Bookkeeping has been one of the few industries showing optimistic signs during the pandemic. As we’ve all moved online and had to get used to doing everything remotely, the bookkeeping industry has embraced new ways of working, helping it become more efficient. If you’re looking to make a career change and become a bookkeeper, here’s how you can make that transition.
While many industries have suffered, bookkeeping is one that’s in the middle of a renaissance. Embracing new technology has helped many bookkeepers change the way they work and become more efficient than ever before.
With businesses adopting entirely new ways of working, bookkeepers are in demand. If you’re thinking of making a career change and becoming a bookkeeper, here’s everything you need to know to get started.
What does a bookkeeper do?
A bookkeeper is one of the most important parts of any business. It will be your responsibility to collect, store and present the majority of a business’s finances. You’ll have to produce reports, briefings and updates on the state of these finances as well, so you’ll need to have a good understanding of accounting and data practices.
On a daily basis, you can expect to be doing tackling tasks such as:
- Data entry
- Processing invoices
- Calculating payroll
- Briefing members of staff on future projections
- Tax filing
- Preparing budgets
This is a role that is varied and diverse, so you’ll need to be able to mutli-task and apply your skills to a few different responsibilities.
How do you become a bookkeeper?
1. Get qualified
As this is a very specialist role, qualifications are a good way to show people that you can be a reliable and efficient bookkeeper. However, it’s not a necessity, particularly if you’re interested in positions that come with training. Many people earn their first bookkeeping roles through work experience or college qualifications.
In terms of formal qualifications, you could look at getting certifications from organisations such as:
1. The Institute of Certified Bookkeepers (ICB) is the largest bookkeeping organisation in the world and offers certificates and qualifications through accredited providers.
2. The Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT) has a range of qualifications ranging from AATQB to AAT bookkeeping qualifications.
You won’t always need degrees or other high-level qualifications to become a bookkeeper although the more qualified you are the more it will help you stand out.
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2. Develop your skillset
What will matter more in this profession are your skills. It goes without saying that there are a number of key skills you’ll need to get started in the bookkeeping and accounting world. For example, this career could be for you if you are numerate, accurate, and have a good understanding of the statistical and financial side of a business.
On top of this, you should also assess whether you have the following skills:
- Good presentation
- Good planning
- Computer and data literacy
The majority of big franchises in this sector won’t require you to have previous experience in the industry, but as long as you have these key skills, you will still be able to work as a bookkeeping franchisee.
3. Research the industry
So, once you’ve assessed your skills and decided that you’re still a good fit for the bookkeeping industry, you can start exploring potential opportunities. The next step to becoming a bookkeeper is to start filtering between opportunities that may or may not be the right option for you.
An important distinction to be made is that when you’re operating as a bookkeeper, you will be working in a slightly different field to accountants. There is plenty of overlap, but as you’re doing your research into what specific career path you’re looking at, this an important distinction to make.
Bookkeeping focuses on recording and organising financial data, while accounting is the interpretation and presentation of that data. Both offer rewarding career paths; it's simply a case of which one suits you best
– Association of Accounting Technicians.
You should also ask yourself which sectors you would like to be accounting in specifically. You may be already familiar with the financial services industry, or you may have worked previously as a bookkeeper for an estate agency, for example. You’ll need to put in a good amount of research before becoming a bookkeeper to decide which opportunities are the right ones for you.
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4. Commit yourself
It might sound a bit of a cliche at times, but sometimes having the confidence to seize an opportunity can be the biggest step of all to take. When you start your new endeavor, you should be prepared to throw yourself into this new opportunity with both hands.
Working as a bookkeeper can be a very profitable and rewarding industry, so you should give everything. Making a career change can seem scary, but have faith that you can turn this opportunity into a success.
Franchising opportunities in the bookkeeping industry
If becoming a bookkeeper sounds daunting, you don’t need to do it all by yourself. There are many exciting franchises operating in the bookkeeping sector and, as part of a bookkeeping franchise, you’ll have a lot more support than many of your independent competitors. You’ll have additional training, ongoing support, and a pre-existing customer base. Here are two franchises you could consider working with.
Tax Assist Accountants is one of the largest networks of accountants serving small businesses and self-employed individuals. The ideal Tax Assist franchisee will have drive, determination, and business acumen. Following an investment of £39,950, you’ll be able to benefit from the growing Tax Assist client base, as well as the extensive support and training that comes with it.
Certax is a national accountancy and bookkeeping franchise that will enable you to operate your own accountancy practice with technical support, extensive training and a dedicated marketing team. For a minimum investment of £11,750, you’ll be able to make use of the franchise’s unrivalled tech and IT, technical seminars, and ongoing training and support.
Become a bookkeeper and combine profit with job satisfaction
If you’re ready to make a career change and become a bookkeeper, hopefully you now have a better idea of what you’ll need to make it a reality.
Working in this sector can be both very profitable and rewarding, but if you’d like to see a complete list of franchising opportunities in different sectors, you can see more options on the UK franchise directory.
Lily Sweeney, Point Franchise ©