This is an essential question to ask when thinking about whether or not this career field interests you. In this article we cover the basics of what your day to day work life would look like if you become a bookkeeper for a small business. The first important thing to understand is that the bookkeeper role, particularly when it involves smaller businesses, will be highly varied and dependent on the structure and needs of the individual small business. Firstly, most small companies don’t have enough volume to make bookkeeping a full time job, so chances are a full time employee who was a bookkeeper will typically have outside random responsibilities to fill up their 40 our work week.
Secondly, the nature of the business will obviously have a great influence on what the daily financial transactions that need to be recorded typically look like. This being true, it’s hard to describe exactly what your daily routine will look like as a bookkeeper because it will honestly be very different if employed by small business “X” versus small business “Y.” However, there are some general traits of a bookkeeping Service that will be fairly universal regardless of where you end up working, so let’s go over those first.
The bookkeeper job description
Part 1 – General aspects of a typical bookkeeping job
Bookkeeper jobs typically have you working in an office on a computer most of the day
The bulk of a bookkeeper’s job is recording all financial transactions, and that won’t change regardless of where you’re working. The only variable here is going to be volume, meaning the size and nature of a small business will influence how much time per work day you’ll spend recording these transactions. That being said, you can expect to be sitting on your computer working with bookkeeping software for most of the day. If your ideal job has you up and about, bookkeeping might not be a good fit. If the idea of working at a desk most of the day appeals to you, bookkeeping and accounting will definitely be your speed.
Bookkeeper jobs limit your daily interaction with other people
Bookkeeping tasks do not necessitate interactions with others, and to be perfectly honest a bookkeeper will typically need to be in solitude and undistracted for much of his or her work day to complete the job. More introverted people often prefer this type of work environment. If however, you’re more of an extrovert who enjoys connecting and interacting with others as part of your job, chances are you’ll find more fulfillments in the sales area of a small business rather than the bookkeeping and accounting area. Don’t mistakenly think that every bookkeeper and accountant expert is a recluse who never talks to anyone else. Far from it. In fact, concise and effective communication with others is a mandatory skill that any bookkeeper must have to be successful at his or her job. Bookkeepers must clarify with others on the details of financial transactions to record them accurately. Moreover, bookkeepers must interpret the information provided by the books and relay that to decision makers so that they understand the financial picture of their small business. Even though that is true, most of bookkeeper’s duties require him or her to work on a computer by them and make entries, organize and sort financial data, looks at financial reports, and process daily items such as company invoices and bills.
Bookkeeper jobs are quantitative – You’ll be working with numbers all day
Hopefully this is rather obvious to you by now, but for the sake of this article it bears repeating. As a bookkeeper, your life is numbers. You must post financial transactions accurately. You must make sure various accounts are in balance and match banking statements. You must look at financial reports and analyses numeric trends and contribute to business decisions that need to be made based off those numbers. A bookkeeper’s job isn’t particularly abstract or profound, but it is defined with hard numeric data.
Bookkeeping jobs are generally repetitive
It’s important to discuss the not so desirable aspects of any job so that you have a truly accurate idea of what you should expect if you choose it. Of course, all jobs have their less desirable downsides, so your goal should be to decide how much you think these downsides matter to you when compared to the bookkeeper’s job as a whole. There’s no way around the repetitive nature of booking financial transactions on a daily basis, particularly when most businesses have a kind of transaction which occurs many times a day, for example product sales. As a bookkeeper you’ll spend much of your day entering these repetitive transactions, and some people indeed prefer and thrive on that kind of work, while other might not be able to stand it after a short while.
The bookkeeper job description part 2 – a day in the life of a typical bookkeeper for a small business
You now have a general understanding of the main aspects of a bookkeeper’s job, but it will be even more helpful to read about what a typical workday for a bookkeeper looks like, so we’ve provided a sample schedule for a day’s work of a small business bookkeeper. Let’s create some assumptions first:
The business is large enough such that the bookkeeper is full time
The business is still small enough, however, that a single person handles all aspects of the bookkeeping, and perhaps other things here and there depending on the circumstances on a given day
The business is retail oriented, meaning they sell a good or service as their main source of revenue. Here’s what a typical bookkeeper’s day on the 8 to 5 job would look like 8:00am – arrive, check email & voicemail for any urgent issues, handle as needed. Sort emails and paper documents into proper categories to be handled later, eg, receipts into the receipts pile, bills to be paid, invoices to be sent to clients, ect.8:30am – book all new receipts, eg, company purchases 9:30am – book all bills that need to be paid, print checks to be mailed 10:30am – send invoices to clients for services rendered 11:30am – check email/voicemail again12:00pm – lunch 1:00pm – check and book all online sales, process any needed refunds 2:00pm – spend time handling any of the following, nondaily essential tasks on an as needed basis, such as reconcile bank statements – make sure books are accurate do collections, make sure customers are paying run financial reports, have meetings with decision makers to talk about short and long term financial business trends do any various audits, to make sure past transactions are booked correctly record employee hours and process payroll prepare a batch of checks to pay company vendors and contractors prepare govt. forms for various Federal/State/Local fees, licenses, or taxes that may be due prepare a bank deposit4:30pm – check email again, handle any daily odds and ends, wrap up, go home.
Do keep in mind that this is about as general of a summary as there can be. The nature of and how time consuming these items will vary greatly from business to business, but as you can see any bookkeeper’s job will look like your stereotypical desk job. Hopefully this has given you a good idea of what to expect if you get a job as a bookkeeper.