What Are The Characteristics Of An Effective Bookkeeper?

Bookkeepers are an integral part of any business. Small enterprises rely on the ability of bookkeepers to keep their financial records in order. Even larger organizations need these professionals to keep a record of their financial transactions and statements. Business owners know that they shouldn’t just hire anybody. They understand that bookkeeping is such an important task in any organization but that not everyone who holds the title of a bookkeeper can do really do the work.

If you are thinking of becoming a bookkeeper, there are some characteristics that you need to develop to become effective in your job. First of all, you need to be genuinely interested in math since this profession requires a lot of number-crunching. The ability to perform basic arithmetic skills flawlessly is going to be essential in this profession so you should be able to add, subtract, multiply and divide quickly and accurately even without a calculator in hand.

The second characteristic that all effective bookkeepers should possess is the ability to pay attention to detail. Bookkeeping is such an exact science that you can’t look for shortcuts. Every transaction must be painstakingly recorded on the ledger down to the remaining cents. You should know who received an amount, what a transaction was for and whether payment was given for a particular order, among others.

If you don’t possess this ability or harness it early on, you can expect to have a lot of inconsistencies in your recording which could really mess up your company’s records and give you a headache. Moreover, this ability will also help you spot inconsistencies in the financial records made by other employees.

The effective bookkeepers of today are also technologically knowledgeable. Computer software programs are used to make spreadsheets and help in analyzing data. Transactions are recorded using bookkeeping software. Thus, you should strive to learn everything you can about these modern technologies. Automation is the way of the future and bookkeepers should do well to equip themselves with the knowledge of how to use these tools.

The ability to analyze information and see the bigger picture is also another trait of effective bookkeepers. You need to understand the meaning of the data you have in your hands and be able to decipher how it will impact the financial aspect of the business. This ability will be essential especially in planning the organization’s next moves.

Having background knowledge about the industry where you will be working in is also going to be essential. If you are working in the electronics manufacturing industry, you should know the details and transactions that are unique to this business. This will enable you to understand the subtle nuances of the deals that the company enters into.

For bookkeepers to be truly effective, integrity is a must. As a bookkeeper, you have access to the company’s most confidential pieces of information. You can use your knowledge to even blackmail people. Since you will be handling money, it can also be tempting to use the funds for your own purposes. You must never succumb to these kinds of activities. Your integrity makes you different from the rest and is an asset that will make you highly-valued by the company.

Career Spotlight: Bookkeeper



Bookkeepers are highly-organized and detailed. They put these skills as well as number-crunching skills to good use to keep track of a company’s finances. In this profession, your primary task is to[...]

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