Learn How to Become a Certified Bookkeeper

The certifications needed to become a Certified Bookeeper

Bookkeeping certification
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The Certified Bookkeeper (CB) designation is for individuals who provide bookkeeping and payroll services to small businesses. The CB designates that you have the level of knowledge and skill needed to carry out all key accounting functions that a small business would need if it has under 100 employees. You'll have to demonstrate that you know how to prepare end-of-period adjustments, perform the monthly bank reconciliationsprocess payroll, and record depreciation for both book and tax purposes, among many other accounting tasks that small business owners need on a day-to-day basis.

Accrediting Agency

The American Institute of Professional Bookkeepers is the accrediting agency for the bookkeeping certification. The Institute is a national association founded in 1987 with more than 30,000 members. The mission of the agency is to achieve recognition of bookkeepers as accounting professionals, ensure bookkeepers are kept updated on accounting and tax changes and answer bookkeeping everyday questions through a hotline. The American Institute of Professional Bookkeepers also has a job board on its' website to help members improve their career opportunities.

A Quote From the Accrediting Agency

According to American Institute of Professional Bookkeepers' website," Small businesses often have only a bookkeeper as their sole financial officer. Now they can rely on that de facto CFO as a highly qualified and certified expert, complete with the experience, training, and qualifications provided by a program established by the American Institute of Professional Bookkeepers"

About the Bookkeeping Certification Exam

The Certified Bookkeeper exam consists of four parts that include four tests and two workbook exams. You should be prepared to answer questions about why accruals, deferrals and other adjustments are made. You'll have to understand revenue recognition concepts, depreciation expense for tax and book, and payroll concepts. You should be prepared to complete federal reporting forms, required payroll data, and Form W-4 and state withholding forms. The exam will also test your knowledge of internal controls and fraud prevention.

The Institute offers study materials available through its website for a small fee on the contents that may appear on the exam.

You'll have to meet a few other requirements in addition to passing the CB exam to be eligible to receive the designation: (1) you'll a minimum of two years of full-time experience and (2) you'll need to sign a Code of Ethics by which you'll agree to abide.

Examination Dates

The exam can be scheduled at any time at any of the more than 500 Prometric testing centers.

Examination Fees

There's a registration fee of $25 for members of American Institute of Professional Bookkeepers and $60 for non-members. The total cost of all parts of the exam is $200.

Continuing Education Requirements

In order to ensure the quality and standards of the Certified Bookkeeper designation, you'll have to complete 30 continuing education hours each year to maintain your designation.

Competitive Advantage

You'll have the following advantages over other individuals who don't have the CB designation:

  • You'll increase your market value as research by the Institute indicates that Certified Bookkeepers earn more than peers without a nationally recognized accounting or bookkeeping certification.
  • You'll increase your importance to company or clients as you'll have the knowledge and expertise to handle accounting, bookkeeping, and tax issues small business owners face.
  • You'll be able to use the "CB" designation after your name to show your professional status.


You can find more information by visiting the CB designation by visiting the American Institute of Professional Bookkeepers' website.