How to Become a Certified Bookkeeper in Las Vegas

become certified bookkeeper

Being a certified bookkeeper means that you can be an elite in your profession. Getting an industry-recognized certification is like having a badge that informs your clients that you are knowledgeable in your field. With it, you can increase your earning potential and improve your status in the field. With the growing number of startups setting up an office in Las Vegas, the demand for bookkeepers also increases. 

According to Glassdoor, the annual earning of an average bookkeeper in Las Vegas ranges from $25,000 to $48,000. It can increase by 5 %to 10% if the bookkeeper becomes certified. 

Here is a step-by-step guide on how you can become a certified bookkeeper in Las Vegas:
  1. 1
    Step 1: Get a High School Diploma

    For high school graduates, proceed to Step 2. 

    For those with an associate or bachelor’s degree in accounting, proceed to Step 3. 

    Getting a high school diploma is one of the educational requirements of becoming a bookkeeper. While you are in high school, it would be wise to enroll in courses related to computer, Mathematics, English, and accounting. These courses are essential if you want to have a solid background in numbers and computation that you will need later on if you’re going to look for employment opportunities. 

  2. 2
    Step 2: Acquire a Bookkeeping Degree

    If you are keen on following a career path in bookkeeping, then get an associate degree in bookkeeping. The degree will teach you about inventory, costing, deprecation, financial statement analysis, and introduce you to software programs such as Quickbooks and Microsoft Excel. It will also educate you about the basics of bookkeeping, payroll administration, and business mathematics. 

    The National Association of Certified Public Bookkeepers (NACPB) offers an Education Alternative for those who do not have an associate or bachelor’s degree in accounting. They can bypass this educational requirement by taking and passing these four courses: 

  3. 3
    Step 3: Attend an On-the-Job Bookkeeper Training

    Since the educational requirement for a bookkeeper is only minimal, some employers and clients prefer those that have actual training. The on-the-job training (OJT) would allow you to apply all those you learned in your degree, including best practices and tinkering with software programs. You may also discover other accounting duties such as payroll administration, overdue account tracking, and participation in quarterly or annual budgeting. 

    Use this time to learn all about bookkeeping and accounting. Observe work policies and analyze how operations relate to auditing. Don’t hesitate to ask questions since all of these experiences will help you gain a sound footing about the industry. 

  4. 4
    Step 4: Get Certified

    According to the NACPB, professionals who have an associate or bachelor’s degree in accounting who already had an OJT automatically qualify for a certification exam. Note that the NACPB also requires each bookkeeper to have at least a year of experience as an accountant or as a bookkeeper before attempting to take the certification exam. However, with the American Institute of Professional Bookkeepers (AIPB), the required experience is much longer. A bookkeeper must have at least two years of bookkeeping experience before they can take the certification exam under their organization. 

    The Certification Exams

    Both the AIPB and NACPB certification exams have four (4) parts that cover various topics about payroll procedures, financial records adjustments, inventory control, error corrections, etc.

    The Uniform Certified Public Bookkeeper Certification exam covers: 

    • Part 1: Accounting Fundamentals – 50 Questions

    This part covers accounting purchases and business transaction analysis.

    • Part 2: Accounting Principles – 50 Questions

    This part of the exam measures competency on long-term bonds, cash flow statements, and partnerships accounting. 

    • Part 3: Payroll Fundamentals – 50 Questions

    This part has a strong emphasis on payroll practices, gross pay computation, and employer payroll and labor planning. Note that most of the questions include simulations of real-world situations. 

    • Part 4: QuickBooks Fundamentals – 50 Questions

    This part tests your knowledge on the different QuickBooks programs. 

    Note: You can only take one part at a time and must finish the exam following a sequential order. Each section has a two-hour time limit, and examinees can take the exam online. To pass the exam, you must attain a score of 75%, meaning you have to get 37 correct answers in each 50-question exam. You have to pay a fee of $100 for members and $150 for nonmembers for each part of the exam. Those who fail the exam and wish to retake must pay another fee of $50 for members and $75 for nonmembers. 

    Unlike the NACPB exam, the AIPB certification exam must be scheduled on any of their testing centers. Note that the final two parts of the exam are open-book, so you may bring a resource book that you can use. The institute also has available study materials that you can purchase from their website. For AIPB members, the exam fee is $479, while nonmembers must shell out $574 for the exam. To pass the certification exam from the AIPB, you must have a score of 75% for the first two sections and 70% for the final two parts. 

  5. 5
    Step 5: Maintain Your Certification

    Once you become a certified bookkeeper in Las Vegas, you should continue your education by attending seminars and conferences. To maintain your accreditation with NACPB, you must have at least 24 hours of continuing professional education (CPE) annually. You can acquire these credits through webinars and self-study courses available through Accounting Training Unlimited

    Whereas for AIPB certification, you must maintain 60 hours of CPE credits every three years to retain the certification. 

    If you become a certified bookkeeper in Las Vegas, your clients and/or employer can easily distinguish yourself from others. It is also an excellent way to build credibility and confirm that you are a professional worthy of your client’s and employer’s trust and confidence. 

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