Career Guide  
Accounting Clerk
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Occupation Overview

The first bookkeeping records date back to 3000 B.C. Since that time, computerization has drastically changed the appearance of bookkeeping records, but the objective is the same: to represent the financial status of a company or organization. The Accounting Clerk occupation is included in this Information Technology (IT) career guide because these workers rely very heavily on IT tools to perform their job.

Accounting Clerks keep systematic records of financial transactions, which are a vital part of any business, whether it be a retail business, wholesale business, hospital, school, or charitable organization. It is in this documentation that one finds a statement of the assets and liabilities, as well as the profits and losses for the organization. These records also contain detailed information on goods and services bought and sold, payments received, and payments outstanding. These records are used to prepare income tax returns and financial reports

Turnover in this field is higher than average, creating new opportunities for individuals seeking new work in the field, or advancement within the field. Larger companies continue to consolidate and automate accounting functions and tasks, making the largest source of opportunity smaller, rapidly growing companies. Opportunities for temporary work in this field are many.


Future Growth Opportunities

Opportunities for Advancement:

Some advancement occurs with experience, including moves to positions such as Office Manager or Department Head, or moving up to the next level within your job category (e.g., from Accounting Clerk I to Accounting Clerk II). Above average turnover in this field creates more opportunities for advancement than one might find elsewhere.

Advancement to other positions, such as Accountant, requires further education

Skills Transferable to:

Shipping and Receiving Clerk, Typist, Cashier, Tax Preparer, Office Assistant, Collection Worker, Insurance Policy Processor, and Bank Teller.


Job Descriptions

Accounting Clerks often perform both accounting and bookkeeping tasks. They use computer databases to record business transactions and periodically prepare summary statements. These summaries contain facts such as who has been billed, for what, and what payments have been received. In addition to entering data in the computer, Accounting Clerks verify the data.

Tools used for this work include computer spreadsheets and databases. As a result, excellent computer skills are needed.

Most Accounting Clerks work in pleasant office environments. The work can be repetitive in large companies where an individual is given one or two tasks to master. Clerks often work under close supervision.

Fiscal deadlines, such as the end of a quarter and the end of a year, drive the accounting function. At these times, pressure to complete work will increase and might require working extra hours. At other times, the pace of work is steady.

There are different types of Accounting Clerks, with slightly different job focuses. For instance, Accounts/Payable Clerks focus on paying bills for expenses their organization incurs. Accounts/Receivable Clerks focus on sending out bills to their customers and recording payments when they are received. In smaller companies, a Bookkeeper can be responsible for handling all of the books for the organization.

Entry level ($7 - 16/hr.)

Experienced, New to Job ($8 - 18/hr.)

Experienced in Job ($12 - 23/hr.)

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