How to Become a Bookkeeper in New York

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How to Become a Bookkeeper in New York

Usually, a business needs a person to manage its finances.

This is a bookkeeper or an accountant.

While these jobs are similar to one another, they are not exactly the same.

To work as a bookkeeper in New York, you need training in business, accounting, or bookkeeping.

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You will also need to have good organizational skills and know math.

If this catches your attention, keep reading to learn more!

How to Become a Bookkeeper – Step by Step

Understanding that getting certified is crucial is key.

There are two main ways to achieve certification:

  • Through Education
  • Through Experience

Each path consists of three steps, and they have some similarities.

Let’s examine these steps closely to grasp them better!

Step 1 – Finish High School

Before you can work as a bookkeeper, you must have a high school diploma.

It’s even more important if you plan to go to college later on.

No matter which path you choose to become a bookkeeper, this is a must-do step.

Step 2 Education – Earn a Degree

Even though it’s not a must, having a degree shows how dedicated you are to the field.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) suggests that you need a degree if you’re following the education path.

You can select from:

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

Not a lot of bookkeepers go for a master’s, but it’s good to know about it.

Now, let’s take a look at the schools where you can earn these degrees.

Step 3 Education – Train on-the-job

Getting training before you start working is crucial.

Unlike the Practice path, this on-the-job training lasts only for 6 months.

If you’re going through the education route, you’ll need to learn how the company’s bookkeeping software operates.

You’ll also need to work faster to keep up with the company’s transactions.

Step 2 Practice – Gain Experience

On the hands-on path, the next move is to get certified after you’ve got enough experience.

You can choose between two certifications:

  • The license from the American Institute of Professional Bookkeepers (AIPB) requires 2 years of experience.
  • The certification from the National Association of Certified Public Bookkeepers (NACPB) requires 1 year of experience.

Step 3 Practice – Earn the Credentials

Both certifications are recognized nationwide.

You have to pass four exams for each certification.

So, if you’re aiming for both, you’ll take eight tests in total.

Two exams are held at certain testing centers, while the other two allow open books.

Prometric manages these testing centers.

Even while you’re studying, you can still get certified.

After certification, you need to complete 24 hours of learning every year to maintain your certification.

Bookkeeping Programs in New York

It’s now time to see where you can attend training in this state.

Zicklin School of Business

At Zicklin, you can choose from different programs if you’re interested in accounting and public accountancy.

After finishing one of these programs, you’ll meet the educational requirements to become a CPA in New York State.

Here are your options:

  • Master of Science (MS) in Accountancy
  • MBA in Accountancy

Master of Science (MS) in Accountancy

This program is the most popular and focuses more on accounting.

It’s great for students who have already a degree in accounting or a related field.

Depending on what you studied in your undergraduate degree, you might be able to skip some classes.

MBA in Accountancy

This program is for students who didn’t study accounting or business in their undergraduate degree.

In this program, you’ll learn about business and management alongside accounting.

It gives you the skills to understand and use accounting information effectively.

This MBA is available for both full-time and evening students.

If you already have an accounting degree, you might want to consider a different MBA or one of our MS programs because you can’t skip any classes in this program.

School Name Address
Zicklin School of Business 1 Bernard Baruch Way, New York, NY 10010
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Bookkeeper Salary in New York

Now that you know all about the training, you should learn how much you can make as a bookkeeper in New York.

According to data from, the average yearly salary for bookkeepers in New York is about $47,123 per year.

The figure won’t stay the same for everyone, as various factors will influence it.

Check the table below to see in which cities bookkeepers usually earn higher salaries.

Annual Salary Range:
Annual Salary by Location:
Location Avg. Annual Salary
New York $51,632
Maspeth $51,456
Elmhurst $51,279
Woodhaven $51,279
Monsey $50,925
Hillburn $50,881
Yonkers $50,881
Mount Vernon $50,837
Arden $50,793
Harrison $50,748

Regional Salary in New York

Region Employed Avg. Annual Salary Avg. Hourly Pay Top 10% Annual Salary Bottom 10% Annual Salary
Albany-Schenectady-Troy, NY4,280$49,640$23.86$66,060$32,450
Binghamton, NY930$44,320$21.31$60,170$29,800
Buffalo-Cheektowaga-Niagara Falls, NY5,780$47,220$22.7$61,910$32,000
Elmira, NY390$44,060$21.18$59,450$30,180
Glens Falls, NY690$45,610$21.93$62,340$30,840
Ithaca, NY650$51,250$24.64$64,940$34,270
Kingston, NY730$48,660$23.39$66,830$32,750
New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA94,880$54,990$26.44$77,410$35,440
Rochester, NY4,710$47,010$22.6$63,700$31,580
Syracuse, NY3,070$47,050$22.62$63,500$32,040
Utica-Rome, NY2,000$44,160$21.23$58,920$31,720
Watertown-Fort Drum, NY440$44,670$21.48$59,370$30,340
* 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

How many hours am I expected to work as a bookkeeper in New York?

Most bookkeepers typically work around 40 hours per week, although some may prefer part-time hours.

As a professional bookkeeper, there may be times when you need to work extra hours, such as during the end of the financial quarter or year, or during tax season.

In which industry can I find employment as a bookkeeper in New York?

All industries require accountants and bookkeepers, so you’ll find professionals in various sectors, including:

  • Medical field
  • Banking
  • Manufacturing

Hasn't technology replaces bookkeepers in New York?

Technology has greatly influenced the field of bookkeeping.

However, employers and clients still highly appreciate the fundamental organizational skills and meticulous attention to detail of bookkeepers.

Tools like QuickBooks or Microsoft Excel have largely automated traditional manual entry tasks in bookkeeping.

Yet, the organization, reporting, and utilization of financial data still heavily rely on human input and processing.

USA Bookkeeper Schools by State

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