Job Title: Bookkeeper
Type of Company: A financial planning firm.
Education: high school and some college accounting courses
Previous Experience: I started working for a small company and over the past 20 years have worked my way up to a job with an 18 million dollar financial planning firm.
Job Tasks: My primary duty is to maintain accurate books and records for the firm, with a particular emphasis on accounts payable and accounts receivable.
Accounts payable requires posting all bills that need to be paid and paying them in a timely manner. To do this properly, you have to review the bills for accuracy, previous payment, credits due, etc. You then post the bills to the proper account. The electric bill, for example, would be posted to the utility account. When posting bills on the computer, you don't have to input the type, only the amount due and the due date. But every day you check to see what bills are due to be paid. At this time, a list of bills to pay is generated and approved for payment. Once approved, the checks will be cut and mailed.
Accounts receivable involves posting all cash/checks received on a daily basis. Just as in accounts payable you post the monies owed to others, in accounts receivable you post the monies owed the company and when those monies are due. Once you've received them, you enter the information in the computer so you know who owes you money at any given time. Accounts are classified as current, within 30 days old, 30 - 60 days, 60 - 90 days and over 90 days. Based on a schedule that you print weekly, a report is generated to let you know who is delinquent and collections calls are then made to those customers .
Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The best part of the job is accounts receivable; it is a lot more exciting bringing money into the firm than having it go out. Making sure all of the accounts receivable is maintained and in as close to current status as humanly possible is rewarding. Most firms will pay you a bonus based on the status of your receivables. But clearly, having a large sum of money uncollected is bad business.
Accounts payable can be somewhat mundane, but I try to make it exciting, challenging myself to go out and look for better deals, better payment terms, etc.
Job Tips: Since I do not have a college degree, I have had to work much harder than most. In life, we get out of it what we are willing to put into it. Never pass up the opportunity to learn something, even if it means you must do your own work after hours and on your own dime (obviously not at the expense of missing a deadline). Always volunteer for projects, again, even if it means completing your work later.
No matter what you decide to do with your life, always tackle it with enthusiasm and pride. Start each day trying to be the best you can be and never go home until you have learned something new.
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