Step By Step Career Guide To Becoming A Certified Bookkeeper
If you want to become a certified bookkeeper, there are several steps you should take to put yourself in the best position possible. You should consider all of the steps below. Even if some of them are optional, you should at least give the steps thought, as each will give you a better chance to land the most prestigious job possible.
1: Get a Complete Education
At the very least, you will need to have graduated high school or received an equivalent level of education before you can enter a certification program for bookkeeping. You should also strongly consider pursuing some higher education. While an undergraduate degree is not strictly necessary, having at least an associate degree will help you in the job market. That level of education will also give you a stronger base of knowledge when it comes to handling complex bookkeeping matters and new software.
2: Seek Employment
You will need to find steady employment in a bookkeeping field before taking the certification exam. Go to networking events and form as many contacts as possible. The more people you meet, the better a chance of finding work you have. If you cannot find full-time work, it is possible to serve as a freelance bookkeeper. If you can provide proof that you worked 3,000 hours as a bookkeeper, you will have the equivalent experience needed to take the exam.
3: Prepare for the Examination
You will need to take the exam set by the American Institute of Professional Bookkeepers (AIPB) in order to get your certification. There are many things you can do to help prepare yourself for this exam. In addition to preparatory exams, you can download a Certified Bookkeeper Designation PDF from the AIPB's website. Other workbooks include Mastering Inventory and Fraud Prevention, which will help to prepare for parts three and four of the exam. The Mastering Inventory workbook costs between $50 and $60, while the Fraud Prevention workbook runs between $30 and $40. Read these materials as thoroughly as possible.
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4: Take the Exam
When you are sure you're ready, take the AIPB's exam. Don't worry if you don't pass at first. While inconvenient, you can come back to the sections you fail and try them again. After you have passed the exam, you will need to sign a code of ethics and submit proof to the AIPB that you meet all of their requirements. If you have followed all of these steps, you should have your certificate within four weeks after passing the exam.
5: Stay up to Date
Just because you have your certification does not mean it's time to relax. If you want to stay at the top of your profession, you need to remain up to date on the latest techniques and software. Take continuing education courses from time to time to make sure you aren't falling behind. Study up on the latest software releases, especially with items in the Microsoft Office Suite if that is what your business uses. Always work to stay one step ahead of the competition.
The life of a certified bookkeeper involves a lot of preparation and work, but once you have your certification, you will find that it is more than worth it.