career advancement education

Why are Accountants and Bookkeepers in such great demand?

According to the Australian Government’s Job Outlook platform, accountants, accounting clerks, auditors and bookkeepers have a stable to strong future growth in Australia. This can be predominantly attributed to the specially developed skills and knowledge required to become a qualified accountant or bookkeeper and the shortage of qualified professionals in the industry.

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Education requirements

Many in the accounting industry have to go through years of training to ensure they are equipped with the knowledge and skills required to be effective in their roles. Many of our students who are learning to become a bookkeeper with have also mentioned how much they are learning about the industry and how they foresee being in the industry is going to help them go places with their future careers.

There are varying levels of education for those wanting to work in the industry. If you are aiming to become an Accounts Administrator, all you need is a Certificate III in Accounts Administration. If you aspire to become a bookkeeper, you will need a minimum of a Certificate IV in Accounting and Bookkeeping. Accountants, especially specialist accountants will need a minimum of a bachelor’s degree in accounting. Various universities have different names for the course. For example, RMIT calls their accounting program – Bachelor of Business (Accounting) whilst Deakin University calls their accounting program – Bachelor of Commerce.

About a decade ago, all these courses had to be undertaken face-to-face and it had a very rigid course structure. These days, majority of these courses can be undertaken as online courses or on-campus, are pretty flexible in terms of swapping an elective unit for another, and are much more affordable than they previously were.

Bookkeepers in Australia

In Australia, there are over 116,000 people working as bookkeepers and approximately 90% are women. Unlike other professions and industries, bookkeepers are less likely to be out of work.

Generally, bookkeepers are expected to be able to keep and maintain financial records, balance accounts, monitor cash flow and lines of credit, prepare and produce financial statements and budgets, prepare invoices and purchase orders, reconcile accounts against monthly bank statements, report irregularities to management, and in some organisations, they are also required to prepare business and installment activity statements.

Accountants in Australia

Accountants in Australia have the opportunity to practice as a general accountant, or as a specialist accountant such as a management accountant or a taxation accountant. The average weekly pay is $1,400 with over 199,200 people working as accountants around the country. Approximately 48% of accountants are females and those who work as an accountant have a lower unemployment rate and are less likely to be out of work than people who work in other jobs.

Accountants in Australia are expected to be able to assist in formulating budgetary and accounting policies, prepare financial statements for presentation to boards of directors and management, conduct financial investigations, prepare various financial reports, undertake audits, advise on matters such as fraud and purchase of assets and financing, examine operating cost, forecast on a business’ income and expenditure, provide financial and taxation advice on business structures and plans, prepare tax returns, appraise cash flow and financial risk of capital investment projects, and liaise with financial institutions and brokers to establish funds management arrangements.

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business finance

Watching the Bottomline

It’s not enough that you have a business that involves something that you are passionate about. In the end, it’s still all about the bottomline. You need to make sure that your business is making more than enough in terms of profits. Passion alone cannot sustain your business. But, it can definitely give you the push you need especially when things get difficult. You know that you are in the right track when you have a business with products and services that you actually use and believe in. The next step is to make sure that you bring in the revenues.

watching the bottom line

Profitability is achieved through a balance of productivity and cost management. Ensuring productivity means motivating employees for optimum performance. For manufacturing businesses, this also means having efficient processes to churn out more products without compromising quality. On the other hand, cost management has to do with ensuring that the company’s financial resources are used prudently to increase revenues and decrease wastage. Even with the operating expenses spent to put the product out into the market, the company should be able to recover their costs and have a little extra to put down as profits.

There are tools that you can use to analyze your bottom line. For those who do not have a business accounting background, there are online templates that can be downloaded for financial control and accounting purposes. Accountants and financial experts can also be hired either on a consulting capacity or as a permanent employee. Some companies choose to outsource their accounting functions to save on costs.

Regardless of who prepares the company’s financial statement, it is important for the business manager to understand what the figures mean. It is also necessary to identify specific areas that could be improved to increase the company’s bottom line.

Image Credit:
Renjith Krishnan

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