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Become An Accounting Clerk/Administrative Assistant

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Working As An Accounting Clerk/Administrative Assistant

  • Interacting With Computers
  • Getting Information
  • Performing Administrative Activities
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships
  • Mostly Sitting

  • Repetitive

  • $33,000

    Average Salary

What Does An Accounting Clerk/Administrative Assistant Do

Secretaries and administrative assistants perform routine clerical and administrative duties. They organize files, prepare documents, schedule appointments, and support other staff.

Duties

Secretaries and administrative assistants typically do the following:

  • Answer telephones and take messages or transfer calls
  • Schedule appointments and update event calendars
  • Arrange staff meetings
  • Handle incoming and outgoing mail and faxes
  • Prepare memos, invoices, or other reports
  • Edit documents
  • Maintain databases and filing systems, whether electronic or paper
  • Perform basic bookkeeping

Secretaries and administrative assistants perform a variety of clerical and administrative duties that are necessary to run an organization efficiently. They use computer software to create spreadsheets; manage databases; and prepare presentations, reports, and documents. They also may negotiate with vendors, buy supplies, and manage stockrooms or corporate libraries. Secretaries and administrative assistants also use videoconferencing, fax, and other office equipment. Specific job duties vary by experience, job title, and specialty.

Executive secretaries and executive administrative assistants provide high-level administrative support for an office and for top executives of an organization. They often handle more complex responsibilities, such as reviewing incoming documents, conducting research, and preparing reports. Some also supervise clerical staff.

Legal secretaries perform work requiring knowledge of legal terminology and procedures. They prepare legal documents, such as summonses, complaints, motions, and subpoenas under the supervision of an attorney or a paralegal. They also review legal journals and help with legal research—for example, by verifying quotes and citations in legal briefs.

Medical secretaries transcribe dictation and prepare reports or articles for physicians or medical scientists. They also take simple medical histories of patients, arrange for patients to be hospitalized, or process insurance payments. Medical secretaries need to be familiar with medical terminology and codes, medical records, and hospital or laboratory procedures.

Secretaries and administrative assistants, except legal, medical, and executive is the largest subcategory of secretaries and administrative assistants. They handle an office’s administrative activities in almost every sector of the economy, including schools, government, and private corporations. For example, secretaries in schools are often responsible for handling most of the communications among parents, students, the community, teachers, and school administrators. They schedule appointments, receive visitors, and keep track of students’ records.

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How To Become An Accounting Clerk/Administrative Assistant

High school graduates who have experience using computer software applications, such as word processing and spreadsheets, usually qualify for entry-level positions. Although most secretaries learn their job in several weeks, many legal and medical secretaries require additional training to learn industry-specific terminology. Executive secretaries usually need several years of related work experience.

Education

High school graduates can take courses in word processing and office procedures at technical schools or community colleges. Some temporary placement agencies also provide training in word processing, spreadsheet, and database software.

Some medical and legal secretaries learn industry-specific terminology and practices by attending courses offered at community colleges or technical schools. For executive secretary positions, employers increasingly prefer to hire those who have taken some college courses or have a bachelor’s degree.

Training

Secretaries and administrative assistants typically learn their skills through short-term on-the-job training, usually lasting a few weeks. During this time they learn about administrative procedures, including how to prepare documents. Medical and legal secretaries’ training may last several months as they learn industry-specific terminology and practices.

Work Experience in a Related Occupation

Executive secretaries can gain experience by working in administrative positions that have less challenging responsibilities. Many secretaries and administrative assistants advance to higher level administrative positions.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Although not required, certification can demonstrate competency to employers.

The International Association of Administrative Professionals offers the Certified Administrative Professional (CAP) certification. Candidates must have a minimum of 2 to 4 years of administrative work experience, depending on their level of education, and pass an examination.

Legal secretaries have several certification options. For example, those with 1 year of general office experience, or who have completed an approved training course, can acquire the Accredited Legal Professional (ALP) certification through a testing process administered by NALS (previously known as National Association of Legal Secretaries). NALS also offers the Professional Legal Secretary (PLS) certification, considered to be an advanced certification for legal support professionals.

The Certified Legal Secretary Specialist (CLSS) certification is conferred by Legal Secretaries International in areas such as intellectual property, criminal law, civil litigation, probate, and business law. Candidates typically need to have 5 years of legal experience and pass an examination to become certified.

Advancement

Secretaries and administrative assistants generally advance to other administrative positions with more responsibilities, such as office supervisor, office manager, or executive secretary.

With additional training, many legal secretaries become paralegals or legal assistants.

Important Qualities

Integrity. Many secretaries and administrative assistants are trusted to handle sensitive information. For example, medical secretaries collect patient data that is required, by law, to be kept confidential in order to protect patient privacy.

Interpersonal skills. Secretaries and administrative assistants interact with clients, customers, or staff. They should communicate effectively and be courteous when interacting with others to create a positive work environment and client experience.

Organizational skills. Secretaries and administrative assistants keep files, folders, and schedules in proper order so an office can run efficiently.

Writing skills. Secretaries and administrative assistants write memos and emails when communicating with managers, employees, and customers. Therefore, they must have good grammar, ensure accuracy, and maintain a professional tone.

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Accounting Clerk/Administrative Assistant Career Paths

Accounting Clerk/Administrative Assistant
Accounting Clerk Accounts Payable Clerk Accountant
Controller
9 Yearsyrs
Accounting Clerk Accountant Senior Accountant
Accounting Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Accounting Clerk Accountant
Office Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Accounts Payable Clerk Staff Accountant Finance Analyst
Finance Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Accounts Payable Clerk Payroll Administrator Office Manager
Practice Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Office Assistant Executive Assistant
Senior Administrative Assistant
7 Yearsyrs
Office Assistant Executive Assistant Office Manager
Business Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Office Assistant Executive Assistant Assistant Manager
Assistant General Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Bookkeeper Charge Bookkeeper Office Manager
Business Office Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Bookkeeper Substitute Teacher Account Executive
District Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Bookkeeper Staff Accountant Accounts Payable Supervisor
Accounts Payable Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Staff Accountant Consultant Owner
Co-Owner
6 Yearsyrs
Accounts Receivable Specialist Senior Accountant Manager
Purchasing Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Accounts Receivable Specialist Specialist Account Executive
Relationship Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Accounts Receivable Specialist Team Leader Director
Administrative Director
8 Yearsyrs
Accounting Assistant Human Resources Coordinator Senior Administrative Assistant
Senior Executive Assistant
8 Yearsyrs
Accounting Assistant Office Administrator Administrator
Administrative Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Accounting Assistant Accounts Receivable Clerk Accounts Receivable Supervisor
Accounts Receivable Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Accounts Receivable Clerk Payroll Administrator Senior Accountant
Accountant And Office Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Accounts Receivable Clerk Payroll Administrator Human Resources Generalist
Office Manager Of Human Resources
6 Yearsyrs
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Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
Accountable Clerk 3.7 years
Accounting Clerk 3.4 years
Finance Clerk 2.7 years
Top Careers Before Accounting Clerk/Administrative Assistant
Cashier 3.9%
Bookkeeper 3.0%
Teller 2.4%
Secretary 2.1%
Internship 1.6%
Top Careers After Accounting Clerk/Administrative Assistant
Bookkeeper 3.4%
Accountant 3.0%
Cashier 2.8%

Do you work as an Accounting Clerk/Administrative Assistant?

Accounting Clerk/Administrative Assistant Demographics

Gender

Female

80.1%

Unknown

10.4%

Male

9.5%
Ethnicity

White

58.4%

Hispanic or Latino

18.9%

Black or African American

11.6%

Asian

7.2%

Unknown

3.9%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

64.7%

Mandarin

4.9%

French

2.9%

Russian

2.9%

Cantonese

2.9%

German

2.9%

Japanese

2.9%

Italian

2.0%

Chinese

2.0%

Urdu

2.0%

Vietnamese

1.0%

Hindi

1.0%

Korean

1.0%

Armenian

1.0%

Thai

1.0%

Braille

1.0%

Tagalog

1.0%

Portuguese

1.0%

Czech

1.0%

Slovak

1.0%
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Accounting Clerk/Administrative Assistant Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

23.9%

Houston Community College

9.0%

Strayer University

7.4%

Ashford University

6.9%

University of Maryland - University College

4.8%

Miami Dade College

4.8%

University of Houston

4.3%

American InterContinental University

3.7%

University of South Florida

3.2%

San Diego State University

3.2%

Walden University

3.2%

Louisiana Tech University

3.2%

Liberty University

3.2%

Kaplan University

3.2%

Southern Connecticut State University

2.7%

Trident Technical College

2.7%

Park University

2.7%

Valencia College

2.7%

Heald College - Central Administrative Office

2.7%

Pennsylvania State University

2.7%
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Majors

Accounting

33.8%

Business

31.7%

Health Care Administration

4.6%

General Studies

2.6%

Psychology

2.6%

Finance

2.6%

Criminal Justice

2.5%

Management

2.2%

Computer Science

1.8%

Nursing

1.7%

Legal Support Services

1.7%

Human Resources Management

1.7%

Liberal Arts

1.4%

Medical Assisting Services

1.4%

Education

1.4%

Communication

1.3%

General Education, Specific Areas

1.3%

Human Services

1.3%

Real Estate

1.2%

Political Science

1.1%
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Degrees

Bachelors

32.0%

Other

29.5%

Associate

19.6%

Certificate

9.7%

Masters

5.7%

Diploma

2.4%

Doctorate

0.6%

License

0.4%
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Top Skills for An Accounting Clerk/Administrative Assistant

  1. Payroll
  2. Financial Statements
  3. Vendor Invoices
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Performed general office duties such maintaining records management systems, and performing basic bookkeeping, payroll, and accounts payable tasks.
  • Prepare consolidated internal and external financial statements by gathering and analyzing information from the general ledger system and from departments.
  • Maintain responsibility for accounts payable functions including reviewing purchase orders and processing vendor invoices.
  • Provided administrative support to upper management via drafting all official company correspondence, typing, filing and performing data entry.
  • Created and analyzed customer service index using customer provided feedback.

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