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What Is Bookkeeping?

Bookkeeping is the daily recording of financial transactions and information as it relates to a business. Bookkeepers ensure a company’s records of all financial transactions are correct, regularly updated, and comprehensive.

Every business must track its finances, but non-profit organizations and individuals can also benefit from knowing bookkeeping basics. Bookkeepers record all financial transactions, including:

  • Expense payments to suppliers
  • Loan payments
  • Customer payments for invoices

Besides being able to track, record, and manage financial transactions, bookkeepers should also be familiar with tax, assets, loans, and investments.

What Is the Difference Between Bookkeeping and Accounting?

Bookkeeping and accounting are often used interchangeably but there are some important differences. Though both are within the professional realm of finance, bookkeeping can be considered the initial stage in any accounting process.

Bookkeepers record and update transactions, while accountants classify, analyze, interpret, report, and summarize this financial data. Because of this wider range of responsibilities, accountants usually hold degrees and certifications while bookkeepers may have a two-year degree or none at all.

A good bookkeeper saves time and money by organizing and reporting on the financial numbers of an account. An accountant also acts as an advisor and performs tasks like auditing and report management.

Bookkeeping Courses

Traditional bookkeeping courses will cover the basics of accounting and its practical applications. You will learn bookkeeping skills, including handling accounts receivable and accounts payable, accounting for fixed assets, and recording and maintaining inventory accounts. They are usually delivered online and result in a bookkeeping certification.

Other bookkeeping courses cover the functions of popular bookkeeping software like QuickBooks. QuickBooks bookkeeping courses are for anyone with a small business who wants to learn how to use this accounting software. These courses are also useful for bookkeepers who want to master all the QuickBooks functions.