financial administrator
Financial services

Career outlook for bookkeeper

UK Salary Ranges





Currently employed in Scotland


Salary information is provided by the "National Careers Service". "Oxford Economics" supplies job forecasts and employment figures. Due to COVID-19 the jobs market is constantly changing. Some of the information may not reflect the current situation.

What's it like?

Keeping a record of incoming and outgoing money is vital in any business. As a bookkeeper, you’d be responsible for doing just that.

In this job, you’d oversee a client or company’s financial data by keeping track of their accounts. You’d record payments received, invoices, payroll and transactions. It’s important to be thorough, accurate and pay great attention to detail as any mistakes could have a huge impact on the account balance. 

You’d liaise with your clients to set budgets and keep them up to date with their accounts. You might also meet with their suppliers and the bank when needed.

Using accountancy software and spreadsheets, you’d likely work on a computer to update and maintain financial records.  

What you might do:

  • Record client payments, invoices or transactions on an electronic database 
  • Balance accounts and manage budgets on a daily or weekly basis 
  • Oversee company payroll systems 
  • File relevant documentation 
  • Liaise with clients, suppliers and banks  
  • Work with accountants to handle VAT returns 
  • Make copies of receipts and other important documents for reference 
  • Summarise information and producing reports to analyse data 
  • Maintain any petty cash

Working conditions


Working hours can vary, but usually full-time hours will be Monday to Friday around 37-40 hours per week.


This job is usually office-based. You’ll work in-house within the accounts department.


You might need to travel locally to meet with clients, banks or suppliers.

UK employment status





Self employed


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  • Building relationships
  • Working with technology
  • Written communication
  • Problem solving
  • Working with numbers
  • Attention to detail
  • Time management
  • Ethical
  • Reliable

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Getting in

Entry requirements for courses can change. Always contact the college, university or training provider to check exactly what you'll need.

Foundation Apprenticeships

Choosing a Foundation Apprenticeship as one of your subjects in S5 and S6 can help you get a head start with this type of job.

You'll get an SCQF level 6 qualification (the same level as a Higher) plus valuable work placement experience and skills you can't learn in a classroom.

Interested? Find out what's on offer at your school on


There are a number of ways to get qualified for this job, via college/university study or through work-based qualifications, such as apprenticeships.

Although there are no fixed entry routes, most employers would prefer a selection of subjects at National 4/5 level or above, including maths and English, demonstrating strong written and verbal communication skills.

Most employers look for relevant experience  this could be gained through college or university courses such as NQ, HNC, HND in business, accounting or finance, or through work-based experience and qualifications.

Useful subjects

Many colleges and universities will have required subjects that you must have for entry. They might also highlight additional subjects that they would value. Look at individual institutions’ websites for specific entry information. 

Useful subjects would be:

  • Maths focussed subjects
  • ICT subjects
  • Administration or Business

Helpful to have

Not all employers list specific qualification requirements but they might ask for relevant (usually work based) experience that demonstrates a range of transferable skills.

Qualifications and experience that show your employability, business and ICT skills such as Skills for Work Financial Services (SCQF Level 5) can be helpful.

Having experience/knowledge of accounting software such as Sage would be valued by employers.