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May 17, 2022

Misconceptions About Bookkeeping Profession

Many people underestimate the role of a bookkeeper as they have fallen for the misbeliefs and misconceptions associated with the profession. We want to clear your doubts by debunking the most widely believed myths about bookkeeping.

Bookkeeping is Just Data Entry

Yes, data entry is one component of the bookkeeping process, but in reality, it’s one of the smallest components. Although manual data entry is an important part of the job, there is so much more to it than just that.

For example, bookkeepers often have to:

  • Compile reports (aka easily understandable summaries) of financial activity and trends to show managers or business owners.
  • Check the company’s spending records for inefficient financial activity.
  • Devise financial strategies to help clients optimize cash flow.
  • Contact clients or appropriate agencies regarding payment.

Bookkeeping is only necessary at tax time

When the purpose of bookkeeping was to facilitate the preparation of tax returns and ensure compliance with CRA, there was little need for the bookkeeping to be done throughout the year. So long as physical copies of transactions were kept and organized well they could be brought to a bookkeeper at the end of the year for processing and to generate a set of annual reports, however, as the purpose of bookkeeping today has transitioned to generating business intelligence for use in creating a competitive edge, we can no longer wait until the end of the year to complete the bookkeeping, because we now need that information each month in order generate our financial reporting and so that we can keep score of how our business is doing financially.

To create that competitive advantage, we must now develop a system that ensures a steady stream of financial information flowing into the accounting software each month. Advancements in accounting software have greatly assisted this process as we can electronically capture all this financial information eliminating the need to wait for a shoebox of invoices and receipts.

Bookkeepers are All Good at Math

As long as you can do a few basic math functions like arithmetic in your head, you can be a bookkeeper. In other words, you don’t need to be a math whiz. This is especially true nowadays, with all the automated bookkeeping applications that can help you out.

Most of the skills that set great bookkeepers apart from mediocre ones have nothing at all to do with numbers, in fact. Things like forming and maintaining strong client relationships or finding ways to optimize tax spending are all about creativity and personal integrity, not figures.

You Need an Accounting Degree to Become a bookkeeper

Most bookkeepers don’t have accounting degrees.! As long as they take a good Bookkeeping course and find good bookkeeping software, they can do an outstanding job and easily make money.

Bookkeepers are Best as Reviewers

Some business owners figure they may as well keep track of their own financial balances and then hire a bookkeeper before taxes are due to review the work done throughout the past year. This is one of the common misconceptions that keep bookkeepers from getting the respect they deserve!

From the moment an expense is first jotted down, entering it in the wrong place or failing to realize its future impact can lead to costly errors in the future. Unless a business owner has some serious know-how about money matters, a bookkeeper should handle the account balance from day one.

Bookkeepers Will be Replaced by Artificial Intelligence

As I mentioned, much of bookkeeping has nothing to do with numbers or data entry. An effective bookkeeper has the nuance and people skills required to make clients feel secure and confident about handling their money matters, and that’s something a machine will never be able to replicate.

Bookkeepers are Awkward Recluses

People at large are familiar with the stereotypical bookkeeper/accountant who never leaves the house and spends all day poring over dense spreadsheets and taping up the bridge of their thick horn-rimmed glasses. Like most common misconceptions and stereotypes, it’s very far from reality.

Having worked closely with thousands of bookkeepers, I can tell you that most are fun, active, creative people. The profession offers an extraordinary amount of flexibility, and the people working in the field take full advantage of that flexibility to lead full and exciting lives.

Bookkeepers are Just Low-Level Accountants

Accountants would be lost without bookkeepers. In essence, bookkeepers are responsible for producing accurate and workable raw data regarding a company’s spending. In other words, they produce reports that act as “primary sources” for a company’s financial activity.

Accountants then use the raw numbers the bookkeepers supplied to devise strategies and tips regarding the future financial goals of a business.

The two roles are sometimes mastered by an individual who then takes care of all a company’s financial needs but makes no mistake that they are different and both valuable in their own right.

Bookkeepers are Expensive

Small businesses, especially, are often hesitant to hire bookkeepers because they figure it will be prohibitively expensive. 

The good news for businesses is that bookkeeping is adaptable and can fit any budget. Some cheap bookkeepers specialize in bookkeeping’s grunt work without having as much client management prowess. Some part-time bookkeepers charge much lower rates and handle only smaller accounts. The list of budget options goes on, and I’m sure any business will be able to find a good option to fir their financials.

Bookkeepers get an undeservedly bad rap. I hope that this list clears up some of the common misconceptions associated with bookkeepers to persuade more businesses to hire us and more people to choose bookkeeping as a career.

I can do it myself

Since the beginning of time, bookkeepers have responded to this myth based on their view of the first myth, and it usually sounds something like this ‘Yes, you can do it yourself, but you’re better off spending your time doing revenue-generating activities, or actual billable work.’ I believe that to create a competitive edge, however, we need to change the way we discuss this topic. It now goes something like this: Since the purpose of bookkeeping is no longer about compliance and the filing of tax returns, but rather about building a reliable foundation of financial information useful for generating business intelligence, it is simply not possible for a business owner to Do It Yourself. There is just too much that has to happen, by people and software that requires specialized knowledge and strict adherence to your business’s timeline. It’s just not possible to maintain such a system while at the same time putting your focus on revenue-generating and billable activities.

Is it worth it?

If you are looking for a well-paying career with excellent prospects for career advancement, then bookkeeping can be a real consideration. Job security in this sector is almost guaranteed because even with all the numerous accounting software, there is still a substantial need for human beings to monitor them. If you would like a challenging and diverse role, consider a career in bookkeeping. You can get your foot in the door by enrolling with Get Trained Get Hired which will open up a world of new career opportunities for you.

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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