Lines now closed
- Click here to Request a Callback

Bookkeeping Careers

11th February 21

Bookkeepers play a vital role in working alongside various small businesses. As a bookkeeper, the work you’ll do ensures their finances are managed correctly, which supports their efforts to grow successfully. You’ll be the first to know if problems arise financially that could jeopardise the business. And react accordingly to avoid failure.  

It’s a career that is in high demand across the UK. Employers are constantly looking for talented bookkeepers to aid in the running of their business.

What’s more, it’s a career that doesn’t require a university degree to get into. Therefore, it’s even more accessible should you wish to retrain and learn the skills needed to become a qualified bookkeeper.

The career itself is flexible with opportunities in-house, at an agency or self-employed. So you’re able to find the right fit for you. You also have various options to consider when choosing what type of bookkeeper to become.

Types of Bookkeeping

Depending on your experience level there are many different avenues of bookkeeping for you to consider. Some that require recognised qualifications and others that don’t require any qualifications at all.

So whatever your experience level there could be an avenue of employment that’s right for you.

Unofficial Bookkeeping

This type of bookkeeper is usually working in a small business. Either the business is new or doesn’t generate enough revenue to hire a professional bookkeeper.

So instead of hiring someone, the owner, an employee or maybe even a family member works on the accounts.

They’re usually self-taught and complete basic tasks to keep things up to date. This includes data entry, bank reconciliation, invoicing, payments and filling the paperwork for the accountant.

If you’re considering a career in bookkeeping then this could be a good option to get started. Giving you a feel if this is the right career for you. If it is, then you could go onto complete a qualification to advance your knowledge and up your salary.

Sole trader

LD | Bookkeeping Careers | Sole Trader

A sole trader is usually the follow-on step for those unofficial bookkeepers that ended up enjoying their work. Most often they’ll have completed some training and feel confident enough in their abilities to start a business. 

Expanding their clientele through referrals, colleagues and word of mouth recommendations. Allowing them to boost their cash flow or sustain themselves solely on their bookkeeping salary.  

Outsource Bookkeeping

Bookkeeping firms are like accounting firms, but they specialise solely in bookkeeping. They offer a variety of packages to suit different businesses. The service can range from basic bookkeeping to more strategic advice depending on what the client is looking for.

Virtual Bookkeeping

Virtual bookkeepers are like sole traders but instead of providing their services locally, they do so online. They work remotely using online accounting software and mostly speak to their clients over the phone or through videos.

Because they’re remote it allows them to keep their prices down whilst reaching a wider audience of potential clients.

In-house Bookkeeping

These bookkeepers work within a single business completing all their bookkeeping duties. They may also liaise with external accountants to help deliver the business’s full accounting needs.

Predominantly working alongside the owner they’ll complete finance-related administrative tasks and give bookkeeping advice too.

Department in an accountancy firm

Some accounting firms have dedicated departments for bookkeeping. These employees, also known as accountant technicians, solely manage and maintain business accounts. Keeping them up to date and producing monthly reports. Often they’ll be studying to become fully qualified accountants.

How to get qualified

LD | Bookkeeping Careers | How to get Qualified

To work as a bookkeeper doesn’t require any specific qualifications. However, completing a qualification helps to set you up for success in this career.

Completing a bookkeeping qualification expands your knowledge and understanding of the skills needed. So, you’re more easily able to seek employment and complete tasks to a high standard. You’re also able to charge more as a qualified bookkeeper which boosts your earning potential.

The Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT) is a professional body for aspiring accountants and bookkeepers. They’re highly regarded across the finance sector and offer a range of internationally recognised qualifications.

The AAT Level 2 Certificate in Bookkeeping develops the fundamental best practises needed to work professionally as a bookkeeper. Covering essential topics such as bookkeeping transactions and controls. This short course can be completed within 12 weeks. Allowing you to progress into your desired career with minimal downtime.

Should you wish to expand on your knowledge further they also offer a Level 3 Certificate. Level 3 is equivalent to A Level study and covers more advanced practices in bookkeeping. Once completed, you’ll have a comprehensive understanding to provide proficient bookkeeping services to a range of businesses.

Studying Online

You’re also able to complete your courses through a distance learning provider. This means you’re able to study without impacting on your current schedule.

No matter what your other commitments are, online courses can work around them. The flexibility allows you to earn whilst you learn.

You’re in control of when and where you study. Whether that’s after the school run or in your lunch break, it’s completely up to you.

This freedom within your studies means you can progress through the modules at a pace that’s right for you. Whether that’s slowly over the full course timeframe or blitzing through it in two months, you decide.

What’s more, you won’t have to wait for term time to begin like you would at a physical college. As soon as you enrol the material becomes available. So you can get started right away.


If you’re considering a career in bookkeeping then learndirect can help you reach your goals.

learndirect is one of the UK’s leading online learning providers. We offer a range of AAT recognised bookkeeping and accounting courses. So you’re able to get qualified from the comfort of your own home.

All our courses have flexible payment options and dedicated tutors to support your learning. They’ll provide constructive feedback and any extra assistance where needed.

Visit our blog to learn more on how to prepare for your online learning journey.

If you’re ready to get back into education speak to an advisor for more information or browse below.

LD | Bookkeeping Careers | CTA

Sign up to our Newsletter