Bookkeeping Jobs Tips

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Bookkeeping Education

A bookkeeper can be anything from an assistant bookkeeper to a full charge bookkeeper. With the highly competitive job market requiring more certification and advanced education, every field is being affected. Bookkeeping is no different. When a firm has an opening for a full charge bookkeeper and two apply, the one with certification and/or advanced education will probably be chosen. An assistant bookkeeper basically helps the main bookkeeper as needed. Many times this involves recording transactions while the main bookkeeper concentrates on account totals. A full charge bookkeeper handles all accounts located on the financial statements. They take all the information up to the trial balance. They reconcile subledgers to the general ledger, and arrive at trial balance. The trial balance is then turned over to the accountant. From there, the accountant arrives at financial statements.


Accounts Payable Resume

An accounts payable job can range the entire gamut from an accounts payable clerk to accounts payable manager. They each have their own job descriptions and responsibilities. An accounts payable job is concerned with the outflow of company cash, dealing with invoices and vendors, and maintaining the liability account of accounts payable. Be sure that your resume fully represents your accounts payable experience, especially if you are looking to move up in title. An Accounts Payable Manager usually oversees the Accounts Payable team. They provide supervision and guidance for the accounts payable team. The A/P Accountant ultimately reports to the Manager. Other duties and responsibilities the Accounts Payable Manager can perform include:

  • Establish company A/P guidelines
  • Approve payment vouchers
  • Oversee accounting software program
  • Develop A/P chart of accounts
  • Approve new vendors
  • Communicate with management regarding purchasing and A/P issues
  • Hires, trains, terminates A/P personnel
  • Approves or denies A/P personnel requests such as vacation time, sick time, etc.
  • Updates A/P job descriptions
  • Writes A/P manual
  • Ascertains A/P budget compliance
  • Signs A/P checks
  • Conducts A/P training
  • Coordinates monthly closing procedures
  • Manage invoice documentation retention
  • Schedules and conducts meetings as needed.
The A/P Manager requires supervisory skills, advanced A/P experience, and advanced knowledge of industry standards. They usually hold an advanced degree in accounting.


Accounts Payable Job Description

The accounts payable clerk is responsible for the day-to-day data entry to update vendor accounts and pay company bills. It is a clerical position that requires attention to detail, accounting software know-how, manual dexterity/keyboard skills, and a figure aptitude. An accounts payable clerk is defined as a clerical position. Some of the job duties and responsibilities this position may perform include: data entry, receive invoices, preparing payment vouchers, stamps invoices with accounts payable stamp, places account code information on invoices, updates vendor accounts, post bills/invoices to accounts payable ledger, obtain approval on bill payment, pay bills, write checks, reports input errors to a/p accountant. They also monitor subledger accounts for accuracy with general ledger a/p accounts.

What is accounting bookkeeping?

Accounting Bookkeeping

Sometimes the distinction between bookkeeping and accounting duties is confusing. Many times, in our modern times, they overlap. However, there are some main differences.

Bookkeeping is defined as mainly clerical in nature. A bookkeeper is responsible for keeping the company records. Bookkeeping is recording the daily transactions affecting accounts. Bookkeeping involves recording, sorting, and summarizing the company data in a method prescribed by the entity.

Accounting , on the other hand, technically involves designing the record keeping system, preparing reports from the recorded data, and interpreting the reports. Interpreting the reports is the main area of difference between bookkeeping and accounting services.

Many entry level accountants perform bookkeeping. This is common in smaller public accounting firms, or smaller firms in general. Overall, accountants must possess greater conceptual thinking, analytical skills, and a greater knowledge base than the bookkeeper.

What is an accounts receivable?

Accounts Receivable

Accounts receivable is defined as the transaction that occurs when a company's customer purchases the company's product or service and promises to pay in the future. The customer receives the goods or service but does not pay for it now. This promise to pay the company in the future establishes an accounts receivable for the company. An accounts receivable is considered an asset on the company's books (financial statements). It also is known as a current asset due to its ability to be converted into cash quickly. Typically, accounts receivable carry a debit balance on the company's books and on the financial statements.

The accounting transaction for recording the occurrence of an accounts receivable is: debit accounts receivable and credit sales. This increases the asset account (accounts receivable), and also increases the revenue account (sales being the revenue account). As the account is paid off by the customer, the accounts receivable account decreases and cash increases. Hence, cash is debited while accounts receivable is credited.

How do I prepare an accounts payable resume?

Accounts Payable Resume

Sections of an accounts payable resume consist of your contact information at the top of the page. This is followed by: Objective Statement, Skills & Qualifications, Work History, Educational Background, Professional Associations, and Personal Interests (if desired).

When preparing an accounts payable resume, certain items need to be emphasized. In the 'Objective' statement, mention the accounts payable position you are seeking. For instance, 'To obtain an Accounts Payable Accountant position'. Do not add anything else than the specific position you are seeking.

In the 'Skills and Qualifications' section of your accounts payable resume highlight your qualifications in the field. Mention these skills first and highlight them in bold to help them stand out from the rest of your skills. For instance..."Efficiently maintained accounts payable function for multi-million dollar entity".

In the work experience section, put your accounts payable experience in bold print. Use action-oriented, detailed words in describing the results you have achieved. They add excitement and interest to your resume. "Responsible for processing high volume of accounts payable transactions" is better than "processed a lot of transactions".

When listing work history, list dates employed first. Follow this by the position title, then the company name. Put this information all in bold for ease of reading. Once again, list your responsibilities and duties in action-oriented terms.

For new graduates without work experience, put your educational background first. If you are seasoned in accounts payable, put your education after your work history.

Do not include references on your accounts payable resume. If a potential employer is interested in talking with you further, they will notify you of their interest in scheduling an interview. Bring your references to the interview.

Be sure to spell check and proofread. Also, be certain your grammar and punctuation are correct. Readers of your resume will notice these items. Any resume with misspellings, improper punctuation, and bad grammar reflects poorly on the applicant.

NOTE: As far as the appearance of your accounts payable resume, some argue not to use bold print. Many firms now scan resumes into their computer system and bold type has a tendency to hinder readability.

How are some accounts receivable jobs defined?

Accounts Receivable Job Description

All accounts receivable jobs deal with only one line item of the financial statements - accounts receivable.

The clerical accounts receivable job is known as the Accounts Receivable Clerk. This position generally involves assisting with accounting projects as needed; coding accounts receivable, sorting and posting incoming customer checks; resolving customer claims; researching differences between invoices and cash received (may involve customer claims); making collection calls; maintaining Accounts Receivable aging report; comparing aging report totals to credit limits; sort and file documents as needed; making bank deposits; posting credit memos; preparing daily cash reports; updating the sales ledger; updating customer accounts; preparing new accounts receivable accounts - if directed; assist with month-end accounts receivable closing. The Accounts Receivable Clerk is responsible for posting to various accounting records such as ledgers, journals, and subsidiary ledger to maintain the accounts receivable account.

Also, the Accounts Receivable Clerk must have good keyboard skills, strong organizational skills, strong analytical skills, and knowledge of accounting software programs.

The Accounts Receivable Accountant usually supervises the Accounts Receivable Clerk. This position also prepares financial statements, journal entries: opening, adjusting, and closing;

What is an Accounts Payable Job?

Accounts Payable Job

Accounts payable are defined as the transactions arising from a company purchasing goods or services on account. The goods and services are purchased based on a promise for future payment. This purchase on account creates a liability known as an account payable. An accounts payable is considered a current liability on the balance sheet and/or financial statements. It is considered a current liability due to its quickness in being converted into cash. An accounts payable normally has a credit balance.

What is an Accounts Payable Job?

Accounts Payable Job Description

An Accounts Payable Job Description differs according to the job industry and job responsibilities. Most Accounts Payable jobs, however, involve working with vendor accounts, paying bills, maintaining ledger accounts, and properly recording transactions. All positions involve attention to detail, good keyboard skills, software aptitude, and an aptitude for figure work. All Accounts Payable jobs deal with only one line item of the financial statements...accounts payable.

The Accounts Payable Accountant supervises the Accounts Payable Clerk. This position is responsible for reconciling the general ledger to the subledger of A/P. They make adjusting entries, as necessary. Other duties performed by the Accounts Payable Accountant may include:

  • Analyzing and preparing A/P aging report
  • Auditing vendor accounts for correctness
  • Developing subledger A/P accounts, if needed
  • Reporting to A/P Manager
  • Preparing A/P reports as needed
  • Handle collection calls
  • Liaison between company and vendors

Where can I obtain a bookkeeping education?

Bookkeeping Education

There are a variety of ways for a bookkeeper to gain an education. Many community colleges offer on-site programs resulting in an Associates Degree. Some offer specialized programs in bookkeeping that range from a few months upwards. There also are specialized business schools offering certificates of bookkeeping over a certain time frame. These avenues offer classroom instruction.

Education can also be achieved via online programs. Online courses are becoming very popular due to their ease and convenience.

When seeking certification, a full charge bookkeeper can turn to an organization known as the American Institute of Professional Bookkeepers (AIPB). This organization provides a self-study program to prepare one for obtaining the Certified Bookkeeper designation. The AIPB offers the exam to obtain this Certification.

This exam is a 4-part national test consisting of all multiple choice questions. Two parts are taken online via Prometric, while the other two parts are open workbook portions.

In order to sit for this exam, applicants must have either two years full time experience as a full-charge bookkeeper or the part-time equivalent.

What is bookkeeping?


Bookkeeping generally deals with all of the company's accounts, not just one line item. Bookkeeping involves knowing the double entry accounting system (every debit has an offsetting credit). Bookkeeping also involves knowing the difference between cash and accrual accounting.

Many times bookkeeping overlaps accounting, especially in smaller firms. They both involve the proper recording and maintaining of company records.

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