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December 20, 2021

How to Become an Accredited Bookkeeper in Canada?

In Canada, bookkeepers can set up their business and create a website outlining what they do without any accreditation or designations. However, you’ll need some training and certification to become a professional bookkeeper. Bookkeepers can advance their careers by pursuing certifications and licenses. These voluntary credentials let bookkeepers showcase their skills and demonstrate their strengths to potential employers. A certification can also help bookkeepers increase their earning potential. 

Do I need to be qualified to be a bookkeeper?

It is not a pre-requisite to take a bookkeeping program or earn certifications to work in the field, many bookkeepers do for a variety of reasons:

  • Taking one of Canada’s bookkeeping programs proves you have the basic knowledge required to help your clients with their bookkeeping needs.
  • If you are new to the field, obviously taking a Canadian bookkeeping program that leads to accreditation is a huge plus as you will both learn the occupation and become prepared for the certification exam – in some cases, you’ll even take the exam as part of the course as explained below.
  • Earning one of the certifications or accreditations available shows that you are a professional and have been recognized at an approved level.
  • The majority of accrediting organizations require ongoing education through bookkeeping programs and other courses, so you’ll illustrate your commitment to your occupation through the designation you earn.
  • A designation sets you apart from other bookkeepers who don’t have one, making you a more attractive option than someone else looking for a position or pitching a new contract client.
    Each accrediting organization offers its own member benefits such as partner business discounts, events and training sessions.
  • You may be able to charge more or ask for a higher salary if you have an accreditation.
    For those looking to establish their own business, having a designation will give a much more professional appearance to the business and your abilities.

Types of Certifications for Bookkeepers

As you consider the option of becoming an accredited bookkeeper or earning a designation in the field, it’s important to do the research to determine which accreditations will help you most and give you the best return for your money. Courses are available through technical institutes, polytechnics, colleges, and universities. There are online courses where you can learn the basics of bookkeeping.

Some certifications, like those from QuickBooks or FreshBooks, are specific to the tools a bookkeeper uses. Therefore, if you have clients who only use these tools or work for a business that wants you to know everything about the tools, these may be good options for certification.

Other accreditations are offered through bookkeeping-specific organizations. These include the Canadian Bookkeepers Association (CBA), the Institute of Professional Bookkeepers Canada (IPBC), the Canadian Institute of Bookkeeping (CIB), and others. All are non-profit organizations geared to the advancement of the bookkeeping profession and promoting its benefits while benefitting members. These organizations offer bookkeeping programs internally and through post-secondary institutions while establishing practical experiences for those in the field.

Accreditation allows a bookkeeper to use an organization’s designation, but these vary based upon the organization. CIB refers to those who have earned their designation as a Certified Bookkeeper. CBA uses the term Registered Professional Bookkeeper and IPB goes with Certified Professional Bookkeeper.

How to Become an Accredited Bookkeeper

Some people get their first bookkeeping role with a high school qualification, then learn everything else on the job. But it certainly helps to get further education. A degree isn‘t required. Most bookkeeping qualifications are at the diploma or certificate level.

There are different ways to approach accreditation for bookkeepers and each approach will depend upon the organization you wish to obtain your designation through. While the majority of accrediting organizations do not require you to have taken a Canadian bookkeeping or accounting program, all of them do require you to take exams to earn your designation.

For those who are new to the profession, taking a bookkeeping or accounting program is often the first step. Many post-secondary institutions offer a certificate in bookkeeping program. Depending upon the school, accounting courses can be quite flexible for those who are currently working and would like a part-time course as well as online options. There are also plenty of full-time bookkeeping programs for those who want to do their program that way and there are additional continuing education options.

Becoming an accredited bookkeeper in Canada has several benefits whether you are an employee of an organization or run your own bookkeeping business with clients you work for. Take the time to determine the best certification and accreditation options for you, then look at how the process works. Many organizations offer alternative methods to earning their designation, such as the CBA’s accreditation through post-secondary school programs. You’ll want to find the right designation and bookkeeping program to meet your needs now and in the future.

Learning the technology side

The software will improve your efficiency and reporting capabilities so many clients will expect you to use it. If you plan to learn a particular software package, find one that provides good learning resources and certification.

As an extra tip, look for software that is commonly used by the types of clients you want to work with. Some types of software are more suited to certain industries.

Key skills to become a top bookkeeper

Beyond your bookkeeping training there are some other crucial skills you’ll need:

  • numerical accuracy and attention to detail – you’re being employed to keep things tidier than the business owner can
  • an analytical mind – you enjoy solving problems and persist in getting an answer
  • strong communication skills – you need to be able to explain things simply to the business owner and gain their trust and confidence
  • good organization and multitasking skills – if you have your own business, you’ll have more than one client on the go and you’ll need to juggle regular tasks with unexpected requests
  • strong computer skills and a willingness to keep learning – software and apps keep improving and you need to stay on top of things to understand what can best help your employer’s or client’s business.

Final Words

Keeping accurate records of transactions is essential to the financial well-being of any organization. In terms of employment, bookkeeping is the department where everybody counts. Bookkeeping training at Get Tarined Get Hired provides you with the skills required for a successful bookkeeping career. With our bookkeeping course and training, you can propel your career to new heights.

Reach out to Get Trained Get Hired to book a free 30-Minute career counseling meeting. At Get Trained Get Hired we provide you with the necessary training to learn practical skills to become an accountant. Our training is based on practical real-life cases. After the training, we work on your resume and try to place you in accounting firms through our network. You will also get access to like-minded individuals who are looking for jobs through our WhatsApp group. Please feel free to contact us at [email protected]. Or call us at 647-275-7150.

Disclaimer: The information provided on this page is intended to provide general information. The information does not consider your situation and is not intended to be used without consultation from professionals. Salman Rundhawa and Gettrainedgethired.com will not be held liable for any problems that arise from the usage of the information provided on this page.


Salman Rundhawa

Salman has a strong desire to help others succeed and believe in passing on the knowledge. He likes to mentor others and wish to play part in other people success.
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