Typical bookkeeping operations may include these items: cash processing, payables processing, inventory accounting, debt accounting, sales and collection activities, fixed assets and depreciation, payroll activities, payroll taxes, income tax filings, etc.
Whether bookkeepers are still mostly solving their daily problems with spreadsheet, or cloud-based accounting software such as Xero or Quickbooks, it is important for the book-keeper to have the ability to compilethe key financial reports from scratch or through the Quickbooks/Xero software. Such key reports usually include the balance sheet, income statement, and cash flow report.
A business that provides services to customers may often have to monitor unpaid invoices and/or upcoming invoices through the accounts receivable aging report (also known as a schedule of accounts receivable).
For example, a typical accounts receivable aging report would display line by line the customer name as a summary with these metrics in the column: 0-30 days, 31-60 days, 61-90 days, total amounts, etc.
Assume the report is generated through software such as Quickbooks or Xero. The columns that show the date ranges (such as 0-30 days, etc) may be re-configured or re-arranged in a way that suits the accounting requirements of a particular company.
The report would contain invoices in the majority, but may display credit notes.
A typical use of this report is to view the current payment status of all the outstanding invoices.
Auditors may use the report to select invoices in which they are to issue confirmations as an exercise of the year-end activities of the business.
A business with many vendors in which services are received may have to monitor through the accounts payable aging report. Bookkeepers can always apply the similar concept (mentioned above) to customize this report.
The Bookkeeping Skills
When you go back to the basics, the book-keeping work of a typical bookkeeper person on a daily basis may involve the person knowing most or all of the following items:
Have the required practice experience in the principles of accounting and the nature of the accounting cycle.
Have the ability to identify the scenarios when different structures of the chart of accounts are used.
Have the ability to identify and use different types of subsidiary ledgers.
Understand and have practice experience working with the steps involved in closing the books.
Have the ability to review all the financial statements and provide the necessary insights to the business owner.
Have the knowledge of all the different formats where the financial statements can be presented.
Have the practical experience to deal with the processing of billings, cash receipts, payables, expense reports, payroll, and more.
Understand how to work with the reimbursement rules that would translate into expense reports.
Understand the types of inventory tracking methods, and be able to estimate the cost of ending inventory.