How to Become an Accounting Clerk

Accounting is a very important part of nearly all companies and organizations and it involves an abundance of tasks. In addition to accountants, trained professionals are required to keep financial records and handle a variety of financial transactions. This is the job of accounting clerks.

What does an accounting clerk do?

Accounting clerks perform a variety of specialized tasks such as posting details of transactions, calculating interest charges, and totaling accounts. They process and mail or email payments and invoices, type reports, and enter data in ledger systems. They monitor accounts and loans to make sure that all the payments are current. They also check accounts, invoices, and statements to make sure all the information is accurate and complete. Accounting clerks often use journals and computer software to record data such as expenses, receipts, payroll, and other transactions. They review printouts and complete the required corrections. Some accounting clerks code documents according to the procedures of the company. Others total, balance, and resolve billing vouchers. All accounting clerks are responsible for maintaining accurate files and records.

What kind of training does an accounting clerk need?

Accounting clerks need at least a high school diploma. Many accounting clerks have some college education in accounting. Most employers provide on the job training where new accounting clerks observe experienced workers and learn the procedures, policies, and expectations of the company. Some employers provide formal classroom training in computer software or other areas. Many accounting clerks gain certification to become competitive in the field. Certification requirements typically include minimum experience, abiding by a code of ethics, and passing an examination. Accounting clerks must stay up to date on advancements in the field and often complete additional training throughout their careers.

What are the prospects for a career as an accounting clerk?

Employment of accounting clerks is expected to grow as fast as average for all professions, increasing 12% from 2006 to 2016 (1). The growing population and increase in financial transactions will drive job growth.

Job prospects should be good especially for accounting clerks with extensive experience. Many job openings will arise from the need to replace accounting clerks that retire, transfer, or leave the field for other reasons.

How much do accounting clerks make?

As of November 2009, the middle 50% of accounting clerks earn annual salaries between $27,551 and $34,479. The top 10% earn annual salaries of more than $37,802 (2).

A career as an accounting clerk is an excellent choice for individuals with a strong interest in accounting and providing a variety of tasks. Accounting clerks must have a strong aptitude for mathematics and be trustworthy, organized, and pay close attention to detail to avoid errors and recognize and correct mistakes made by others. They must also be discreet because they often deal with confidential information. Accounting clerks must have excellent communication and interpersonal skills because they work with a variety of professionals and customers.

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