Log InSign Up

Top 11 Assistant Bookkeeper Certifications

Photo of Brenna Goyette
Brenna Goyette
Certified Professional Resume Writer, Career Expert

Updated 16 min read

Certifications are an important way for assistant bookkeepers to demonstrate their knowledge and skills in the job market. Having certifications can help assistant bookkeepers stand out from other candidates who lack them, indicating a higher level of expertise and commitment to their profession. Additionally, certifications can provide potential employers with assurance that an assistant bookkeeper is knowledgeable about the most up-to-date accounting standards and procedures. Certifications also show that an assistant bookkeeper has met certain educational requirements, which can be beneficial when competing for jobs in a tight job market.

This article reviews some of the top certifications for Assistant Bookkeepers and explains how they can help to advance an assistant bookkeeper's career.

What are Assistant Bookkeeper Certifications?

Assistant bookkeeper certification is a professional credential that is designed to recognize individuals who have the skills and knowledge necessary to perform the duties of an assistant bookkeeper. The certification is available through accredited organizations such as the American Institute of Professional Bookkeepers (AIPB) and National Association of Certified Public Bookkeepers (NACPB).

In order to obtain assistant bookkeeper certification, individuals must pass an exam that tests their knowledge in areas such as accounting principles, financial reporting, payroll processing, and general ledger maintenance. This certification demonstrates a high level of expertise in bookkeeping and accounting principles and provides potential employers with assurance that the individual has the necessary skills for performing these tasks.

Having an assistant bookkeeper certification can help individuals stand out from other applicants when seeking employment in the field. It can also provide professionals with greater job opportunities, higher salaries, and more career advancement opportunities. Additionally, having this credential may qualify them for additional certifications or advance their career within their current organization.

Pro Tip: Before pursuing assistant bookkeeper certification, make sure you have a basic understanding of accounting principles and a good grasp of the double-entry bookkeeping system. This will help ensure that you have the necessary skills to effectively manage financial records and complete the certification process.

Related: What does an Assistant Bookkeeper do?

Top 11 Assistant Bookkeeper Certifications

Here’s our list of the best certifications available to Assistant Bookkeepers today.

1. Certified Bookkeeper (CB)

Certified Bookkeeper (CB) is a professional certification offered by the American Institute of Professional Bookkeepers (AIPB). It is a voluntary certification that demonstrates an individual’s knowledge and proficiency in bookkeeping principles and practices. The CB designation indicates that the holder has met the AIPB’s standards for bookkeeping education, experience, and ethical conduct.

It typically takes about six months to complete the requirements necessary to become a Certified Bookkeeper. To qualify for the CB designation, applicants must have at least two years of full-time bookkeeping experience or equivalent part-time experience within the past five years. They must also pass an online exam administered by AIPB.

The cost of taking the exam is $195 for AIPB members and $245 for non-members. Additionally, there may be additional costs associated with obtaining any necessary coursework or training materials required to prepare for the exam.

Once certified, Certified Bookkeepers are required to complete 20 hours of continuing education every two years in order to maintain their credential.

2. Certified Public Bookkeeper (CPB)

Certified Public Bookkeeper (CPB) is a professional certification that recognizes the knowledge, skills, and abilities of bookkeeping professionals. It is offered by the American Institute of Professional Bookkeepers (AIPB). The CPB certification is designed to demonstrate proficiency in financial record-keeping and reporting.

To become certified as a CPB, one must pass an exam administered by the AIPB. The exam covers topics such as accounting principles, financial statement preparation and analysis, payroll processing, taxes and other related topics. The exam consists of multiple-choice questions and takes approximately three hours to complete.

In order to be eligible for the CPB certification, candidates must have at least two years of full-time bookkeeping experience or equivalent part-time experience within the last five years. Additionally, they must have completed at least 40 hours of continuing education in bookkeeping or related topics within the past three years.

The cost for taking the CPB exam is $299 USD for AIPB members and $399 USD for non-members. There are also additional fees associated with maintaining your certification status over time, such as annual dues and continuing education requirements.

3. Certified Professional Bookkeeper (CPB)

Certified Professional Bookkeeper (CPB) is a professional certification designed to recognize the knowledge, skills and abilities of bookkeepers. It is offered by the American Institute of Professional Bookkeepers (AIPB). The CPB certification is the highest level of bookkeeping certification available in the United States.

To become a Certified Professional Bookkeeper, an individual must pass a comprehensive exam administered by AIPB. The exam covers topics such as financial statement preparation, payroll processing, accounts receivable and payable management, and tax compliance. In addition to passing the exam, applicants must also have at least two years of full-time bookkeeping experience or equivalent part-time experience in order to qualify for the CPB designation.

The cost for taking the CPB exam varies depending on whether you are an AIPB member or not. For non-members, the cost is $250 plus applicable taxes. For AIPB members, there is a discounted rate of $200 plus applicable taxes.

The CPB exam typically takes about four hours to complete and consists of multiple choice questions as well as essay questions. Once you have passed the exam, you will receive your official certificate from AIPB which will be valid for three years from the date it was issued. After three years, you will need to renew your certification by taking an updated version of the exam or completing continuing education credits (CECs).

4. Accredited Business Accountant/Advisor (ABAA)

Accredited Business Accountant/Advisor (ABAA) is a professional designation that recognizes individuals who have achieved a high level of expertise in the field of business accounting. The ABAA designation is awarded by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA).

To become an ABAA, an individual must meet certain educational and experience requirements, including passing the CPA Exam and completing a minimum of three years of work experience in business accounting. In addition, applicants must also complete specialized coursework in areas such as auditing, taxation, financial planning, and management accounting.

The process to obtain the ABAA designation takes approximately two to three years. During this time, candidates must fulfill all educational and experience requirements as well as pass the CPA Exam. Once these requirements are met, applicants can submit their application for review by the AICPA. If approved, individuals will be granted the ABAA designation.

The cost to obtain the ABAA designation varies depending on individual circumstances. Fees may include tuition costs for coursework or exam preparation materials as well as fees associated with submitting an application to the AICPA for review.

5. Certified Accounting Technician (CAT)

Certified Accounting Technician (CAT) is a professional qualification awarded by the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA). The CAT qualification is designed to provide a pathway for students and professionals who want to become qualified accountants but do not have the time or resources to pursue a full ACCA qualification.

The CAT qualification consists of three levels: Foundation, Professional and Advanced. Each level requires completion of a set number of exams, which can be taken either online or at an approved exam centre. It typically takes around two years to complete all three levels, depending on how quickly you can study and pass the exams.

To get the CAT qualification, you must first register with ACCA and pay their registration fee. You will then need to complete the required exams within five years in order to gain your certification. The cost of each exam varies depending on your location and whether you take it online or at an approved exam centre. However, it typically costs around £100 per exam.

6. Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA)

The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) is a professional body that provides qualifications and training in management accounting. It was founded in 1919 and is the world’s leading professional body for management accountants, with over 227,000 members and students in 179 countries.

It takes around three to four years to complete the CIMA qualification. The first step is to register as a student with CIMA and then you need to pass the Computer Based Assessment (CBA). This consists of three objective tests which cover different areas of business, such as economics, finance, management accounting, law and taxation. Once you have passed these tests you can then move onto the Case Study Exam (CSE), which assesses your knowledge and application of the syllabus.

To become a CIMA member, you must have completed all of the exams as well as having at least three years' work experience in a relevant field. You will also need to meet certain ethical requirements set out by CIMA.

The cost of studying for CIMA depends on whether you are studying full-time or part-time and how much support you need from tutors or study materials. Generally speaking, it will cost between £1,500 - £2,500 per year for tuition fees alone. There are also additional costs associated with exam entry fees and study materials such as textbooks or online courses.

Overall, becoming a fully qualified CIMA member is an investment in yourself that can pay off handsomely if you choose to pursue a career in management accounting or related fields.

7. QuickBooks ProAdvisor Certification

QuickBooks ProAdvisor Certification is an official certification program from Intuit that recognizes accounting professionals who have the knowledge and expertise to help businesses manage their finances using QuickBooks. The certification process includes a comprehensive assessment of the user's understanding of QuickBooks, as well as their ability to use it effectively.

The process of obtaining the QuickBooks ProAdvisor Certification takes approximately 10-15 hours and involves taking a series of online exams. The exams cover topics such as setting up QuickBooks, managing customers and vendors, creating reports, working with payroll, and more.

To get certified, you must first register for the program by visiting the Intuit website. Once registered, you will be given access to the online training materials which include video tutorials and practice tests. After completing the training materials, you can then take the certification exam.

The cost of getting certified varies depending on where you are located and whether or not you need additional support services such as one-on-one coaching or mentoring. Generally speaking, the cost ranges from $99 - $299 USD for basic certification and $399 - $799 USD for advanced certifications.

8. Microsoft Office Specialist: Excel 2016

Microsoft Office Specialist: Excel 2016 is a certification program that validates an individual’s skills in using Microsoft Office applications, including Excel. It is designed to help individuals demonstrate their proficiency in the use of the software and increase their employability.

The exam for Microsoft Office Specialist: Excel 2016 consists of 40-60 questions and usually takes about two hours to complete. The exam covers topics such as creating and managing worksheets and workbooks, formatting cells, using formulas and functions, analyzing data with PivotTables, charts and Sparklines, working with tables, applying conditional formatting, protecting worksheets and workbooks, etc.

To get certified as a Microsoft Office Specialist: Excel 2016 one must pass the exam which is available through Certiport testing centers. The cost of the exam varies depending on location but typically ranges from $90-$120 USD.

9. Xero Certified Advisor

Xero Certified Advisors are professionals who have completed a comprehensive Xero certification program. This certification program is designed to equip advisors with the skills and knowledge required to provide expert advice, support, and implementation services for Xero's cloud-based accounting software.

The Xero certification program consists of two parts: an online course and a hands-on exam. The online course covers topics such as setting up accounts, managing transactions, creating reports, and troubleshooting common issues. The hands-on exam tests your ability to use the Xero product in real-world scenarios.

It typically takes around 8 hours to complete the online course and another 4 hours to complete the hands-on exam. Once you have successfully completed both parts of the certification program, you will receive your Xero Certified Advisor badge which you can display on your website or social media profiles.

The cost of becoming a Xero Certified Advisor varies depending on where you live and how much experience you have with Xero's software. Generally speaking, it costs around $200 USD to become certified.

10. AIPB – American Institute of Professional Bookkeepers

The American Institute of Professional Bookkeepers (AIPB) is a non-profit organization that provides certification and professional development for bookkeepers. It is the only nationally recognized certifying body for bookkeepers in the United States. The AIPB offers two levels of certification: Certified Bookkeeper (CB) and Master Bookkeeper (MB).

To become certified, you must have at least two years of full-time bookkeeping experience or its equivalent, pass an exam, and agree to adhere to the AIPB's Code of Ethics. The exam consists of multiple choice questions covering topics such as accounting principles, financial statements, payroll tax regulations, and other related areas.

It typically takes about three months to prepare for the exam. During this time, you should review your knowledge of accounting principles and practice answering sample questions. You can also take online courses or attend seminars offered by AIPB-approved providers to help you prepare for the exam.

The cost to take the exam varies depending on whether you are a member or non-member of AIPB. For members, it costs $245; for non-members it costs $295. If you need to retake the exam, there is an additional fee of $75 each time.

Once you pass the exam and meet all requirements, your name will be added to the list of Certified Bookkeepers on AIPB's website and you will receive a certificate in recognition of your achievement.

11. Sage 50 Accounting

Sage 50 Accounting is an accounting software package designed to help small and medium-sized businesses manage their finances. It offers a range of features, including invoicing, accounts receivable, accounts payable, payroll, inventory management and financial reporting. Sage 50 Accounting is available as a subscription service with monthly or annual payments.

Getting started with Sage 50 Accounting is easy and can be done in three simple steps:

1. Choose the version of Sage 50 that best fits your business needs.

2. Download the software or order a CD from the Sage website.

3. Install the software on your computer and begin using it right away.

The cost of Sage 50 Accounting depends on which version you choose and how many users will be accessing it. Prices start at around $30 per month for one user, but can go up to several hundred dollars per month for multiple users or more advanced versions of the software.

Do You Really Need a Assistant Bookkeeper Certificate?

The short answer is that it depends on your specific situation. If you are already employed as a bookkeeper, a certificate may be beneficial to demonstrate your commitment and knowledge of the profession. It can also help improve job prospects if you are looking for a new position or want to move up in the field.

However, an Assistant Bookkeeper Certificate is not required to work as an assistant bookkeeper. You may find other credentials more useful, such as a degree in accounting, finance or business administration. Additionally, many employers prefer candidates who have prior experience in the field, which can be gained through internships or volunteer work.

In conclusion, while an Assistant Bookkeeper Certificate can be helpful in certain situations, it is not necessary for everyone who wants to pursue this career path. Ultimately, it will depend on your individual goals and qualifications.

Related: Assistant Bookkeeper Resume Examples

FAQs About Assistant Bookkeeper Certifications

1. What is an Assistant Bookkeeper Certification?

Answer: An Assistant Bookkeeper Certification is a credential that demonstrates proficiency in the core principles of bookkeeping such as accounts payable, accounts receivable, payroll, and financial reporting. It provides employers with assurance that the holder has the necessary skills to support the accounting functions of an organization.

2. How do I become certified?

Answer: In order to become certified, you must complete a training program offered by an accredited institution or pass an exam administered by a professional body or certifying organization. The requirements for each certification vary depending on the organization offering it.

3. What are the benefits of becoming certified?

Answer: Becoming certified shows employers that you have the knowledge and skills required to perform bookkeeping tasks accurately and efficiently. Additionally, it may open up new career opportunities and increase your earning potential.

4. How long does it take to get certified?

Answer: The amount of time it takes to complete a certification program depends on many factors such as which program you choose and how much time you are able to dedicate to studying each week. Generally speaking, most programs can be completed within six months to one year.

5. Is there any cost associated with becoming certified?

Answer: Yes, most organizations offering Assistant Bookkeeper Certifications charge a fee for their programs or exams. Fees may vary depending on the organization and program chosen but typically range from $100-$500 USD

Editorial staff

Photo of Brenna Goyette, Editor


Brenna Goyette

Expert Verified

Brenna is a certified professional resume writer, career expert, and the content manager of the ResumeCat team. She has a background in corporate recruiting and human resources and has been writing resumes for over 10 years. Brenna has experience in recruiting for tech, finance, and marketing roles and has a passion for helping people find their dream jobs. She creates expert resources to help job seekers write the best resumes and cover letters, land the job, and succeed in the workplace.

Similar articles