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GetSmarter is a high-touch online education company that works together with top universities and industry experts to present short courses throughout South Africa. GetSmarter allows you to take part-time, university-quality courses, all from the comfort of your home or office and at your own learning pace. The courses are short – between six and sixteen weeks – and result in certificates from our partners, which include the University of Cape Town, Stellenbosch University and Random House Struik.

Kick-start your career by becoming a bookkeeper

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It can be very difficult for first-time job seekers to find employment. Most often, this is because school leavers, and even university graduates, simply don’t have any real-world, practical experience that they can offer to their potential employers. In addition, it can be a struggle for workers in low-income manual jobs to find work that is better paying, more fulfilling and that lets them provide for their families. In both cases, the problems are a lack of applicable skills and no means to learn new skills, due to cost, time or travel constraints.

South Africa has very few skilled, professionally trained workers, so there is always a need for employees with a good grasp of a practical profession. Bookkeepers are always in short supply and in high demand – every company needs a day-to-day financial administrator, and most business owners realise the importance of hiring a skilled bookkeeping expert.

The fundamentals of bookkeeping are straightforward to learn and practise. Anybody with basic numeracy skills and an eye for detail is well suited to train as a bookkeeper; current office administrators, receptionists and secretaries are also well placed to learn these vital skills – both to boost their own knowledge and to become more valuable to their company.

Becoming a bookkeeper has several benefits. First, you do not need to take lengthy courses or get complex certifications to become a bookkeeper, so it is accessible to people who can only afford to study part time. Second, since bookkeepers are always highly sought after, it should be easier to find an entry-level job if you have this practical skill. Third, it is an excellent way to get vital on-the-job experience, leading to better opportunities and new career avenues in finance to explore down the line. Finally, being a bookkeeper also opens you up to learning other skills, like computer literacy, personnel management and other facets of office administration.

While most bookkeepers are employed at a specific company, it is also possible to work as a freelancer, meaning that existing contract workers or people between jobs can add the skill set to their portfolio of offerings.

To find out more about bookkeeping, consider the University of Cape Town Bookkeeping short course, which starts on 03 October 2011. For more information, contact Emma on 021 685 4775 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or visit

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