Bookkeepers

ANZSCO ID 5512

Overview

Snapshot

Employed
100,100
Future Growth
-5.6%
Weekly Earnings
$1,304
Full-Time Share
33%
Female Share
91%
Average age
48

Summary

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

Specialisations: Financial Administration Officer.

Formal qualifications are not essential to work as a Bookkeeper. Although some workers have a Vocational Education and Training (VET) qualification or university degree in bookkeeping and accounting.

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

Characteristics

Job Type
Clerical And Administrative Workers
Skill Level
Medium skill
ANZSCO Occupation group
Unemployment Rate
Below average
Industries
Pathway(s)
  • University
  • Vocational Education and Training (VET)
  • Informal or on-the-job
Interests
  • Administrative
Physical Demand
  • Sedentary

Outlook

Employment Outlook

JSA produces employment projections to show where likely future job opportunities may be. The latest data are for the five years from November 2021 to November 2026. Over this period, the number of workers:

  • is expected to decline
  • is likely to reach 89,200 by 2026.
  • Source: Jobs and Skills Australia Employment Projections to 2026.

    Notes: The number employed includes people who work in this occupation as their main job. People who work in more than one job are counted against the occupation they work the most hours in.

    Employment projections figures are rounded to the nearest 100. Calculations based on these rounded figures may result in differences to the numbers that are displayed on this page. Employment projections data (including occupations) can be downloaded from the Employment Projections page.

Projected Change
-5.6%
(or -5,300 jobs)
From
94,400
in 2021
To
89,200
in 2026

Number of Workers

Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, ABS seasonally adjusted data to November 2021 and Jobs and Skills Australia Employment Projections to 2026.
Year Employment
2011 117,900
2012 107,600
2013 102,600
2014 106,900
2015 96,600
2016 108,600
2017 109,700
2018 97,600
2019 99,500
2020 99,500
2021 94,400
2026 89,200

Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, ABS seasonally adjusted data to November 2021 and Jobs and Skills Australia Employment Projections to 2026.


Earnings and hours

Working arrangements

  • Around 33% of people employed as Bookkeepers work full-time hours, in all their jobs combined. This is 33 percentage points below the all jobs average (66%).

    Full-time workers work an average of 42 hours per week in their main job. This is similar to the all jobs average (44 hours per week).

    Median full-time earnings are $1,304 per week, this is much lower than the all jobs median ($1,593):

    • 3 in 4 workers earn more than $1,031
    • 1 in 4 earn more than $1,412

    Median hourly earnings are $34, this is lower than the all jobs median ($41 per hour).

    Sources: Full-time share and full-time hours: ABS, 2016 Census, customised report. Compared to the all jobs average. Full-time median earnings and median hourly earnings: ABS, Survey of Employee Earnings and Hours, May 2021. Compared to all jobs median.

Weekly Earnings (Before Tax)

Source: Based on ABS Survey of Employee Earnings and Hours, May 2021, 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.
Earnings Bookkeepers All Jobs Average
Full-Time Earnings 1,304 1,593
Total Earnings 0 0

Source: Based on ABS Survey of Employee Earnings and Hours, May 2021, 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.


Industries

Main industries

1
Professional, Scientific and Technical Services
27.8%
2
Construction
14.5%
3
Manufacturing
6.7%
4
Other Services
6.6%
5
Other industries
44.3%

Regions

Employment across Australia

NSW

27.6% All occupations: 31.6%

VIC

28.9% All occupations: 25.6%

QLD

20.4% All occupations: 20.0%

SA

6.7% All occupations: 7.0%

WA

12.6% All occupations: 10.8%

TAS

1.8% All occupations: 2.0%

NT

0.9% All occupations: 1.0%

ACT

1.1% All occupations: 1.9%

Employment by State and Territory (% Share)

State Bookkeepers All Jobs Average
NSW 27.6 31.6
VIC 28.9 25.6
QLD 20.4 20.0
SA 6.7 7.0
WA 12.6 10.8
TAS 1.8 2.0
NT 0.9 1.0
ACT 1.1 1.9


  • Around 42% of Bookkeepers live outside of capital cities, compared with the all jobs average of 38%.

    Victoria has a large share of employment relative to its population size.

    The regions with the largest share of workers are:

    Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Share of workers across Australian states, territories and regions, in this job compared to the all jobs average.


Worker profile

Age and gender

Age In Years
48
All Jobs Average is 40
Female Share
91%
All Jobs Average is 48%
  • The median age of Bookkeepers is 48 years. This is higher than the all jobs average of 40 years.

    A large share of workers are aged 45 to 54 years.

    Females make up 91% of the workforce. This is 43 percentage points above the all jobs average of 48%.

    Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile and gender share compared to the all jobs average.

Age Profile (% Share)

Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.
Age Bracket Bookkeepers All Jobs Average
15-19 0.6 5.0
20-24 2.1 9.3
25-34 13.3 22.9
35-44 23.6 22.0
45-54 28.8 21.6
55-59 12.5 9.0
60-64 9.5 6.0
65 and Over 9.6 4.2
Median Age 48 40

Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.


Employment Pathways

Education, training and experience

Formal qualifications are not essential to work as a Bookkeeper. Although some workers have a Vocational Education and Training (VET) qualification or university degree in bookkeeping and accounting.

Registration or licencing may be required.

Visit

  • Course Seeker to search and compare higher education courses.
  • ComparED to compare undergraduate and postgraduate student experiences and outcomes.
  • My Skills to compare Vocational Education and Training (VET) courses, providers and student outcomes.
  • AAPathways website to explore Financial Services VET training pathways.

Highest Level of Education (% Share)

Source: 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 Qualification Bookkeepers All Jobs Average
Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate 5.8 10.1
Bachelor degree 18.7 21.8
Advanced Diploma/Diploma 17.6 11.6
Certificate III/IV 17.4 21.1
Year 12 18.2 18.1
Year 11 7.1 4.8
Year 10 and below 15.2 12.5

Source: 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.


Skills and Knowledge

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

Skills

Skills can be improved through training or experience.

  • 55%

    Active listening

    Listening to others, not interrupting, and asking good questions.

  • 54%

    Reading comprehension

    Reading work related information.

  • 50%

    Critical thinking

    Thinking about the pros and cons of different ways to solve a problem.

  • 48%

    Speaking

    Talking to others.

  • 46%

    Mathematics

    Using maths to solve problems.

  • 46%

    Writing

    Writing things for co-workers or customers.

  • 45%

    Monitoring

    Keeping track of how well work is progressing so you can make changes or improvements.

  • 45%

    Time management

    Managing your own and other peoples' time to get work done.

  • 43%

    Active learning

    Being able to use what you have learnt to solve problems now and again in the future.

  • 41%

    Complex problem solving

    Noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it.

  • 41%

    Judgment and decision making

    Figuring out the pros and cons of different options and choosing the best one.

  • 41%

    Social perceptiveness

    Understanding why people react the way they do.

  • 37%

    Coordination with others

    Being adaptable and coordinating work with other people.

  • 37%

    Serving others

    Looking for ways to help people.

  • 36%

    Learning strategies

    Figuring out the best way to teach or learn something new.

  • 36%

    Management of personnel resources

    Motivating, developing, and directing people as they work, and choosing the best people for the job.

  • 36%

    Negotiation

    Bringing people together and trying to sort out their differences.

  • 36%

    Persuasion

    Talking people into changing their minds or their behaviour.

  • 34%

    Instructing

    Teaching people how to do something.

  • 32%

    Systems analysis

    Figuring out how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect it.


Knowledge

These are important topics, subjects or knowledge areas.

  • 70%

    Clerical

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

  • 54%

    Economics and accounting

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

  • 54%

    Mathematics

    Arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, or statistics.

  • 50%

    English language

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

  • 47%

    Computers and electronics

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

  • 47%

    Customer and personal service

    Understanding customer needs, providing good quality service, and measuring customer satisfaction.

  • 41%

    Administration and management

    Business principles involved in strategic planning, leadership, and coordinating people and resources.

  • 29%

    Law and government

    How our laws and courts work. Government rules and regulations, and the political system.

  • 27%

    Personnel and human resources

    Recruiting and training people, managing pay and other entitlements (like sick leave), and negotiating pay and conditions.

  • 22%

    Education and training

    Curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.

  • 20%

    Sales and marketing

    Showing, promoting, and selling including marketing strategy, product demonstration, sales techniques, and sales control systems.

  • 20%

    Communications and media

    Media production, communication, and dissemination. Includes written, spoken, and visual media.

  • 17%

    Transportation

    Moving people or goods by air, rail, sea, or road.

  • 17%

    Public safety and security

    Use of equipment, rules and ideas to protect people, data, property, and institutions.

  • 12%

    Production and processing

    Raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and ways of making and distributing goods.

  • 11%

    Psychology

    Human behaviour; differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; research methods; assessing and treating disorders.

  • 11%

    Telecommunications

    Transmission, broadcasting, switching, control, and operation of telecommunications systems.

  • 10%

    Foreign language

    Foreign (non-English) language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition and grammar, and pronunciation.

  • 6%

    Mechanical

    Machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.

  • 4%

    Engineering and technology

    Use engineering, science and technology to design and produce goods and services.


Abilities

Workers use these physical and mental abilities..

  • 57%

    Oral comprehension

    Listen to and understand what people say.

  • 55%

    Written comprehension

    Read and understand written information.

  • 54%

    Near vision

    See details that are up-close (within a few feet).

  • 52%

    Written expression

    Write in a way that people can understand.

  • 52%

    Oral expression

    Communicate by speaking.

  • 52%

    Working with numbers

    Add, subtract, multiply, or divide.

  • 50%

    Mathematics

    Choose the right maths method or formula to solve a problem.

  • 50%

    Sorting or ordering

    Order or arrange things in a pattern or sequence (e.g., numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).

  • 46%

    Categorising

    Come up with different ways of grouping things.

  • 46%

    Deductive reasoning

    Use general rules to find answers or solve problems logically.

  • 45%

    Problem spotting

    Notice when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong, even if you can't solve the problem.

  • 45%

    Speech recognition

    Identify and understand the speech of another person.

  • 45%

    Inductive reasoning

    Use lots of detailed information to come up with answers or make general rules.

  • 45%

    Speech clarity

    Speak clearly so others can understand you.

  • 41%

    Selective attention

    Pay attention to something without being distracted.

  • 41%

    Flexibility of closure

    See a pattern (a figure, object, word, or sound) hidden in other distracting material.

  • 37%

    Perceptual speed

    Use your eyes to quickly compare groups of letters, numbers, pictures, or other things.

  • 36%

    Finger dexterity

    Put together small parts with your fingers.

  • 36%

    Memorization

    Remember things like words, numbers, pictures, and procedures.

  • 34%

    Far vision

    See details that are far away.


Activities

These are kinds of activities workers regularly do in this job.

  • 65%

    Keeping your knowledge up-to-date

    Keeping up-to-date with technology and new ideas.

  • 63%

    Collecting and organising information

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

  • 62%

    Researching and investigating

    Looking for, getting and understanding different kinds of information.

  • 61%

    Planning and prioritising work

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

  • 59%

    Building good relationships

    Building good working relationships and keeping them over time.

  • 58%

    Communicating within a team

    Giving information to co-workers by telephone, in writing, or in person.

  • 53%

    Monitoring people, processes and things

    Checking objects, actions, or events, and keeping an eye out for problems.

  • 53%

    Documenting or recording information

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

  • 53%

    Looking for changes over time

    Comparing objects, actions, or events. Looking for differences between them or changes over time.

  • 51%

    Managing payments and orders

    Monitoring and controlling resources and the spending of money.

  • 50%

    Working with computers

    Using computers to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.

  • 49%

    Making sense of information and ideas

    Looking at, working with, and understanding data or information.

  • 49%

    Making decisions and solving problems

    Using information to work out the best solution and solve problems.

  • 47%

    Providing office support

    Doing day-to-day office work such as filing and processing paperwork.

  • 44%

    Communicating with the public

    Giving information to the public, business or government by telephone, in writing, or in person.

  • 40%

    Explaining things to people

    Helping people to understand and use information.

  • 40%

    Checking compliance with standards

    Deciding whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.

  • 40%

    Negotiating and resolving conflicts

    Handling complaints and disagreements, and negotiating with people.

  • 40%

    Training and teaching others

    Understanding the needs of others, developing training programs, and teaching or instructing.

  • 39%

    Thinking creatively

    Using your own ideas for developing, designing, or creating something new.


Interests and demands

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.

Interests

Interests are the style or type of work we prefer to do. All interest areas are shown below.

  • 100%

    Administrative

    Following set procedures and routines. Working with numbers and details more than with ideas, usually following rules.

  • 52%

    Enterprising

    Starting up and carrying out projects. Leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes require risk taking and often deal with business.

  • 33%

    Analytical

    Ideas and thinking. Searching for facts and figuring out problems in your head.

  • 33%

    Practical

    Practical, hands-on work. Often with plants and animals, or materials like wood, tools, and machinery.

  • 24%

    Helping

    Working with people. Helping or providing service to others.

  • 14%

    Creative

    Working with forms, designs and patterns. Often need self-expression and can be done without following rules.


Values

Work values are important to a person’s feeling of satisfaction. All six values are shown below.
  • 71%

    Support

    Supportive management that stands behind employees. Workers are treated fairly by their company, they are supported by management, and have supervisors who train them well.

  • 67%

    Relationships

    Serve and work with others. Workers usually get along well with each other, do things to help other people, and are rarely pressured to do things that go against their sense of right and wrong.

  • 52%

    Achievement

    Results oriented. Workers are able to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment.

  • 52%

    Independence

    Work alone and make decisions. Workers are able to try out their own ideas, make decisions on their own, and work with little or no supervision.

  • 52%

    Working conditions

    Job security and good working conditions. There is usually a steady flow of interesting work, and the pay and conditions are generally good.

  • 43%

    Recognition

    Advancement and the potential to lead. Workers are recognised for the work that they do, they may give directions and instructions to others, and they are looked up to in their company and their community.


Demands

The physical and social demands that workers face most often are shown below:
  • 97%

    Telephone

    Talk on the telephone.

  • 96%

    Repeating same tasks

    Repeat the same tasks or activities (e.g., key entry) over and over, without stopping.

  • 94%

    Being exact or accurate

    Be very exact or highly accurate.

  • 92%

    Electronic mail

    Use electronic mail.

  • 89%

    Indoors, heat controlled

    Work indoors with access to heating or cooling.

  • 88%

    Spend time sitting

    Spend time sitting at work.

  • 86%

    Unstructured work

    Have freedom to decide on tasks, priorities, and goals.

  • 86%

    Face-to-face discussions

    Talk with people face-to-face.

  • 83%

    Freedom to make decisions

    Have freedom to make decision on your own.

  • 81%

    Frequent decision making

    Frequently make decisions that impact other people.

  • 79%

    Time pressure

    Work to strict deadlines.

  • 78%

    Contact with people

    Have contact with people by telephone, face-to-face, or any other way.

  • 76%

    Teamwork

    Work with people in a group or team.

  • 75%

    Impact of decisions

    Make decisions that have a large impact on other people.

  • 74%

    Letters and memos

    Write letters and memos.

  • 70%

    Making repetitive motions

    Spend time making repetitive motions.

  • 67%

    Contact with the public

    Work with customers or the public.

  • 67%

    Using your hands to handle, control, or feel

    Spend time using your hands to handle, control, or feel objects, tools or controls.

  • 63%

    Conflict situations

    Deal with conflict or disagreements.

  • 58%

    Lead or coordinate a team

    Lead others to do work activities.

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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