Career Profile: The Bookkeeper

Career Profile: The Bookkeeper
Bookkeeping, in the business understanding of the term, is the recording of financial transactions and is part of the process of accounting. Bookkeepers are the individuals charged with making a record of everything a company or business does with its money. Whether its sales, expenditures or petty cash, it is all recorded diligently by them.

Historically, the term comes from the books that these clerks used to make the physical recordings of transactions. The books, in these cases, would contain the complete accounts of the business, hence the name Bookkeeper.

Bookkeepers are often confused with accountants. The key difference is that they are responsible only for keeping the records correct and accurate. The accountant, meanwhile, takes the completed books and prepares various reports for business use and paperwork for filing with government agencies as necessary.

Where do Bookkeepers Work
Bookkeepers are an essential part of the administration of every business. While the smallest businesses might get by with the owner maintaining their own accounts or entrusting the task to a near friend of family member, sooner or later every successful company gets to the point where its accounts require the regular oversight of a Bookkeeper, in either a part time or full time capacity.

Larger companies, with huge accounting departments, will hire entire teams of Bookkeepers on their payroll, usually with their own hierarchies and specialist positions. Often, they go by other titles in these roles such as accounting clerk or receivables clerk, depending on their precise responsibilities.

However, plenty of bookkeepers are their own bosses and work as either freelancers or as part of their own small companies, providing outsourced bookkeeping solutions to other small companies that cannot justify having their own in-house clerk.

How do you become a Bookkeeper?
You do not require formal qualifications to trade as a Bookkeeper. However you will need an understanding of basic accounting and of using commonly accepted entry systems for making records in the accounts, such as single-entry and double-entry systems. These can be learned through accredited courses such as the ones provided by ADL.

Although formal training and accreditation is not strictly required, most professional Bookkeepers choose to certify themselves through one of the major industry bodies to validate and confirm their skillset. Indeed many employers will not even consider a Bookkeeper that does not possess accreditation of some form from recognized groups, such as the Instituted of Certified Bookkeepers or ICB.

As with everything else office based, nearly all modern companies have their books organized electronically, so an ability to use computers, and ideally specific Bookkeeping software such as SAGE, is increasingly essential.

What prospects does a Bookkeeper have?
A bookkeeper’s potential earnings will vary depending on whom they work for and whether or not they are independent. Typical earnings range from £15k, for those starting out, up to about £22k, for more experienced Bookkeepers at larger companies or with larger client lists.

The skillset of a Bookkeeper does lend itself well to doing other work for other companies, besides a main employer, to potentially increase income. Additionally, as Bookkeeping is its own trade, a Bookkeeper can, with relatively little outlay, go into business for themselves.

Bookkeepers in large companies can also aspire to progress into more senior roles within their organizations, perhaps overseeing teams of more junior employees. Due to their intimate knowledge of the company’s financial situation, they often, although not always, enjoy a position of trust within the business which can open further doors.

Finally experience in Bookkeeping provides a solid grounding in the fundamentals of accounting. Many Bookkeepers go on to become fully qualified accountants in their own rights.




ADL Success Stories – Dairy Cattle Farming with Annabella Baker

Education opens doors to success windows of opportunity and in at least one case, gates to new possibilities. Such is the case with ADL success story Annabella Baker.  Originally from Italy, but now living in the UK, Annabella faced a tragedy all too familiar to many when she lost her airline job during the Covid

Read More »

Horticulture – Learn the Basics: Three Problems for New Gardeners

Gardens are hard work.  Behind every immaculate lawn and carefully tended flowerbed is a never-ending struggle between nature and gardener. Of course simply leaving the garden to its own devices isn’t really an option; Untended, plants will grow freely for the whole of spring and summer and even into autumn. Worse yet, an uncared for

Read More »

Henry Hoover’s Broken Plug

Some stories of educational achievement soar into the heavens.  Of individuals who through hard work and toil overcame the challenges in their life to achieve. Certainly, at ADL we’ve seen and helped many individuals achieve their dreams through completing a course which helped them get a place at university or begin a new career. This,

Read More »

King Charles and the Grey Goo

If you’ve been in the UK over the past weekend you might have noticed you had a day off on Monday (or looked on enviously as other people had a day off).  The coronation of a new monarch in Charles the Third means a new era. One that the Monarch is especially keen does not

Read More »

Could You Be a Personal Trainer?

If you’re looking for a side business or career that combines a love for fitness and a mentoring role. personal training might be for you Personal training is at it’s heart all about being able to help people live healthier, happier lives.  By combining physical exercise with essential lifestyle changes like diet they help their

Read More »


Scroll to Top


To speak to one of our course advisors, please enter your name and phone number below and click the "Please Call Me" button. We will call you back as soon as possible!

By submitting this form, I provide my consent to ADL to contact me via email or telephone, regarding the course I selected. All information provided is protected in conformity with our Privacy Policy.


required fields are marked with *

By submitting this form, I provide my consent to ADL to contact me via email or telephone, regarding the course I selected. All information provided is protected in conformity with our Privacy Policy.