Although large multinational companies have licensed accountants to manage their accounts and finances, most small private businesses do not need the high level of expertise or training that a CPA, or certified public accountant, has to offer. Instead, these small businesses and individuals simply need someone who can manage the accounts, ledgers and payroll each month.
If you are skilled at math and enjoy finance and budgeting but don’t want to spend several years enrolled in a traditional full time college program, then you might want to consider an online bookkeeping diploma.
These certifications will prepare you for careers working with a number of different businesses, and can often provide job security and a great salary. Read on to learn more about these degrees, what prerequisites are required, what it takes to be a success in this industry and why you may want to consider online learning instead of traditional college courses.
Understanding the Degrees Available
An online certification course in becoming a bookkeeper will typically take a year to complete and will consist of six or more courses. Although the specific course titles and subjects will vary depending on where you choose to earn your degree, some examples include macroeconomics, microeconomics, basic accounting, business communications, database applications and spreadsheets.
Since the available degree programs can differ significantly, you may have to earn anywhere from 15 to 48 credits in your given program. Full time students may be able to complete the shorter programs in as little as 4 months, but the longer programs can take several years to finish.
What It Takes to Be a Successful Bookkeeper
In order to work as a bookkeeper, you will be expected to have a certification or degree of some kind, have an interest in finance or payroll, be detail oriented and have great communication skills.
You may need to discuss budgets or finances with the company’s owners or managers, so clear speaking and writing skills will make your job much simpler. In order to qualify for online degree or certification programs, you will typically need to be over the age of 18 or have your parent’s permission, be a high school graduate or have a general education degree.
The most successful bookkeepers will enjoy working with numbers, be comfortable working alone when necessary and can focus on tasks for long periods of time.
Reasons to Consider Online Learning
Many potential bookkeepers have to decide between traditional college degrees and online courses. You might want to consider online learning thanks to its convenience, affordability and its adjustable schedule. The two biggest reasons that adults use to avoid going back to school are the cost and the time. With online programs, you can schedule any studying and exams around your existing work, family or social calendar. The costs of an online program are also often lower than traditional brick and mortar college courses.
Career Opportunities for Bookkeepers
Bookkeepers with certifications and online degrees will continue to be in great demand throughout the business sector, the healthcare industry and in education. Any company or organization that needs to track its finances, manage its budget or pay its staff needs a certified bookkeeper on the payroll. Some bookkeepers will work full time with one specific company and many others own their own businesses and work a few hours a week with a number of different clients. This career can be exciting, rewarding and lucrative for the right trained candidates.