It may be possible to begin a career as an accounts receivable clerk with a high school diploma, although an associate's degree in accounting is recommended. With accounts receivable positions expected to decline 8% between 2014-2024, postsecondary training will be an asset for those seeking work in this competitive field.
Accounts receivable clerks are the individuals who work with a company's incoming money. Those who wish to become accounts receivable clerks should enjoy working in an office, be comfortable working with numbers, and be trustworthy enough to handle the funds and the confidential information that crosses their desks. A high school diploma is the minimum requirement for this position, though an associate's degree in accounting may be preferred by employers.
|Required Education||High school diploma minimum requirement, but associate's degree in accounting may lead to better career prospects|
|Other Requirements||On-the-job training and/or relevant experience; strong mathematical, communication and organizational skills necessary|
|Projected Job Outlook (2014-2024)*||-8% for all bookkeeping, accounting and auditing clerks|
|Median Salary (2015)*||$37,250 for all bookkeeping, accounting and auditing clerks|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Accounts Receivable Clerk Job Description
Accounts receivable (A/R) clerks usually work for companies which are large enough to warrant a person or staff dedicated to the keeping track of the inflow of money. They are more specialized than bookkeepers or bookkeeping clerks, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (www.bls.gov). Accounts receivable clerks perform clerical, financial, and administrative services in an office environment, posting transactions, and calculating interest and totals, as well as tracking incoming payments and obligations. As they gain experience, A/R clerks may be given broader responsibilities for accounts and data.
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Accounts Receivable Clerk Job Duties
Some typical job duties of the accounts receivable clerk include billing, keeping track of and collecting money owed, maintaining customer files, communicating with customers, preparing bank deposits, making sure the billing system is up-to-date, and operating office equipment such as copiers and fax machines, as well as a 10-key calculator. Given these duties, it is important that an accounts receivable clerk have good interpersonal and communication skills, a strong eye for detail, knowledge of computer software programs such as Microsoft Office, a strong background in mathematics, a familiarity with office equipment, good organizational skills, and the ability to work independently. The skills to handle stress, negotiate, solve problems, and manage conflict may also be helpful.
Accounts Receivable Clerk Requirements
Usually, the only education requirement to become an accounts receivable clerk is to possess a high school diploma or a GED. However, many employers prefer those who have taken college level accounting courses, or who have obtained at least a two-year degree in accounting. Many employers also prefer job candidates who have prior experience working in accounting or accounts receivables specifically. Most employers give new accounts receivable clerks on-the-job training so that they become familiar with the company's policies and procedures.
Salary Info and Job Outlook
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), job growth predicted for bookkeeping, accounting, and auditing clerks is expected to decline 8% between 2014 and 2024. The median annual salary earned by such clerks was reported as $37,250 in May 2015 by the same source. The BLS noted that the post office and securities and commodity exchanges paid the highest salaries, each averaging more than $57,000.
Accounts receivable clerks manage the money coming into a company. They post transactions, calculate interest, and may be responsible for ensuring obligations to their company are paid. They need to be detail-oriented and most employers prefer accounts receivable clerks who have completed some postsecondary accounting studies.