Does a bookkeeper have to be qualified?

There are many bookkeepers within the UK that are employed and don’t have bookkeeping qualifications. There are no legal requirements for bookkeepers whether employed or self-employed to have any formal qualifications, but you will need bookkeeping experience, as most employers would expect this if you do not have a recognised bookkeeping qualification.

On the job experience, learning as you earn is the path many bookkeepers choose. A qualification alone, doesn’t make you a good bookkeeper. It takes time to learn the role of a bookkeeper, and nothing can replace ‘on the job’, real world experience. You may pass your qualification with flying colours but putting what you have learned into action is another story. A bookkeeper who has real world experience means that they know how to react and adapt to situations, which are skills that can’t always be taught in theory.

What skills will you need?

Good time-management skills will be needed as bookkeeping is very time consuming, often needing to meet strict deadlines. A bookkeeper needs to be organised and efficient. They will also need to be good with numbers and have a good attention to detail to ensure that calculations are correct. Bookkeeping isn’t just data entry like some may assume. A bookkeeper will take information and interpret it in ways that can give a business structure and significance, keeping records of all incoming and outgoing transactions, and evidence of payments so that accounts and/or tax return can be filed at the end of the year is essential to a business.  

They need to be able to access data at the touch of a button to be responsive to questions and concerns. Having IT experience will be advantageous, as a bookkeeper needs to stay ahead of the times when it comes to technology, this plays a big part of a bookkeeper’s role. With technology ever changing, the software they use is significant. Investing in the right software and add ons and learning how best to use the systems, can streamline your bookkeeping making it more efficient and cost effective. If you would like us to quote you for a new Sage licence and benefit from our competitive discounts and complimentary installation service, just Get in touch.

If you’re currently using Sage software for your bookkeeping and need a bit of extra guidance, why not join The Sage Lady Academy? The Sage Lady Academy offers bookkeepers of any background, the support they need doing the books. It’s a support network, to bounce ideas off each other and to give one another support and encouragement, a safe place where you can ask questions, where no question is a silly one. 

Find out more about our Sage Lady Academy here:


“Any advice relating to accounts or tax should be sought from your tax accountant. Sage Accounts Solutions Limited will not be held responsible for any loss or damage caused as a result of the information contained herein.”

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