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What Is a Bookkeeper?

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Definition: A bookkeeper performs the everyday accounting-related tasks of recording financial transactions for businesses. Using database and spreadsheet programs, a bookkeeper records all the money flowing in and out a business.

A bookkeeper may also prepare payroll, issue checks and invoices and create reports on taxes, expenditures, profit and loss and cash flow. In large firms a bookkeeper may specialize in areas like accounts receivable or auditing. Small business bookkeepers are usually generalists who handle many tasks.

Unlike an accountant, a bookkeeper does not have special certification. Many are trained on the job, though some college courses in business and accounting are highly desirable. Bookkeepers may work from home (often in their own home-based, freelance bookkeeping business) or maybe employed in a telecommuting bookkeeping job. More often, though, bookkeepers work in an office setting.

Also Known As: accounting clerk, accounting technician
Alternate Spellings: book-keeper
Common Misspellings: book keeper, bookeeper

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