What is the Role of a Bookkeeper? | McEvoy Lelievre & Associates

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What is the Role of a Bookkeeper?

The Role of a Bookkeeper includes managing the paperwork and tasks related to the finances of the business or organization.

Managing money properly requires tracking the smallest expenditure to the largest contract. It doesn’t matter if we’re talking cents or millions of dollars, bookkeepers juggle the myriad of daily details that make up a business’ finances. Bookkeepers ensure that these details are well-organized and recorded. They are generally assigned the seven different kinds of tasks outlined below: 

Accounts Payable & Receivable

Each day, invoices from vendors come in and bills for goods and services rendered go out. Both expenses and income must be updated, tracked, paid and collected. Bookkeepers ensure that this primary function of business, getting paid, happens as it should.


Bookkeepers maintain their clients banking records. Even in a world of electronic banking, bookkeepers often pay weekly or even daily visits to physical banks. They prepare cheques for signing, register and de-register routine electronic transfers and make deposits and withdrawals. They also verify every transaction, track any fees or interest payments and correct any discrepancies in the record.   

Out-of-Pocket Expenses, Expense Accounts & Petty Cash

Coffee and fruit trays for meetings, taxi fares for workers who have had to stay too late to take the bus, lunches with clients and parking fees for off-site meetings are all examples of out-of-pocket expenses employees might have to be reimbursed for, or take out of petty cash. The bookkeeper will ensure these expenses are logged and paid back to the employee according to a regular schedule, or ensure there is adequate petty cash available with a means of logging receipts and how much goes out to whom, when and why. In cases where teams have expense accounts, the bookkeeper gathers and maintains proof of payment, verifies records and corrects discrepancies on credit card statements and through contact with the account holder.

Data Entry

Proofs of payment, account logs and sales targets are all pieces of financial information that must be entered into a system that generates an overall picture of any enterprise’s financial health. No matter how robust the system, however, the picture it generates is only as good as the information inputted! Bookkeepers enter the data required to maintain an overall picture of a company’s current condition.

General Ledger

The general ledger, often maintained using Intuit QuickBooks® or Sage 50® (Simply Accounting), is a complete log of a company’s financial transaction that will endure for the entire life of the company. Bookkeepers are the “owners” of the system. Its data will be used to generate all reports for the company’s taxation, compliance and shareholders’ reports.

Payroll (hourly, salaried & commissioned)

Employees have to be paid. Whether they are hourly, salaried or commissioned employees, bookkeepers track what they are owed, ensure appropriate deductions are made and that payment is prompt and reliable. Health plan premiums, pension contributions, and other benefits are also monitored and maintained by bookkeepers as part of their payroll duties.


Data required for monthly and quarterly tax reports and payments is also collected and generated by bookkeepers. Detail-oriented and task-focused, they ensure that responsibilities are met and that every aspect is on record.   Bookkeepers’ tasks include WSIB filing, monthly payroll remittance to the company’s CRA (Chartered Registered Accountant), and HST filing and remittance.

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