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Program Information: Associate Degree in Bookkeeping

Majors Overview June 16, 2013

Bookkeepers record the financial transactions of a company, such as bills paid, purchases, sales, and income. While there are no colleges or universities that offer the associate degree program in bookkeeping, there are degree programs that teach the technology and concepts, including the Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) in Accounting Technology degree program.

A.A.S. in Accounting Technology

The duties of an accountant are different compared to a bookkeeper’s duties. While bookkeepers record financial transactions of a company, accountants use those records to make appropriate investments and tax filings. An aspiring audit clerk or a business owner who is interested in obtaining a degree in bookkeeping should consider pursuing an A.A.S. in Accounting Technology degree program.

A two-year associate degree program in accounting technology can provide prospective bookkeepers and business owners with practical knowledge of accounting information systems, computer finance applications, and spreadsheets. Students who are enrolled in the associate degree program will learn how to use software related to bookkeeping and financial recording, such as Microsoft Excel and QuickBooks Pro.

Education Requirements

Admission criteria within an associate’s degree program in accounting technology offered at vocational or community college commonly require applicants to hold a general educational development (GED) certificate or a high school diploma. Schools usually offer certificate programs in bookkeeping rather than associate degrees; students can use it to help them prepare for enrollment in a degree program.

Program Course Topics

Most accounting technology associate degree program courses are designed to provide students with a practical understanding of financial reporting and bookkeeping. Program course topics may include the following:

•Fundamentals of financial accounting
•Advanced computerized accounting
•Microsoft Excel for business use
•Business tax accounting
•QuickBooks
•Bookkeeping Introduction
•Accounting Introduction

Salary Information and Employment Outlook

In 2008, there were about 2.1 million auditing clerks and bookkeepers employed across the United States (source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS – www.bls.gov)). They held jobs in various industries such as educational services, government agencies and healthcare. In May 2008, bookkeepers took home an average annual salary of approximately $32,510, according to the BLS.

Continuing Education Information

Bookkeepers throughout the United States can seek voluntary certification offered by organizations such as the American Institute of Professional Bookkeepers (AIPB – www.aipb.org). To qualify, professionals are required to pass a four-part exam and boast two years of work experience after which they are awarded the Certified Bookkeeper (CB) credential. Individuals who want to pursue continued education can enroll in a bachelor’s degree program in accounting.

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