Advanced Bookkeeping for Freelancers: Benefits and How to Get Started

If you’re a bookkeeping freelancer who’s new to this industry or looking for a way to advance your career, having an Advanced Bookkeeping certificate would be a good kick-start. The Advanced Bookkeeping certificate helps you achieve your career goals by providing the professional knowledge and skill set required to perform an accounting job role. Gaining this certificate can help you become a professional bookkeeper and allow you to more effectively run your business. 

This article will explain the Advanced Bookkeeping certificate in detail, from its definition, benefits, and how to get started. 

Benefits of gaining an Advanced Bookkeeping certification

Advanced Bookkeeping is a unit in the AAT Advanced Certificate in Bookkeeping and Advanced Diploma in Accounting. The assessment’s purpose is to test learners’ advanced bookkeeping skills to the extended trial balance stage so they can compile final accounts for various types of businesses.

Some of the main benefits of completing the Advanced Bookkeeping assessment are the following:

Advanced Bookkeeping certification is universally accepted

The Advanced Bookkeeping certification is a symbol of excellence all over the world. It is recognized worldwide as a proof of professionalism and is highly demanded in the accountancy sector. 

The Advanced Bookkeeping course is also the most up-to-date and provides practical exposure and guidance for a successful bookkeeping career. This certification gives future bookkeepers a chance for some good career opportunities and the ability to solve the real-world issues of any business undertaking.

Build up an impressive resume for freelancers

Financial management is the backbone of every business and the main part of organizational growth. The demand for accounting and financial expertise is increasing across all industries.

Completing the practical business-focused Advanced Bookkeeping course helps you develop essential bookkeeping skills, such as managing accounts, finances, budgets, and cash flow. 

This certification helps build an impressive resume with the professional level of excellence employers look for. These certifications increase the chances of getting hired by a reputed organization.

Gain the knowledge and skills that employers need

The Advanced Bookkeeping course gives you a much broader range of knowledge and skills, more than you’re likely to be able to gain from work experience alone. Having the ability to be more adaptable and flexible gives access to a wider range of opportunities. As a bookkeeping professional, you’ll have greater resilience and confidence in handling change.

Bridge your career gaps

Even if you’re taking a gap from university or work, gaining this certification is still a good choice. It helps you to build up knowledge and skills. It will fill the gaps and boost the confidence to apply for the jobs.

Increase your potential earnings

If you are working in the finance sector and looking for further career progression in the field, having an Advanced Bookkeeping qualification can bring you additional opportunities. Advanced accounting and bookkeeping techniques from the course encourage you to apply for top position roles. 

Below are some common jobs and expected salaries for each level. 

  • AAT Access Level 1: Through this level, you can earn up to $14,600 per year as a clerical assistant or cashier
  • AAT Access Level 2: When you’re at level 2, you’re capable of earning $23,790 – $26,840 per year as an account clerk, finance assistant, or account administrator. 
  • AAT Access Level 3: Completing this level can help you earn up to $35,000 per year by performing as a ledger manager, senior bookkeeper, or accounts manager. 
  • AAT Access Level 4: This is the highest level, which makes you capable of earning $39,040 – $51,850 by performing on the job roles like tax supervisor, VAT accountant, commercial analyst, payroll manager, senior financial officer, cost accountant, or assistant financial accountant.

How to get started with the Advanced Bookkeeping course

You don’t need a bookkeeping background or bookkeeping skills to get a start in the Advanced Bookkeeping course. Since Advanced Bookkeeping is a unit in the AAT Bookkeeping course, you can start from the entry-level and scale up gradually. 

No specific age or location is required to start the AAT course. The only requirement is your strong desire to start a career in the accounting sector.

You can start with any qualification depending on your existing skills and experience. If you already have some accounting experience, you can use the AAT Skillcheck to determine which qualification is right for you.

You might also be interested in: 

Moreover, the cost of the Advanced Bookkeeping course is reasonable. It shows your dedication and commitment to improving your career. Your invested proper focus, funding, and time for the course will result in great opportunities, high salaries, and clear career paths.

Investing in education can bring you more value than expected if you’d like to follow a freelance career. Having the crucial skill set and qualifications can help you attract more clients and valuable contracts. 

The bottom line

Learning and self-development are like an expedition. Whether you are a student searching for a career start or improving your professionalism to handle more challenging tasks in your current job, having an Advanced Bookkeeping certificate would be a good start.

With the qualifications, you will be able to achieve your professional goals, discover your capabilities, and open your mind. You’ll find confidence and desire to explore new opportunities that are now within your reach.

Don’t forget to subscribe to the Shoeboxed blog for more helpful bookkeeping knowledge and best practices for freelancers! 


About Shoeboxed

Shoeboxed is a receipt management application that turns your receipts and business documents into a digital format in just one click by taking a picture straight from your smartphone or scanning a pdf. It automatically extracts, categorizes, and human-verifies important data from your receipts so that you can go over and check your records anytime with ease. Shoeboxed ensures you will always have your receipts securely stored and ready for tax purposes.

Access your Shoeboxed account from your web browser or smartphone app. Stay audit-ready with Shoeboxed for FREE now!

What Are a Bookkeeper’s Responsibilities?

Bookkeepers are essential for any business. The core function of a bookkeeper is data collection and data input of a business’ accounting cycle. However, a bookkeeper’s responsibilities can vary significantly from business to business. So, if you’re considering hiring a bookkeeper for your small business, it’s important to understand a bookkeeper’s responsibilities to find suitable candidates as quickly as possible. 

Reconciling entries to balance subsidiary accounts

Account reconciliation after each financial month or quarter is crucial for companies and individuals. This allows them to check for fraudulent behavior and avoid accounting information problems by ensuring each transaction adds to the required final account balance.

The amount of each transaction needs to be compared to the amount shown as entering or exiting the relevant account throughout the documentation review process. For example, small business owners can sometimes dismiss small expenses or use their business cards to pay for their personal expenses. The resulting unusual bank statements can cause trouble with the IRS, so to avoid this, a bookkeeper will verify credit card activity with receipts and make adjustments if needed.

Maintaining a balanced general ledger

A general ledger is the cornerstone of a process used by bookkeepers to record and arrange accounting transactions necessary to generate income reports for the company. 

The transactions are subsequently closed or reported to the general ledger, and the bookkeeper prepares a trial balance, which serves as a summary of the balance of each ledger account. The trial balance is reviewed for faults and modified by posting additional required entries before being utilized to construct the income reports.

The bookkeeper collates and analyzes general ledger transaction information at several tiers to create financial statements, net income, balance sheets, cash flow, and other financial reports. This assists business owners, corporate management, auditors, shareholders, and other participants in continuously assessing the financial operations.

Preparing a trial balance for the accountant

A trial balance is a list of all the accounting journal balance sheets. It helps to verify that a debit registered in one accounting system is balanced with another account in the credit. A trial balance also serves as the foundation for creating the cash flow statement, the income statement, and the statement of cash flow.

Bookkeepers must first finish or “balance off” the ledger accounts to produce a trial balance by displaying each closing amount from the accounting records as a debit or credit balance. The sum of the ledger accounts should always match the sum of the credit accounts. 

Monitoring for variances from the projected budget

A budget variance is a recurring metric used among authorities, organizations, and individuals to assess the difference between budgeted and actual statistics for a particular accounting area. 

A favorable budget variance denotes positive variations or benefits, while an unfavorable budget variance denotes negative variance, indicating losses or shortages. A favorable variance occurs when revenue exceeds budgeted levels or expenses are lower than expected, while an unfavorable variance happens when the income falls far short of the estimated budget or expenses exceed expectations.

Budget variations can occur as a result of both controlled situations (such as a poorly planned budget and labor costs) and uncontrollable situations (such as a natural disaster.)

If there is a significant difference, bookkeepers will examine the financial records to find the cause. Then, they will decide whether to rectify the situation or not. However, if a significant disparity continues over a longer time, the business owner needs to review their planning approach.

Collecting and organizing financial data

Bookkeeping is the branch of accounting that handles the gathering and organizing of financial data. This implies that the bookkeepers’ responsibilities include collecting, arranging, and filing all financial data for your organization.

A bookkeeper is responsible for managing:

  • Invoices/receipts
  • Payroll records
  • Bank and credit cards statements 
  • Tax forms and other tax-related documents

You might also be interested in: 

The bottom line

Understanding a bookkeeper’s responsibilities will assist you in finding a qualified bookkeeper for your business. However, if you’re new to running a business and short on resources, you can try handling these tasks by yourself. 

To achieve that, you can consult with a bookkeeper professional, take up some bookkeeping courses, and rely on accounting software. And Shoeboxed can help you with that!  

About Shoeboxed

Shoeboxed is a receipt management application that turns your receipts and business documents into a digital format in just one click by taking a picture straight from your smartphone or scanning a pdf. It automatically extracts, categorizes, and human-verifies important data from your receipts so that you can go over and check your records anytime with ease. Shoeboxed ensures you will always have your receipts securely stored and ready for tax purposes.

Access your Shoeboxed account from your web browser or smartphone app. Stay audit-ready with Shoeboxed for FREE now!

Most Common Mistakes to Avoid in Bookkeeping for LLC

Bookkeeping for LLC is a core part of the business finances and can have a significant impact on the growth and profitability of your business. It can encompass a variety of tasks, such as billing a customer, recording a fixed asset, or paying compensation to employees. 

Since bookkeeping is the backbone of any business, there are many potential mistakes that can damage your accounting and financial system. This article will introduce the most common mistakes to avoid in bookkeeping for an LLC. 

Mixing business and personal expenses

It may appear simple to cover a work expense with private money. However, combining your funds tends to make financial reporting (and taxes) more difficult in the long term. 

To prevent this stumbling block, make an effort never to use your cash to support business costs. Here is some advice to help you stay on track:

  • Manage your company’s finances with separate business bank accounts.
  • Have a separate payment method for your business (e.g., only using credit cards or checks instead of cash).
  • Stick a logo on your business credit cards to differentiate them from your personal cards.
  • Keep a small sum of money in your corporation checking account to pay unexpected business costs (so you aren’t inclined to use personal funds when you have your business accounts).

Failure in reconciling bank statements and accounts

This mistake in bookkeeping for LLC can result from mixing business and personal expenses. It could become a serious issue in the future if you don’t use separate bank accounts for your personal and corporate finances.

Using a single bank account can cause confusion between your personal and formal company spending. The IRS may request a detailed record of your entirely business-related expenditure if you are audited.

It’s a good idea to use separate bank accounts for personal and official activities. This simple practice helps you reconcile your bank statements and invoices at the end of each month. You can also identify the source of your finances and avoid any possible auditing events.

Throwing away receipts

If you lose your receipts (or throw them away), you won’t be eligible to claim the business deductions you created on your tax forms. We have already published several articles about the importance of keeping business receipts, make sure to check them out! 

Here are a few points to bear in mind to storing your business receipts:

  • It is perfectly acceptable to keep and use the online version of your receipts.
  • You may need to keep your receipts for up to six years. 
  • You can scan your receipts and save them in a cloud system such as Google Drive, Dropbox, or Shoeboxed to keep them safe for years without being damaged by fire, flood, or faded ink. 
  • Try to keep as detailed records of all business expenses (especially for meals and entertainment) as possible. You can claim a significant deduction from them. 

Recording payments to yourself as an expense

Don’t record the payouts as a possible cost when you charge yourself as a sole trader or a separate LLC. It’s a simple mistake to make. However, it will reduce your total financial gain and showcase an utterly bogus total for the earnings you must pay taxes on. Instead, deposit these funds into “Owner’s Draw.”

Neglecting sales tax

One of the most costly minor business bookkeeping blunders is failing to account for and pay sales taxes. Not paying enough attention to the measurement and processing of sales taxes can lead you to IRS penalties and fines. If you input information improperly, you may wind up with an invalid overall sales amount and, as a result, the obscene amounts of revenue taxes due.

We suggest that you work with your accountants and lawyer to ensure that your company complies by submitting the correct amounts of sales tax.

Tracking reimbursable expenses improperly

Accounting for business expenses from your own money is often a must, and one small business accounting error is failing to document refundable charges. If you fail to track these expenses, you potentially lose money and lack the right to claim tax breaks.

The solution is to build a documentation system that allows your organization to manage and document all reimbursable expenses regularly and easily. And Shoeboxed can help you with that!

Shoeboxed is a receipt management application that turns your receipts and business documents into a digital format in just one click by taking a picture straight from your smartphone or scanning a pdf. It automatically extracts, categorizes, and human-verifies important data from your receipts so that you can go over and check your records anytime with ease. Shoeboxed ensures you will always have your receipts securely stored and ready for tax purposes.Access your Shoeboxed account from your web browser or smartphone app. Stay audit-ready with Shoeboxed for FREE now!