Salaries On the Upswing for Bookkeeper Jobs

By Robert Half September 6, 2016 at 4:00pm

Bookkeeper jobs encompass a wide range of roles, from entry-level positions to full-charge general ledger or financial statement bookkeepers with managerial responsibilities.

While the Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that the demand for bookkeepers will decline in the years ahead, Robert Half's latest Salary Guide for Accounting and Finance shows salary ranges for bookkeeper jobs increasing from 3.3 to 3.4 percent in 2017.

Duties and expectations

Bookkeepers work as financial archivists for organizations of all types and sizes. Those working in bookkeeper jobs record an organization’s transactions, update financial statements, check financial records for accuracy and produce financial records. Depending on the organization and the position, specific duties may include:

  • Preparing financial statements
  • Processing accounts payable and accounts receivable transactions
  • Managing bank reconciliations and payroll processing
  • Tracking fixed assets and preparing depreciation schedules
  • Performing month-end closings

Interested in bookkeeper jobs? Learn more about the different bookkeeper positions. 

Professional experience and skills

Job candidates for bookkeeper jobs are typically required to have a high school diploma or equivalent. In order to secure a full-charge bookkeeping position, a candidate may be required to hold an associate degree in business or accounting and have at least five years of experience.

In general, a bookkeeper must:

  • Possess strong math skills
  • Be proficient with Microsoft Excel, QuickBooks or Sage
  • Have good communication and customer service skills

In addition, because bookkeepers often deal with information of a confidential nature, employers look for trustworthy people with good judgment and discretion. Any aspiring bookkeeper must also be detail-oriented, well organized and a stickler for accuracy. 

2017 Salary Guide coverSalary benchmarks for bookkeeper jobs

According to the Salary Guide, the average bookkeeper starting salary ranges from $50,750 to $67,750 for full-charge bookkeepers (those at the highest level who prepare financial statements) at all sizes of companies. That represents a 3.3 percent increase over 2016.

The bookkeeper salary range for those with general ledger responsibilities is slightly lower: $46,750 to $60,000, a 3.4 percent increase from the year before. The general bookkeeper salary range is $41,500 to $50,750, also a 3.4 percent increase.

Visit the Salary Center, where you'll be able to adjust salaries for bookkeeper jobs in your city with the Salary Calculator, and get your own copy of the Salary Guide.

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