Note: Completion of a TAFE SA course does not guarantee an employment outcome. Formal requirements other than educational qualifications (eg licensing, professional registration), may apply to some occupations.

Job Prospects
Openings 5 years to November 2019: > 50,000
Salary Range
Median weekly earnings: $921 to $1050 to Source: Australian Government Department of Employment 2015
Its hard for employers to maintain their own business, as well as keep their finances up to date. So when it comes to BAS statements, Pay As You Go Tax, accounts receivable and payable, bookkeepers can provide useful assistance.

There are currently around 6900 bookkeepers employed in South Australia. Over half are employed part-time and most work across a range of industries. Most persons in this occupation are female and over half are employed in the Adelaide metropolitan area. This occupation has an older age profile with close to half of bookkeepers aged 45 years or older.
  • Bookkeepers keep track of the day to day financial transactions of companies. Their duties vary greatly according to the size of the company they work for. One person businesses, for example, might be happy to drop their receipts and copies of payments to a bookkeeper to record the data in ways that make it simple to extract for various taxation purposes. In larger companies, the duties of a bookkeeper may include billing customers, making sure that monies due are received and keeping track of all accounts that need to be paid. They may also calculate and pay wages, though in large companies a payroll clerk might also be engaged to calculate and manage all payroll procedures electronically. Bookkeepers also prepare financial statements such as bank reconciliation statements and prepare tax schedules.

  • Of the current Bookkeepers there are 12% who have Advanced Diplomas or Diplomas, 12% who have Certificate III or Certificate IV, 11% who have Bachelor Degrees and 2% who have Certificate I or II. While there are around 57% of Bookkeepers who have no post school qualification it is recommended that you undertake some form of training to give you the best possible chance of gaining employment.

    TAFE SA offer the following courses to help you find employment in this occupation: Certificate II & III in Financial Services, Certificate III in Account Administration; Certificate III in Business Administration; Certificate IV in Accounting and Bookkeeping and a number of relevant short courses.

  • The high demand for the services of bookkeepers which resulted from the new tax system looks set to continue to some degree in to the future. Bookkeepers with skills in small business management and a computer might consider the self employment option that this occupation readily lends itself to. It is quite easy to start a business if you are prepared to market yourself. You can end up with quite a profitable business.

  • To be a successful bookkeeper, you need a good understanding of business record keeping systems and know how to document and receipt the various financial transactions of the business. Good computational skills are required and you must be able to maintain your concentration so that calculations and records are precise. One wrong calculation could mean going through hundreds of receipts to find your mistake!

  • And no, bookkeeping isn't just numbers and mathematics. Bookkeepers have dealings with customers on a day to day basis so its important to have good communication skills. You might find that people can be really 'touchy' around money issues. You have to be focussed and patient because when you are trying to reconcile (accounts), it can be time consuming and tedious and you can't take short cuts.

  • Bookkeepers usually work normal office hours in an office environment. They are employed in a number of industry sectors as well as in financial institutions such as banks, insurance companies and lending firms. Those that work for small, one person businesses are often home based bookkeepers.

    There has been a recent shift towards computerised accounting, however businesses are still employing bookkeepers to computerise their accounts and operate their financial systems. The introduction of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) in 2000 meant that both business owners and bookkeepers had to establish systems to deal with the new financial information requirements.

    For further information, contact:

    Association of Accounting Technicians
    Phone: 1800 000 961

    Institute of Certified Bookkeepers
    Phone: 1300 856 181

    Finance Sector Union (SA/NT)
    Phone: 1300 366 378

Further Information

For further information about all TAFE SA Courses, phone 1800 882 661 or enquire online