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What Is an Accounting Clerk?

Accounting clerks are professionals whose main objectives are to organize fiscal documents and employ proper applications of debit and credit to business accounts. Accounting clerks authenticate account codes to reinforce accuracy of professional practice, balance financial deposits and other entries, while correcting mistakes that may have occurred.

Accounting Clerk Responsibilities & Duties

Within a company’s accounting department, accounting clerks are responsible for taking care of standard clerical, administrative, or financial office tasks. General duties for accounting clerks will include filing executive reports, structuring and transporting documents, and updating company financial records.

These clerks also have the duty of correlating with company liaisons and clients to discuss and review financial goals and obligations. There are a variety of operations that an accounting clerk engages in to ensure long-term success with employees and clients on behalf of the company.

Clerk duties include:

  • Processing and distributing bills/invoices to pay staff and client accounts
  • Correlate work orders with vendor invoices
  • Manage and update company charges, refunds, and delinquencies
  • Secure company business transactions from logs to ledger systems
  • Arrangement for scheduled transports of company financial deposits

Accounting clerks complete other office-related tasks in the forms of answering phone calls, coordinating office security and key control, and directly overseeing cash and cash transactions to prepare bank note deposits.

Most clerks may assist in preparation for financial statements such as budgeting, billing, and cost reports. Seasoned accounting clerks may also be tasked with the responsibility of guiding and training fresh staff, interns, or student employees associated with the company.

Where Does an Accounting Clerk Work?

Accounting clerks typically operate within indoor office settings to have access to necessary resources to perform their job. These clerks may have individual or shared offices that can create either a stimulating or distracting environment.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, accounting clerks work in the professional, technical services, or scientific industry. Additionally, clerks may also work in retail domains, wholesale trades, healthcare, social assistance, and even finance and insurance companies.

Within these fields, conditions of professional tasks may alter between accounting, payroll services, bookkeeping assignments, and tax report preparation for quarterly and annual review.

Typically, accounting clerks work full time with few clerks being able to work from home based on company employee policies.

For improved focus, clerks may decide to work individually or collaborate with accountants and other managers for more executive tasks.

Accounting Clerk Degree & Education Requirements

The minimum education degree requirement to become an accounting clerk is a high school diploma. Postsecondary education in the form of obtaining specialized training in areas of bookkeeping, auditing, and accounting will improve employee candidacy.

One can also become certified as an accounting clerk if postsecondary education is not at hand by acquiring one of two certificates.

Certifications for accounting clerk jobs present as:

  • The Certified Bookkeeper (CB)
  • Certified Public Bookkeeper (CPB)

To obtain the Certified Bookkeeper designation from the American Institute of Professional Bookkeepers, candidates must have obtained at least two years of full-time bookkeeping experience, passed a four-part examination, and abided by the professional code of ethics.

Achieving status as a Certified Public Bookkeeper requires passing the Certified Public Bookkeeper’s four-part Uniform Bookkeeper Certified Examination, given by the National Association of Certified Public Bookkeepers.

On-the-job training is the primary form of acquiring the necessary skills to be an effective accounting clerk. Certain professional and technical skills are required to maintain the office setting and provide high-quality work.

These important qualities look like:

  • Adequate-to-stellar math skills due to daily operations with numbers
  • Meticulous to avoid or correct errors and produce accurate financial records
  • Up-to-date computer skills for proper development of spreadsheets and software use
  • Elevated level of integrity while in possession of company financial documents and cash transactions.

Accounting clerks charged with comprehending accounting practices and procedures have the obligation to be responsible with sensitive financial information. Solid communication skills and the willingness to comply with company, local, state, and federal financial regulations are what accounting clerk employers seek and hire.

How Much Do Accounting Clerks Earn?

The Bureau of Labor Statistics shows the average annual salary for an accounting clerk as $42,400, with the lowest 10% earning slightly less than $27,100 and the upper 10% obtaining an income of around $64,000.

The median hourly wage is $20 with $13 on the lower side and $30 for experienced clerks. The averages are based on half of the U.S. recorded clerks reporting to have earned within the range of the top salary, while the other half match the wages of subsidiary clerks.

Clerk pay is based primarily on state location and industry of employment. Accounting clerks earn the most on the eastern coast of the United States, with the District of Columbia leading at $27 per hour, while Massachusetts and Connecticut both average at $24.

Top industries for accounting clerks pay and salary are:

  • Federal government jobs (ex. Postal service)
  • Central banks
  • Natural gas distribution
  • Metal ore mining
  • Insurance and employee benefits funds

Accounting Clerk Job Outlook

Because of financial automation of fiscal records through software-as-a-service platforms, employment of accounting clerks is anticipated to decline an average of 4% over the next 5-10 years.

Technological changes like cloud computing and other software innovations are expected to reduce the need for multiple workers in the clerk position, which decreases the employment number by 500,000 jobs.

Additionally, these digital programs help companies streamline their services, save more money, and create more efficiency with tax regulations and financial protocols.

However, accounting clerks can adjust and obtain more modern training through learning contemporary practices and about the digital services that are available. Accounting clerks are necessary for supporting supervisory and executive staff by performing any assigned accounting and clerical tasks that technology cannot perform.

Alternate Careers

Within the Clerk field, there are other occupations that perform similar duties and responsibilities within different employment sectors. Jobs closely related to accounting clerks are:

  • Bookkeeper
  • Auditing clerk
  • Financial clerk

Latest Accounting Clerk Jobs Listings

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