Job description

Accounting clerks record and maintain detailed financial records for organisations. They use ledgers, spreadsheets and other accounting software to keep track of income, expenses and invoices. Accounting clerks check all monetary transactions for accuracy and generate reports for their employer, usually under the direction of an accountant or auditor.

Duties

    • Record all financial transactions using the appropriate computer software
    • Monitor and organise pending invoices, vouchers and overdue accounts
    • Submit or receive checks, cash, credit card or electronic payments, and record transactions
    • Add up accounts and calculate interest
    • Track finances and produce reports, including balance sheets and department totals
    • Maintain payroll
    • Code transactions and documents according to organisation guidelines
    • Reconcile bank statements and other financial records and report any discrepancies
    • Check all figures and reports for accuracy

Skills, qualities and knowledge

Attention to detail
Basic mathematics
Statistics
Accounting software
Critical thinking
Problem-solving
Organisation
Communication
Discretion
Integrity
Teamwork
Self-starter
Patience

Working hours and environment

Average working hours

40hweek

Typical schedule

Full Time

Standard business hours

Accounting clerks can work alone or as part of a team, typically under the direction of an accountant. In a larger organisation, you will likely work in a more specialised department like accounts payable or auditing.

Most accounting clerks work full time for a single company in an office environment. You can also work with an accounting firm, or as a freelancer, to organise the finances of multiple clients. This may require travel to different places of business to access and discuss each customer's records.

You may work additional hours, including evenings and weekends, during tax season or yearly accounting audits.

Salary

Bottom 10%

$25k

Median

$40k

Top 10%

$62k

Annual salary estimates are based on percentile wage data collected through the Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) survey of US workers.

Qualifications and training

Education level

High school

DVM / VMD degree

Study time

2years

You don't need a college degree for entry-level positions as an accounting clerk, though some employers prefer job candidates with some postsecondary coursework in accounting or a related field.

Many clerks learn the trade through on-the-job training, which may include formal classroom training in accounting software. After two years of full-time bookkeeping or equivalent part-time work, you are eligible for the four-part exam and resulting Certified Bookkeeper (CB) designation through the American Institute of Professional Bookkeepers.

You can also test for a Certified Public Bookkeeper (CPB) certification through the National Association of Certified Public Bookkeepers. Both certification options can make you a more desirable candidate for accounting clerk positions.

Job outlook

Projected growth
The projected growth rate of employment in the US from 2016 to 2026, based on data collected through the BLS Employment Projections (EP) programme. The national average growth rate for all professions is 7%.

-1%

No of new jobs
The number of jobs projected to become available in the US between 2016 and 2026, based on data collected through the BLS Employment Projections (EP) programme.

-25.2k

Automation risk
The probability of computerisation, based on data published in ‘The Future of Employment’, a 2013 working paper by Carl Benedikt Frey and Michael Osborne.

98%

Career progression

Some companies offer financial assistance so you can earn a degree in accounting while you're learning on the job. Bookkeeping experience plus an undergraduate degree opens doors to several other financial careers, including accountant, financial advisor, auditor and business analyst.