How to Become a Bookkeeper in Arizona

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How to Become a Bookkeeper in Arizona

No company can function properly without a bookkeeper or an accountant.

These 2 professionals are often confused one with the other, but they play different roles.

The background of a bookkeeper in Arizona must be in  either:

  • Business,
  • Accountancy
  • Bookkeeping

If you want to become a bookkeeper, make sure you are good at math and that your organizational skills are near perfect.

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If I picked your interest, read this guide to find out more!

How to Become a Bookkeeper – Step by Step

One of the first things you should know is that you’ll need to become certified.

You’ll become certified only after you complete one of these paths:

  • Education
  • Practice

The paths have 3 steps each as well as some common elements.

Let’s learn more about these steps!

Step 1 – Earn Your High School Diploma

Few employers are willing to hire someone without a high school diploma or an equivalent.

Regardless of which path you want to follow, this step is important for both.

Step 2 Education – Earn a Degree

Earning a degree is not mandatory, but if you want to show your dedication to the job, it’s best to earn one.

BLS says that if you want to choose the education route, the degree is mandatory.

The degrees available for this occupation are:

  • Associate’s Degree
  • Bachelor’s Degree
  • Master’s Degree

Not many bookkeepers choose to obtain their masters, but it’s good to know about it.

Lower, we’ll see which institutions you can enroll in for these diplomas.

Step 3 Education – Train on-the-job

Let’s just say that without some training on the job you can’t properly work as a full-fledged bookkeeper in Arizona.

This type of training doesn’t last for more than 6 months.

During this period you must learn how to operate the software your organization uses.

At the same time, you’ll have to keep up the pace with the transactions.

Step 2 Practice – Gain Experience

The 2nd step of the practice path involves earning a certification, after some period of gained experience.

There are 2 possible credentials to earn and you can decide to get both.

Here are the credentials:

  • Licensure by the American Institute of Professional Bookkeepers (or AIPB), after 2 years of practice
  • Certification from the National Association of Certified Public Bookkeepers (or NACPB), after 1 year of experience

Step 3 Practice – Earn the Credentials

I already mentioned which are the credentials you can earn.

You also know that you can you can earn both of them.

What I didn’t mention is that these certifications have nationwide recognition.

Each certification has 4 exams to pass, so if you want both of them, you must pass 8 tests in total.

What you don’t know about these exams is that:

  • 2 of them are offered at specific testing centers
  • The other 2 are workbook open-book

Individuals who chose the educational path can also earn these certifications, in the same conditions as everyone else.

Every year, those who are certified must complete 24 hours of continuing education to maintain their certifications.

Bookkeeping Programs in Arizona

Let’s see which educational institutions offer bookkeeping programs in Arizona as I promised earlier.

Maricopa Community Colleges

Maricopa Community Colleges offer 3 types of credentials in bookkeeping:

  • Certificate of Completion (CCL) in Certified Bookkeeping
  • Certificate of Completion (CCL) in Accounting
  • Associate in Applied Science (AAS) in Accounting

The CCL in bookkeeping is not viable for financial aid.

It can be completed in 2 semesters maximum and you must accumulate 9 credits.

This program can be attended at the following campuses:

  • Glendale,
  • Paradise Valley,
  • Phoenix,
  • Rio Salado,
  • Scottsdale

To graduate, you’ll have to obtain at least C’s in all subjects.

Pima Community College

Through this college, you’re eligible to earn a certificate in accountancy and bookkeeping.

Furthermore, you can complete this program online as well.

The program has 31 credits to earn in total and 2 semesters to complete it.

You can continue your studies to obtain an AAS in accounting if you so desire.

At the same time, don’t ignore the possibility of transferring to other business educational courses.

School Name Address
Maricopa Community Colleges 2411 W. 14th St., Tempe, AZ 85281
Pima Community College 4905 E. Broadway Blvd. Tucson, AZ 85709-1010
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Bookkeeper Salary in Arizona

This is the last chapter of this presentation in which you learn about the salaries earned in Arizona by bookkeepers.

According to, Arizona’s bookkeepers earn on average about $43,057 per year.

This figure is not static, as it can change from year to year, usually based on various factors.

The next table shows the cities where you can earn more.

Annual Salary Range:
Annual Salary by Location:
Location Avg. Annual Salary
Gadsden $47,212
Yuma $47,212
Cibola $45,046
Hualapai $43,941
Mohave Valley $43,941
Phoenix $43,675
Tempe $43,674
Peoria $43,587
Avondale $43,543
Surprise $43,278

Regional Salary in Arizona

Region Employed Avg. Annual Salary Avg. Hourly Pay Top 10% Annual Salary Bottom 10% Annual Salary
Flagstaff, AZ500$45,780$22.01$61,250$32,880
Lake Havasu City-Kingman, AZ420$42,040$20.21$58,190$30,230
Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, AZ20,260$48,070$23.11$62,400$35,310
Prescott, AZ720$45,360$21.81$62,300$30,770
Sierra Vista-Douglas, AZ310$39,620$19.05$53,940$29,430
Tucson, AZ2,950$44,940$21.61$59,920$31,060
Yuma, AZ580$40,330$19.39$53,040$29,330
* Salary information based on the May 2022 Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) Survey for Bookkeeping, Accounting, and Auditing Clerks, OCC Code 43-3031, BLS.
* Employment conditions in your area may vary.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are some of the skills needed by bookkeepers in Arizona?

Successful bookkeepers in Arizona require the following skills:

  • Attention to detail
  • Proficiency in invoicing procedures
  • Critical thinking abilities
  • Strong organizational skills
  • Effective communication skills
  • Efficient time management

What role does a bookkeeper have in a company, in Arizona?

If you’re seeking employment in this role, understand that your responsibilities will include documenting:

  • Sales
  • Purchases
  • Improving the company’s financial position
  • Other company transactions
  • Utilizing reporting tools
  • Setting up, implementing, and managing financial tracking systems

What career options do I have in Arizona with this type of training?

Here are the primary career paths for individuals training as bookkeepers:

  • Bookkeeper
  • Accounts Receivable Clerk
  • Accounts Payable Specialist
  • Payroll Clerk
  • Assistant to Accountants (line and staff)
  • Paraprofessionals in CPA Firms

USA Bookkeeper Schools by State

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