Bookkeeper Job Description

This bookkeeper job description includes a list of tasks that fall within the bookkeeping role.

One bookkeeper may not perform all of these tasks because larger businesses will split them between two or more bookkeepers, whereas the small business bookkeeper will do it all unless the business owner outsources some of the advanced tasks to a professional bookkeeper either locally or online.

Employing a Bookkeeper

Bookkeeper Job Description

If you are looking to employ a bookkeeper, or need to upgrade the provision you have in place for your current bookkeeper/s you can download the Word version of this list (scroll down to bottom of page) which gives a lot more detail as found in our bookkeeper duties.

Keep in mind that this list is generic and needs to be adjusted to match the specific way in which your business operates, and in accordance with the expectations of your country’s tax department.

Bookkeeping students, take a look and see what you could be doing! 

Research the tasks and decide what training you want to acquire to help increase your knowledge and skills which will allow you more flexibility in the job scene.

This list is roughly in order of beginner, intermediate and advanced, with beginner tasks listed first and advanced tasks listed near the end.

Bookkeeper Job Description for Employees

  • Complete all tasks by due date
  • Handle mail
  • Answer phone
  • Take down messages and pass on to relevant personnel
  • Scan documents
  • File and archive documents
  • Fax documents
  • Prepare and send emails using Outlook
  • Deliver deposits to the bank
  • Maintain cheque/check book
  • Access online banking
  • Use computer and bookkeeping software
  • Process computer backups and keep in secure location
  • Memorize passwords and keep them secret
  • Basic knowledge of programs such as MS Excel and Word
  • Set up spreadsheets with accurate formulas
  • Reconcile bank account with cashbook
  • Contact with clients, suppliers, banks, tax department
  • Deal with all queries and issues promptly
  • Accounts payable – reconcile bills and statements, pay bills
  • Accounts receivable – issue sales invoices and statements, receive payments
  • Issue receipts to customers paying cash
  • Debt collections
  • Perform stock-takes
  • Handle cash and maintain petty cash log
  • Stop for morning breaks and lunch!
  • Adjusting journal entries
  • General ledger checks
  • Have a good understanding of double entry bookkeeping, and payroll and sales tax laws
  • Collect employee time sheets
  • Process payroll and pay employees by due date
  • Prepare and report payroll deduction returns to the government
  • Prepare and report sales tax returns to the government
  • Pay sales tax and payroll deductions by due dates
  • Maintain chart of accounts
  • Maintain inventory account
  • Deal with foreign currency transactions
  • Prepare bookkeeping reports
  • Report to management, business owners and clients
  • Prepare end of financial year checks
  • Liaise with tax accountant
  • Supervise bookkeeping juniors

Bookkeeper Job Description - Bookkeeping Business

If you want to own and operate a bookkeeping business, or work for a professional bookkeeping/accounting business you can be expected to do some if not all of the following:

  • Keep in touch with customers on a regular, sometimes daily basis by email or phone
  • Perform any or all of the duties listed above for them
  • Meet with the client either physically or through online meeting software like GoToMeeting to discuss their monthly reports
  • Become your client's trusted adviser
  • Keep an accurate record of the time you spend on their accounts (not just for them but also to study your own workflow habits and to find ways to make it better).
  • Send them a monthly bill whether they pay you a fixed fee up-front or whether you keep track of hours and bill them afterwards
  • Suggest and implement new systems and software to improve their business accounts and streamline their business activities
  • Keep them informed of changes to payroll, all tax laws, and updates to their bookkeeping software
  • Provide an accurate and high quality service
  • Warn them if the bookkeeping reports indicate financial issues for which they need to take steps to improve
  • Continuously finds ways to decrease the amount of time you spend on their accounts to improve your own profit margins, and if they only pay after you've done work for them you can reduce their costs making them happy.
  • Note: 

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