Bookkeeping Training Guide

Bookkeeping is an important and necessary function in almost any business. A typical bookkeeping position has a great deal of crossover with accounting, as a Certified Professional Bookkeeper, or CPB, is typically in charge of the payroll department. In smaller companies, bookkeepers might hold multiple positions, even serving as a business administrator in some cases. If you have dreams of becoming a CPB, here are some things to keep in mind as you train.

Training Academically

You can start working at a bookkeeping career as early as high school. Taking as many math courses as possible and working to excel in both math and computers will help to prepare for a career with numbers. Moving beyond high school, pursuing an associate or undergraduate degree in accounting or a related field will be terrific preparation. With that training under your belt, the certification courses required to gain a CPB should be much easier, and the odds of passing the final five-part exam become much better. While there are no degree requirements to becoming a CPB, employers will look much more favorably upon you if you have a degree in math, accounting, or something similar.

Finding Work Experience

if you want to gain your CPB, you will need at least two years of on the job experience. This can be difficult to acquire, since many companies are hesitant to give a bookkeeping job to a complete newcomer. There are some entry level positions that you can use to acquire experience, though. If you are attending a university, many administrative offices have work-study positions that will involve some basic accounting. Even if this doesn't get you the experience you need, it is useful on a resume when applying for a more prestigious position. A position as a payroll clerk is also a great place to start looking for work. Many payroll clerks get trained on the job, which gives experience while building important skills.

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Training for the Certificate Exam

Once you have the proper education and experience, you will need to pass the certification exam put forth by the American Institute of Professional Bookkeepers. There are many different preparatory programs that can help you to pass this exam. In addition to the bookkeeping course that you will need to take prior to the exam, Kaplan University offers special pre-tests that can help you prepare for the real thing. In your own day to day activities, you can mentally train yourself for the course by making sure you are well-versed in programs such as Microsoft Quicken and Excel. Don't let yourself become too reliant on bookkeeping software, but do study up on them whenever you can.

Training yourself as a bookkeeper will have great benefits down the road. The more preparatory work you put in, the better able to handle difficult situations down the road you will be. Think of any training you do as laying the groundwork for greater things. When everything you have learned becomes a reflex, you can work faster and more efficiently without having to look things up when you're on the job.

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