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Accounting Technology and Bookkeeping - Overview


Accounting technology and bookkeeping programs prepare people to work with accountants and others who manage financial records. Students learn to make entries to accounts and maintain records. They also learn to use accounting software programs.

Businesses keep records of every transaction. They need these figures to know whether they are earning or losing money. They also need to report them to the stockholders, the government regulators, and the tax collectors.

In earlier times these figures were kept in books. If you keep a checkbook balanced, you know just a little about what it meant to keep the books for a company in those days. It meant being accurate, keeping up to date, and being able to check your work.

Nowadays the "books" for a company are kept in computers. So working as a bookkeeper means using software. Some of this may be specialized for accounting, and some may be more versatile programs such as spreadsheets or databases. But even with this modern technology, you still need to be skilled at staying accurate, being up-to-date, and checking your work.

You may do this work at various levels of skill and responsibility. For that reason, there is no simple formula for how much education you will need. You can enter some bookkeeping jobs with a high school diploma. At that level, it helps for you to have completed a business curriculum, including courses in bookkeeping and spreadsheet software.

College courses can improve your chances of getting a job in this field or can let you enter at a higher level. With an associate degree, you may enter as a bookkeeper or accounting clerk. This degree, offered by a large number of two-year colleges, usually represents two years of full-time study beyond high school. A shorter educational program at a community college or technical school may earn you a certificate.

Source: Illinois Career Information System (CIS) brought to you by Illinois Department of Employment Security.
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