Office Manager / Bookkeeper 

(Female, Age 28) from Des Moines, WA

This is a REAL-LIFE job profile written by a Female aged 28 who works as a Office Manager / Bookkeeper in Des Moines, WA. We have removed all names and personal information in order to protect privacy. This professional kindly spent a bit of their time to complete one of our job profile surveys so that prospective job seekers like you could read their insights. Please excuse any punctuation or grammatical errors in this profile.

At a Glance

Current Job

Basic data on your current job

Job Title Office Manager / Bookkeeper
Salary $39,520
Other Compensation None Set
Hours/Week 40
Company Size (not answered)
Location Des Moines, WA
Years Experience 3 years

Career Ratings

Opinions on your CAREER overall (i.e. not just your current job)

Years in Career 0
Education (not answered)
Income Rating 0 / 10
Interest Rating 0 / 10
Work-Life Rating 0 / 10
Fulfilment Rating 0 / 10

Current job Q&A

Describe the type of organization you work for.
The Youth Advocates Foster Care Program serves 50 foster youth in 22 different foster homes, offering regular and treatment foster care services. Our staff consists of a clinical supervisor, foster home licenser, education specialist, resource developer and three case managers. Because we have a small staff and caseload, we routinely provide services which are beyond those required by the state.

Describe your job role and responsibilities.
All bookkeeping functions, track training, track foster parent respite, manage handbook revisions, web site updates, quarterly newsletter, etc.

Please list an additional benefits (beyond compensation) that you receive.
medical, dental, vision, life insurance, short and long term disability

Do you feel you are under/over or well/fairly compensated at your current position?
I feel I am compensated fairly, although I have never recieved a raise. This is to be expected sometimes in working in the non-profit industry.

Does your job entail you working with others on a daily basis? Is this something you like/dislike about your job? Please explain.
I work both by myself and with others. I work 4 – 10’s, from 10 am to 8 pm. This is partly so I have the evening to work uninterrupted. As the Office Manager I am to person everyone goes to when there is an issue with their phone, computer, copier, they have a benefit question, etc.

Do you work collaboratively with supervisors/managers?

Do you work collaboratively with your co-workers?

Describe your work location (e.g., office, home, theatre, in the field) and what you like/dislike about working in it.
I work with my co-workers in compiling data on foster parents. Other than than, my work is generally directed to the Executive Director.

Please rate each of the following aspects of your current job on a scale of 1-10 (10 being the highest/best):
Income: 2
Benefits: 3
Hours: 4
Co-Workers: 6
Supervisors: 5
Job Title: 8
Level of Responsibility: 7
The Actual Work: 1

A day in the life of…

Please describe a typical workday for you in your current job:

5am to 6am
6am to 7am
7am to 8am n/a
8am to 9am n/a
9am to 10am n/a
10am to 11am Arrive at 10, open today’s mail, sort through my inbox and email. Finish up any leftover project from previous day.
11am to 12pm Enter any account payable transactions into QuickBooks, calculating allocation of costs into 4 seperate programs, then put bills into Executive Directors box for payment approval
12pm to 1pm Update employee and foster parent training spreadsheet. Notify foster parents and employees of trainings that will expire within next 2 months. Mail notices and file copies in appropriate files.
1pm to 2pm Prepare various reports for use in annual audit coming up in September. Use QuickBooks to find data needed for reports. Photocopy original bills, remittance stubs, etc. for auditors.
2pm to 3pm more – Prepare various reports for use in annual audit coming up in September. Use QuickBooks to find data needed for reports. Photocopy original bills, remittance stubs, etc. for auditors.
3pm to 4pm Met with IT consultant and assisted in setting up 2 new PC’s, and moving older PC’s to other users.
4pm to 5pm Received final edits on our quarterly newsletter to be mailed out this week. Used Adobe InDesign to set up articles and pictures, then emails files to printer. Used InDesign again to format newsletter for use on our web site. Emailed this file to our web developer.
5pm to 6pm Updated spreadsheet showing contract expirations dates for foster youth. Notified foster parents in writing regarding changes to contracted rates. Emailed state case workers regarding errors on notices re: contract expirations. Discussed some of these issues with our Clinical Supervisor.
6pm to 7pm more – Prepare various reports for use in annual audit coming up in September. Use QuickBooks to find data needed for reports. Photocopy original bills, remittance stubs, etc. for auditors. Emailed some data to auditor.
7pm to 8pm Prepare criminal clearance paperwork for prospective foster parent, document, copy, and mail to the state. Clear up any unanwered emails. Clear desk, make to do “piles” for the following day. Leave at 8 pm.
8pm to 9pm n/a
9pm to 10pm n/a
10pm to 11pm n/a
11pm to 12am n/a

Table of Contents

How you got your job

How did you get your current job?
I was asked by the Executive Director to apply, even though I was already working full time elsewhere. I have known her for more than 13 years.

What was the application process?
The job was posted online, and applicants were to submit a resume and cover letter by a specific date.

Did you have to interview for your current job? If yes, what did the interview process entail?
Yes, I did have to interview. I was interviewed along with another candidate, and there were two employees in the room asking the questions. One was the Executive Director, and the other was another employee. Each of us (the applicants) were asked the same questions, and each given the opportunity to respond. I believe there were 10 total applicants interviewed, and over 50 total applicants including those that weren’t selected to interview.

If you can remember, what questions were you asked during the interview?
I was asked about my experience with QuickBooks and general accounting knowledge. I was asked about my previous experience. I was also asked why I wanted to work at this agency.

Do you feel your employer properly prepared you for your job? Explain.
Yes and no. I don’t think ALL of the duties were explained to me at the job offer. Also, I think that many duties have been handed off to me that were not originally part of my job description.

Was there training for your current position? If yes, what did it entail?
Yes and no. I have taken college accounting courses, but do not have a degree. I do have over 7 years of accounting experience however. There really was no training for my current position. I came on almost 3 months after the previous bookkeeper had left, and there was a huge backlog to catch up on!

Do you feel your educational background prepared you for your job? Explain.
Somewhat, although I could definately benefit from obtaining my degree. Generally, in this field, degree = more money.

If applicable, do you feel your internship experience helped you prepare for your job?

If someone wanted to go about getting a job similar to yours, what would you recommend for him or her to do?
If someone wanted to get a job like mine, I would suggest they take some kind of accounting class. They would definately need intermediate to advanced Word and Excel skills as well. Then, they should investigate non-profits whose mission works well with their personal interests. I work for a non-profit foster home program because I was a foster child as a teen. If you work for a non-profit, you can expect to receive possibly less that what you might get at a for profit, but if the mission of the non profit is close to your heart, than salary won’t matter much. Finally, you have to really enjoy your job. Then, it doesn’t feel like work!

What skills do you think a person should have if they want to pursue a position like yours?
If someone wants a position like mine, they need to possess the following skills: Knowledge of Intuit QuickBooks Pro or other automated accounting software package; Intermediate to advanced knowledge of Microsoft Word and Excel, Outlook and Access are helpful also; Excellent customer services skills; excellent writing and verbal communication skills; be very organized and a self starter. There is very little day to day supervision in this type of job – but when reports are due, you need to have them turned in in a timely manner, and be prepared to answer questions about them.

Do you feel that you need a certain level of education or training to be successful in your job?
At least an AA in Accounting is desirable.

What advice would you give to someone who was about to start work in your position/ line of work?
I would suggest that they attend many trainings on accounting in the non-profit industry. There are major differences in the reporting requirements, and it takes some getting used to.

Long-term career plans

Is your current employment part of your overall career plan? Why or why not?
No, I don’t think I will be at my current job more than another year. This industry has been particularly hard hit when it comes to state budget cuts, and not knowing how long this company will stay around is hard on me. We came close to closing this year, and it affected me very much. Also, there is no room for advancement, and not much room for learning new things, as no one else here knows much about what I do.

What are your current career goals?
I would like to find a “home” at another company, where I can learn new things, and hopefully move up.

Is there anything else you would like to share about your career?

Prior work history

Please list your most recent jobs prior to this current job:

Title Length Salary Description
Prior Job 1 Office Manager 2 years 29120 Use QuickBooks to invoice customers, generate purchase orders and order raw materials, create pricing, post available job openings, screen resumes, interview applicants, administer disciplinary actions when necessary, reconcile bank and credit card accounts
Prior Job 2 Payroll Processor 2 years 29000 processed payroll and payroll taxes for approximately 10 small business clients

Educational background

Please list your educational background:

High School GPA:n/a

GPA School Degree
College (Undergraduate)
or Technical/Vocational
3.5 Community College Accounting
Graduate or Professional
(Masters or Doctorate)

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