What they do

Bookkeepers manage and maintain the financial records of businesses. They use account books, computerised accounting systems and other forms of data management to ensure that all payments made and received by a business are accounted for. They handle accounts enquiries, arrange payments, record financial transactions, and check the daily cash flow of their organisation.

Bookkeepers are required all over the state, from large corporate bodies with offices all over the state, to small local businesses in regional and city areas.

Working conditions

Bookkeepers mostly work in offices, although some may work in the administrative sections of other businesses such as factories or shops. They usually work during standard business hours. They work in close contact with accountants and other financial management staff in records and data management.

Tools and technologies

Bookkeepers may use traditional record keeping methods such as ledger books and filing systems, or they may use computers and data management programs. They may also spend a significant amount of their time on the phone, and may also need to be familiar with other office equipment such as photocopiers and fax machines.

How do I become one?

Education and training

It is possible to work as a bookkeeper without any formal qualifications and get training on the job. However, entry into this occupation may be improved with qualifications in bookkeeping or a related area. The education and training requirements for this occupation are undergoing a formal review. This may or may not lead to changes in the requirements.

The Certificate IV in Accounting and Bookkeeping is offered at TAFE Colleges and other registered training organisations throughout Western Australia. Browse courses through Jobs and Skills WA and search on the My Skills website to find a registered provider near you.

You can also undertake a traineeship in accounting and bookkeeping (level 4). The traineeship usually takes 12 months to complete

Apprenticeships and traineeships

As an apprentice or trainee, you enter into a formal training contract with an employer, enabling you to complete training towards a nationally recognised qualification. You spend  time working and learning practical skills on the job and you spend some time undertaking structured training with a registered training provider.

You can do an apprenticeship or traineeship if you are a school-leaver, re-entering the workforce or as an adult or mature-aged person wishing to change careers. You can even begin your apprenticeship or traineeship while you're still at school.

If you are still at school you can access an apprenticeship through your school. Talk to your school's VET Co-ordinator to start your training now through VET in Schools. If you are no longer at school you can apply for an apprenticeship or traineeship and get paid while you learn and work.

Required registration and licensing

To work as a bookkeeper who provides Business Activity Statement (BAS) services for a fee or other reward you will need to obtain registration as a BAS agent with the Tax Practitioners Board. See the Tax Practitioner Board's website for further information. The Certificate IV Accounting and Bookkeeping is required for registration as a BAS agent.