Accounting Clerk Job Description: Top Duties and Qualifications

Last updated: August 22, 2022

 

An Accounting Clerk, or Bookkeeping Clerk, is responsible for maintaining financial records, running reports for management and recording a wide range of financial transactions, depending on the business they support. Their duties include offering administrative and bookkeeping assistance to Accountants, preparing financial statements and confirming the accuracy of accounting database information.

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Accounting Clerk duties and responsibilities

Accounting Clerks’ responsibilities often vary based on their level of experience. Accounting Clerks at the entry-level may determine interest charges, add up accounts and post details of transactions including amount, type and date. They can also be responsible for monitoring accounts and loans to ensure payments are current. More experienced Accounting Clerks may code documents according to an organization’s procedures, ensure account data is accurate and complete and add and balance billing vouchers. Additional duties and responsibilities can include:

  • Using bookkeeping databases, spreadsheets and software
  • Posting financial transactions using appropriate computer software
  • Receiving and recording vouchers, cash and checks

  • Entering debits and credits into software applications and databases accurately

  • Producing a variety of reports including income statements and balance sheets

  • Checking for accuracy in reports, figures and postings

  • Reconciling and reporting any discrepancies found in the records

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What does an Accounting Clerk do?

Accounting Clerks work in an organization’s financial department to complete the necessary clerical work for accurate accounting practices. They perform general office tasks like organizing and delivering documents, filing reports, updating records and communicating with clients with a focus on financial duties. Because they work closely with a company’s finances, Accounting Clerks need to be able to multi-task and determine priorities to complete tasks as accurately and efficiently as possible. They use written and verbal communication skills to ensure that other accounting staff members are able to handle sensitive financial details appropriately and according to schedule.

Accounting Clerk skills and qualifications

The increased role of computers has allowed Accounting Clerks to take on additional responsibilities including keeping track of overdue bills, purchasing, billing and payroll. Many of these duties require accounting clerks to have the following skills and qualifications:

  • Computer skills: Accounting Clerks should be comfortable using bookkeeping software and computer spreadsheets.
  • Detail-oriented: Accounting Clerks are responsible for developing accurate financial records and reports. They need to pay attention to detail to avoid errors and recognize errors that have been made.
  • Integrity: Accounting clerks are in control of the financial documentation for an organization, and this information should be used appropriately and kept confidential. It’s important that Accounting Clerks guard against misuse of an organization’s funds by keeping transparent records.
  • Math skills: Accounting clerks work with numbers on a daily basis and need to be comfortable with a range of mathematical operations.

Accounting Clerk salary expectations

Accounting Clerks earn an average salary of $16.46 per hour, with some earning less and some earning up to twice as much. This estimate is based on 9,622 anonymously submitted salaries to Indeed.com in addition to past and present Indeed.com job postings within the last 36 months. Accounting Clerks have a typical tenure of 1-3 years.

Accounting Clerk education and training requirements

While some candidates may be hired with only a high school diploma, the majority of employers require Accounting Clerks to have additional postsecondary education with focused coursework in accounting.

Accounting Clerks generally also get on-the-job training from experienced coworkers or a supervisor to learn how to complete tasks such as double-entry bookkeeping. For double-entry bookkeeping, Accounting Clerks enter each transaction twice, once as a credit and once as a debit to make sure all accounts are balanced. Formal classroom training may also be necessary for areas such as specialized computer software. On-the-job training usually takes around six months to complete.

Some Account Clerks choose to become certified. Particularly for those with limited or no postsecondary education, becoming certified is one way to gain marketable expertise in the field. The American Institute of Professional Bookkeepers offers the Certified Bookkeeper (CB) designation. Accounting Clerks receiving this certification have demonstrated that they have the knowledge and skills required to complete bookkeeping tasks including balancing accounts and overseeing payroll accounting in accordance with accepted accounting procedures.

Accounting Clerk experience requirements

To become certified, Accounting Clerks will need to adhere to a code of ethics, pass a four-part exam and have a minimum of two years of full-time experience or equivalent part-time work. The National Association of Certified Bookkeepers also offers the Certified Public Bookkeeper (CPB) certification which requires a candidate to successfully complete all four parts of the Uniform Bookkeeper Certification Examination.

With appropriate education, training, certification and experience, some Accounting Clerks can advance their careers by taking on additional roles such as auditor or accountant.

Job description samples for similar positions

If this Accounting Clerk job description isn’t an exact match for your organization’s needs, check out our job description templates for similar and related jobs below:

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Frequently asked questions about Accounting Clerks

What is the difference between an Accounting Clerk and an Accountant?

Accountants and Accounting Clerks both work together with financial information, but Accountants focus on analyzing data while Accounting Clerks focus on collecting and organizing it. Accountants have a higher level of responsibility for managing an organization’s money, and they oversee and check the accuracy of the Accounting Clerk’s work. Accountants need to have more education and are usually required to have a Bachelor’s degree in finance or business. Accountants also have the option to become a Certified Public Accountant to extend their qualifications.

What makes a good Accounting Clerk?

Good Accounting Clerks have a range of technical and organizational skills that help them be successful at work. They handle a large amount of detailed information and are an essential part of a financial office’s administration. Accounting Clerks should have a good memory to keep track of all of their clerical duties and a detail-oriented mindset to ensure accuracy. Good Accounting Clerks also have strong typing skills, financial literacy and math skills.

What are the daily duties of an Accounting Clerk?

In a typical day, Accounting Clerks spend time checking emails, answering phones, making copies and other standard office duties. They prepare reports for different situations such as deposit summaries and balance sheets. Accounting Clerks also organize financial documents like receipts, handle cash, send outgoing mail and help accounting staff manage with communication.

What should you look for in an Accounting Clerk resume?

Accounting Clerk resumes should highlight experience working with data or doing bookkeeping. Accounting Clerks are usually entry-level accounting staff, so related experience from other fields can be appropriate if it indicates strong information management skills. Accounting Clerks can start with a high school diploma or an associate degree and then develop their skills through on-the-job training.

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    Last updated: Apr 28, 2021