Monique Garafano isn’t simply a student and a bookkeeper, she’s the first Greenfield Community College student to meet the rigorous standards required to become nationally certified as a Certified Bookkeeper (CB).
GCC’s Business Division began offering Financial Accounting Systems and Procedures, the capstone course for students graduating with an Associate of Science in Accounting. Successful completion of the course qualifies students to sit for the Certified Bookkeeper Examination issued by the American Institute of Professional Bookkeepers. Monique took the course passed the exams on six distinct accounting subjects. In addition to passing exams, certification candidates must agree to abide by a professional code of ethics and provide proof of at least two year’s full-time bookkeeping experience. After becoming certified, a CB must meet annual continuing education requirements.
Prior to studying at GCC, Monique worked for several years as a freelance bookkeeper. When she was 24, Monique decided she wanted to learn more about accounting. Monique considered other colleges, but felt especially comfortable at GCC with its small class sizes and faculty who really get to know students as individuals. Monique was recently selected for membership in the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society. This spring, Monique will work as an intern for a local accounting firm owned by a GCC alum and in June will graduate with an Associate of Science in Accounting. After GCC, Monique will continue working as a freelance bookkeeper and is considering continuing her education in accounting at the University of Massachusetts or Keene State College.
Monique said, “Tom Fredrick is a great instructor, and the certification program helped bring together all of the information I’ve learned in school and at work. Along with the classes in accounting, marketing classes gave me the confidence to work as a professional in the business world. Being certified will show my clients that I have passed rigorous tests and am an ethical professional. Studying at GCC is both challenging and rewarding and I encourage others to study to become a Certified Bookkeeper.”
Tom Fredrick said, “The Certified Bookkeeper (CB) is fairly new to the Northeast, having started in other parts of the country. The American Institute of Professional Bookkeepers developed a customized course and materials to prepare bookkeepers to take the certification exams. The course is a good fit for GCC’s Accounting students because it ties together all of the topics covered in the other Accounting courses, providing a culmination of the knowledge students gain in GCC’s Accounting program. GCC students who become Certified Bookkeepers will stand out to potential employers and to college and university admissions programs where they apply for further higher education. The AIPB website cites statistics showing that Certified Bookkeepers are more competitive in job searches and have increased earnings compared to bookkeepers who aren’t certified.”
By Mary McClintock, ’82