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Yukon WorkFutures

Accounting technicians and bookkeepers

NOC 1311 / RANK 8

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ARCHBOULD.COM

What They Do

Bookkeepers maintain complete sets of financial records, keep records of accounts, check the procedures used for recording financial transactions and often prepare cheques or reports. They are employed throughout governments and private businesses, or they may be self-employed.

A Day in the Life

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Main Duties

The main responsibility of all bookkeepers is to keep financial records and to set up, maintain and balance various accounts for their clients.

They may do some or all of the following tasks:

  • Calculate and check financial transactions for their employers or clients
  • Ensure that good financial records are kept, according to legal requirements and good business practices
  • Post journal entries and reconcile accounts, maintain general ledgers and prepare financial statements
  • Calculate and prepare cheques for payrolls, utility, tax and other bills
  • Complete and submit tax forms, workers' compensation forms, pension contribution forms and other government documents
  • Prepare tax returns
  • Prepare other statistical, financial and accounting reports

Working Conditions

Bookkeepers are needed in every industry, so they may work for any sort of company or organization. Their work tends to be in an office during standard office hours, although some after-hours or weekend work may be required. During busy periods, particularly during income tax preparation season, bookkeepers can expect to work unusually long hours.

Bookkeepers must be prepared to work with bookkeeping and accounting software. They must keep current with software changes and updates in bookkeeping and tax procedures.

The tax preparation season is the busiest for bookkeepers. Bookkeepers working in industries affected by seasonal conditions (for example, mining and construction) may face seasonal slowdowns or even layoffs.

How Do I Get There

There are several routes to becoming a bookkeeper. You can do a one- or two-year community college program in accounting and business procedures. You can do two years of a recognized professional accounting program (such as Certified General Accounting), or you can do courses in bookkeeping and accounting through continuing education or correspondence programs, combined with several years of work experience.

The minimum qualifications are different between employers, but most look for people who have at least high school graduation with courses in accounting, computers, and business and office procedures, plus experience as a financial or accounting clerk. Employers generally prefer candidates who have completed a college program that includes mathematics, bookkeeping software and basic accounting. Most employers allow a period of time for new bookkeepers to become familiar with the company's operations and procedures. On-the-job training might be provided in some companies.

The business administration diploma at Yukon College teaches bookkeeping skills and credits can be applied towards a CA, CGA, or CMA designation. The certificate-level office administration program also includes an accounting clerk option.