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

Specialisations: Financial Administration Officer.

Either extensive experience or a formal qualification in accounting or a related field is needed to work as a Bookkeeper. VET (Vocational Education and Training) and university are both common study pathways for Bookkeepers.

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

All Bookkeepers

  • $1,234 Weekly Pay
  • Stable Future Growth
  • Lower unemployment Unemployment
  • 116,000 workers Employment Size
  • Lower skill Skill level rating
  • 33% Full-Time Full-Time Share
  • 42 hours Average full-time
  • 48 years Average age
  • 91% female Gender Share

The number of people working as Bookkeepers (in their main job) is about the same as 5 years ago and is expected to stay about the same over the next 5 years:
from 116,000 in 2018 to 118,500 by 2023.
Job openings can come from new jobs being created, but most come from turnover (workers leaving).
There are likely to be around 50,000 job openings over 5 years (that's about 10,000 a year).

  • Size: This is a very large occupation.
  • Unemployment: Unemployment was below average in 2018.
  • Location: Bookkeepers work in many regions of Australia.
  • Industries: They work in many industries such as Professional, Scientific and Technical Services; Construction; and Education and Training.
  • Earnings: Full-time workers on an adult wage earn around $1,234 per week (below the average of $1,460). Earnings tend to be lower when starting out and higher as experience grows.
  • Full-time: Less than half work full-time (33%, less than the average of 66%), showing there are many opportunities to work part-time.
  • Hours: Full-time workers spend around 42 hours per week at work (compared to the average of 44 hours).
  • Age: The average age is 48 years (compared to the average of 40 years). Many workers are 45 years or older (60%).
  • Gender: 91% of workers are female (compared to the average of 48%).

Employment Outlook

Number of Workers

Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, Department of Jobs and Small Business trend data to May 2018 and Department of Jobs and Small Business projections to 2023.
YearNumber of Workers
2008130800.0
2009129300.0
2010116300
2011114800
2012113600
2013114500
2014107100
2015100900
201699900
2017110600
2018116000
2023118500

Weekly Earnings

Weekly Earnings (Before Tax)

Source: Based on ABS Survey of Employee Earnings and Hours (cat. no. 6306.0), May 2018, Customised Report. Median weekly total cash earnings for full-time non-managerial employees paid at the adult rate. Earnings are before tax and include amounts salary sacrificed. 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 Earnings12341460

Main Industries

Main Employing Industries (% Share)

Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Industries are based on the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC 06).
Main Employing IndustriesIndustry (% share)
Professional, Scientific and Technical Services31.4
Construction15.4
Education and Training6.8
Retail Trade5.7
Other Industries40.7

States and Territories

  • NSW

  • VIC

  • QLD

  • SA

  • TAS

  • NT

  • ACT

Employment by State and Territory (% Share)

Source: Based on Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Share of workers across Australian States and Territories, in this job compared to the all jobs average.
StateBookkeepersAll Jobs Average
NSW27.631.6
VIC28.925.6
QLD20.420.0
SA6.77.0
WA12.610.8
TAS1.82.0
NT0.91.0
ACT1.11.9

Age Profile

Age Profile (% Share)

Source: Based on Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.
Age BracketBookkeepersAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
15-190.6-5.05.0
20-242.1-9.39.3
25-3413.3-22.922.9
35-4423.6-22.022.0
45-5428.8-21.621.6
55-5912.5-9.09.0
60-649.5-6.06.0
65 and Over9.6-4.24.2

Education Level

Highest Level of Education (% Share)

Source: ABS, ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Highest qualification completed by workers in this job (in any field of study). 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 Certificate5.8-10.110.1
Bachelor degree18.7-21.821.8
Advanced Diploma/Diploma17.6-11.611.6
Certificate III/IV17.4-21.121.1
Year 1218.2-18.118.1
Year 117.1-4.84.8
Year 10 and below15.2-12.512.5

Either extensive experience or a formal qualification in accounting or a related field is needed to work as a Bookkeeper. VET (Vocational Education and Training) and university are both common study pathways for Bookkeepers.

Thinking about study or training?

Before starting a course, check it will provide you with the skills and qualifications you need.

  • Search and compare thousands of higher education courses, and their entry requirements from different institutions across Australia at Course Seeker website.
  • Compare undergraduate and postgraduate student experiences and outcomes on the QILT website.
  • Compare Vocational Education and Training (VET) courses, providers and student outcomes on the My Skills website.
  • You might be interested in Financial Services VET training pathways on the AAPathways website.

Or check out related courses on Job Outlook.

Useful links and resources


The course listings on this page are provided by Good Education Group.

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

Filter Skills & Knowledge

Knowledge

These are important topics, subjects or knowledge areas.

  1. Clerical

    70% Skill level

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

  2. Economics and Accounting

    54% Skill level

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

  3. Mathematics

    54% Skill level

    Arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, or statistics.

  4. English Language

    50% Skill level

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

  5. Computers and Electronics

    47% Skill level

    Circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.

Occupational Information Network
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
The skills and importance ratings on this page are derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2, 43-3031.00 - Bookkeeping, Accounting, and Auditing Clerks.

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.

Filter Work Environment

Demands

The physical and social demands workers face most often are shown below.

  1. Telephone

    97% Important

    How often do you talk on the telephone?

  2. Repeating Same Tasks

    96% Important

    How important is it to repeat the same tasks or activities (e.g., key entry) over and over, without stopping?

  3. Being Exact or Accurate

    94% Important

    How important is being very exact or highly accurate?

  4. Electronic Mail

    92% Important

    How often do you use electronic mail?

  5. Indoors, Heat Controlled

    89% Important

    How often do you work indoors with access to heating or cooling?

Occupational Information Network
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
The skills and importance ratings on this page are derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2, 43-3031.00 - Bookkeeping, Accounting, and Auditing Clerks.

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