Certified bookkeeper: How To Become a Certified Bookkeeper

Certified bookkeeper

This course is completely online, so there’s no need to show up to a classroom in person. You can access your lectures, readings and assignments anytime and anywhere via the web or your mobile device. Let us know what type of degree you’re looking into, and we’ll find a list of the best programs to get you there. A majority of professional certifications expire periodically and require renewal.

  • A majority of professional certifications expire periodically and require renewal.
  • Discover more about bookkeeping certifications and bookkeeping certificates, and learn about choosing the best option for your goals.
  • The exams use multiple-choice questions to test knowledge of key topics, including adjustments and error correction, payroll, inventory, and fraud prevention.
  • This will let potential clients know that you’re qualified, which will generate new leads and allow you to negotiate higher billing rates.
  • The total cost of the program is $589 if the tuition is paid in full upfront.

The organization offers both a bookkeeper license program and a bookkeeper certification. You can also become certified through local or online college courses or specialize in particular accounting software. We have evaluated each of these programs to help you determine the best one for you. Unlike the AIPB and NACPB certifications, you won’t earn the certified bookkeeper or certified public bookkeeper distinction when you complete these courses.

Certified Public Bookkeeper Program Steps

If you already have the bookkeeping knowledge you need, you might choose to grow your business around a particular accounting application by becoming certified in that software. By getting certified, you’ll have a better understanding of the software so that you can support your small business clients. You’ll also have added credibility and increased visibility from being listed in advisor directories so that potential clients can find you easily. There are several additional bookkeeper courses and certification programs that will provide certification. One benefit to this type of study is that you’ll have access to instructors while you learn. Available courses include UCLA Extension’s Bookkeeping Specialization program and U.S.

Membership also gives you access to resources that can help you prepare to become a CPB. To maintain the CB credential, you must fulfill 60 continuing education credits every three years. Requirements for CB certification are more extensive, as they ask for at least 3,000 hours of experience or two years of bookkeeping or accounting experience. Therefore, the length of the Program is determined by the time you dedicate to the Program and your understanding of bookkeeping, payroll, and accounting.

Certified bookkeeper

You can then use this in your email signature, on your business cards, social media sites, and other marketing materials. This will let potential clients know that you’re qualified, which will generate new leads and allow you to negotiate higher billing rates. Becoming certified in accounting software, such as QuickBooks, Xero, or Zoho Books, is a wise decision, especially when the majority of your clients use that particular software. Although you won’t earn a more general bookkeeping certification, you’ll receive access to free resources such as software, tech support, and a free listing in member directories. QuickBooks ProAdvisors will also be able to use a certification badge on all marketing materials. The NACPB requires you to complete four bookkeeping certifications to obtain the CPB license.

Danielle Bauter is a writer for the Accounting division of Fit Small Business. She has owned Check Yourself, a bookkeeping and payroll service that specializes in small business, for over twenty years. She holds a Bachelor’s degree from UCLA and has served on the Board of the National Association of Women Business Owners. She also regularly writes about travel, food, and books for various lifestyle publications. To achieve certification, you must complete a four-hour certification course.

Alternatively, you can locate a suitable online or traditional college course that will provide you with certification along with a thorough bookkeeping education. If you’re an efficient bookkeeper, you may want to focus on one particular accounting software program. The right certification for you’ll depend on your level of education and experience, your need for credibility, time and financial resources, and the type of accounting software you wish to specialize in. Two popular options are certifications and/or licenses available through the American Institute of Professional Bookkeepers and the National Association of Certified Public Bookkeepers. Other options include online and traditional college courses and accounting software certification programs.

The American Institute of Professional Bookkeepers reports that graduates of its Certified Bookkeeper program have experienced career advancement. In-house bookkeepers have secured new jobs, promotions, and raises, while freelance bookkeepers have gained new clients, raised their rates, and used certification status for promoting their services [3]. According to Payscale, people in the US with a bookkeeping certification can earn, on average, $55,000 per year [2]. You’ll receive instructions via email about how to best prepare and set up your test-taking environment at home, a local library or another place with an internet connection. Accounting Analytics offers leading students a bookkeeping career with Accounting Analytics based on how well the student performs in their courses, exams, and internship. Once you complete your training and receive your certifications, you apply your knowledge and develop your skill serving an unpaid internship with Accounting Analytics.

Search top-tier programs curated by your interests.

The primary difference between the AIPB’s certification and NACPB’s license is the resulting title. Those credentialed by AIPB earn the Certified Bookkeeper (CB) designation. Those who earn licensure through NACPB gain the Certified Public Bookkeeper (CPB) title. Depending on what you plan to do, bookkeepers need education, certification, experience, or licensing.

Professionals retaking the CB exam must complete a 30-day waiting period. Bookkeepers seeking the CPB license must complete all portions of the exam online. Those seeking the CB credential must schedule in-person appointments at a Prometric testing center.

CB candidates must pass all exam sections within three years of registration. Give your bookkeeping career a jump-start with the certification that trains you with the most advanced bookkeeping courses. The four-course Bookkeeping Specialization program is offered by UCLA Extension. It’s designed for experienced bookkeepers as well as office managers or those who are looking to make the transition to a career in bookkeeping or accounting.

  • CPB licensure lasts one year, after which you must demonstrate that you completed all necessary continuing education credits and pay an annual membership fee.
  • Recertification can ensure that you have mastered the latest bookkeeping skills, techniques, approaches, and technologies.
  • Candidates must pay an additional $98 to purchase the two workbooks, which contain the exams for parts three and four.

Be sure to allow enough time in your schedule to learn the skills your certification or certificate program measures, and be mindful of any deadlines by which you must take a certifying exam. In this section, we’ll cover two primary bookkeeping certifications and two popular bookkeeping certificates. Additionally, the options outlined in the table below can be completed online, and many are self-paced, meaning you can work on them around your other responsibilities. They typically manage a company’s financial accounts and maintain accurate records.

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You can also network, with exclusive access to Zoho’s partner portal and events that are conducted worldwide. Once you’ve met all of your chosen credential’s requirements and completed your preparatory courses, it’s time to take the exams. For preparatory courses and workbooks, AIPB charges $254 for members and $324 for members. The final two parts of the exam are free and included in the workbooks. Another difference to note between the CBP and CB credentials is cost. You must pay for each part of the required exam, along with any preparation courses you may take.

Certified bookkeeper

Professionals looking to brush up on bookkeeping fundamentals can enroll in this introductory course from edX. Free, self-paced, and designed for part-time completion in six weeks, edX’s course covers topics including banking processes, payroll, ledger accounts, and reconciliations. The Association of Chartered Certified Accountants developed this course. To register for AIPB’s CB exam, candidates must fill out and mail an application, allowing four weeks for processing.

These include certifications in bookkeeping, payroll, QuickBooks and accounting. Each has an accompanying self-taught course that takes 11 to 13 weeks to complete. A certification includes a pre-assessment test, the course itself, a post-assessment test and a certification exam. QuickBooks is the most popular accounting software used by small businesses. There are many benefits that come with this program, such as a ProAdvisor certification badge that you can include on marketing materials like your business cards and website.

Think about each factor and prioritize the ones that are most important to you. For example, perhaps you can be flexible about cost but need a certificate that you can complete relatively quickly. Annual renewal applications cost $25 for NACPB members and $50 for nonmembers.

In addition, you’ll be listed on the Find-a-ProAdvisor website so that small businesses that need to hire a QuickBooks Pro can find you. If you’re interested in learning more, read our article about how to become a QuickBooks ProAdvisor. As a financial professional, your credibility is key and a major factor in attracting or retaining clients. The primary purpose of becoming a certified bookkeeper is to enhance your credibility. Before selecting a certification program, you need to decide exactly what type of credibility you’re seeking. Do you want to be more credible across bookkeeping in general, or just for a particular software program, like QuickBooks or Xero?

When students obtain one year of bookkeeping experience, they receive their Certified Public Bookkeeper (CPB) license. Accounting Analytics provides the intern bookkeeping and payroll process tools, support, and supervision. Learn how to work through the phases of the accounting cycle to produce key financial statements. Online exam retakes with NACPB cost $50 per part for members and $75 for non-members. NACPB does not require formal registration for the CPB licensure exam. Candidates can purchase access to each exam section directly from the NACPB website.

You must earn a grade of 75% for parts 1 and 2 and 70% for parts 3 and 4 to achieve certification. Evaluate whether you currently have the knowledge to be an efficient bookkeeper or if you have formal education or equivalent experience that could be applied toward certification. Once you’ve identified what matters most out of a bookkeeping certification program or a bookkeeping certificate, start researching which options align most closely with your priorities. Both certifications and certificates cover foundational tasks as well as more advanced tasks. There are options that serve as an introduction to the subject, while others expect some amount of prior experience. AIPB offers a series of six self-paced classes and accompanying workbooks, all of which are part of AIPB’s CB preparatory course.