Computer accounting specialists use specialized software to perform accounting-related tasks, such as preparing profit and loss statements and handling accounts receivable and payable. To prepare for this career, completion of a certificate, diploma, or associate degree program is generally required. The median salary for this career is around $40,000 as of 2016.
Accounting clerks known as computer accounting specialists use specialized software that greatly reduces the tedious work associated with financial recordkeeping and data management. They assist in calculating accounts payable and receivable and profit and loss statements, as well as in preparing invoices and financial statements for accountants. To work in this career, some postsecondary education is typically required and can be completed through participation in an undergraduate certificate, diploma, or associate degree program.
|Required Education||Completion of a computerized accounting diploma, associate degree, or technical certificate program|
|Projected Job Growth (2014-2024)||-8% (for bookkeeping, accounting, & auditing clerks)*|
|Median Annual Salary|| $37,250 (for bookkeeping, accounting, & auditing clerks, May 2015),
$42,048 (for accounting specialists, January 2016)**
Sources: *United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, **PayScale.com
Computer Accounting Specialist Salary Information
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) in 2015, the median annual salary for bookkeeping, accounting, and auditing clerks, including computer accounting specialists, was $37,250. The BLS also reported that accounting, tax preparation, and payroll services employed the highest number of such workers among all industries (www.bls.gov). More recently, PayScale.com revealed in January 2016 that qualified accounting specialists typically earn between $32,066 and $58,755 a year, with the median annual salary being $42,048.
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Computer accounting specialists perform a variety of accounting duties using state-of-the-art computer technology. They work in positions such as payroll clerk, bookkeeper, accounting clerk, and accounting receptionist. In a smaller business, they may keep the general ledger or contact customers as part of the job. Regardless of the extent of job duties, all of these positions require some postsecondary training.
A diploma program in computerized accounting can provide aspiring accounting clerks with intensive accounting and computerized training that focuses on business practices, communication, and organization. A program like this emphasizes managing responsibilities, oral communication, problem-solving, and accounting software operations. Similarly, a technical certificate course provides students with basic skills in computerized accounting, covering topics such as microcomputing and principles of accounting.
In some cases, an associate degree might be required by employers. A two-year degree program that offers an Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in Computerized Accounting would be an ideal choice for the aspiring accounting clerk. These programs are often found at local community colleges, and students might take courses such as:
- Business and corporate communication
- Introduction to business law
- Financial reporting
- Peachtree Suite
The BLS projected that the employment of all kinds of bookkeeping, accounting, and auditing clerks, including computer accounting specialists, would decrease by approximately 8% between 2014 and 2024. The demand for such workers is largely influenced by the strength of the economy. Although computer programs may do much of the legwork, accounting specialists are still needed to verify accuracy and cross-check programs' results.
The types of courses that aspiring computer accounting specialists might take to help them prepare for their career include financial reporting, QuickBooks, and introductory business law. Depending on the employer, a diploma, certificate, or associate degree may be required. It should also be taken into account that the BLS reported a projected 8% decline in job growth for accounting, auditing, and bookkeeping clerks between 2014 and 2024.