Are you looking to learn bookkeeping skills?
While ICNZB are not a training provider and do not offer courses, we do believe that education is a vital component in the development of the bookkeeping profession in New Zealand.
No matter how much experience you have, or how good your business reputation is – there is always something new to learn.
What qualifications do you need to become a Bookkeeper?
To get yourself to the stage of where you are ready to start your own bookkeeping business, a combination of education, certification and working experience are a good foundation.
Some ways to achieve this combination are:
- online or in-person courses through Te Pūkenga - The New Zealand Institute of Skills and Technology. The NZ Certificate in Business (Accounting Support Services) sets foundations of good practice and a solid understanding of common but necessary accounting functions that lead to effective bookkeeping. This course is NZQA Accredited (50 credits). A list of additional courses can be found below.
- learning the technology. Look for software that is commonly used by the types of clients you want to work with and achieve the software accreditation. For example, the most commonly used accounting software in New Zealand are Xero and MYOB - both offer certification and partner programmes. You will find most software providers will offer a variation of certification.
- on the job learning. Chances are if you are interested in becoming a professional Bookkeeper you have previously held a role with bookkeeping functions - ie. an accounts payable officer, payroll officer etc. On the job knowledge is a valuable starting point to any profession - and often is where most bookkeepers start from.
It is worth noting here that while you do not need an accounting qualifications but some awareness will not hurt - especially as you will act as a conduit between your client and their accountant.
What skills suit bookkeeping?
The first (and probably most important!) skill to have is Mathematics, for obvious reasons!
The ability to do basic maths – addition, subtraction, multiplication and division, is essential, as well as the ability to balance books.
Although there are a lot of accounting software options to use you still need to be able to do basic maths to be able to determine when something is not right, and how to unravel and fix the problem.
Other skills that are essential to being a good Bookkeeper are:
- understanding the accounting equation;
- organisation and discipline;
- attention to detail;
- computer skills; and
- problem solving.
What are the common services a Bookkeeper provides?
The core services a Bookkeeper are expected to perform are:
- Monthly financial reporting
- Accounts Receivable
- Accounts Payable
- Bank Reconciliations
- GST Returns
There are a lot of Bookkeepers that offer payroll services to their clients. There are also a lot who choose not to offer this service due to the intricacies of legislation around payroll, so they will work with with another Bookkeeper who does offer payroll services.
As your level of experience grows, your service offer will grow too.
To learn more about what each service involves, refer to our glossary of bookkeeping terms.