If you are assuming that bookkeepers are all about the numbers, you are wrong. In fact, it is not just about having a solid understanding of bookkeeping systems and principles, but also about having personal qualities and skills.
To be a good bookkeeper, you need essential soft skills that can help lead a successful business operation.
Here are the few things that you should have to become a bookkeeper.
1. Attention to Detail
You have been trusted to handle the finances of the business and committing crucial mistakes is the last thing you would not want to make. Handling the numbers and necessary information requires attention to detail. Being accurate is the fundamental skill of a good bookkeeper. One slight error can lead to bigger issues down the track. Paying attention to every area you are covering can prevent hassles and bring more stability to the company.
2. Communication skills
Many assume that a bookkeeper just sits in front of the computer and works with numbers. However, if good communication is not set in place, there will be confusion and misunderstanding between people in the organization. A bookkeeper needs to have excellent communication skills, delivering information in a timely and professional manner.
A bookkeeper needs to understand that her inputs are important for the improvement of the organization. Thus, communicating with clients either face-to-face or electronically is crucial. Gathering data, preparing financial reports, and delivering presentations require social interaction skills to the team and associated departments.
3. Organizational Skills
Bookkeeping can be stressful depending on the size of the organization. There is a huge file of employee information, financial records, receipts, etc. that you need to organize and process. This involves focusing on the tasks and keeping everything within easy reach.
With this, you should learn how to prioritize tasks and exercise proper time management. Identify what time it takes to complete a task and streamline your work. There are also deadlines to meet so planning ahead and keeping an eye to your calendar will help you avoid cramming.
Even experienced bookkeepers commit mistakes. These mistakes can negatively impact a company and worse, bring serious damage. It is a bookkeeper’s role to double-check every account and ensure that the financial records of the organization without any errors.
Unauthorized transactions, financial statements, and bank reconciliations should all be accurate. Identifying and fixing these errors is an important task that the bookkeeper should not miss.
5. Computer Skills
We are now in the digital age where bookkeeping is managed by accounting software. This makes keeping data easier and more updated. A bookkeeper must be aware of different software and learn how to utilize technology to make the work more efficient. This does not mean that manual bookkeeping will be abandoned but learning to navigate systems such as Sage, Quickbooks, Xero, and Freshbooks is a crucial skill to achieve more productivity and efficiency.
Since bookkeepers handle the financial data of the company, everything should be kept in full transparency. Confidential information such as bank statements and payroll should not be known by other parties. The bookkeeper should also not hide important information to the business owner but rather express every information with honesty and commitment. Protecting the assets and liabilities of the organization and providing a transparent approach to management is a vital role that a bookkeeper is entrusted to do.
Handling the money of the business is a tough job. Your job is not only to record every financial transaction but also you are involved in decision-making on how to manage the finances. The company’s financial situation rests on the bookkeeper’s integrity and morality. Making impulsive decisions can put the company’s financial records at stake. Whether it’s handling funds or managing stress, it is a bookkeeper’s responsibility to handle the project in a professional manner.
8. A vision for the Bigger Picture
The inputs of the bookkeeper play a major contribution to the company’s present and future goals. A bookkeeper sees how well the company is performing from a financial standpoint and how close it is to reaching its goal. Employee expense reports, accounts payable and receivables, and cash flow should be aligned to the organization’s future actions.
Are the assets of the company sufficient enough? How about the profits and liabilities? Having the ability to see the bigger picture and addressing the situation to the management can lead the company in the right direction and decision.