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  • I found that studying through distance learning was excellent – there is a lot to learn, but the courses are well structured and make sense, the self test assessments are good for reinforcing what I had learned, and the workbooks are comprehensive and explain things well. The support I got from Di Garbera at Golding Computer Services was great - she is always happy to help and I never felt “stuck”. All in all a great start to my bookkeeping learning journey!

    Adam Watson
  • I completed my IAB Level 1 Computerised Accounting for Business with Sage through my Adult Education College in Dec 2013 which I found to be OK but I didn’t feel that I got anything extra out of sitting in a classroom environment. I then considered learning through a distance learner and did a lot of research on the companies that actually run your courses. As Goldings were a Silver awarded company, I called them. I spoke with Di whose telephone manner was impeccable. ...

    Tracey Stewart
  • Qualifications matter a huge deal - most jobs require some kind of training and having an IAB qualification really opens doors.

    Susan Jones
  • There are several things I like about being a member of the IAB, but I think the most important one to me personally is that the organisation is about people.  Helping people, training people and encouraging people to be great bookkeepers. I'm certain my business wouldn't have survived it's first year without their guidance and reassurance.

    Michael Wood AIAB

What is a Bookkeeper?

Every business by law must ‘keep the books’ – hence the term bookkeeping. But what do you know about bookkeepers? Ever wondered:

  • What tasks they do every day?
  • Why they are highly sought-after?
  • What opportunities there are for qualified bookkeepers?
 reasons to be a bookkkeeperGood bookkeeping is essential business maintenance. In short, a bookkeeper keeps track of monies coming into and out of the business. By maintaining accurate financial records, bookkeepers help SMEs and micro businesses:
  • Prepare for year-end tax and VAT returns
  • Keep on top of day-to-day cash flow
  • Efficiently run their finances

Traditionally, bookkeepers kept paper records of business transactions. Today, a bookkeeper’s tasks are diverse and highly sophisticated – requiring skilled knowledge.

What’s on a bookkeeper’s ‘to do’ list?

As well as keeping a financial ‘paper trail’ to balance the accounts, a bookkeeper’s role is extensive. Here’s just a snapshot of different tasks undertaken:

  • Purchase orders and invoicing
  • Sales accounting and credit control
  • Cash and banking admin
  • Completing VAT returns
  • Data processing
  • Payroll accounting

On top of this, bookkeepers use data to prepare financial statements – ensuring annual returns are smoothly administered.

And because qualified bookkeepers are experts at accounting ledger systems, they help business owners stay in complete control of their finances.

How to get qualified ... and what opportunities there are

You can study a range of level 1-4 bookkeeping, payroll and accounting qualifications through the IAB. As well as flexible study options, you can also get on-the-job training through an apprenticeship.

Afterwards, with recognised qualifications under your belt, you can opt to:

  • Enrol onto a degree course to further your accountancy career
  • Set up a lucrative business as a Registered Bookkeeper™ - providing financial skills to a host of industries
  • Secure a job as a bookkeeper or payroll clerk in a local accountancy practice

Whether you’ve just left school, you’re ready for a career change or want to extend your skills, bookkeeping qualifications open new doors to a better future.

Bookkeeper and accountant... What’s the difference?

In essence, bookkeepers are technical wizards! They set up and oversee day-to-day record keeping in a client’s business - then monitor the accounts ensuring they are up-to-date.

By comparison, it’s the accountant’s job to interpret bookkeeping data to assess whether a business is running efficiently. Without well-kept books to refer to, an accountant can’t give invaluable tax and financial advice to business owners.

So if you’re meticulous, have a head for numbers and enjoy problem-solving, bookkeeping offers you countless career choices.

Ready to find out more?

Check out the four steps to starting a new career in bookkeeping here. For further enquiries or to talk to one of our advisers, contact the IAB team.