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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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
Trends and Projections
The future job openings for this type of job are in Very High demand.
This is a good opportunity for people in rural Yukon as this job is required in most Yukon communities. Earnings in this type of job are close to the average for all workers. The average annual earnings for all workers in this group was $42,000 in 2011.
First Nations Connections
Yukon First Nation governments and organizations rely on qualified bookkeepers to enable their activities. Because bookkeeping skills can be acquired through distance education and work experience, this is a good occupation for rural community members who want to stay in their community. It is also a highlytransferable skill that is in demand across Canada.
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.
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.