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The essential job of a certified bookkeeper is to keep detailed financial records for a company or organization. Although the position does not require a specific degree, it does require knowledge, strong organizational abilities, an eye for detail and financial literacy.
Although specific job responsibilities and tasks vary by organization, in general bookkeepers must be able to:
Some of tools used by bookkeepers to complete their duties include:
Today, the majority of day-to-day bookkeeping operations are completed using computer software. Accounting software can (and should) be used to create and track invoices, track sales, maintain inventory, manage payroll, pay taxes and prepare financial reports.
Below are some of the most popular online bookkeeping and invoicing tools, although this list is by no means exhaustive.
Outright automates small-business accounting tasks by pulling all accounts into one place and organizing them. Outright integrates with financial accounts, as well as small-business tool sites, like Shoeboxed and Freshbooks. Price: $9.95 per month.
A free online accounting app for small businesses, this program integrates with Google Apps and can create and send invoice PDFs. This is a good option for basic accounting and invoicing, and you can’t beat the price.
Online invoicing for freelancers and small businesses. FreshBooks can send and manage invoices, as well as track employees’ time and expenses. This profram integrates with other solutions such as Shoeboxed and Expensify. Mobile add-ons are also available on Android, BlackBerry, iPhone and Windows smartphones. Price: Free for up to 3 clients. Plans start at $19.95 for up to 25 clients.
QuickBooks is one of the best-selling accounting programs on the market. The online version can import customer contacts from Excel, Outlook, or Gmail, as well as create, customize, manage, track and automate invoices. Price: $12.95 – $63.16 per month, depending on number of users and features.
The #1 accounting and bookkeeping software choice of Canadian small businesses. Sage 50 Accounting is a full-featured accounting software application suitable for small- and medium-sized businesses. Sage offers three versions of Sage 50: Pro Accounting, Premium Accounting and Quantum Accounting. Each version includes several accounting modules: general accounting, vendors and purchases, customers and sales, payroll, inventory and services, projects and time, and billing (premium and quantum only). Price: $19.00 – $242.00 per month, depending on features.
These programs range in price and available functions, but the right program can mean the difference between a business going under, just getting by, or thriving. Bookkeepers should be familiar with as many programs as possible, and those looking to enter the field should consider specialized courses in order to maximize their chances of landing a position with a reputable company.
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