Is Bookkeeping Certification Worth It? Benefits and Advantages
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Is Bookkeeping Certification Worth It? Benefits and Advantages

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Written by Ben Robinson Position
Bookkeeping Certification Benefits

Keywords: Bookkeeping certification

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For aspiring entrepreneurs considering venturing into the world of bookkeeping, the question of whether obtaining a bookkeeping certification is worthwhile often arises. While not a mandatory requirement, obtaining certification offers a range of benefits and advantages. 

From enhanced credibility and marketability to increased proficiency and client trust, certification can significantly bolster the foundation of a budding bookkeeping enterprise. So, in this article, we will explore the merits of pursuing bookkeeping certification or courses, highlighting its benefits. We will also look into the tangible advantages of starting and running a successful bookkeeping business. 

What is Bookkeeping Certification?

Bookkeeping certification is a professional credential that validates an individual’s proficiency and competence in bookkeeping practices. Its primary purpose is to assure employers, clients, and the broader business community that the certified individual possesses the necessary knowledge and skills to perform bookkeeping duties accurately and efficiently.

Certification is also a standardized measure of competence in bookkeeping principles, software proficiency, regulatory compliance, and ethical standards. It enhances the credibility and marketability of bookkeepers, distinguishing them as qualified professionals in the field.

Types of Bookkeeping Certifications

There are two types of bookkeeping certifications as follows:

  • Certified Bookkeeper (CB): Certified Bookkeeper (CB) is a designation awarded by the American Institute of Professional Bookkeepers (AIPB). This certification is recognized nationally and signifies a high level of bookkeeping competence. CB candidates must pass an examination covering topics such as adjusting entries, depreciation, payroll, inventory, and internal controls.
  • Certified Public Bookkeeper (CPB): Certified Public Bookkeeper (CPB) is a credential offered by the National Association of Certified Public Bookkeepers (NACPB). CPB certification is tailored to individuals who aspire to work in public accounting or offer bookkeeping services to the public. To earn CPB certification, candidates must pass an exam covering areas like accounting principles, payroll, financial statements, and business ethics.

Requirements and Qualifications for Bookkeeping Certification

While specific requirements may vary depending on the certifying organization, below is a quick overview of general requirements.

  • Certified Bookkeeper (CB): To pursue CB certification, candidates typically need a high school diploma or equivalent. They must complete at least two years of full-time bookkeeping or equivalent part-time experience. Additionally, candidates must adhere to the AIPB’s code of ethics and pass the CB examination with a score of at least 75%.


  • Certified Public Bookkeeper (CPB): Eligibility requirements for CPB certification include a minimum of one year of full-time bookkeeping experience or its part-time equivalent. Candidates must also have a high school diploma or equivalent. They must agree to uphold the NACPB’s code of professional conduct and pass the CPB examination with a score of 70% or higher.

Benefits of Bookkeeping Certification

Obtaining bookkeeping certification offers a multitude of benefits that extend beyond mere credentialing. From opening doors to new job opportunities to bolstering credibility & trust among clients, certification can enhance a bookkeeper’s professional standing and expertise.

1. Enhanced Job Opportunities

Bookkeeping certification increases the likelihood of securing employment or advancing within an organization. Many employers prefer candidates with certifications as they demonstrate a commitment to excellence and mastery in the field. 

For example, a certified bookkeeper may have a competitive edge over non-certified applicants when applying for positions such as senior accountant or financial analyst.

2. Industry Recognition and Credibility

Certification lends credibility to bookkeepers by showcasing their adherence to industry standards and best practices. Clients and employers are likely to trust certified professionals with their financial matters. 

For instance, a Certified Public Bookkeeper (CPB) may find it easier to attract clients for tax preparation services due to the recognition of their credentials by the National Association of Certified Public Bookkeepers (NACPB).

3. Expanded Knowledge and Skills

Preparing for certification exams broadens a bookkeeper’s understanding of basics and complex accounting principles, software applications, and regulatory requirements. This expanded knowledge equips them to handle diverse financial scenarios confidently and accurately. For example, studying for the Certified Bookkeeper (CB) exam may deepen one’s grasp of inventory valuation methods and accrual accounting principles.

4. Professional Development and Networking Opportunities

Certification programs often offer access to ongoing professional development resources and networking events. These opportunities allow bookkeepers to stay updated on industry trends, expand their skill sets, and connect with peers and mentors. 

Attending a CPB conference, for instance, might provide opportunities to learn about the latest tax regulations and forge partnerships with other accounting professionals.

5. Increased Client Trust and Satisfaction

Certification instills confidence in clients by assuring them of the bookkeeper’s competency and ethical conduct. Clients are more likely to trust certified professionals with sensitive financial information and may be more satisfied with the quality of service received. 

For example, a small business owner may feel more at ease entrusting their bookkeeping needs to a Certified Bookkeeper, knowing they adhere to the American Institute of Professional Bookkeepers (AIPB) standards of practice.

Advantages of Starting a Bookkeeping Business

Starting a bookkeeping business with certification offers several distinct advantages:

  • Low Startup Costs: Compared to many other businesses, the initial investment required to start a bookkeeping business is relatively low. All that’s needed are basic office supplies, accounting software, and possibly a computer.


  • Flexibility and Work-Life Balance: As a bookkeeper, you have the flexibility to set your own schedule and work from virtually anywhere with an internet connection. This flexibility allows for a better work-life balance, which can be particularly appealing to individuals with family or personal commitments.
  • High Demand for Services: Every business, regardless of size or industry, requires accurate financial record-keeping. This constant demand ensures a steady flow of potential clients for bookkeeping services.
  • Scalability: A bookkeeping business can be easily scaled up as your client base grows. You can gradually expand your services to include additional accounting functions such as tax filing, payroll processing, or financial consulting.
  • Low Overhead Costs: Since bookkeeping services are primarily intellectual, overhead costs such as rent and utilities are minimal. This means a higher percentage of revenue can be retained as profit.
  • Ability to Serve Niche Markets: Specializing in a particular industry or niche can help differentiate your bookkeeping business from competitors and attract clients seeking specialized expertise.
  • Potential for Recurring Revenue: Many bookkeeping clients require ongoing monthly or quarterly services, leading to a steady stream of recurring revenue for your business.
  • Opportunities for Growth and Expansion: With time and experience, you can expand your bookkeeping business by hiring additional staff and offering additional services, or targeting new markets.
  • Fulfillment Through Helping Others: As a bookkeeper, you play a crucial role in helping small businesses thrive by providing them with accurate financial information and insights to make informed decisions. This can be personally rewarding and fulfilling.
  • Entrepreneurial Independence: Starting a bookkeeping business allows you to be your own boss and take control of your professional destiny. You have the freedom to make strategic decisions and shape the direction of your business according to your vision and goals.

Read: Common Small Business Bookkeeping Mistakes (And How To Avoid Them)

To Sum Up

Obtaining bookkeeping certification is a strategic investment for individuals aspiring to start their own bookkeeping business. Certification not only enhances professional credibility but also attracts clients, sets the business apart from competitors, and instills confidence in potential customers. 

With the many benefits of bookkeeping certification as seen above, certified bookkeepers are well-positioned to succeed in the dynamic financial services field. Also, by prioritizing certification, entrepreneurs can lay a solid foundation for their bookkeeping venture and embark on a path towards long-term success and fulfillment in their chosen profession.

Bookkeeping Certification FAQs

What is the importance of bookkeeping certification for starting a business?

Bookkeeping certification enhances credibility, showcases expertise, and distinguishes your business from competitors, helping attract clients and instill confidence in potential customers.

What are the typical requirements for obtaining bookkeeping certification?

Requirements vary by certification program but often include a combination of education, experience, and passing a certification exam. For example, candidates may need a high school diploma or equivalent, relevant work experience, and successful completion of a certification exam.

How can bookkeeping certification benefit my business in the long run?

Certification can lead to enhanced job opportunities, increased industry recognition, expanded knowledge & skills, professional development opportunities, and ultimately, increased client trust and satisfaction.

Are there ongoing requirements to maintain bookkeeping certification?

Many certification programs require continuing education or periodic renewal to maintain certification status. This ensures certified bookkeepers stay updated on industry trends, regulations, and best practices.