Accounting clerks spend their time maintaining financial information for a wide range of businesses. Many times, these types of clerks are referred to as bookkeeping clerks. Some accounting clerks enter into this line of work with only a high school diploma while others obtain a formal education from a post secondary school.
Responsibilities of an Accounting Clerk
The accountant job description can vary from one employer to another. For the most part though, this type of professional is responsible for any of the following tasks:
– Creating and reviewing invoices
– Reconciling bank statements
– Entering balances on financial statements
– Calculating interest on credit accounts and loans
Some accounting clerks work only in certain financial departments of an employer. Accounting clerks who work solely in the accounts receivable department of an employer will carry out any of the following duties:
– Monitoring customer payment history
– Maintaining accountability of cash funds
– Submit customer invoices
– Prepare reports of delinquent customer accounts
Accounting clerks who work only in the payroll department tend to be responsible for the following tasks:
– Processing time cards
– Calculate withholdings and income taxes
– Preparing payroll checks
– Making sure labor laws are being followed
Places of Employment
Since all fields of work include a financial aspect, an accounting clerk can find employment within any industry. From small to large companies, accounting clerks are in high demand. When working for larger companies, this type of professional usually carries out tasks that are more specialized. Many times, he or she will even assist licensed Certified Public Accountants, commonly referred to as CPAs, with their duties. Such duties carried out a larger organizations include any of the following:
– Updating credit card information
– Updating and maintaining employee reimbursement reports
– Reviewing early payment discounts
– Processing vendor invoices
– Update any records relating to expenditures and income
How to Become an Accounting Clerk
To become an accounting clerk, a person will need at least a high school diploma. Some employers will mandate that a person have some type of degree from an accredited institution. In this line of work, an associate’s degree will usually suffice for those employers that require a degree; however, some may prefer a bachelor’s. Degrees earned should be in accounting or a related field. It is important to keep in mind that with a bachelor’s degree, a person will be more likely to secure a position as a Senior Accounting Clerk.
As an accounting clerk, a person will need to master a wide range of skills. He or she should have a passion for numbers, be computer-savvy as well as have high ethical standards. In addition, good communication and interpersonal skills are a must.
Accounting clerks that are considered full-charge bookkeepers will be responsible for an assortment of tasks, meaning they should be versatile as well as experienced in all activities that relate to their employers’ daily financial operations.
According to the United States Department of Labor, accounting clerks are in high demand. The average salary of this type of professional is usually about $33,000 a year; however, in certain geographical locations, such as California and Washington D.C., salary levels increase to more than $40,000 a year.
There are some schools that offer accounting clerk certification programs. These programs usually focus on the following courses:
– Business Record Skills
– Microsoft Excel
– Business Math Skills
– Computerized Bookkeeping
– Accounting 1
– And more
Most certification programs can be completed in less than 15 months. Obtaining this type of certification is advantageous because it can broaden the employment opportunities of an accounting clerk.