Bookkeeper job description

What does a Bookkeeper do?

Bookkeepers provide essential services to businesses by processing and recording everyday transactions, and producing financial statements.

Bookkeepers may also be required to prepare and lodge Business Activity Statements (BAS) for taxation purposes. 

It’s essential for Bookkeepers who are providing BAS services for a fee or payment to be registered as a BAS Agent with the Tax Practitioners Board. If a Bookkeeper is not a registered BAS Agent, they cannot lodge BAS statements.

Bookkeepers usually work in small to medium sized businesses across a variety of industries, and the scope of a Bookkeeper’s role and day-to-day tasks may vary based on the size of the business. In larger organisations, responsibilities may be divided among a number of bookkeeping positions. In a small business, one Bookkeeper may be required to provide a broader range of services.

As you a Bookkeeper, you’ll report to the business manager but may be required to liaise with other employees, particularly when handling tasks such as payroll. 

Daily tasks for a Bookkeeper

The responsibilities of a Bookkeeper vary according to the size and nature of their employer, and may include:

  • Recording the financial transactions of a business in bookkeeping software (such as MYOB or QuickBooks), spreadsheets or databases. 
  • Arranging payment of accounts.
  • Preparing and sending invoices and receipts to debtors.
  • Processing payroll and maintaining employee records.
  • Carrying out bank reconciliations.
  • Reporting for preparation of a Business Activity Statement (BAS).
  • Checking figures and reporting for accuracy.
  • Reporting any irregularities in data to management.
  • Producing balance sheets, income statements and other financial documents.

To learn about the skills, traits and qualifications you’ll need as a Bookkeeper, read our tips on how to become an Bookkeeper.

Working hours of a Bookkeeper

Bookkeepers typically work regular Monday to Friday business hours. On average, full-time Bookkeepers work 38.8 hours per week, compared to 41.1 hours per week for all other occupations (Job Outlook).

Bookkeepers may be employed by businesses, or be self-employed and provide bookkeeping services on a contract basis. Self-employment may allow for greater flexibility in working hours and the option to work remotely or from home.

What is the difference between a Bookkeeper and an Accountant?

Bookkeepers and Accountants both provide essential business services, and in some cases they work together. However, there are key differences between the roles of a Bookkeeper and an Accountant.

A Bookkeeper is responsible for recording financial transactions, maintaining accurate records and providing reports or statements to managers.

An Accountant interprets, analyses and reports on financial data, providing in depth insights to the business on financial matters.

The roles and responsibilities of a Bookkeeper and Accountant may vary or overlap according to their level of experience and the size of the business.