A bookkeeper (Menahel Cheshbon), must be familiar with the relevant Israeli computer and bookkeeping systems in Israel and become certified by Misrad Hataasiya, Hamischar v’Hataasuka (Ministry of Industry, Trade and Labor). There are courses offered at several Israeli colleges which prepare candidates to pass the certification exam and work in the field. For information about colleges in Israel, please see the article Higher Education in Israel.
As most of the terminology and computer programs used by bookkeepers is in Hebrew, it is important to have a strong working knowledge of Hebrew.
The basic course for bookkeepers is known as Sug 1+2. This course usually meets once a week for five to seven months, though some colleges offer it several times a week, reducing the duration of the course. The course prepares students for the certification exam administered by Misrad Hataasiya and trains students to work with the computer accounting systems used in Israel. The more advanced certification is Sug 3, and it is possible to take the examination for Sug 3 certification without participating in a course. Bookkeepers with a Sug 3 certification are able to verify and test financial and accounting documents and prepare periodic and annual financial statements.
The most advanced level of bookkeeper is known as a certified bookkeeper. A certified bookkeeper is required to learn about tax law and is allowed to administer the finances of a large company independently.
There are both part time and full time positions available for bookkeepers, and there is work in the private and public sectors. Additionally, there are bookkeeping firms which offer outsourced bookkeeping services to businesses. A key factor in securing a position is previous work in the field, so it is helpful to intern with a bookkeeper in order to gain work experience. For information regarding available jobs, consult with the Linkedin group for Bookkeepers in Israel. You may also access the Bookkeepers Club here!
As is the case with many professions, salaries increase based on work experience and additional certifications. There are many websites that list positions for bookkeepers. Please refer to Employment Resources Online for a listing.
Special thanks to Gerson Brusowankin for providing information about the field of bookkeeping in Israel.
A special thank you to Malka Leader, bookkeeper, for participating in this interview.
Please provide us with a brief description of your field
I work as a bookkeeper. I am responsible for the overall current accounting ledger entries, adjustments, keeping track of donations and the closing of the year, etc.
How did you find your job?
A friend working for an accountant heard of the job offer and put in a good word for me.
What types of backgrounds are relevant for someone looking to work in the field of bookkeeping?
A mathematical background is relevant, as well as being able to think logically and being well organized.
Is there any kind of license or certification you need, to work as a bookkeeper in Israel?
You need a certificate of bookkeeping Sug 123 from the Ministry of Industry (Misrad HaTaasiy). Some places will require a payroll certificate.
How important is Hebrew in your field?
It depends where you are working but with most jobs you will need a basic knowledge of Hebrew.
What are the benefits of your job?
It is not physically demanding; it is great for someone who wants a quiet job. Work can be done from home, and there are options for part time jobs. I find my job very fulfilling.
Is bookkeeping more in demand in certain areas of Israel?
Naturally, it is easier to find a job in Jerusalem and in the center but every company and organization needs a bookkeeper, so there is a need everywhere.
What is the salary range?
At the start you will receive minimum wage, but once you gain more experience , the salary ranges between 35 and 70 NIS per hour.
Do you have any other advice or tips for Olim?
Firstly, it is important to keep an open mind when looking for a job in bookkeeping. Job experience is very important, so it is best to take any job offer (even if the hours may not suit you or the salary is low). That will enable you to get experience which is much needed as it will give you more opportunities in the future. Secondly, most employers underestimate how many hours are needed for the job, so it’s worth taking on a job that may seem small at first but will probably grow into a proper full time job.
How do you feel about working and living in Israel?
I love it. I have never worked in any other country but working here offers a sense of accomplishment.