Bookkeeping jobs aren’t just restricted to the finance sector: every kind of business you can possibly think of makes use of bookkeeping services. There are consequently plenty of job opportunities for bookkeepers in South Africa.
What are a bookkeeper’s responsibilities?
A bookkeeper’s professional responsibilities and duties depend on the capacity in which he or she is employed, as well as on the size and nature of the company.
In a large company, you might only be expected to oversee specific parts of the finances, such as the payroll administration function.
In a small company, on the other hand, you might be responsible for all the bookkeeping duties!
Here are some general things you can expect to do when working as a bookkeeper:
- Entering data into computers.
- Assembling and organising bookkeeping documents.
- Maintaining electronic or physical accounting files.
- Making financial calculations.
- Collecting and compiling tax information and tax returns.
- Presenting bookkeeping documents.
- Generating cheques.
- Managing payrolls.
You can also consider working as a bookkeeper from home, and taking care of small businesses’ or individuals’ bookkeeping needs.
In almost every industry, you will find employment opportunities: from music to food to sports to retail. Likewise, every kind of business needs someone to do their bookkeeping for them.
Because there is a global trend towards flexible employment restructuring, many companies have started outsourcing their bookkeeping and accounting duties (as opposed to employing a full-time bookkeeper). There is thus increasing work to be found in financial services firms, as well as in freelance or home bookkeeping.
Studying bookkeeping does not, however, mean that you will be limited to this one profession. In fact, you will learn things that are applicable across a number of professions. Starting out as a bookkeeper can also lead into a number of related career paths, such as:
- Assistant bank accountant
- Cost clerk
- Budget clerk
- Finance clerk
- Financial administrator
Where can I find bookkeeping jobs?
The 4 best ways to find a bookkeeping job in South Africa are:
- In local newspapers
- In trade journals
- In online job postings
- Through recruitment agencies
Doing a simple online search for ‘bookkeeping jobs’ might be the easiest of these. Online advertisements will often give you detailed job descriptions, as well as a means of electronically applying for specific positions.
A recruitment agency, on the other hand, might give you more success in actually securing the position. This is because a recruiter will find you a perfectly suitable job opening, as well as help you through the whole application process.
How to secure a bookkeeping job
Securing employment is always a challenge. This is especially the case if you are inexperienced and new to your profession.
Through distance learning, however, you can get work experience while completing your studies. Though you will most likely not be able to work as a fully-fledged bookkeeper until you are qualified, you will be able to build general work experience or even look for internship work at a financial firm. Such experience will be invaluable when applying for that first bookkeeping position.
Distance learning allows you to study from home in your spare time, even if you already have a full-time job. Taking a distance learning course will thus give you a certain advantage above newly-graduated university students with no real-world experience.