Can I Become A Bookkeeper Without A Degree?

Interested to learn more about Bookkeeping & Payroll?

Are you thinking of starting a career as a bookkeeper, but don’t have the time or money to pursue a degree? If so, this article is for you. It explains how even without a college degree, you can still become a competent and successful bookkeeper.

Becoming a bookkeeper is an attractive and rewarding career path for many, but it can be difficult to know how to get started in the field without a degree. Fortunately, it is possible to become a successful bookkeeper without one; as long as you have the right skills and knowledge, employers will consider your application.

Having a degree is not always necessary to become a successful bookkeeper. With the proper resources and dedication, anyone can learn how to become a bookkeeper. This article aims to provide an understanding of the requirements for becoming a bookkeeper, as well as tips and tools to help you achieve success in this career path. We will cover what steps to take in order to become a certified bookkeeper, key skills needed, and the benefits of pursuing this field without having attained a college degree.

become a bookkeeper

Training and certification

The decision to pursue a bookkeeping career is an increasingly popular choice for those looking for a reliable source of income as well as job security.

Courses are available through private tertiary education providers and industry associations. There are online courses where you can learn the basics of bookkeeping.

The Institute of Certified Bookkeepers (ICB) is the largest bookkeeping institution in the world and offers certificate and diploma courses through accredited providers like Learnful. Similarly in the US a popular route is completing a certified programme offered by the professional organisations, the American Institute of Professional Bookkeepers (AIPB).

These programs provide comprehensive training on topics such as financial record-keeping and GAAP principles, preparing students for successful careers in bookkeeping. Additionally, these certifications demonstrate your knowledge and commitment to excellence needed for employers when hiring a professional bookkeeper.

Another route is via self-study courses or apprenticeships with experienced professionals.

The best programmes are certified, have an up-to-date curriculum and graded assessments and portfolios as they allow you to demonstrate to employers that you have the required skills.

Professional Diplomas offer short sharp skills-based programmes designed specifically for learners who want to develop skills, to future proof their employability.

A Professional Diploma or certification is the ideal way to stay competitive and relevant in the changing workplace. These short, expert practitioner-led online courses are delivered at Learnful via a mobile-first learning management system with live interactive online classes and mentoring.  Professional Diplomas offer a flexible and more targeted way to gain desired skills and knowledge.

University verified Professional Diplomas certify that the holder masters the skills, abilities and knowledge necessary to perform a job. They enable the acquisition of specific professional skills to support employability and professional development of employees.

The best Providers of Professional Diplomas work hand in hand with industry to ensure the learning content contains the most up-to-date skills, core competencies and knowledge needed for you to thrive in the era of digital disruption.

Learning the technology side

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.


Related post: FAQ on the Professional Diploma in Computerised Accounts & Payroll




Experience & Networking

For those looking to become a bookkeeper, experience and networking are two important factors for success. Experience gives you the knowledge and skills necessary to perform your job well, while networking helps you make connections with other professionals in the accounting field.

Obtaining experience can be done through internships or taking on freelance bookkeeping gigs. This allows aspiring bookkeepers to get hands-on practice in the industry and learn from experienced professionals. In addition, these experiences can also help build a portfolio that can be used when applying for full-time positions.

Networking is equally as important as gaining experience when it comes to becoming a bookkeeper. Attending seminars, workshops, conferences and other group events where like minded professionals congregate will provide plenty of opportunities to meet potential employers or even partners who may offer advice on how best to succeed within the industry.

Key skills to become a top bookkeeper

A professional bookkeeper keeps records of financial transactions and prepares reports from that data. This job requires knowledge in accounting principles and practices as well as basic maths skills. To become a bookkeeper without a degree, the most important step is acquiring the necessary skills through training courses or workshops offered by vocational schools or online programs. It’s also important to gain experience through volunteer work or internships in order to demonstrate your ability when applying for jobs.

Beyond your bookkeeping training there are some other crucial skills you should have. 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 organisation 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 in order to understand what can best help your employer’s or client’s business

What do you need to set up your own bookkeeping business?

To get yourself to the stage where you’re ready to start your own business, a combination of education, certification, and mastery of the work tools are a good foundation. And most clients are going to want to see that you have some experience, including endorsement from business owners like themselves. On top of that, a desire to help others run their business well is a sound driver for starting a bookkeeping business.


Sign up for course: Professional Diploma in Computerised Accounts and Payroll


You don’t need accounting qualifications but some level of knowledge can’t hurt, especially when you’re often the messenger between the business owner and their accountant.


For those interested in becoming a professional bookkeeper, the journey can seem daunting. With knowledge of accounting principles, experience with bookkeeping software and various certifications available, there is much to consider when embarking on this career. Following the steps outlined above can help guide individuals through the process of becoming a successful bookkeeper.

First and foremost, proper education is key to success in any profession. While most positions do not require a college degree for entry-level positions, taking a course and getting proper training is really important.

The best programmes are certified, have an up-to-date curriculum and graded assessments and portfolios as they allow you to demonstrate to employers that you have the required skills. The Learnful Professional Diploma in Computerised Accounts & Payroll provides successful graduates with the opportunity to get a formal qualification. Additionally graduates are entitled to apply for Associate membership of The Institute of Certified Bookkeepers (ICB). Along with the obvious networking opportunities membership provides, graduates can also use the designatory letters ‘AICB’ after their name.

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