By Gladys Mae
Gladys is the Associate Director of Admissions & Student Services with over 10 years of experience at the International Career Institute.
Just like almost every other profession, bookkeeping is changing and evolving in ways never seen before. It’s also a very in-demand occupation. While the world around us changes the need for bookkeepers doesn’t – no matter how technology or virtual businesses become, they still need accurate recording when it comes to finances.
In fact, client demands are increasing and the expectation of quick turnarounds is now commonplace. This is, perhaps, due to the digital nature of the world, where things can happen very quickly and effectively.
What may be one of the unique things to the accounting industry and bookkeeping in particular, is, in fact, due to the increasing capabilities of technology. Cyber security threats are increasing so businesses and organisations are trying to mitigate the threat as quickly as possible, meaning they need people on the ground working across audit, risk and compliance. On top of this, economic growth means businesses are expanding and developing. This, in turn, raises the need for accountancy and bookkeeping services, especially to replace those who are looking to retire. In other words, the profession needs young blood to step up.
The workforce is changing constantly. Things happen much faster, and it’s expected that anyone working has at the very least, a basic understanding of technology and software. This is especially the case when it comes to accounting and bookkeeping.
What are the changes? First, there is a demand for a global approach to finances, meaning anyone working in the finance industry, including bookkeeping, needs to have an understanding of the effect of globalisation. There has also been a rise of people working in the gig-economy. New technologies mean greater access to work and flexibility. This means anyone wanting to work in a bookkeeping role needs to understand workflow management software so you can be available from anywhere. Finally, the expectation that bookkeepers are one-stop-shops for all the finance needs of a small business is becoming common-place. While in the past, small businesses would have boutique practices where there are multiple people looking after business tax, accounting, loans and financial advice, it’s now expected that a single bookkeeper has the knowledge and expertise to help.
It’s no secret that studying online is hugely popular at the moment. It’s more convenient, can often be done at a time that suits you and any other commitments, and can be done from the comfort of your own home. On top of this, it’s generally cheaper than face-to-face learning.
Studies have even shown that students learn more than they do in traditional courses. This is thanks, largely, to multimedia content and the full control given to the student. Students can work at their own speed, working faster through areas you are comfortable with and slower through those you need more work on. Another reason students prefer online courses is because of the time commitment, which is often less than that required for face-to-face learning. When you factor in the travel time for classes, plus the time spent waiting around for classes to start, face-to-face learning can actually require 40-60% more time than online learning.
Bookkeeping is a great course to do online. If you have a head for numbers and want to help businesses stay on top of their finances, bookkeeping is a great profession. It allows for flexibility in terms of hours and where you work as well, providing a pretty decent work-life balance. Perhaps what’s best of all though, is that all you need to study bookkeeping is your computer. You should learn how to prepare financial statements, maintain records, develop policies and handle accounting systems, as well as communication in the workforce and how to utilise technology effectively and efficiently.
In terms of becoming a bookkeeper, there are a number of skills you’ll need to either already have, or learn through a course (either online or face-to-face). Every bookkeeper needs to be comfortable with technology, especially accounting software. Of course, you’ll also need to have a good grasp of numbers, critical thinking, problem-solving and organisational skills. Attention to detail is crucial as you’ll be analysing records and need to be able to pick up even the smallest mistakes or anomalies.
On top of this, you’ll require the desire to further your education. It’s all well and good to have the knowledge and skills you need now, but as we all know, the world is developing at a rapid rate. The technology and software that is used now will most likely not be used in the future. Staying on top of the trends, doing some CPD courses or even exploring mentoring options can be vital in standing out from the crowd.
Bookkeeping can be an excellent profession for those looking for flexibility, fulfilment in their work and a good income. Get your career started by enrolling in an online bookkeeping course today.