The American Institute of Professional Bookkeepers (AIPB) administers a stringent four-part exam in order to certify bookkeepers who meet high national standards. With the intent of helping bookkeepers pass the institute’s exclusive certification exam and advance their careers, Gatlin Education Services partnered with the AIPB and created an online professional training course, the Certified Bookkeeper Program.
In three years, approximately 150 students have enrolled in the 80-hour course, which is offered solely through Gatlin’s partnership with major colleges and universities. Earning the bookkeeping certification can increase earning potential, enhance professional reputation and give job seekers a sizeable edge in a competitive market.
“The demand for bookkeepers is increasing, and professionals who have obtained a certification will have the best opportunities,” said Stephen Gatlin, founder of Fort Worth-based Gatlin Education Services. “Earning a certification is no easy task, however, which is why our online course is so beneficial. It truly puts students in a better position to succeed.”
According to a 2005 survey of certified bookkeepers conducted by the AIPB, 97 percent of respondents recommended attaining certification, more than half used the certification to obtain new clients and reported a salary increase following certification, 41 percent received a promotion or new job because they were certified, and about a third raised their client rates or were given higher-level responsibilities as a result of becoming certified.
The online career training course was authored and is instructed by Wade Lindenberger, a Certified Public Accountant with more than 20 years of financial, accounting and management experience.
“I believe this course is a big help to bookkeepers who might otherwise struggle with the certification exam,” said Lindenberger. “It prepares you to pass a very rigorous exam on your first attempt, sharpens your skills, keeps you current on industry trends and introduces you to timely topics and issues such as fraud prevention. Additionally, the course is structured to move you through it quickly, so you can really learn to maximize your efficiency.”
The self-paced course is divided into six distinct subject areas: adjusting entries, correction of accounting errors including bank reconciliation, book and tax depreciation, basic payroll, merchandise inventory and internal controls and fraud prevention. Upon completing the course, students will have gained a broad understanding of the industry, including the benefits and requirements of certified bookkeeping and how to apply accounting concepts and principals to several key operations.
Established in 1989 by Stephen Gatlin, Gatlin Education Services is the largest provider of Web-based, instructor-supported training to community colleges and universities. Gatlin’s courses are open enrollment, allowing interested students to start their desired training immediately. Gatlin’s online career training courses are designed to provide the skills necessary to acquire professional caliber positions for many in-demand occupations.
Founded in 1987 as the bookkeeping profession’s national association, the AIPB strives to achieve recognition of bookkeepers as accounting professionals, keep bookkeepers up to date on changes in bookkeeping, accounting and tax, answer bookkeepers’ everyday bookkeeping and accounting questions, and certify bookkeepers who meet national standards. The association currently has approximately 30,000 members.