Bookkeeping Courses

By Frank Bolger - Last update

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Bookkeeping may not have the most glamorous of reputations, but don t let that trick you: having a certified bookkeeper in your corner will make your business more profitable, more efficient, and more competitive. The accurate reports that a bookkeeper provides on your business activities will allow you to make the informed decisions that will keep your business moving forwards.

At its most basic level, then, bookkeeping is the recording of financial transactions undertaken either by an individual or an organisation. A bookkeeper will systematically record everything that has been bought, sold or owned by a company. They will maintain complete sets of financial records (e. g. sales invoice, sales receipt, supplier and bank payments, etc. ), keep track of accounts, and corroborate the accuracy of the procedures used for recording financial transactions.

The most popular bookkeeping methods are the single-entry and double-entry systems. Single-entry bookkeeping is simpler and less expensive to maintain, while double-entry bookkeeping is complex, requiring a greater level of expertise, and expense.

What does it involve

Bookkeepers must possess a good knowledge of debits and credits, and a basic understanding of financial accounting (including the balance sheet and income statement). But fear not if you don t tick any of these boxes a part-time course in Bookkeeping basics will soon have you on the road to solid financial management.

This is because most Introductory Bookkeeping courses will provide you with a solid grounding in the basic principles, such as debtor s and creditor s ledgers, bank reconciliation and wage/salary preparation (PAYE/PRSI), trial balance, final accounts and VAT fundamentals.

While learning to master the basics of manual bookkeeping is essential to anyone hoping to work as a bookkeeper or accounting technician, there is also the area of computerised bookkeeping to become familiar with. By doing a part-time Computerised Accounts programme, students will learn how to use the most popular business accounting software, such as Sage Line 50. They will also cover topics such as data checking, supplier invoice entry, computer reports and analysis, budget checking and year-end financial reports.

If this all sounds a bit overwhelming don t worry: all of the topics under discussion will be afforded the necessary time for you to digest them. However, if you have work or personal commitments that may affect your study time or class attendance, there are numerous online Bookkeeping courses that will allow you to work at your own pace.

Why do it

If you enjoy working with numbers, bookkeeping can be a very satisfying profession. It is not a static subject area either, and so a good bookkeeper must be prepared to constantly improve and update their skills both on the job and through training (many firms will cover course costs so that you can develop your skills in bookkeeping, accounting, and office administration).

Of course there is also the fact that good bookkeepers will always be in demand. This applies even and maybe especially during times of economic hardship as businesses look to skilled, organised and reliable individuals to keep their finances in check.

What comes next

With a good knowledge of bookkeeping basics it is possible to find work in an accounts department, as a financial officer, accounting clerk, loan officer and so on. With further training, it is also possible for a bookkeeper to go on to work as an accountant or financial analyst. Though these roles require another level of expertise and experience, they will reward those who make the transition with greater remuneration.

At a glance

Basic Bookkeeping courses can last for anywhere between 8 weeks and 6 months. Many introductory Bookkeeping courses can be taken online and so learners can work at their own pace. Online courses typically run for between 20 and 30 hours (one hour per session).


Frank Bolger

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