Those working as a bookkeeper, auditing or accounting clerk may want to consider becoming a QuickBooks specialist. Quickbooks is marketed to business owners as a one-stop solution for their accounting needs. Proficiency in this software may give you a competitive edge in the job market.
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QuickBooks is software designed to run the gamut of accounting needs for businesses. Users of QuickBooks can be bookkeepers, accounting clerks, auditing clerks, or the business owners themselves. Those who specialize in the use of this software, however, are most likely to be accounting or audit clerks.
|Required Education||High school diploma, though postsecondary training in accounting or related field preferred by employers|
|Other Requirements||Voluntary certification available|
|Projected Job Growth (2014-2024)||-8% for all bookkeeping, auditing and accounting clerks*|
|Median Salary (2015)||$37,250 for all bookkeeping, auditing and accounting clerks*|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Accounting and Audit Bookkeeping Specialists
A bookkeeper's primary job is to maintain the financial records of an organization or an individual. Accounting and audit bookkeeping clerks' duties are more specialized, requiring familiarity with accounts payable, accounts receivable, and financial reporting. According to O*NET OnLine, an office of the U.S. Department of Labor, an accounting clerk must be able to compile statistical, financial, accounting, or auditing reports and tables pertaining to such matters as cash receipts, expenditures, accounts payable and receivable, and profits and losses (www.onetonline.org). Payroll, purchasing, invoicing, and account maintenance may also be part of the job description.
There are several software solutions in the marketplace that automate many of these tasks. QuickBooks, designed by the software developer Intuit, is marketed as a one-size-fits-all accounting solution. It offers features such as sales and expense tracking, accounts payable, accounts receivable, customer contact databases, estimates, invoicing, billing and purchase order tracking, and financial reporting. According to Intuit, QuickBooks is the #1 choice for today's small businesses (www.quickbooks.intuit.com). Skilled users of this software may well have a competitive edge in the accounting and auditing clerk job market.
QuickBooks Education and Certification
While QuickBooks is marketed to the business owner as an out-of-the-box accounting solution, the complexity of the software makes training advantageous. Classes in QuickBooks can generally be found at local community colleges as well as at some four-year colleges and universities. Additionally, there are many online resources available for QuickBooks training.
Intuit, as well as numerous for-profit enterprises, offers a certification course in QuickBooks. Intuit's course is an online self-study program that is geared toward accountants or accounting clerks who have a working knowledge of accounting fundamentals. The course takes about 16 hours to complete and includes quizzes and a three-part exam.
Career and Salary Outlook
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the top ten percent of bookkeepers and accounting clerks in 2015 made an annual wage of $57,920 or more, and the top employers were, unsurprisingly, accounting, tax preparation, bookkeeping and payroll services (www.bls.gov). The median annual salary reported by the BLS for such workers was $37,250 in 2015. The BLS projected that the employment of all bookkeepers and accounting clerks would decrease by 8% from 2014 to 2024, which is worse compared to all occupations.
There are several options to become a QuickBooks specialist. Intuit, owner of QuickBooks, offers a certificate program that includes an online self-study program and an exam. Courses can also be found at colleges and universities and at for-profit organizations who may also offer certification.