Exploring The Job Duties Of A Bookkeeper

Bookkeepers work in different industries to help businesses and individuals keep their books balanced and accounts organized. These busy professionals have a long list of job duties that they perform on a daily or weekly basis.

A competent bookkeeper can apply their skills to any accounting task irrespective of the industry. If you are having difficulty managing the financial accounting side of your business, you should consider hiring a bookkeeper. Even if you are good at bookkeeping, you might want to consider the value of your time in that activity compared to other things you could be doing, like drumming up new business.

Take time to familiarize yourself with exactly what these professionals do, before making the decision on who to hire and what responsibilities to delegate. If you don’t already know what those duties entail, keep reading to learn more.

Maintain Financial Records

Bookkeepers maintain and update financial records on a regular basis. A monthly income statement and balance sheet makes quarterly estimated tax payments and end of year tax preparation and filing a lot easier.

These tasks are a continuous process that requires experience, skills and patience to perform accurately. Categorizing expenses is a big part of the daily detail work. Sometimes an expense needs to be split between two accounts. For example, if you make a loan payment, part of that payment will be applied to the principal of the loan and the other part will be interest.

The can include anything from updating and balancing bank accounts to making deposits and payments. A daily responsibility of a bookkeeper is determining which payments must be remitted at the end of the day. These payments are then submitted and recorded into a financial ledger. Some bookkeepers accept payments from customers, patients or clients.

Communicates With Co-Workers

When most people think of the duties of a bookkeeper, they only think of paperwork. However, this is nothing farther from the truth, because they also have to keep a door open for communication, as well. They must communicate with co-workers and other staff throughout their workday. Some things that may prompt a meeting with the bookkeeper and an employee include:

  • Payroll issues or questions
  • Employee reimbursement requests
  • Request for travel vouchers
  • Receipt submission

If a bookkeeper is lacking in communication skills, it will make it extremely to solve issues for both co-workers and administration. Of course, you will not know whether the bookkeeper possesses these skills until you hire them.

Budget And Inventory Needs

Bookkeepers also work alongside the department heads to meet the inventory needs. The bookkeeper is responsible for reordering office supplies, products and merchandise. In some cases the department head will oversee this process, but in most cases it will fall back on the bookkeeper. Online bookkeeping services can also help meet some of your company’s needs. If a business is growing, an internal bookkeeper isn’t going to feel threatened by bringing on additional help.

Oversees Employee Education And Training

Most companies mandate their employees to undergo training and educational courses annually. These courses must be completed before a new service or product is introduced to the public. Newly hired employees must also under a new-hire training course, which provides them with an overview of the company polices, benefits and job duties. The bookkeeper, along with human resources will set up these classes and alert employees that they need to be in attendance.

Use Bookkeeping Software

Today, bookkeepers rely on computers instead of paper. This is why it is crucial that the bookkeeper possesses proficient computer skills. They must also be familiar with the common bookkeeping software utilized in modern offices. However, it is the company’s responsibility to provide bookkeepers with education and training courses, when they are hired and annually thereafter.

Financial transactions are entered into the appropriate computer software, where department heads and management can access it at any time.

Receive Payments

Bookkeepers also receive and record all forms of payments made to the company. These payments may come in the form of a paper check, voucher, cash, credit card and debit payment. Large companies deal with hundreds of payments from clients and other companies on a daily basis. Expenses and payouts are also recorded into the financial ledger. Every transaction must be recorded properly to prevent an accounting error.

Employee Payroll

If a company is small enough that there isn’t a separate human resources department, it’s possible that a bookkeeper could be processing employee payroll as well. All overtime, vacation days, sick days and missed days must be recorded properly to ensure accurate payroll for employees, staff, department heads and management. While employees are responsible for monitoring how many hours they work a week, the bookkeeper also needs to keep track, as well.

Contractors need to also be tracked and paid separate from full-time employees as reporting requirements are different for each. At the end of the year the bookkeeper would be the one to generate and mail w2s for full-time employees and 1099 forms for contractors who were paid more than $600.

Prepares Invoices

Paper invoices are utilized to help manage transactions between companies and suppliers, customers and contractors. While some companies allow their salespersons to prepare invoices, others will leave this job to the bookkeeper. The invoices must be prepared precisely and include every aspect of the sales transaction, as well as the terms.

Completed invoices are utilized to help manage expenses and payments. They can also be utilized as evidence of an incurred debt, which is why it is crucial that they are prepared in a precise and detailed manner.