Bookkeepers maintain and evaluate records of financial transactions in account books and computerised accounting systems.

A Certificate II or III, or at least 1 year of relevant experience, is usually needed. Around one in four workers have Year 11 and 10 as their highest education level. Even with a qualification, further experience or on-the-job training is sometimes required.

Tasks

  • keeping financial records, and maintaining and balancing accounts using manual and computerised systems
  • monitoring cash flow and lines of credit
  • preparing and producing financial statements, budget and expenditure reports and analyses using account books, ledgers and accounting software packages
  • preparing invoices, purchase orders and bank deposits
  • reconciling accounts against monthly bank statements
  • verifying recorded transactions and reporting irregularities to management
  • may be required to prepare forms reporting business tax entitlements and obligations such as the amount of goods and services tax paid and collected

Job Titles

  • Bookkeeper
  • Bookkeeper

    Specialisations: Financial Administration Officer

Fast Facts

  • Avg. Weekly Pay

    $1,000 Before Tax
  • Future Growth

    decline
  • Skill Level

    Certificate II or III
  • Employment Size

    99,800
  • Unemployment

    below average
  • Male Share

    7.5%
  • Female Share

    92.5%
  • Full-Time Share

    31.6%

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This is a very large occupation employing 99,800 workers. Over the past 5 years the number of jobs has fallen slightly.
A fall in the number of jobs is expected in the future. New jobs and turnover from workers leaving may create between 25,001 and 50,000 job openings over the 5 years to 2020.

  • Bookkeepers work in most parts of Australia.
  • They work in many industries. Some of the main industries are: Professional, Scientific and Technical Services; Construction; and Manufacturing.
  • Part-time work is very common. Full-time workers, on average, work 37.0 hours per week (compared to the all jobs average of 40 hours).
  • Average earnings for full-time workers are around $1,000 per week (below the all jobs average of $1,230). Earnings tend to be lower when starting out and higher as experience grows.
  • The workforce is fairly mature. The average age is 47 years (compared to the all jobs average of 40 years) and around 6 in 10 workers are aged 45 years or older.
  • More than 9 in 10 workers are female.
  • In 2016, the unemployment rate was below average.

Employment Outlook

Number of Workers

Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, Department of Employment trend data to November 2015 and Department of Employment projections to 2020.
YearNumber of Workers
2005130700
2006133700
2007125500
2008136200
2009118500
2010116000
2011116200
2012111000
2013109600
2014106700
201599800
202088400

Weekly Earnings

Full-time Earnings

All Jobs Average

Weekly Earnings (before tax)

Source: Based on ABS Characteristics of Employment survey, August 2015, Cat. No. 6333.0, Customised Report. Median earnings are before tax and do not include superannuation. Earnings can vary greatly depending on the skills and experience of the worker and the demands of the role. These figures should be used as a guide only, not to determine a wage rate.
EarningsBookkeepersAll Jobs Average
Full-Time Earnings10001230

Hours

Weekly Hours Worked

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Hours actually worked by people who usually work full-time, and share of employment by full-time and part-time status, for this job compared to the all jobs average.
CategoryBookkeepersAll Jobs Average
Full-time31.668.4
Part-time68.431.6
Average Weekly Hours (full-time)37.040.0

Main Industries

Top Industries

Main Employing Industries (% share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Industries are based on the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC 06).
Main Employing IndustriesIndustry (% share)
Professional, Scientific and Technical Services27.9
Construction15.6
Manufacturing6.9
Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing6.5
Other Industries43.1

States and Territories

  • NSW

  • VIC

  • QLD

  • SA

  • TAS

  • NT

  • ACT

Employment by State and Territory (% share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Share of workers across Australian States and Territories, in this job compared to the all jobs average.
StateBookkeepersAll Jobs Average
NSW24.931.8
VIC29.125.5
QLD21.319.8
SA7.36.8
WA13.311.2
TAS2.12.0
NT1.11.1
ACT0.91.8

Age Profile

Age Profile (% share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.
Age BracketBookkeepersAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
15-190.5-5.45.4
20-242.4-9.99.9
25-3415.4-23.423.4
35-4424.2-21.721.7
45-5428.2-21.121.1
55-5911.7-8.78.7
60-648.1-5.95.9
65 and Over9.6-3.83.8

Gender

Male Share

Female Share

Gender (% share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Male and female share of employment in this job compared to the all jobs average.
CategoryBookkeepersCategoryAll Jobs Average
Males7.5Males53.6
Females92.5Females46.4

Education Level

Top Education Levels

Highest Level of Education (% share)

Source: ABS, Education and Work (2016). Findings based on use of ABS TableBuilder data. Highest qualification completed by workers in this job (in any field of study). Skill level requirements can change over time, the qualifications needed by new workers might be different from the qualifications of workers already in the job.
Type of QualificationBookkeepersAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate6.6-8.68.6
Bachelor degree20.0-17.917.9
Advanced Diploma/Diploma13.2-10.110.1
Certificate III/IV18.5-18.918.9
Year 1214.4-18.718.7
Years 11 & 1022.3-17.717.7
Below Year 105.0-8.18.1

A Certificate II or III, or at least 1 year of relevant experience, is usually needed.
Around one in four workers have Year 11 and 10 as their highest education level. Even with a qualification, further experience or on-the-job training is sometimes required.

If you are interested in this style of work, there are a wide range of training options available that could lead to this or a similar job.
The pathway that is right for you will depend on your skills and interests.

It is a good idea to speak to industry bodies, employers, and workers to learn more about the skills and qualifications you will need.

Employers look for Bookkeepers who work well in a team, are flexible and adaptable yet can also work independently and self-manage.

Knowledge

The topics, subjects, or knowledge areas workers rate as most important are shown below.

  1. Clerical

    80% Important

    Word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office work.

  2. Mathematics

    74% Important

    Arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, or statistics.

  3. English Language

    73% Important

    English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.

  4. Economics and Accounting

    70% Important

    Economics and accounting, the financial markets, banking and checking and reporting of financial data.

  5. Customer and Personal Service

    69% Important

    Customer and personal services. This includes understanding customer needs, providing good quality service, and measuring customer satisfaction.

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Learn about the daily activities, and physical and social demands faced by workers. Explore the values and work styles that workers rate as most important.

Activities

The work activities workers rate as most important are shown below.

  1. Getting Information

    88% Important

    Looking for, getting and understanding different kinds of information.

  2. Interacting With Computers

    88% Important

    Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.

  3. Processing Information

    83% Important

    Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or checking information or data.

  4. Documenting/Recording Information

    79% Important

    Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.

  5. Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work

    76% Important

    Deciding on goals and putting together a detailed plan to get the work done.

Occupational Information Network Bookkeeping, Accounting, and Auditing Clerks Opens in a new window
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration. The information on this site is derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2

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