How to Become a Bookkeeper in Colorado

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How to Become a Bookkeeper in Colorado

A bookkeeper, often mistaken for an accountant, typically has a background in accountancy.

This role requires strong mathematical skills and excellent organization.

Responsibilities include tracking sales, purchases, and other company transactions.

It’s an office-based job known for its stability, and if you’re aiming to become a bookkeeper in Colorado, you’re in the right spot!

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How to Become – Step by Step

In Colorado, there are two paths to becoming a bookkeeper:

  • Education
  • Practice.

Interestingly, both paths share a common first step.

Step 1 – Earn Your High School Diploma

Indeed, it’s generally understood that a high school diploma or GED is a prerequisite.

Without one of these diplomas, pursuing the education path isn’t possible.

The same can be said about the practice option.

Step 2 Education – Earn a Degree

While not obligatory, employers often seek candidates with some postsecondary education, as indicated by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

For this occupation, you can pursue either an Associate’s Degree or a Bachelor’s Degree.

It’s essential to note that the degree must be in accountancy or business.

As a bookkeeper, on-the-job training is essential, typically lasting around 6 months.

During this time, you’ll familiarize yourself with the necessary software and adapt to your employer’s pace of work.

Step 2 Practice – Gain Experience

For this particular stage, a minimum of 1 year and a maximum of 2 years of experience is necessary.

The American Institute of Professional Bookkeepers (AIPB) mandates 2 years of practice for licensure.

On the other hand, the National Association of Certified Public Bookkeepers (NACPB) requires only 1 year of experience for certification.

Step 3 Practice – Earn Credentials

For those following this path, having at least one credential on their resume is crucial, while obtaining two is even more advantageous.

The credentials available are:

  • Certified Bookkeeping Professional (CPB) designation offered by NACPB
  • Certified Bookkeeper (CB) license offered by the AIPB

Both NACPB and AIPB are nationally recognized organizations.

To earn these credentials, you must pass all four exams offered by these organizations.

The first two exams are held at most Prometric testing centers, while the remaining two are open-book and can be completed using your workbook.

Individuals who pursue the educational path can also obtain these certifications.

Furthermore, it’s essential to continue education annually by completing 24 hours of training.

Bookkeeping Programs in Colorado

So, which are the best institutions for bookkeeping training in Colorado?

Let’s find out!

Arapahoe Community College

At this college, you can receive a bookkeeping certificate.

There are major courses that have 26 credit hours to accumulate.

Additionally, students will have to choose 3 extra classes from this selection:

  • ACC,
  • BTE,
  • BUS,
  • CIS,
  • FIN,
  • MAN,
  • MAR

This college has minimal requirements when it comes to enrolling:

  • A high school diploma or a GED
  • Age over 17
  • No fee to pay for enrollment

Home-schooled individuals or even those who didn’t graduate high school can enroll as well.

Colorado Mountain College

Enrolling in this college means you’ll attend the Bookkeeper Basics Certificate program.

This certificate will prepare students for entry-level positions, where bookkeeping responsibilities are easy.

Students can fully attend the courses online because not all are available in person at all campuses.

Once the program is completed, you may seek the following certifications from the National Association of Certified Public Bookkeepers:

  • Bookkeeping Certification
  • Payroll Certification
  • Quickbooks Online

You’ll have to accumulate this amount of credits:

  • Minimum Credit Hours Required (16)
  • Minimum Contact Hours Required (240)


Those choosing this training center first must complete the Admin Plus foundation courses.

At CrossPurpose, the bookkeeping course is free of charge.

The program lasts between 10 and 12 weeks.

Students could receive a stipend while learning as well.

There are some admission requirements for future students:

  • Have an 8th-grade reading level
  • Have a 6th-grade math level
  • Have a 35+ WPM typing speed
  • No financial crimes
  • No theft charges

Community College of Denver

At this community college, you have access to more accounting/bookkeeping courses:

  • AAS in Accounting – 97% of the program is offered online
  • AAS in Accounting Transfer – 97% of the program is offered online
  • Bookkeeping/Payroll Certification – 88% of the program is offered online
  • Tax Preparation Certificate – 94% of the program is offered online

Those who choose to study for 2 years can then transfer to a 4-year program at a different school.

Students opting to live with their parents should expect to pay $22,445.

School Name Address
Arapahoe Community College 5900 S Santa Fe Dr, Littleton, CO 80120,
Colorado Mountain College 802 Grand Avenue, Glenwood Springs, CO 81601
Cross Purpose 3050 RICHARD ALLEN CT. DENVER, CO 80205
Community College of Denver Cherry Creek Building 1111 W. Colfax Avenue Denver, CO 80204
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Bookkeeper Salary in Colorado

When contemplating a career path, it’s natural to seek information about potential earnings, especially at the outset.

In Colorado, the median salary for these professionals is approximately $45,090 per year.

Various factors can influence this figure, and the following cities tend to offer higher salaries.

Annual Salary Range:
Annual Salary by Location:
Location Avg. Annual Salary
Boulder $46,372
Lafayette $46,328
Erie $46,284
Allenspark $46,195
Frederick $46,107
Snowmass $45,709
Broomfield $45,576
Fraser $45,488
Avon $45,444
Edwards $45,399

Regional Salary in Colorado

Region Employed Avg. Annual Salary Avg. Hourly Pay Top 10% Annual Salary Bottom 10% Annual Salary
Boulder, CO1,870$51,880$24.94$70,000$35,980
Colorado Springs, CO2,770$44,840$21.56$60,200$30,770
Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, CO14,360$51,810$24.91$67,770$34,920
Fort Collins, CO1,930$47,880$23.02$63,230$31,830
Grand Junction, CO840$44,500$21.4$61,350$30,250
Greeley, CO1,230$47,440$22.81$62,260$31,360
Pueblo, CO560$44,200$21.25$58,330$30,690
* 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's the difference between a bookkeeper and an accountant in Colorado?

Bookkeeping and accounting are closely related yet distinct in their roles within businesses.

Bookkeepers focus on recording financial transactions, emphasizing administrative tasks.

Conversely, accountants analyze bookkeeping data to provide business insights and develop financial models.

What jobs can I apply to in Colorado?

Here are the most common jobs bookkeepers can get hired for:

  • Accountant
  • Auditor
  • Credit Analyst
  • Accounts Payable Manager
  • Financial Analyst
  • Financial Advisor
  • Risk Analyst
  • Finance Manager

What do I need to be a good bookkeeper in Colorado?

Good bookkeepers need:

  • Proficiency with Excel and QuickBooks
  • Basic accounting knowledge
  • Very good interpersonal skills
  • To prepare financial reports,
  • To analyze account information
  • To make accurate payroll entries

USA Bookkeeper Schools by State

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