How to become a Bookkeeper


Do you love numbers and helping people understand how their business is performing? Then becoming a bookkeeper could be a great career fit for you. If so, you may find yourself wondering where to start. With the right qualifications and certifications, you can become a qualified bookkeeper within a couple of years. This helpful guide will provide an overview of the steps and requirements you should consider as you embark on your journey to becoming a successful bookkeeper in Australia.  

Step 1: Get qualified

The first step for becoming a bookkeeper in Australia is obtaining the proper education and qualifications. In order to practice as a professional bookkeeper, you must have at least an Accounting Certificate IV or Diploma from an approved institution such as TAFE or other post-secondary educational institution.  

Step 2: Register with a Professional Association  

Once you have obtained your qualification, you can join the Institute of Certified Bookkeepers (ICB). The ICB is the peak body for bookkeepers in Australia and provides its members with access to resources, networking opportunities, and ongoing professional development. Joining ICB also allows individuals access to competitive insurance packages designed specifically for Australian bookkeepers.

Step 3: Obtain a BAS agent number

In order to work as a bookkeeper in Australia, you will need to obtain a BAS Agent Number from the Tax Practitioners Board (TPB). To do this, you will need to complete an application form and submit it to the TPB. The TBP aims to process applications within 30 days, but during busy periods, it can take up to 60 days.  

Step 4: Register for GST

If you plan on working as a bookkeeper for businesses that are registered for GST, you will need to register for GST yourself. You can do this by completing an application form and submitting it to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO). You can find further information on the ATO website here:  

Step 5: Keep up to date with changes in legislation

Bookkeeping is a highly regulated profession in Australia and as such, bookkeepers are required to keep up to date with any changes in legislation that may affect their work. The ICB provides its members with regular updates on changes in legislation, as well as access to resources and training on how to comply with these changes.

Step 6: Maintain accurate records and prepare reports

As a bookkeeper, it is your responsibility to maintain accurate financial records for your clients. This includes keeping track of income and expenditure, preparing invoices, and reconciling bank accounts. Another key responsibility of bookkeepers is preparing reports for their clients. This may include profit and loss statements, balance sheets, and budget reports. As a bookkeeper, you may find that your clients find it easier to track all their income and expenses in a tool such as Thriday.

Becoming a qualified bookkeeper in Australia requires dedication and perseverance but can be very rewarding for those who take the time to invest in their career. As a bookkeeper you get to work with a variety of small businesses and learn about different industries and trends. By following this simple, you are well on your way towards becoming a certified bookkeeper. With the right qualifications, certifications, and experience under your belt you can look forward to pursuing many opportunities within this interesting profession.

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