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How do I Choose the Best Bookkeeping Programs?

Carol Francois
Carol Francois

There are four items to consider when looking for the best bookkeeping programs: accreditation, faculty, computer equipment, and reputation or ranking. Bookkeeping program are available at the community or career college level. These programs are typically one to two years in length, and provide training in standard accounting, payroll, and accounts payable and receivable.

In order to qualify for admission to bookkeeping programs, a combination of work experience and high school courses are required. Typically, students in bookkeeping programs have been working in office administration for one to two years and are looking to expand their career options. High school courses recommended for these programs include English, accounting, math, and computer courses. Almost all bookkeeping is completed using computer software programs designed to meet the specific needs of an industry or sector.

A bookkeeper reviewing a ledger.
A bookkeeper reviewing a ledger.

When looking for bookkeeping programs, the first item to check is the accreditation status. An accredited school has been reviewed by an independent third party. The academic and administrative policies are reviewed to ensure they are compliant with a minimum standard. Courses from an accredited school can be transferred to other post-secondary institutions and are accepted by certifying and licensing boards. In addition, accredited schools are able to offer students access to government student aid programs.

A bookkeeper at his desk.
A bookkeeper at his desk.

Review the qualifications of the faculty or course instructors. Accounting courses should be taught by qualified accountants to ensure that accurate information is provided. Check the academic credentials and ask about the work experience of course instructors. Avoid schools that are unwilling to provide this type of information to potential students.

Bookkeeping programs must have a computer software based component to them, as almost all accounting records are kept in computer software. Make sure that the school is offering the latest version of the most popular accounting software. These skills are essential to obtaining a position as a bookkeeper.

The reputation of the school is very important when choosing bookkeeping programs. Talk with local accounting services firms and other employers about the reputation of the school before making your selection. Ask the admissions counselor for a list of graduates and references to contact. Ask about the level of training they received and if they felt prepared for the type of work that is required when you become a bookkeeper.

Invest the time to review the program in detail before making a selection. A wide range of bookkeeping programs are available online or through part-time courses. Make sure that the school is accredited and review the course descriptions. There is a lot of material to be covered in bookkeeping programs and it is important to make sure that you are properly trained.

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