What Is a Bookkeeper Supposed to Do?

| June 16, 2015 | By
What Is a Bookkeeper Supposed to Do?

What-is-a-bookkeeperDo you have a bookkeeper that's spinning his or her wheels? Even worse, are you doing your own books and you don't know where to start or how to do it?  Learn what a bookkeeper should do and when they should do it by reading below.

What is a Bookkeeper Expected to Do?

Your bookkeeper has a lot of tasks that need to be completed at certain times.  To get started, break down the task list into daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, and annual responsibilities.  

Daily Responsibilities

The day-to-day work of a bookkeeper is what keeps the business owner sane.  These tasks usually revolve around keeping cash positions current so that the CEO doesn't make decisions on faulty cash balances.

  1. Login to all bank accounts and reconcile current cash positions
  2. Update any daily reports for the business owner
  3. Be aware of all payments coming in and going out of the business
  4. Update any budgetary reports

Weekly Responsibilities

Each business is different when it comes to weekly responsibilities.  Depending on your business processes, you will need to modify these tasks to fit your system. 

  1. Create new customer invoices
  2. Record all new customer payments not already processed
  3. Enter all new bills and prepare them for a weekly check run
  4. Process payroll if needed
  5. Review forecasted cash flow
  6. Meet with the finance team and provide updates on bookkeeping needs

Monthly Responsibilities

The monthly tasks are vital to the success of your accounting system.  Your bookkeeper's world will revolve around the monthly calendar in order to close the books, prepare reports, and get ready for the coming month. 

  1. Reconcile all bank and credit card accounts
  2. Review aged receivables, send statements to customers, and make collection calls as needed
  3. Check inventory and reconcile to quantity on hand reports
  4. Make accrual entries for payroll and other time-sensitive transactions
  5. Reconcile the trial balance
  6. Assist the controller in preparing the monthly financial statements
  7. File sale tax returns for monthly filers

Quarterly Responsibilities

These tasks usually revolve around tax needs, planning, and strategic development. 

  1. File the quarterly payroll tax returns
  2. Make estimated tax payments if needed
  3. File sales tax returns for quarterly filers
  4. Assist the controller in reviewing year-to-date profitability 
  5. Review and adjust key reports for accuracy

Annual Responsibilities

At the end of the year, a lot of things need to happen.  Keep in mind that on December 31, assuming your on a calendar year, you need to do all of the tasks above as well as prepare the final reports for the year.  These of course will bleed over into January because there is so much to do, but you get the idea. 

  1. Complete a final reconciliation of all accounts
  2. Assist the Controller in closing the books for the year
  3. Assist the CPA in acquiring data needed for the tax return
  4. Clear out all reports and prepare them for the comping year


When you hire a bookkeeper that actually gets all of these tasks done for you in a reliable manner, you've struck gold.  Hold on to that bookkeeper.  As you can guess, it takes someone who is experienced and organized to do this well for your company.  If you're doing these tasks for your own business, I would suggest figuring out how to delegate them to a golden bookkeeper as soon as possible.  You'll free yourself up for revenue-generating tasks and the bookkeeping will be handled by a professional.  Also, don't forget to download The Complete Guide to Outsourced Accounting Services below.  It's a great tool to help you master the finances in your company.

Related Reading: 

The Virtual Bookkeeping Checklist

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