What skills do you need to be a bookkeeper?



Before making a change in career, you need to consider if you have the fundamental skills for your new career path. If you plan to train as a doctor, you need to have good people skills. And if you want to become a pilot, you can’t be afraid of flying. When it comes to bookkeeping training, there are a few skills you need beyond the obvious numeracy skills. In this blog, we’ll share some of the skills that the best bookkeepers have in common.

Attention span

Bookkeeping is a job that requires a dedicated focus. You need to be able to pay attention for long stretches without letting your mind wander. If you let your mind wander, you are far more likely to make mistakes and this can quickly become problematic. Bookkeeping is all about accuracy, so you need to make sure you are able to keep your focus on one task for long periods.


Communication skills

If you are the sole bookkeeper for an entire company, there is a good chance you will be the first point of contact for anything related to accounts. This means you may have suppliers calling about invoice payments, you may have members of staff emailing to check on payroll information and you may also need to liaise with external organisations like HMRC. As a result, you will need impeccable communication skills so that you are able to communicate with all of these different stakeholders.

Privacy and discretion

If a company trusts you with their accounts, you may be privy to some sensitive information that you will need to keep under your hat. Companies won’t want their bookkeeper talking about their financial problems to their friends at the weekend, or discussing potential future growth plans with their family. The role of the bookkeeper is a very private and discreet one and you need to be willing to go the extra mile to show your employer that you are committed.

Time management

Time management

While you might work alone on the bookkeeping, there will be other sectors of the company that rely on you to deliver work in a timely manner. Being able to stick to deadlines and deliver work on time is an essential part of being a successful bookkeeper. HMRC won’t take any excuses about late tax returns, so it’s important that you understand the importance of sticking to a deadline.

These are just some of the soft skills you will need to become a better bookkeeper and an invaluable part of any company.

If you are interested in becoming a bookkeeper and feel you have the skills required,  then please see our courses here.

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