11 Skills You Need
to Be a Successful Bookkeeper

See also: Problem Solving

Bookkeeping is an essential aspect of any business. Some say that it serves as one of the backbones of a successful company. Bookkeepers are tasked to efficiently manage the financial records of their clients. Some of their other responsibilities include managing ledgers, keeping financial transactions, handling accounts payable and receivable, managing payroll, and assisting with tax preparation and filing.

If you are considering a career as a bookkeeper, here are some skills that will help you succeed in this profession.

Bookkeeper's desk with calculator and accounts.

Being organized

As a bookkeeper, one of the vital skills that clients expect you to have is organizational skills. Since you will be keeping all the financial records of your clients, one simple organizational mistake can be costly and detrimental to their businesses. It’s important to effectively organize every piece of financial data to prevent any oversights.

Communication skills

Since you will be presenting crucial data to your clients, it is important that you can do it coherently and effectively. You should know how to express yourself competently, especially if you will be dealing with various people. Remember that you will also be gathering a lot of essential data, which means you need to have excellent communication skills to get the information you need. Being able to proficiently communicate with everyone involved, whether face-to-face or electronically, can make a big difference in your professional career.


Regardless of how organized or tech-savvy you may be, if you consistently fail to meet your deadlines, there’s a good chance that your client will end your contract. Remember that you are considered as one of the pillars of your client’s financial system, so you must finish your tasks on time. If you want to become successful in this industry, you need to show your existing and potential clients that you are trustworthy and reliable.

Attention to detail

As a bookkeeper, you need to be detail-oriented, so you can ensure that all data is accurate and well-accounted for. You will be overseeing several financial documents across multiple platforms, so it is vital that you pay close attention to your work so that you won’t miss any valuable information. Being keen on details can also help prevent integrity issues related to your position.

Being honest and transparent

As a bookkeeper, your clients rely on you to keep their business financial transactions safe and fraud-free. Bookkeepers handle a lot of confidential information, so you need to have a high sense of integrity and transparency. You don’t want to lose clients or ruin your reputation just because of an integrity issue. In addition, since you will manage crucial tasks, such as managing your clients’ taxes, you need to ensure that you comply with the necessary rules and regulations.

High level of dedication

Being dedicated to fulfilling your bookkeeper role will surely help you gain the trust and respect of your clients. However, aside from showing your commitment to your job, it is also crucial that you show your clients that you have their business interests at heart. Regardless of whether you work full-time or part-time, your clients need to feel that you are passionate about working with them. Make sure that you give all of your clients the same level of commitment and never treat them poorly just because they gave you a low paycheck.

Great with numbers

Bookkeepers deal with numbers every day. Having excellent math skills will undoubtedly help you in this job. If you are committed to pursuing this profession, you must be comfortable with mathematical equations. You don’t need to be an expert mathematician. As long as you are confident enough to handle numerical concepts and are quick to adjust to unexpected changes, you will perform well with your tasks.

Computer proficient

Since we live in the digital age, bookkeepers are expected to be tech-savvy or at least proficient with using various software. There are still some bookkeepers who prefer to use manual methods of recording data. However, if you choose to do it this way, you may end up with fewer clients as most of them favor efficient and technically adequate bookkeepers. Being able to adapt quickly to technology can significantly benefit you in the long run.

Have a long-term mindset

If you want to be a great asset to the company you work for, you need to think long-term so that you can see the bigger picture. Remember that your task is not merely to record financial data information. You also need to be capable of analyzing them. If you are prone to making impulsive and uninformed decisions, then this role may not be for you. Being able to see beyond the numbers and anticipate potential threats can help you become a great bookkeeper.

Problem-solving skills

Identifying and solving financial problems is another skill you need to possess as a bookkeeper. You need to be able to spot irregularities and discrepancies as soon as they materialize to avoid compromising your clients' financial well-being. In addition, you must be able to handle any issues with a calm and productive approach.

Knowledgeable with bookkeeping concepts

One essential skill you need to have is the ability to understand standard bookkeeping principles. You won’t be able to effectively carry out your tasks if you are unaware of the basic terms and concepts. If you are dedicated to improving your bookkeeping skills and want to learn all about bookkeeping, there are several online platforms that offer free and paid online bookkeeping courses. Aside from gaining the necessary qualifications, it is also imperative that you further educate yourself by being updated with the changes and trends related to this profession.

These are some of the bookkeeping skills that will not only help you gain the trust of your clients but will also boost your reputation in the industry. If you want to succeed in this profession, you must grab every learning opportunity that comes your way so that you can improve your bookkeeping skills and expertise.

About the Author

Harry Wilson is the Head of Digital Marketing Department at Globex Outreach. He helps clients grow their online businesses and occasionally writes blogs to share his experience with other professionals.