The main and most generic description of bookkeeping is to track and record spending in order to ensure that a company, organization, or individual’s account is accurate. Bookkeeping is all about accuracy and keeping the accounts up to date. Any expenditures and income are recorded and documented by the bookkeepers. The bookkeeping manager oversees all of these processes.
The manager ensures that his or her team not only keeps precise records, but also produces reports to help management have a full understanding of spending practices. It is also the responsibility of the manager to make recommendations to the corporation, institution, or individual client about where spending can be cut. Managers are responsible for the full scope of bookkeeping tasks, from updating account spreadsheets or producing reports, to even receiving and depositing funds.
Most financial institutions have an experienced team of bookkeepers, led by a skilled manager, who guarantees that all of the profits are properly recorded and that all money is accounted for. Since these institutions conduct business with money entrusted to them by clients, bookkeeping managers play an essential role in the integrity of the business. They prepare the books in the event of an audit and make sure that all money, especially clients’ money, is being used in an ethical manner, consistent with the needs of the client and the institution.
Bookkeeping managers also oversee the transfer of funds and make note of overdue accounts. Within a bank, a bookkeeping manager may be responsible for identifying these kinds of accounts and notifying collections. Institutions may require managers to not only oversee, but also examine work done by the bookkeeping team, in order to affirm that accounts are balanced and properly recorded.
Though a bachelor’s degree in accounting is not required by most employers, some do require at least some courses in accounting and bookkeeping. For managerial positions, prior leadership experience is a requisite. Alternatively, on the job training and experience as a successful bookkeeper will substitute for a lack of previous leadership roles. Certification from either the National Bookkeepers Association or the American Institute of Professional Bookkeepers ensures that bookkeepers have professional experience and follow the bookkeeper’s ethical code.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics has a detailed breakdown of salary averages, common working environments, and future job outlooks.