The US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts the job market for bookkeepers to decline by about 3% between 2020 and 2030. However, it’s not all gloom, as the report also predicts 170,200 new bookkeeping, accounting, and auditing job openings every year over the decade.
The statistics prove that the bookkeeping job market is quite competitive, and your success depends on how far you set the bar. Like other professionals aspiring for a career in this field, you may be feeling stuck in comparing bookkeeping license vs. certification.
Well, you don’t need any of the two to be a bookkeeper, but having them is the advantage you seek in this field. Find out more in this article.
Bookkeeping License vs. Certification: Which One Is Necessary
Bookkeepers are people with the skills, experience, and knowledge in creating financial reports. They do this for businesses and organizations, ensuring accuracy in financial statements.
Their duties include recording transactions, producing invoices, running payrolls, and posting debits. Sometimes they also help in maintaining ledger accounts.
You don’t need any licensing or certification to be a bookkeeper. Studies show that many bookkeepers learn and advance their skills through experience.
The only requirements for entry-level are basic computer and math skills. Knowledge in using bookkeeping software and spreadsheets is also essential. Another qualification necessary is the practice license to run bookkeeping as a business legally.
Most employers don’t require their employees to produce the license or certification, especially if they have prior experience in the field. However, credentials come in handy if you’re venturing into this field for the first time or want to be different from the crowd.
Some of the reasons to get certification as a bookkeeper include:
- To make your marketing more effective
- For more bargaining power during payment
- To show your commitment to your job
- To boost your job security
- To get an advantage in the job market
Some employers don’t insist on hiring candidates with bookkeeping certification or licenses. However, reports indicate that most employers prefer candidates with higher education.
Where to Find Bookkeeping License or Certification
There are two significant ways of getting a bookkeeping license or certification in the USA. The first is by applying at the National Association of Certified Bookkeepers (NACPB). The other way is via the American Institute of Professional Bookkeepers (AIPB).
Apart from these two, you may also find your bookkeeping certification online. Besides, you can register with a recognized traditional college offering related courses.
The AIPB and NACPB credentials are acceptable in the US, regardless of your state of residence. However, this may not apply in other countries, and it’s essential to confirm with the relevant bodies.
How to Receive the NACPB Certification
The NACPB offers certified bookkeeping professionals (CPB) licenses to eligible candidates. You can qualify by having a bachelor’s or an associate’s degree or completing their courses. These courses include accounting, payroll, and QuickBooks fundamentals.
Similarly, you can receive the certification by satisfying the work experience requirement – 4000 hours working as a bookkeeper. Other ways include:
- Passing their four-part exam
- Agreeing to abide by the bookkeeping ethics
- Completing continuing professional education (CPE) yearly
How to be a Certified Bookkeeper (CB)
The AIPB provides CB designation to qualifying candidates. It’s a good start for anyone venturing into the field for the first time and with no educational background. It’s also ideal for those who have experience but require certification.
To qualify, you need to complete a 2-page application and have at least two years of working experience. You should also pass the four-part exams, agree to abide by the work ethics, and complete the required 20 hours of CPE yearly.
Take Charge of Your Career
Education prepares you for a better future in your career and life in general. Bookkeeping license vs. certification may no longer be an issue in your employability.
However, getting a degree in your field of interest gives you an advantage over other candidates. It also makes you more competent.
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