photodune-4638327-bookkeeping-xsOrganizations frequently inquire about bookkeepers. Sometimes we are asked to define the scope of bookkeeping responsibilities. And sometimes clients ask us about the risk in hiring a part-time bookkeeper. In the following article, we include information on what a bookkeeper does and how various skill levels bring different value to your organization. We also discuss the risk issue. Having this information can help you decide what kind of help you need. Contemporaries can make it easy for you – we’ll suggest options and help take the mystery out of bookkeeping responsibilities.

A bookkeeper maintains the financial records for your company. A bookkeeper will update and maintain accounting records, including:

  • Records that calculate expenditures
  • Receipts
  • Accounts payable records
  • Accounts receivable data
  • Profit and loss statements

A bookkeeper or bookkeeper clerk may have responsibility for some or all of the accounts, which is called the general ledger. These individuals record all transactions and post debits (costs) and credits (income).

Bookkeepers can also produce financial statements and prepare reports and summaries for managers when needed. Bookkeepers prepare bank deposits by compiling data from cashiers, verifying information and balancing receipts. They send cash, check or other forms of payment to the bank. Bookkeepers may handle other duties such as payroll, purchasing, preparing invoices and keeping track of overdue accounts.

A Quick Reference of Responsibilities. Full Charge Bookkeepers can maintain an entire company’s books. Our most common request however, is for Accounting Clerks. An accounting clerk performs numerous computations each day and they are usually very comfortable with computers to calculate and record data. In large companies, the work of an accounting clerk can be more specialized, which is reflected in their titles (such as an accounts payable clerk or accounts receivable clerk). Accounting clerks have responsibilities that vary by level. For example:

  • Entry level accounting clerks post details of transactions, total accounts and compute interest charges. They sometimes monitor loans and accounts to ensure that payments are made on time.
  • More advanced accounting clerks may total, balance and reconcile billing vouchers. They may ensure the completeness and accuracy of data on accounts. And some accounting clerks may code documents according to company procedures.

Technology Used. The most popular small business bookkeeping software we see from our clients is QuickBooks. We also see requests for expertise in Microsoft Excel and various other database applications. Most often, information from receipts or bills is entered into computers and stored electronically. Bookkeeping software has also made it easier for businesses to manage payroll and procurement – while taking care of billing and invoicing. Knowing the depth and breadth of the particular job you are trying to fill, will help us place the right person at your company. Allow Contemporaries to help you complete a job description that works for your business.

Give us a call. If keeping your books takes too much of your time. . .If the time you spend on bookkeeping could be better spent on managing and strategizing. . .or if keeping books has become a dreaded task, Contemporaries can help you find the right part-time bookkeeper.