I’m watching some of the forum discussions on education and certification with great interest. Because I have a story… who doesn’t?
I am a bookkeeper. I love being a bookkeeper. But I have not been a bookkeeper for most of my business life. And I certainly wasn’t a particularly skilled one in the beginning. Even now, I know my limits.
I took Recreation Facility Management at College and Phys Ed at University. Which was fun and interesting. Stats, Phys of X, Outdoor Ed and Anatomy were my fav subjects – Calculus not so much. So this was not a terrific education base to build a bookkeeping business.
I have been a small business owner most of my working life. My business models were built around relentless organizing and project management. Which are great assets to have if you are a bookkeeper. But not enough.
This is where my story comes in. My business finances – I organized my paperwork, I tracked my sales and I job costed. To death, in spreadsheets… And I handed my perfectly organized source document files over to b’keepers and accountants (I had a few over the years, no judging). And they gave me back my tax consequences and let me know all the things my previous accounting professionals had done poorly. So, I decided I could do the books myself (in Quicken, no judging). By then I had a cousin who was an accountant doing my taxes. I started working in a few client files for him, low level b’keeping and organizing, but he passed away. I was really out on my own to find another accountant, again. My new firm had a few terrific b’keepers who patiently educated me. I was in fact not a very good bookkeeper, but I was eager to learn since I now loved it. I started doing some temp agency work, so I could gain practice in a wide range of bookkeeping, and this was a great experience. I learned as much about what aspects I didn’t want to do as I did about what areas I loved.
Then began the happy cycle of loving bookkeeping, wanting to get better at it and getting better at it because I loved it. And along came IPBC. That was my game changer. I was already entrenched in QuickBooks Desktop, QBO and Sage. I was certified in and used these programs for clients and my businesses (I had 3 of my own businesses at this point). But I still felt I wasn’t a great bookkeeper. Being software certified is terrific, it’s a great start on bookkeeping skills and it’s fun. The big benefit is you know how to navigate in your day to day programs to the max.
Becoming a Certified Professional Bookkeeper is entirely different. It’s about honing the professional skills that you need to be a truly great accounting professional. When you decide to become professionally certified you will need to sit up and pay attention to your core skills, the underlying principles of financial transactions and the consequences of doing things incorrectly. You will certainly find out what you don’t know, what you have been messing up and what your responsibilities should be. The pressure and accountability of taking the exam is an awesome motivator for learning.
There are other benefits, but they are not part of my story (and hey, it’s often “all about Kellie”). I know some people believe it will help them earn more, likely true. Or that they need it to work at certain firms, also true. But I thought I would do a quick share that for some of us it’s all about the learning, the accountability and being next level in our professional life.
Oh, and I found my tribe this way too (but that’s a whole other story).
Kellie Parks, CPB
Change Is Hard. Not Changing Will Be Harder.
Proud member of the Intuit Trainer Writer Network.
Certified Professional Bookkeeper, QBO Advanced Pro Certified, Hubdoc Advanced Partner, Receipt Bank Certified, WagePoint Certified, Plooto Certified, Practice Ignition Partner, 17Hats Partner.
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