How to Write the Perfect Bookkeeper Job Description

Is your company struggling with the day-to-day duties of keeping your business going? Do mundane tasks like daily account management and invoice documentation prevent you from completing your highest value tasks? If this sounds familiar, consider hiring a bookkeeper.

But if you decide to hire a bookkeeper, it’s important to write a clear and concise job description that outlines the responsibilities and qualifications of the position. Continue reading to learn more about how a bookkeeper can aid your business, plus get strategies for writing the perfect bookkeeper job description.

Let’s get started.

What Does a Bookkeeper Actually Do?

Unfortunately, many companies miss out on improving their business operations because they don’t realize the benefits they’d reap if they had a bookkeeper. A bookkeeper’s duties and responsibilities can significantly reduce your workload and help your business operate smoother.

A bookkeeper is defined as someone who “records the accounts or transactions of a business.” With bookkeeping, there’s also a lot of emphasis on the upkeep of a company’s financial data, which causes many bookkeepers to be mistaken for accountants.

For an in-depth look at the differences between a bookkeeper and an accountant, check out our post, Bookkeeper vs. Accountant: Is There a Difference?

Duties and Responsibilities of a Bookkeeper

A typical day for a bookkeeper may include data entry, working in spreadsheets and bookkeeper programs, collecting bank statements or financial transactions, and creating reports.

Additionally, a bookkeeper may have to complete research if they recognize errors within the data. While accountants analyze data, a bookkeeper may still have to do some analysis to determine the cause of these errors or data discrepancies.

Of course, the duties and responsibilities of a bookkeeper may depend on the company or employer. However, some tasks a bookkeeper may be responsible for on a given day are:

  • Managing emails, memos, and other correspondents
  • Daily account management—including bank accounts
  • Documenting and ensuring records are up-to-date
  • Recording and ensuring compliance with financial transactions
  • Completing invoices or maintaining invoice documentation
  • Preparing for tax season and completing tax forms
  • Managing payroll, accounts payable, or accounts receivable
  • Ensuring payments and deposits are accurate
  • Inventory management
  • Confirming transactions are recorded accurately and appropriately

Skills and Competencies Necessary for Bookkeeping

As with any position, bookkeepers require subject-specific knowledge and transferable soft skills. For example, entry-level candidates can become skilled bookkeepers with or without higher education. But, some companies may look for candidates with formal degrees or professional certifications.

Other companies only look for candidates to have a high school diploma. It all depends on the company’s needs, but like many jobs, skills are learned through hands-on work. Nevertheless, you’ll have to determine the skills and years of experience you’re looking for before writing a job description.

Some of the skills necessary to be a successful bookkeeper include:

  • Understanding of foundational bookkeeping principles
  • Strong math, accounting, and data entry skills
  • Attention to detail
  • The ability to meet deadlines
  • Experience working with spreadsheets
  • Computer proficiency
  • Strong communication skills
  • Working knowledge of Microsoft Office or other software

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Writing Your Bookkeeper Job Description

Once you’ve decided to hire a bookkeeper and have determined what you’re looking for in the ideal candidate, it’s time to write your bookkeeper job description. Focus on these areas:

1. Optimizing the Job Title

A job title is the first thing a candidate sees when combing through job boards because it grabs the candidate’s attention. To do that, your title must be clear and concise. A job title shouldn’t be too elaborate or wordy—the description will provide more information. The title’s job is to make an impactful first impression.

2. Briefly Discuss Your Company Culture

When job searching, candidates aren’t only looking for the perfect position—they’re also looking for the right company. Providing details about your company culture, working environment, potential sign-on bonuses, and the company’s mission and values is a crucial component of the bookkeeper’s description.

As a hiring manager, you’re tasked with attracting talent and learning what they can offer. But candidates are looking at what your company offers as well. While discussing the company culture, it also benefits you to provide a concise summary of the benefits package and company perks the candidates can enjoy as part of your team.

3. Describe the Duties and Responsibilities of the Position

Providing a summary of the role and its responsibilities is where candidates better understand what you’re looking for in your next employee. It communicates the job’s purpose and primary function, who and what teams they’ll work with, and expectations of the position.

Upon offering a summary of the role, you can also summarize the day-to-day of the position. Doing so provides more details about the responsibilities and what to expect in the job.

4. List the Requirements of the Position

Describing the responsibilities of a position provides candidates with a lot of information about the role. But listing the requirements is vital. Job requirements should be listed clearly and realistically and be easily digestible by candidates.

Your first list of qualifications in your bookkeeper job description should be the skills or education that are absolutely necessary. These skills are must-haves and may vary depending on your business needs. Some potential required bookkeeper qualifications are:

  • A degree or certification in business or accounting, though some employers only require a high school diploma
  • Attention to detail and the ability to meet deadlines
  • Organization, communication, and time management skills
  • Excellent math, data entry, and accounting
  • Proficiency with computers, including working with spreadsheets

Next are your preferred qualifications. These are nice to have but don’t immediately place a candidate out of consideration for the role. Some examples of preferred bookkeeping qualifications include:

  • Additional bookkeeping certifications or higher education
  • Previous experience with invoicing
  • Working knowledge of programs used by your company
  • Experience with accounts payable and receivable principles
  • A specific number of years performing bookkeeping tasks

Again, you’ll determine which qualifications are required and preferred, depending on your needs and how you want the position to function.

RELATED: How to Recruit Entry-Level Talent

5. Pay Attention to the Details

In addition to the contents of your job description, you should also consider the format and other details. Every day, a large number of requisitions are posted on job boards, company websites, and the many other corners of the internet. The structure or format can affect how well your job description is viewed.

When considering the format of your job description, you want to:

  • Ensure the information is digestible to potential candidates
  • Include keywords that will increase traffic to the description
  • Use engaging and relatable language
  • Make use of bullet points when possible
  • Optimize your description for viewing across different devices—laptops, tablets, and mobile device

Find Skilled Talent With an Effective Job Description

The job description is only the first step of your hiring process. But the more well-written your job description is, the more confident you’ll feel about prospective candidates.

Start your acquisition process by focusing on writing a top-tier bookkeeper job description to obtain a top-tier hire today!

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