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Top-earning women in bookkeeping told to break stereotypes

Sunday 7th January 2018

Women are outpacing men in terms of earning capacity in bookkeeping, and one bookkeeper believes they are in a prime position to take the lead at the top end of the consultant market.

Data from the tax office for the 2014-15 financial year showed female bookkeepers had an average taxable income of over $5,000 more than men annually. 

This is contrary to the wage gap in the broader accounting profession, where women are, in some cases, earning $30,000 less annually than their male counterparts. You can read more about this here. 

The regulator, the Tax Practitioners Board, also reports that the bookkeeping profession is made up of approximately 80 per cent women.

However, Direct Management director Diane Lucas believes many women are selling themselves short when it comes to taking out high-profile consultant roles in bookkeeping.

While many bookkeepers are mothers who are looking to maintain a flexible career to support family life, she believes this should not remotely be a deterrent or distraction for pursuing roles and contracts.

In particular, she referenced the capabilities of technology in assisting a high-performing bookkeeping business that is flexible and efficient.

“Those bookkeepers who are savvy enough, realise the difference in scope and are able to differentiate their services,” she said.

“Bookkeepers are expected to be ‘experts’ in add-ons and other areas not traditionally associated with straight bookkeeping.”

Ms Lucas says female bookkeepers are commonly associated with certain stereotypes and can be confined by them.

“If we are talking about a bookkeeper, and I’m using a term I hate but “just a bookkeeper”, they will be predominantly women because it fits in with lifestyle choice,” said Ms Lucas.

“That’s the typical scenario. You can do your 9am to 3pm between school hours; you’ve got the flexibility of taking time off,” she said.

Ms Lucas believes women are in an ideal position to push for a higher level consultant role given their already dominant position in the profession.

“I think perhaps it is more the women who upscale. But like in any industry, it is up to the individual,” she said.

“Some women of course will strive for a higher role and all that comes with it.”

This article first published in accountantsdaily, 26 July 2017

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