possess some soft skills and passion for the career. Let’s look at what you need to know and have before applying for a bookkeeping course. 

About The Potential Bookkeeper 

While there is no formal prerequisite for a bookkeeping course, the potential bookkeeper needs to have certain skills and qualities they possess to have a better understanding of the course and the job. If you can, start by gaining a bit of experience in bookkeeping. Either shadow someone or offer to become a bookkeeper’s assistant. Here, you will get front row seats to the bookkeeping and accounting world from professionals in real-time. You will also need to have leadership skills as dealing with a business’ finances may require you to be firm at some point. Having to discuss payroll, sales, invoices, incomes, and expenses can be nerve-racking, but if you are armed with great leadership skills, you will be able to manage and communicate with everyone. 

Don’t Be A “Yes” Person 

A huge part of bookkeeping also involves being disciplined and knowing what is best for the business. This means that you can’t go around offering every department the business’ funds without proper reasons and accountability, and unfortunately, someday, you may have to say “no” to these departments. So, sometimes you will need to let the managers of the business and the finance department know that they cannot get the funds they have asked for due to the benefit of the business. A good bookkeeper knows how to justify each transaction. 

Community Communication 

If there were ever any takeaway from this article, it would be this: join a community. There is nothing more fulfilling than being around people who share the same sentiments as you, and if those sentiments involve elevating our career, even better. Thanks to the online and digital world and being able to connect people from all over the world, it is easy to find a place to learn and be inspired by fellow bookkeepers and experts in the industry. So, join a community. You can either go to a career website and find groups and pages to follow for tips and tricks. For example, the career site, LinkedIn, offers a range of groups and pages that you can interact with, and the people you connect with there usually share helpful information regarding their careers. You can also invest in Accounting and Finance Facebook groups such as: 

  • Bookkeepers Corner Group – A community for education and collaboration, this group is for bookkeepers and accounting professionals serving multiple clients to connect and collaborate on general bookkeeping topics. It’s a safe place for communication on any topic or any software platform.
  • Training For Quickbooks Users – A group where anyone can list QuickBooks training opportunities from live classes to video courses. This group has almost 5,000 members with a strong international presence.

Note: While these groups may cater for an international audience, you can look at the South African Institute Of Chartered Accountancy and Sage Pastel Accounting, which offer a more ‘close to home’ approach to your career.

Do not hesitate to join a community and ask as much as you possibly can. These places exist to help fellow finance fundis out with tackling daily tasks. 

Who Can Be A Bookkeeper? 

Pretty much anyone can become a bookkeeper. It is all about whether or not this career excites you and makes you want to get into it. The trick is to arm yourself with the right information; that’s when beautiful things happen. 

In Closing, Is It Worth It? 

A bookkeeping course is worth it if you are looking to start your business or the way you run the bookkeeping and accounting in your business. With this course, you can fully understand the basic ins and outs of your business’ books and will create a world of difference when spending money on the business. What’s nice about an online bookkeeping course is that you can complete it at your own pace, and it takes only a few weeks to complete and gain your qualification. 

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