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Accounting Clerk: Job Description & Career Requirements

Oct 11, 2019

Research the educational and skill requirements needed to become an accounting clerk, as well as the job description and employment and salary outlook. Read on to decide if this career is right for you.

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Job Description for an Accounting Clerk

Accounting clerks are responsible for reviewing and maintaining accounting records. They enter balances and calculate interest on loans, bank accounts, and credit accounts using accounting spreadsheets and databases or accounting software programs. They may also review invoices and reconcile account statements, investigate any discrepancies, and generate financial reports on a regular basis. Accounting clerks work for all types of businesses. An accounting clerk's tasks tend to be more specialized when working for larger companies that have an entire accounting department, where their duties often include providing assistance to a Certified Public Accountant (CPA).

Required Education High school diploma; associate's degrees in business or accounting recommended
Necessary Skills Detail oriented, ethics, technology, interpersonal skills
Median Salary (2018)* $40,240 (bookkeeping, accounting, and auditing clerks)
Job Outlook (2018-2028)* 4% decline (bookkeeping, accounting, and auditing clerks)

*Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Accounting Clerk Job Requirements

Accounting Clerk Education

Many accounting clerks earn associate's degrees in accounting or an associate's degree in business, though some enter the field with only a high school diploma.

Associate's degree programs generally focus on basic accounting procedures, as well as skills in computerized accounting techniques. For those who have a high school diploma, accounting coursework from a postsecondary educational institution is often helpful, even without a degree. A bachelor's degree is not necessary for a career as an accounting clerk, though some clerks who have bachelor's degrees may be able to move more quickly to a senior accounting position. Regardless of formal education, however, the majority of accounting clerks usually must complete a period of on-the-job training.

Accounting Clerk Certification

Although not required, certifications are available for accounting clerks. One may choose to become certified by the American Institute of Professional Bookkeepers by obtaining the certified bookkeeper designation. Additionally, the uniform bookkeeper certification exam is an online test administered by the National Bookkeepers Association. Both of these may increase an accounting clerk's credibility as well as demonstrate their bookkeeping skills to potential employers.

Accounting Clerk Skills

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that accounting clerks should have the following traits:

  • Math and detail-oriented skills
  • High ethical standards and professionalism, since they are often responsible for the banking and bookkeeping of a business
  • Familiarity with computer technology and knowledge of a variety of software programs related to the field
  • Ability to interact well with others

Accounting Clerk Salary and Employment Outlook

Accounting clerk jobs were projected to decline according to the BLS. The organization predicted an employment decrease of 4% during the 2018 to 2028 decade for all bookkeeping, accounting, and auditing clerks. Many of the jobs available will most likely be due to existing accounting clerks advancing to other positions or retiring. In May 2018, accounting, auditing, and bookkeeping clerks earned a median salary of $40,240 per year, according to the BLS. The highest-paid accounting clerks (or top 10% of the field) earned $61,650 or more in the same year.

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