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How To Become A Bookkeeper

Bookkeeping can be an incredibly lucrative career. Find out more about what does a book keeper do, how to become a bookkeeper, the bookkeeping skills needed to break into this career, what qualifications do you need to be a bookkeeper and how you can begin training to be a bookkeeper with StaySharp.

Take the first step towards your bookkeeping career with StaySharp

StaySharp offers learners the opportunity to train as a bookkeeper with AAT, the Association of Accounting Technicians. Our AAT bookkeeping courses are designed to offer accessible, flexible training opportunities for those interested in how to become a bookkeeper following the AAT career path – learners can study at their own pace and access course materials online from anywhere, eventually earning their AAT bookkeeper qualifications.

The full AAT Bookkeeping pathway consists of the AAT Level 1 Award in Bookkeeping, AAT Level 2 Certificate in Bookkeeping and Level 3 Certificate in Bookkeeping. Upon completion of all three, you will become an AAT certified bookkeeper

Study to be a bookkeeper



A bookkeeper is an essential part of any business that needs to keep accurate and up-to-date financial records. Bookkeeping duties include managing a company's financial transactions, such as accounts payable, accounts receivable, payroll, general ledger entries, inventory tracking and other related activities. In addition, they provide crucial insight into all of the finances of the organisation.

If you are looking at how to become a bookkeeper, you’ll be pleased to know that there are a range of different pathways into this career. Bookkeepers generally learn bookkeeping and break into the career through formal education (a college course, university degree, etc.), apprenticeships or climbing the bookkeeping career ladder.

Completing recognised bookkeeper qualifications, such as the AAT Bookkeeping qualification, is one of the most effective ways to break into the career at entry level, allowing you to climb the bookkeeping career ladder. This qualification is carefully designed to prepare learners for performing a range of bookkeeping duties, crucial to the successful performance of all bookkeeping roles.

Bookkeeping skills you’ll need to thrive in this career

  • Attention to detail: bookkeepers need to be extremely detail-oriented as they must keep accurate and organized records of financial transactions.
  • Numeracy skills: strong numeracy skills are essential for bookkeeping, as it involves working with numbers on a daily basis.
  • Computer literacy: bookkeepers must be comfortable using various accounting software, spreadsheets, and other computer programs to maintain accurate financial records.
  • Time management: bookkeepers need to be able to manage their time effectively, prioritize tasks, and meet deadlines.
  • Communication: effective communication skills are essential for bookkeepers as they often interact with clients, vendors, and other stakeholders to ensure timely and accurate financial reporting.
  • Organisation: bookkeepers must be highly organized and able to manage multiple tasks and deadlines simultaneously.
  • Ethics and integrity: bookkeepers are responsible for managing financial transactions and must adhere to ethical and legal standards.
  • Analytical skills: bookkeepers must be able to analyse financial data to identify trends, variances, and areas for improvement.
  • Problem-solving: bookkeepers must be able to identify and resolve accounting discrepancies and problems.
  • Adaptability: bookkeepers need to be adaptable and able to handle unexpected changes and challenges in a fast-paced work environment.

If following the AAT pathway, learners generally complete the Level 1 Award in bookkeeping in around 2-3 months, the Level 2 Certificate in Bookkeeping in 3 months and the Level 3 Certificate in Bookkeeping in 6-12 months, meaning you could learn bookkeeping in as little as 11 months. This varies depending on the amount of time that you are able to dedicate to your bookkeeping studies. After completing your course, you’ll be qualified to work in a range of entry-level bookkeeping jobs.

Trying to learn bookkeeping may feel intimidating at first but is surprisingly simple with the right resources. So, is bookkeeping hard? The AAT Level 2 Certificate in Bookkeeping is designed for learners with no prior experience in bookkeeping, formal qualifications or finance and accounting background, making learning how to become a bookkeeper far less intimidating.

Bookkeeping is a varied and often very lucrative career path, with plenty of opportunity for progression as you gain experience, bookkeeping skills and confidence within your line of work. Working in bookkeeping opens up further opportunities to work as an accounting technician, allowing you to take on more complex work. Training to be a bookkeeper opens doors throughout this highly-respected career path, allowing you to work in many different bookkeeping roles.

Increasingly, aspiring bookkeepers are wondering how to become a self employed bookkeeper. Setting up a bookkeeping business independently and becoming a self employed bookkeeper allows bookkeepers to work on a freelance basis, offering them freedom and flexibility within their career. However, while you don’t necessarily need formal qualifications to set up a bookkeeping business of your own, we would advise that you gain AAT Accreditation in order to practice reputably.

Start your bookkeeping career with StaySharp today

If you’re interested in how to become a bookkeeper but are unsure where to start, StaySharp’s accredited online bookkeeping courses are the perfect starting point. Our AAT bookkeeping courses are designed to offer learners the opportunity to train to become a certified bookkeeper while managing their studies on their own schedule, with all materials made available online. The AAT career path is highly-respected within the industry – start your bookkeeping journey today with StaySharp.

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