How to Get the Industry Experience You Need for Junior Bookkeeping Jobs
Many BAS agents and accounting firms will require you to have a formal qualification before considering you for a bookkeeping role. A Certificate IV in Bookkeeping and Accounting will provide you with the minimum training you need to become accredited, but will you be able to walk straight into a job?
We’ve spoken to several Registered BAS Agents who are reluctant to hire graduates of te Cert IV in Bookkeeping and Accounting because they haven’t been “hardened by the realities of bookkeeping work”, particularly when it comes to CatchUp Bookkeeping.
Although a Certificate IV in Bookkeeping will qualify you for some entry-level positions, most BAS agents don’t hire juniors directly out of training. This is because they don’t have the relevant work experience or ability to perform basic bookkeeping tasks.
Often it’s not the technical skills that are in question but the gumption to communicate and followup with clients about missing documentation like receipts and clarification about transactions.
Here are a few ways to help you make the transition from training into a paid bookkeeping job.
Get the Right Training and Support
Not all Certificate IV training courses are the same.
Having access to Industry Connect means that in addition to studying the core subjects for bookkeeping and accounting, you’ll also get to talk to the people who make a living out of being bookkeepers, BAS agents and tax agents. This gives you an opportunity to see first hand how the skills you learn are going to be applied in the real world.
With Industry Connect you will receive feedback and suggestions from a Certified Bookkeeper regarding your studies and career goals. This ensures that you are focused on attaining the right skills, attributes and experience that employers are looking for.
If you want to eventually offer BAS services to your bookkeeping clients, you will need to become a Registered BAS agent. Through Industry Connect, you’ll be able to talk directly with a BAS agent and find out exactly what they do on a daily basis. They will advise you on which skills are most important to potential employers and clients, and how to avoid the common pitfalls that new agents face.
When you sign up to a training course package that includes Industry Connect you’ll have contact with a dedicated bookkeeping tutor who performs this work for their own clients. With one-on-one tutoring, you will receive direct feedback on your practical exercises and guidance on how to apply your knowledge in the real world.
Get Industry Certified and Connected
Getting certified by Xero will help you stand out from other job candidates and competing bookkeepers by demonstrating your competence in using Xero.
- You’ll gain access to practice management tools that Xero offers to help systemise and streamline a bookkeeping and accounting practice.
- You’ll learn practical tasks such as how to create customised report templates, manage client data and collect and store documents.
- When you enrol into a training course package which includes Industry Connect, our tutors are available to help you with any aspects that you need as part of their accreditation process.
- You’ll gain exposure for your services with an online listing in the Xero Advisor Directory.
Grow Your Network
Building an active list of professional contacts will help you to stay up to date with industry developments, new job opportunities and key influencers.
Make calls to accounting firms and BAS agents and introduce yourself. Let them know that you are a new licensed bookkeeper in the area and offer to refer clients to them in exchange for entry-level bookkeeping work and referrals.
Join industry associations and attend networking events so that you can build new relationships. Let people know that you are offering low-cost bookkeeping services in order to gain more experience.
Volunteer with a not-for-profit organisation. You’ll not only be contributing to a worthwhile cause, you’ll gain invaluable experience that you can add to your resumé.
CASE STUDY: Child care worker to Bookkeeper
Agnest was a childcare worker for 12 years and for several reasons she has decided to make the career change into bookkeeping and accounting work. In starting her own bookkeeping business Agnest is going through a huge learning curve which is made easier by following our step-by-step system.
Agnest realises the importance of soft skills like time management, setting goals, achieving goals and customer service and how they make a big difference in her new career choice.
Although a Certificate IV in Bookkeeping and Accounting will provide you with the training and accreditations required by hiring BAS agents, it will not be enough to win you the job.
With many other bookkeepers competing for the top jobs, you will need to prove that you can do the tasks required of you and hit the ground running. Practical experience will be a key component of your resumé.
If you invest in the right training and you have the confidence to put yourself out there, you’ll be surprised at the opportunities that come your way.
Certificate IV in Bookkeeping and Accounting with MYOB & Xero Bookkeeping PLUS
Enrol in a nationally accredited bookkeeping course which includes Industry Connect for practical case studies with different businesses.
Combine your learning of how to use Australia’s most popular accounting software programs with procedures and legal obligations for bookkeeping professionals.