Who Is Considered a Professional Bookkeeper?

expenses on calculator with charts and graphs

Within the accounting industry, a bookkeeper is not always viewed as a professional.

You may ask, "Why not?"  

What is the definition of a professional?

Some dictionaries define it as "relating to work that needs special training or education." Certified professional bookkeepers go above the traditional definition of "keeping the books." 

Calling yourself a professional conveys that you have attained a certain level of achievement, participate in continuing education courses, and live up to certain industry standards of quality. 

Keep reading as we explore the question, "Is a bookkeeper considered a professional?" If so, how do you become a professional bookkeeper? 

Defining a Professional 

A professional bookkeeper is experienced. They have quality experience working for businesses and clients for a number of years. They are committed to professional development through education and on-the-job training. 

They also act in a professional manner by being honest, looking out for the best interest of their employer or clients, and perform the job with integrity. 

Belonging to a professional membership organization upgrades your status as a professional. ICBUSA (Institute of Certified Bookkeepers USA) is the professional organization for bookkeepers.

Steps to Becoming a Professional Bookkeeper 

As a bookkeeper, you're responsible for keeping track of the financial records for companies and organizations. Let's look at the steps to get there. 


The minimum requirement is a high school diploma or the equivalent. To get certified, you must demonstrate knowledge and skills in the bookkeeping field and need two years of experience to become eligible for bookkeeping certification. 

You must possess math skills and basic computer skills and being detail-oriented is a plus.


Following your two years working as a bookkeeper, you can acquire the Certified Bookkeeper designation. You have to follow the code of ethics put in place by the American Institure of Professional Bookkeepers and pass an examination to earn the certification. 

Advanced Education 

Continue education by taking bookkeeping continuing education courses or classes in accounting or business administration for more opportunities in the field of accounting or auditing to widen your career opportunities. 

Obtaining an associate's or bachelor's degree will definitely move you to the "professional" classification and give you some advantage over others in the profession. 

Looking for professional development for bookkeepers? Earn 60 CPE credits and job placement assistance by enrolling in this certified professional bookkeeper course. Learn more here. 

Professional Bookkeeper

Now that you know who is considered a professional bookkeeper and how to become one, you'll be able to offer professional bookkeeping services. Find out what the professional bookkeeper salary is in your area and get started on your journey. 

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