Becoming a Bookkeeper in Australia


What is bookkeeping?

Bookkeeping is an exciting profession that opens doors across Australia for people with a passion for order, balance, and numbers.

In businesses across the country, bookkeepers are responsible for keeping track of money coming in and going out, paying employees and bills on time, and keeping financial records up to date down to the smallest detail.

Duties of a bookkeeper

Bookkeepers are responsible for the management of the daily financial activities of their clients or employers. Their focus is on ensuring the financial wellbeing of their client and that all transactions are in line with current regulations.

Becoming a bookkeeper in Australia involves various day-to-day responsibilities and tasks. These can include recording financial transactions, producing financial statements and reports, processing payroll, and maintaining employee records as well as preparing and delivering invoices and receipts.

What skills do you need to be a successful bookkeeper?

To become a good bookkeeper, you’ll need to have the following skills or be working towards achieving them:

  • Problem-solving skills
  • Multitasking ability
  • Detail-oriented
  • Numerical accuracy
  • Analytical mindset
  • Strong organisation and communication skills
  • Methodical and patient
  • Willingness to learn new bookkeeping technologies

You will also benefit from having experience with spreadsheet programs, ATO portals, accounting software, and databases.

Where do bookkeepers work in Australia?

Bookkeepers are mostly responsible for maintaining and examining transaction records in account ledgers and digital accounting systems. Bookkeepers are mostly sought after in industries associated with education and training, science, technical services, and construction, but are not limited to these.

Becoming a bookkeeper in Australia, you will most likely find yourself operating in small to medium-sized businesses unless you want to start your own bookkeeping business.

After gaining the required qualifications and experience necessary, many bookkeepers consider specialising in roles such as a Financial Administration Officer. After you become a certified bookkeeper in Australia you can work in the following roles in most companies:

  • Bookkeeper
  • Payroll Officer
  • Payroll Clerks 
  • Accounts Administrator
  • Accounts Officer
  • Accounts Receivable Officer
  • Accounts Payable Officer
  • Accounting Operatives
  • Debtors Clerk
  • Inventory Clerks 
  • Accounts Clerks 
  • Accounts Payable Clerks
  • Accounts Receivable Clerks 

Work environment for a bookkeeper

As a bookkeeper, you can choose between working in a full-time or part-time environment. You can also choose to work for an organisation as an employee or set up your own business and find a wide range of clients from various industries. This flexibility makes an ideal career choice for many people in different sectors, with the ability to work in an office or remotely.

Interested in a bookkeeping course to further your career? To get started we have compiled this handy step-by-step guide to becoming a bookkeeper in Australia.

Complete Certification Course

The first step to becoming a bookkeeper is to complete a FNS40222 Certificate IV in Accounting and Bookkeeping or higher. Undertaking a recognised bookkeeping course not only increases your chances of employment, but it is also essential to register as a BAS agent (more on that later).

A Certificate IV course provides the fundamental skills you need to start working as a bookkeeper, including:

  • Establishing and maintaining payroll systems
  • Administering ledgers and accounts
  • Completing BAS and instalment activity statements
  • Preparing financial reports
  • Processing financial transactions
  • Working effectively in the industry
  • There are a variety of options to become certified as a bookkeeper in Australia.

Wiseclick Training offers the full Nationally Recognised FNS40222 Certificate IV in Accounting and Bookkeeping once a week as face-to-face training with the completion of this course over twelve months. Alternatively, you can choose the fully flexible study at your own pace online option. See our accounting course options and other short courses here.

Bookkeeping Work Experience

Congratulations, you completed a Certificate IV! Now you are ready to gain hands-on experience in the real world, working in an accounting office or consultancy.

After completing your course there are a few ways to put yourself forward for work experience:

  • Update your CV ready to send out
  • Sign with a temp agency as many temp bookkeepers end up employed full time
  • As a student of WiseClick Training, you can have your resume placed on our Job Placement Register
  • Use personal networks or LinkedIn to find opportunities
  • Apply through job sites
  • Look on the careers page of companies you might like to work for

    With a Certificate IV and a friendly approach, you will surely get snapped up quickly by a great company. Once you have the experience, you can start levelling up your career by working on BAS and other tax tasks.

Continual Professional Development

Qualified bookkeepers require ongoing professional development to keep their skills up to date.  Learn about our range of short educational courses, single units, and certificates here.

Register as a BAS Agent

Many bookkeepers will be hired to keep track of finances leading to the preparation of a Business Activity Statement (BAS), the report every business needs to lodge with the Tax Office.

The good news is, a FNS40222 Certificate IV in Accounting and Bookkeeping makes you eligible to become a registered BAS agent. You can apply directly to the Tax Practitioners Board for registration via their website, all the information you need is via this link. Once approved you then become a Nationally Registered BAS Agent.

Becoming a registered BAS agent improves your employment opportunities and diversifies your work, however it is not essential to becoming a bookkeeper. Registered bookkeepers looking for a new challenge often find registering as a BAS agent provides the career step-change they are seeking.

Is a Career in Bookkeeping for You?

Wherever there are successful and growing businesses, there are bookkeepers behind the scenes keeping the balance sheet in order.

If you have an excellent eye for detail and an analytical mind to solve problems, a career in bookkeeping might be perfect for you.

Take the first steps with WiseClick, a Registered Training Organisation who specialise in training top-quality bookkeepers and accounts staff.