Business, finance, accounting, bookkeeping, and money are words that we hear and see in everyday life. But do we always stop to think about how often we actually use skills relating to these words on a daily basis?
Most people act like bookkeepers almost every day without noticing it. If you have R100 and decide that it must be spent on food, travel money, and entertainment for the week, you are fulfilling the functions of a bookkeeper, as you are balancing the money you have with your needs. If you do a simple budget spread for your family each month where you have to ensure that you don’t spend more than you earn, you are your family’s bookkeeper.
Just like the ordinary man in the street, any and all businesses need to balance their income and expenditure, and to do that, they appoint bookkeepers. These people perform a number of financial and business services for the company to ensure that the company doesn’t go bankrupt by spending more money than it generates. So, if you enjoy balancing your own finances and you think that you could do it on a large scale for a business, bookkeeping is definitely a good career choice for you.
Another characteristic of good bookkeepers is working well with figures and numbers. People who enjoyed mathematics, business economics, and accounting at school will be good candidates for bookkeepers. You have to be very analytical and enjoy solving problems relating to figures.
You also need to be able to perform well under pressure. Bookkeepers must be meticulous and work faultlessly, as they are often entrusted with balancing large sums of money. If you are cool, calm and collected, and you enjoy the challenge of working with figures, you would be an excellent bookkeeper.
To summarize, if you want to be a bookkeeper, you should:
- Be good at working under pressure
- Be good at working with numbers
- Be good at solving problems
- Enjoy the challenge of balancing large sums of money
Once you are sure you want to study bookkeeping, you should also decide whether you want to study a short or long course, full time or part time, and whether you want to study by going to class or through distance learning.
- Short Courses vs. Long Courses
Many colleges offer both short and long courses for bookkeeping. If you are someone who simply wants to polish a skill or acquire a new skill because it will help you in your current job, a Short Course that is no longer than 6 months will be your best option. Short Courses focus on a specific skill within the discipline of bookkeeping, rather than providing training on the job as a whole. If you are someone who wants to start a new career, then you should consider a longer course. These courses that run for roughly 24 months will provide you with the basic bookkeeping skills in the first year and then focus on skills that will make you employable by large companies in the second year.
- Full Time vs. Part Time
Not all students have the luxury of studying full time for two or more years. Money and other responsibilities like a job or family often decide for the student whether studies should be full time or part time. If you currently have a job or many responsibilities, and you don’t feel that you could study for 3-5 hours per day, rather choose a part-time course that spreads out modules over a longer time and allows you to master all the necessary skills. If you have the money and the time, opt for a full-time course, as this will be more intensive and prepare you for a job as a bookkeeper in a shorter time.
- Distance Learning vs Classroom-based Courses
In South Africa, you will find that there are two ways to study. You can choose to follow a course where you attend classes or you can choose a course where you study through distance learning. Whereas classroom-based education can be great in terms of having a lecturer and fellow students whom you can ask questions, it is also more expensive and limited to specific areas. You will actually have to go to the college to attend classes. What happens, then, if you live far from the college you are enrolled at? In this case, it would be better to decide on distance learning where all your study material is sent to you. You can complete assignments and write exams in the comfort of your own home and still have the benefit of a tutor whom you can direct your questions to online.
- Looking for a Distance Learning College?
If you have chose Distance Learning as your preferred method of study we can recommend the following Colleges: