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chapter three of six

What does a bookkeeper do?

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Accountant & bookkeeper guides > What is bookkeeping? > What does a bookkeeper do?

Keeping the books is just one of the tasks modern bookkeepers might handle. Depending on the business they work with, their duties can be quite diverse.

Responsibilities of a bookkeeper

Bookkeepers are responsible for providing accurate, up-to-date financial information about a business. They’re always taking the pulse of a business.

Most often, their reports go to business owners and managers to help them make decisions. Some bookkeepers, however, are actually involved in strategy development.

Bookkeepers may also share some jobs with accountants, such as the preparation of annual financial reports and tax returns.

Bookkeeping duties

The two foundational tasks in small business bookkeeping are data entry and bank reconciliation. Without these, all other bookkeeping tasks fall over. Let’s walk through the core duties, common additional duties, and advanced bookkeeping.

Core duties

Data entry

Recording financial transactions and balancing the books. Learn more.

Bank reconciliation

Cross-referencing the books against bank statements and other source documents to confirm accuracy. Learn more.

Monthly reports

Summarising the business’s financial position. Learn more.

Additional duties

Accounts receivable (and credit control)

Creating and sending invoices, and following up to get them paid. Learn more.

Accounts payable

Making sure invoices from suppliers are accurate and paid in a timely manner. Learn more.


Calculating pay and deductions. Learn more.

Advanced duties

Tax filing

Preparing tax returns. Learn more.

End of year reporting

Assisting with annual profit and loss and balance sheet reports.

Business strategy

Creating budgets and forecasts, and advising on
how to improve the business. 

Business process

Reviewing, researching and implementing software solutions and internal controls to streamline the business and enhance performance.


Working with staff on best practice
bookkeeping and use of software solutions.

Virtual office

Providing a full-service virtual office, for example telephones, postal address, and email communications.


Meeting with accountants, on behalf of their clients, about financials and tax queries. Acting on behalf of the client with the tax authorities.

Chapter 4: What types of bookkeeper are there?

There are many types of bookkeepers. Just like there are many types of business. Get a sense for the bookkeeping roles out there.

Read next chapter

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