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Career and Education Opportunities for Bookkeepers in Tampa, Florida

Tampa, Florida provides a wide variety of opportunities, both career and educational, for bookkeepers. There are currently 128,340 working bookkeepers in Florida; this should grow by 20% to about 153,830 working bookkeepers in the state by 2016. This is better than the national trend for bookkeepers, which sees this job pool growing by about 10.3% over the next eight years. In general, bookkeepers compute, classify, and record numerical data to keep financial records complete.

Bookkeepers earn about $14 per hour or $31,010 per year on average in Florida and about $15 per hour or $32,510 per year on average nationally. Compared with people working in the overall category of Billing and Bookkeeping, people working as bookkeepers in Florida earn more. They earn more than people working in the overall category of Billing and Bookkeeping nationally.

There are fifty-four schools of higher education in the Tampa area, including two within twenty-five miles of Tampa where you can get a degree to start your career as a bookkeeper. The most common level of education for bookkeepers is a high school diploma or GED. You can expect to spend only a short time studying to be a bookkeeper if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Bookkeeper

Bookkeeper video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, bookkeepers compute, classify, and record numerical data to keep financial records complete. They also perform any combination of routine calculating, posting, and verifying duties to obtain primary financial data for use in maintaining accounting records.

Bookkeepers operate 10-key calculators and copy machines to perform calculations and produce documents. They also perform general office duties such as filing and handling routine correspondence. Equally important, bookkeepers have to check figures and documents for correct entry and proper codes. They are often called upon to operate computers programmed with accounting software to record and analyze data. Finally, bookkeepers comply with federal and company policies, procedures, and regulations.

Every day, bookkeepers are expected to be able to listen to and understand others in meetings. They need to read and understand documents and reports.

It is important for bookkeepers to classify and summarize numerical and financial data to compile and keep financial archives, using journals and ledgers or computers. They are often called upon to access computerized financial data to respond to general questions as well as those pertaining to specific accounts. They also debit and total accounts on computer spreadsheets and databases, using specialized accounting software. They are sometimes expected to reconcile or note and report discrepancies found in archives. Somewhat less frequently, bookkeepers are also expected to reconcile archives of bank transactions.

Bookkeepers sometimes are asked to compile budget data and documents, on the basis of estimated revenues and expenses and previous budgets. and receive and bank cash, checks, and vouchers. And finally, they sometimes have to calculate and ready checks for utilities and other payments.

Like many other jobs, bookkeepers must have exceptional integrity and be thorough and dependable.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Tampa include:

  • Accounts Receivable Specialist. Locate and notify customers of delinquent accounts by mail, telephone, or personal visit to solicit payment. Duties include receiving payment and posting amount to customer's account; preparing statements to credit department if customer fails to respond; initiating repossession proceedings or service disconnection; keeping records of collection and status of accounts.
  • Bank Teller. Receive and pay out money. Keep records of money and negotiable instruments involved in a financial institution's various transactions.
  • Broker Assistant. Perform clerical duties involving the purchase or sale of securities. Duties include writing orders for stock purchases and sales, computing transfer taxes, verifying stock transactions, accepting and delivering securities, tracking stock price fluctuations, computing equity, and keeping records of daily transactions and holdings.
  • Clerk. Compile data, compute fees and charges, and prepare invoices for billing purposes. Duties include computing costs and calculating rates for goods, services, and shipment of goods; posting data; and keeping other relevant records. May involve use of computer or typewriter, calculator, and adding and bookkeeping machines.
  • Gaming Cashier. Conduct financial transactions for patrons in gaming establishments. May reconcile daily summaries of transactions to balance books. Accept patron's credit application and verify credit references to provide check-cashing authorization or to establish house credit accounts. May sell gambling chips, tokens, or tickets to patrons, or to other workers for resale to patrons. May convert gaming chips, tokens, or tickets to currency upon patron's request. May use a cash register or computer to record transaction.
  • Loan Inspector. Interview loan applicants to elicit information; investigate applicants' backgrounds and verify references; prepare loan request papers; and forward findings, reports, and documents to appraisal department. Review loan papers to ensure completeness, and complete transactions between loan establishment, borrowers, and sellers upon approval of loan.
  • Payroll Machine Operator. Operate machines that automatically perform mathematical processes, such as addition, subtraction, and division, to calculate and record billing, accounting, and other numerical data. Duties include operating special billing machines to prepare statements, bills, and invoices, and operating bookkeeping machines to copy and post data, make computations, and compile records of transactions.
  • Secretary. Perform routine clerical and administrative functions such as drafting correspondence, scheduling appointments, organizing and maintaining paper and electronic files, or providing information to callers.
  • Statement Clerk. Prepare and distribute bank statements to customers, answer inquiries, and reconcile discrepancies in records and accounts.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Bookkeeper Training

St Petersburg College - Clearwater, FL

St Petersburg College, 14025 58th Street North, Clearwater, FL 33760. St Petersburg College is a large college located in Clearwater, Florida. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 26,099 students. St Petersburg College has 2 areas of study related to Bookkeeper. They are:

  • Accounting Technology/Technician and Bookkeeping, less than one year and associate's degree which graduated nineteen and twelve students respectively in 2008.
  • Accounting and Related Services, Other Specialties, less than one year which graduated 2 students in 2008.

Hillsborough Community College - Tampa, FL

Hillsborough Community College, 39 Columbia Drive, Tampa, FL 33606-3584. Hillsborough Community College is a large college located in Tampa, Florida. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 24,037 students. Hillsborough Community College has 2 areas of study related to Bookkeeper. They are:

  • Accounting Technology/Technician and Bookkeeping, associate's degree which graduated 6 students in 2008.
  • Accounting and Related Services, Other Specialties, less than one year.

CERTIFICATIONS

Certified Patient Account Technician: The Certified Patient Account Manager exam is every bit as challenging for patient account managers as the CPA and Bar exams are for their respective fields.

For more information, see the American Association of Healthcare Administrative Management website.

Certified Clinic Account Technician: AAHAM developed the Certified Clinic Account Technician (CCAT) examination to test the proficiency of individuals involved in the collection of patient accounts and to prepare them for the many changes to come.

For more information, see the American Association of Healthcare Administrative Management website.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Tampa, Florida

Tampa, Florida
Tampa, Florida photo by Caltrop

Tampa is located in Hillsborough County, Florida. It has a population of over 340,882, which has grown by 12.3% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Tampa, 95, is near the national average. New single-family homes in Tampa are valued at $188,700 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, six hundred thirty-five new homes were constructed in Tampa, down from 1,008 the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Tampa are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is construction, professional, scientific, and technical services, and accommodation and food services. The average travel time to work is about 23 minutes. More than 25.4% of Tampa residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 9.2%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Tampa is 11.8%, which is greater than Florida's average of 11.3%.

The percentage of Tampa residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 41.8%, is less than the national average but more than the state average. Abundant Life Assembly of God Church, Florida Tampa Mission and Most Holy Redeemer Church are among the churches located in Tampa. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Southern Baptist Convention and the United Methodist Church.

Tampa is home to the Parkers Railroad Station and the Drew Station Railroad Station as well as Ybor City Museum State Park and American Legion Playground. Shopping centers in the area include Northgate Shopping Center, Old Hyde Park Village Shopping Center and Benttree Plaza Shopping Center. Visitors to Tampa can choose from Backstage Restaurant & Lounge, Baymont Tampa Busch Gardens and Budget Inn for temporary stays in the area.