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What does a
Bookkeeper do?

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Other common names for this position: Accounting Bookkeeper, Accounting Technician, Bookkeeping Clerk, Budget Officer, Finance Bookkeeper, Finance Officer


Bookkeepers play an important role in most companies. As the name of the position clearly implies, bookkeepers are tasked with the maintenance, balance, and update of accounting books. It is the duty of a Bookkeeper to record all the financial activities of the company they work for.

Since they are the ones that keep track of all the money that goes in and out of a company, Bookkeepers are employed by all sorts of organizations, both in the private and public sectors. Large companies employ entire teams of Bookkeepers to run their respective departments. Some medium or small businesses have a single person in charge of this, whereas some others prefer to hire Accounting firms that specialize in providing this service to third parties. Some Bookkeepers, however, are self-employed.

Bookkeepers prepare financial reports based on the information they have gathered from the financial books they keep. Based on these reports, share-holders, managers, and superior accountants can accurately know the financial status of the company and may make an informed decision on how they should proceed on future projects.

Primary Responsibilities

Here’s a non-exhaustive list of common tasks Bookkeepers are required to complete.

  • Keeping the financial records of a company:
  • Establishing parameters for accounting books;
  • maintaining and balancing the books; and
  • using manual and computerized bookkeeping systems.
  • Posting daily journal entries into the ledgers:
  • Checking and recording daily revenue and expenses; and
  • balancing both entries.
  • Preparing accounting reports:
  • Analysing past and current accounting statistics in the company;
  • verifying that all expenses are accounted for;
  • verifying that all incomes are accurately reported; and
  • writing a report based on this information.
  • Creating and maintaining a company’s budget:
  • Explaining the budget to clients or supervisors; and
  • giving advice on budgets.
  • Preparing financial statements:
  • Calculating end-of-year accounts; and
  • writing and presenting reports based on these accounts.
  • Calculating and preparing payrolls, utility cheques, invoices, and other bills.
  • Preparing tax return reports:
  • Complying with taxation legislation and regulations;
  • locating possible deductibles; and
  • advising on tax issues or irregularities.
  • Projecting future statistics for the company based on current balances.

Daily Tasks

  • Keeping the financial records of a company.
  • Posting entries on revenue and expenses into the ledgers.
  • Balancing accounting books.
  • Preparing cheques for payrolls, tax returns, and other bills.
  • Writing financial statements.
  • Completing and submitting tax return forms.
  • Writing financial reports and creating projections based on them.
  • Establishing and planning budgets.

The average Bookkeeper salary is $40,534 per year or $21 per hour. This is around 1.2 times more than the Median wage of the country. Entry level positions start at $28,000 while most experienced workers make up to $57,000. These results are based on 1,324 salaries extracted from job descriptions.

Gross Salary43,857.67 $
CPP- 1,997.67 $
EI- 824.52 $
Federal Tax- 4,284.38 $
Provincial Tax- 2,144.38 $
Total Tax- 9,250.96 $
Net Pay*34,606.71 $
In Ontario, Canada, if you make 43,857.67 $ a year, you will be taxed 9,250.96 $. That means that your take home pay will be 34,606.71 $ per year, or 2,883.89 $ per month. Your average tax rate is 21.09% and your marginal tax rate is 29.62%.
* Deductions are calculated based on the tables of Ontario, Canada income tax.
Job Offers
There are currently 656 available job offers for the Bookkeeper position on Below is a list of available jobs, based on Canada's most populated metropolitan areas.
Education is key ! Over [number] graduates attended one or more of these schools prior to becoming a Bookkeeper. These Schools usually offer specialized courses and programs that impart the necessary knowledge and skills required by most employers.
Top 5 Schools in Canada
to become Bookkeeper
  • 1
    Montreal, Quebec
  • 2
    Montreal, Quebec
Required Skills and Qualifications
  • Excellent communication skills:
  • Communicating clearly, both in writing and verbally, in order to effectively advise and interact with clients or employers;
  • explaining accounting procedures to clients or employers, simplifying often complex and lengthy matters and using a non-technical language;
  • writing detailed and accurate accounting reports and being able to explain the results to clients or employers; and
  • being able to work as part of a team.
  • Highly detail-oriented:
  • Analyzing financial receipts and detailed information regarding finances;
  • carefully and accurately entering data into accounting books; and
  • balancing long and complex financial books.
  • Outstanding numeric and mathematical skills:
  • Performing simple and complex calculations; and
  • rounding off zeros to designate numbers as thousands or millions.
  • Excellent organizational and time management skills:
  • Working with several clients and balancing different books at the same time;
  • writing reports for different clients; and
  • meeting deadlines.
  • Good analytical skills:
  • Analyzing incomes and expenses to find possible reductions;
  • having a methodical approach to analysis;
  • analyzing budgets; and
  • finding ways to increase efficiency.
  • Strong computer skills:
  • Using automated computer software for balance sheets and income statements; and
  • being knowledgeable in all available specialized programs.
  • High levels of integrity and honesty.

Although qualifications needed to become a Bookkeeper are not officially standardized, most companies and Accounting firms tend to look at candidates who share a certain set of skills. The minimum educational requirement for this position is a high school diploma, however, a great majority of firms will prefer to hire applicants with a bachelor’s degree in Business, Mathematics, or Finances, even for entry-level positions. Having one (1) to two (2) years of previous experience in the fields of Finance, Retail, or Customer Service can also be an asset. Moreover, once Bookkeepers are hired by a firm or a company, proper training is usually provided within the establishment itself.

For higher positions, all applicants are required to complete a certification process. To become a Certified Bookkeeper, applicants must go through a process ran by the Canadian Institute of Bookkeeping (CIB) , during which they must complete nine academic courses. In addition to successfully completing these courses, candidates must have 3 years of full-time work experience as Bookkeepers. The final stage of the process is passing an examination issued by the CIB. Once the process is completed, Bookkeepers can receive their certification and may aspire for higher positions within their field. Regardless of their rank, Bookkeepers need to be able to work with minimum supervision as well as a part of a team in order to ensure maximum efficiency.

The majority of Bookkeepers work a standard 40 hours a week, Monday through Friday. However, in times close to deadlines or when there is more work than usual to be done, (e.g. processing end-of-month accounts or at the beginning or ending of the fiscal year), it is common for Bookkeepers to work extra hours.

Most of the work is office-based and there’s little interaction with the general public. Travelling is common for self-employed Bookkeepers when they need to meet with their clients.