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What are the Requirements to Become a Bookkeeper?

5th March 21

Bookkeepers play an integral role within small businesses. Organising their finances, making sure they’re following legislation properly and keeping an eye out for any financial issues.

You’ll make sure everything is in order so you can see exactly how the business is doing. Allowing clients to make amendments if necessary and strategise moving forward.  

It’s a career that is always in demand across various types of industries. Giving you the freedom to choose how and who you work for. Whether that’s through an agency, in-house or setting up your own business, it’s completely up to you.

What’s more, there aren’t any specific qualifications needed to become a bookkeeper. No matter what stage you’re at in life it’s never too late to realise your ambitions and start a new career.  

So, if you’re considering becoming a bookkeeper then read on to learn what the requirements are.

Key Skills

LD | What are the Requirements to Become a Bookkeeper? | Key Skills

Beyond qualifications, there are also some other necessary skills a successful bookkeeper should possess.

You’ll need to be highly organised with a keen eye for detail. Your clients are employing you to look after the businesses finances, making sure everything is arranged neatly and easily accessible. Whether that’s storing physical paperwork or digital organisation through bookkeeping and accounting software.

If you’re working with software then you’ll need to have strong computer skills and a willingness to learn. Technology is constantly evolving so you need to be adaptable too.

In addition to this, you’ll need to have an analytical mind and demonstrate your problem-solving abilities. Excellent communication skills are needed to explain things easily to clients who don’t have knowledge in bookkeeping. As well as creating trusting and positive relationships to ensure your clients keep coming back to you. 

If you have your own business or work through an agency chances are you’ll have many clients at once. So you need to be able to multi-task efficiently and distribute your time wisely.

Role & Responsibilities

As a bookkeeper your day-to-day consists of various tasks that support a business’s financial health. You’ll need to record all financial transactions and handle accounts. As well as manage profit and loss statements whilst creating balance sheets.

You may also be expected to pay bills on behalf of the company, invoicing clients and vendors for their goods and/or services. You’ll also need to appropriately code payables to prepare them for the accountant’s input. As well as maintain office supplies through keeping an inventory and ordering whatever is needed.

Bookkeepers often distribute money to various departments within the company. Handling subsidiary accounts, petty cash and retrieving any necessary documents that others may need.

In addition to this, you may have to research legislation surrounding the company you work for to make sure you comply with the law. This could include monitoring debt levels and ensuring compliance with debt covenants or completing tax forms.


LD | What are the Requirements to Become a Bookkeeper? | Qualifications

Working as a bookkeeper doesn’t necessarily require any specific qualifications. Although, completing an industry-recognised course can help your chances of securing employment.

Getting qualified allows you to quickly expand your understanding of the core components of bookkeeping. Without qualifications you might limit your earning potential and abilities within your role.

The Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT) is a professional body providing various courses for those interested in bookkeeping. From introductory and foundation courses right the way through to advanced courses.

They are internationally recognised qualifications and held in high regard by potential employers. By completing the advanced level qualifications you’re able to become fully qualified. Enabling you to charge more for your services and maximise your earning potential.

The AAT Level 2 Foundation Certificate in Bookkeeping helps learners gain a solid base on bookkeeping best practices. Covering necessary topics such as understanding financial transactions and how to process them. As well as units teaching you about bookkeeping software and reconciling bank statements. This short course is roughly 157 guided learning hours and equivalent to GCSE level study.

Should you wish to develop your knowledge and skills further then they also offer the Level 3 Advanced Certificate. Level 3 is equivalent to A Level study and goes into more advanced bookkeeping practises. Once completed, you’ll have a well-rounded understanding on how to provide excellent bookkeeping services to various types of businesses.

Studying Online

What’s more, the AAT courses can be studied online, so you’re able to learn whenever suits you best.

Distance learning gives you the flexibility to get back into education without impacting your current schedule. So you’re able to study in your lunch break, at your favourite coffee shop or on the weekends. It’s completely up to you. As long as you have a laptop and strong internet connection, you’re good to go.

By having the freedom to decide when and where the best time to study is you can relax and enjoy your experience. Working through the modules as quickly or slowly as you’d like.

In addition to this, online courses will have expert tutors to guide your learning. So you won’t miss out on having a teacher. They provide constructive feedback and extra assistance where needed so you’re confident with the progress you make in your learning.  


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

learndirect is 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. Ensuring you receive the right training to confidently seek employment as a qualified bookkeeper.

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 | What are the requirements to become a bookkeeper? | CTA

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