Bookkeepers do work related to financial transactions, records and reporting. Some work for a single company while others work for accounting or consulting firms, providing services to a number of clients. While the exact duties of bookkeepers vary by employer, many tasks related to recording and balancing financial transactions are common to most bookkeeping positions.
Accounts payables functions are typically handled by bookkeepers. Tasks include receiving invoices, verifying receipt of products and services, matching invoices to purchase orders and contracts, determining due dates and ensuring that payments are processed and made in a timely manner.
Bookkeepers are also involved in receivables management. Duties may include creating and sending client invoices and statements, receiving payments, posting payments against invoices or to client accounts and making bank deposits. Because customers don’t always pay bills in a timely manner, bookkeepers must also keep up with past-due accounts, send collections letters and make collections calls.
In addition to keeping up with paying expenses and receiving revenue while ensuring that all transactions stay in balance, bookkeepers are often involved in record keeping related to banking. Duties often include verifying deposits and payments, keeping up with account balances and performing monthly bank account reconciliations.
Payroll processing is often included in bookkeeping job descriptions, particularly in relatively small companies. Bookkeepers who handle payroll may be involved in calculating payroll for hourly and salaried employees, calculating withholding for benefits and wage garnishments, processing and filing payroll taxes and more.
Bookkeepers are typically responsible for generating monthly, quarterly and annual financial reports for company managers. Reports may include profit and loss statements, outstanding receivables reports, outstanding payables reports, income summaries, balance sheets and more.
Data entry is an important duty associated with most bookkeeping jobs. Bookkeepers ensure that data entry related to financial transactions is properly entered into the information technology system used by the employer or clients in a timely and accurate manner.
Bookkeepers are typically involved with ensuring that their companies keep up with tax obligations, from making quarterly income and payroll tax deposits to processing annual W-9 and 1099 forms and filing annual state, federal and municipal tax returns. In some organizations, bookkeepers are responsible for keeping accurate records to provide to a staff accountant or accounting firm for finalization, while in others they handle all aspects of preparing and filing company tax returns.