Accounting Clerk Job Description, Skills, and Job Requirements

Accounting and auditing clerks can be found in nearly every industrial and business sector since all businesses keep, maintain and analyze financial records. An accounting clerk is similar to an accounting assistant in that they both provide support to the accounting department. However, accounting assistants typically have more responsibilities, such as preparing financial statements and tax returns. They may also have supervisory duties, whereas accounting clerks typically do not. Advances like cloud computing have allowed businesses to automate some of accounting clerks’ traditional job duties.

  • This position pays fairly well, and for people who also possess a bachelor’s degree, good entry-level experience in becoming an accountant.
  • This type of accounting requires in-depth knowledge of the intricacies of the government organization’s financial processes.
  • Based on statistics published by Glassdoor, they also enjoy strong earning potential.

An accounting clerk supports an organization’s accounting department by performing clerical tasks. Their responsibilities typically include processing accounts payable and receivable, maintaining financial records, reconciling bank statements, and preparing financial reports. Accounting clerks may also assist with payroll processing and administrative duties. They have strong organizational and communication skills, attention to detail, and proficiency in accounting software. An accounting clerk ensures accurate financial records and promotes the overall financial success of a business.

How long does it take to start an accounting clerk career?

With a bachelor’s or master’s degree, for example, accounting clerks can access more advanced accounting roles or management positions. The scope of an accounting clerk’s job duties often depends upon the size of the company or organization that he works for. For example, small businesses tend to hire “general bookkeepers” to handle all of the financial business transactions and record keeping requirements of the business. Essentially, a bookkeeper will perform audits, send out invoices, process payments, issue payroll checks and deal with tax issues on behalf of the company.

An accounting clerk is an administrative support person to accountants and other more senior accounting staff members. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site. Four-year bachelor’s degrees offer comprehensive studies, while master’s degrees take 1-2 years and delve into more advanced topics and concepts.

Accounting Clerk pros and cons

Automated retrieval programs (commonly called “robots” or “bots”) can cause delays and interfere with other customers’ timely access to information. Therefore, bot activity that doesn’t conform to BLS usage policy is prohibited. Harold Averkamp (CPA, MBA) has worked as a university accounting instructor, accountant, and consultant for more than 25 years. Ultimately, a successful Accounting Clerk will ensure that the company’s daily accounting functions run accurately and effectively.

Regardless of the specific industry that an accounting or auditing clerk chooses to work in, there is a general job description applicable to all. An understanding of basic accounting principles is often the most important skill that accounting clerks can possess. If you’re considering a career as an accounting clerk, I recommend taking classes in accounting, finance, and business administration. These courses should give you the skills and knowledge you need to succeed in this field. I also suggest pursuing internships or entry-level positions in accounting to get a feel for the job.

Best states for an accounting clerk

Accounting clerk positions are usually entry level, but these professionals play a key role in the overall operation of an organization. They keep records in order and accounts reconciled so upper management can focus their attention on more complex financial undertakings. Each company will differ with regards to the scope of duties that they expect their accounting clerks to perform. Accounting clerks have multiple responsibilities within accounting departments.

However, higher salaries often correspond to areas with higher average living costs. These skills and qualifications give you an idea of what you need if you’re looking for a job as an accounting clerk. Keep them in mind, and you’ll better position yourself to excel in your role and propel your career forward. Whether it’s your career goal to become an accounting clerk, or you hope to move on to another position one day, it’s important to continue your education. Take advantage of courses, seminars or other training opportunities your organization may offer.

Holding an accounting certification can also open the door to diverse accounting clerk opportunities. For instance, a certified tax preparer credential could set a candidate apart from others competing for tax clerk positions. They primarily manage investment accounts by tracking fees, transfers, and other financial transactions. These professionals may also buy and sell stocks, purchase real estate assets, and perform other investment duties based on consultations with investment accountants and clients. With data analytics experience under their belts, accounting clerks can pursue work as budget analysts, financial analysts, and actuaries.

When comparing salaries by state, accounting clerk salary ranges top out at just above $60,000 per year. The BLS also uses a statistic known as location quotient when evaluating employment density. This statistic compares the employment density of accounting clerks within a state against the national average. As of May 2021, the states with the highest employment density of accounting clerks are South Dakota, Montana, Alaska, Tennessee, and Delaware.

Accounting Clerk Related Careers

Accounting clerks generally do not need more than a high school diploma to begin their careers. In contrast, an accountant usually has a minimum of a bachelor’s degree and can perform complex accounting duties. Working in both accounts payable and receivable gave me a well-rounded understanding of the accounting process. I was able to see how all of the different pieces fit together, which has been helpful in my current role as a senior accountant. In addition, working with vendor invoices and customer payments has helped me develop strong attention to detail and problem-solving skills.

Supply-and-demand dynamics in the local labor market can influence their earning power. Cities and states with higher costs of living also tend to offer higher pay than areas with lower living costs. According to Payscale and Glassdoor, accounting clerk salaries can include bonuses and profit-sharing. Experienced clerks may have an advantage in this regard as their know-how often translates into stronger job performance.

Populous states like California and Texas employ high numbers of these professionals. The District of Columbia and Massachusetts pay the highest salaries, according to BLS data from May 2021. The Missouri Economic Research and Information Center’s Cost of Living Data Series can comprehensive income help you compare living costs in different U.S. states. This website is using a security service to protect itself from online attacks. There are several actions that could trigger this block including submitting a certain word or phrase, a SQL command or malformed data.

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Looking at employment density, projected percentage increases, and/or projected annual openings can help you decide where to focus your job search. Read more about the duties of an accounting clerk, and take your next step. Over 1.8 million professionals use CFI to learn accounting, financial analysis, modeling and more. Start with a free account to explore 20+ always-free courses and hundreds of finance templates and cheat sheets.

So, for example, if you started out with the role of accounts payable clerk you might progress to a role such as accountant eventually. Later on in your career, you could end up with the title assistant controller. Furthermore, accounting clerks collaborate with departments such as finance and human resources, gaining a comprehensive understanding of how each area operates. They often handle confidential financial information, necessitating a high level of trust and discretion. Accounting clerks can gain satisfaction from witnessing the direct impact of their work on a company’s success.

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