Working as an Accounting Clerk

What Does an Accounting Clerk Do

Bookkeeping, accounting, and auditing clerks produce financial records for organizations. They record financial transactions, update statements, and check financial records for accuracy.

Duties

Bookkeeping, accounting, and auditing clerks typically do the following:

  • Use bookkeeping software, online spreadsheets, and databases
  • Enter (post) financial transactions into the appropriate computer software
  • Receive and record cash, checks, and vouchers
  • Put costs (debits) and income (credits) into the software, assigning each to an appropriate account
  • Produce reports, such as balance sheets (costs compared with income), income statements, and totals by account
  • Check for accuracy in figures, postings, and reports
  • Reconcile or note and report any differences they find in the records

The records that bookkeeping, accounting, and auditing clerks work with include expenditures (money spent), receipts (money that comes in), accounts payable (bills to be paid), accounts receivable (invoices, or what other people owe the organization), and profit and loss (a report that shows the organization’s financial health).

Workers in this occupation have a wide range of tasks. Some are full-charge bookkeeping clerks who maintain an entire organization’s books. Others are accounting clerks who handle specific tasks.

These clerks use basic mathematics (adding, subtracting) throughout the day.

Bookkeeping, accounting, and auditing clerks use specialized computer accounting software, spreadsheets, and databases to enter information from receipts or bills. They must be comfortable using computers to record and calculate data.

The widespread use of computers also has enabled bookkeeping, accounting, and auditing clerks to take on additional responsibilities, such as payroll, billing, purchasing (buying), and keeping track of overdue bills. Many of these functions require clerks to communicate with clients.

Bookkeeping clerks, also known as bookkeepers, often are responsible for some or all of an organization’s accounts, known as the general ledger. They record all transactions and post debits (costs) and credits (income).

They also produce financial statements and other reports for supervisors and managers. Bookkeepers prepare bank deposits by compiling data from cashiers, verifying receipts, and sending cash, checks, or other forms of payment to the bank.

In addition, they may handle payroll, make purchases, prepare invoices, and keep track of overdue accounts.

Accounting clerks typically work for larger companies and have more specialized tasks. Their titles, such as accounts payable clerk or accounts receivable clerk, often reflect the type of accounting they do.

The responsibilities of accounting clerks frequently vary by level of experience. Entry-level accounting clerks may post details of transactions (including date, type, and amount), add up accounts, and determine interest charges. They also may monitor loans and accounts to ensure that payments are up to date.

More advanced accounting clerks may add and balance billing vouchers, ensure that account data are complete and accurate, and code documents according to an organization’s procedures.

Auditing clerks check figures, postings, and documents to ensure that they are mathematically accurate and properly coded. They also correct or note errors for accountants or other workers to fix.

How To Become an Accounting Clerk

Most bookkeeping, accounting, and auditing clerks need some postsecondary education and also learn some of their skills on the job. They must have basic math and computer skills, including knowledge of spreadsheets and bookkeeping software.

Education

Employers generally require bookkeeping, accounting, and auditing clerks to have some postsecondary education, particularly coursework in accounting. However, some candidates can be hired with just a high school diploma.

Training

Bookkeeping, accounting, and auditing clerks usually get on-the-job training. Under the guidance of a supervisor or another experienced employee, new clerks learn how to do their tasks, including double-entry bookkeeping. In double-entry bookkeeping, each transaction is entered twice, once as a debit (cost) and once as a credit (income), to ensure that all accounts are balanced.

Some formal classroom training also may be necessary, such as training in specialized computer software. This on-the-job training typically takes around 6 months.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Some bookkeeping, accounting, and auditing clerks become certified. For those who do not have postsecondary education, certification is a particularly useful way to gain expertise in the field. The Certified Bookkeeper (CB) designation, awarded by the American Institute of Professional Bookkeepers, shows that those who have earned it have the skills and knowledge needed to carry out all bookkeeping tasks, including overseeing payroll and balancing accounts, according to accepted accounting procedures.

For certification, candidates must have at least 2 years of full-time bookkeeping experience or equivalent part-time work, pass a four-part exam, and adhere to a code of ethics.

The National Association of Certified Public Bookkeepers also offers certification. The Uniform Bookkeeper Certification Examination is an online test with 50 multiple-choice questions. Test takers must answer 75 percent of the questions correctly to pass the exam.

Advancement

With appropriate experience and education, some bookkeeping, accounting, and auditing clerks may become accountants or auditors.

Important Qualities

Computer skills. Bookkeeping, accounting, and auditing clerks need to be comfortable using computer spreadsheets and bookkeeping software.

Detail oriented. These clerks are responsible for producing accurate financial records. They must pay attention to detail in order to avoid making errors and recognize errors that others have made.

Integrity. Bookkeeping, accounting, and auditing clerks have control of an organization’s financial documentation, which they must use properly and keep confidential. It is vital that they keep records transparent and guard against misappropriating an organization’s funds.

Math skills. Bookkeeping, accounting, and auditing clerks deal with numbers daily and should be comfortable with basic arithmetic.

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Average Salary$39,712
Job Growth Rate-4%

Accounting Clerk Jobs

Accounting Clerk Career Paths

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Average Salary for an Accounting Clerk

Accounting Clerks in America make an average salary of $39,712 per year or $19 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $57,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $27,000 per year.
Average Salary
$39,712

Best Paying Cities

City
Average Salary

Recently Added Salaries

Job TitleCompanyCompanyStart DateSalary
State of North Carolina
Accounting Specialist
Accounting Specialist
State of North Carolina
State of North Carolina
07/31/2020
07/31/2020
$39,61107/31/2020
$39,611
University of Tennessee
Accounting Specialist III-Simulation Center (Chips)
Accounting Specialist III-Simulation Center (Chips)
University of Tennessee
University of Tennessee
07/30/2020
07/30/2020
$33,78907/30/2020
$33,789
Receptionist/Accounting Clerk-Mortgage Industry
Receptionist/Accounting Clerk-Mortgage Industry
Manpowergroup
Manpowergroup
07/29/2020
07/29/2020
$33,39207/29/2020
$33,392
Accounting Specialist or Accounting Technician
Accounting Specialist or Accounting Technician
State of Louisiana
State of Louisiana
07/29/2020
07/29/2020
$50,87707/29/2020
$50,877
Randstad
Accounting Clerk
Accounting Clerk
Randstad
Randstad
07/29/2020
07/29/2020
$31,30507/29/2020
$31,305
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Accounting Clerk Demographics

Gender

Female

75.0 %

Male

20.6 %

Unknown

4.4 %
Ethnicity

White

59.3 %

Hispanic or Latino

17.6 %

Black or African American

11.5 %
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

60.3 %

French

6.4 %

Mandarin

5.5 %
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Accounting Clerk Education

Schools

Strayer University

13.4 %

Kaplan University

9.9 %

University of Houston

6.3 %

Ashford University

6.0 %
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Majors

Accounting

41.9 %

Business

28.7 %

Finance

4.5 %

Health Care Administration

3.3 %
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Degrees

Bachelors

42.6 %

Associate

23.0 %

High School Diploma

14.3 %

Masters

8.3 %
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Entry Level Jobs For Becoming An Accounting Clerk

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Full Time
Part Time
Internship
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Top Skills For an Accounting Clerk

The skills section on your resume can be almost as important as the experience section, so you want it to be an accurate portrayal of what you can do. Luckily, we've found all of the skills you'll need so even if you don't have these skills yet, you know what you need to work on. Out of all the resumes we looked through, 12.5% of accounting clerks listed vendor invoices on their resume, but soft skills such as math skills and writing skills are important as well.

Best States For an Accounting Clerk

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as an accounting clerk. The best states for people in this position are New Jersey, California, Connecticut, and New York. Accounting clerks make the most in New Jersey with an average salary of $48,144. Whereas in California and Connecticut, they would average $47,669 and $46,602, respectively. While accounting clerks would only make an average of $46,147 in New York, you would still make more there than in the rest of the country. We determined these as the best states based on job availability and pay. By finding the median salary, cost of living, and using the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Location Quotient, we narrowed down our list of states to these four.

1. New Jersey

Total Accounting Clerk Jobs:
888
Highest 10% Earn:
$69,000
Location Quotient:
1.26
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

2. Connecticut

Total Accounting Clerk Jobs:
338
Highest 10% Earn:
$65,000
Location Quotient:
1.16
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

3. District of Columbia

Total Accounting Clerk Jobs:
173
Highest 10% Earn:
$79,000
Location Quotient:
0.96
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here
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Accounting Clerk Resumes

Designing and figuring out what to include on your resume can be tough, not to mention time-consuming. That's why we put together a guide that is designed to help you craft the perfect resume for becoming an accounting clerk. If you're needing extra inspiration, take a look through our selection of templates that are specific to your job.

At Zippia, we went through countless accounting clerk resumes and compiled some information about how best to optimize them. Here are some suggestions based on what we found, divided by the individual sections of the resume itself.

Learn How To Write an Accounting Clerk Resume

At Zippia, we went through countless accounting clerk resumes and compiled some information about how best to optimize them. Here are some suggestions based on what we found, divided by the individual sections of the resume itself.

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Top Accounting Clerk Employers

1. Robert Half International
4.5
Avg. Salary: 
$42,552
Accounting Clerks Hired: 
1,589+
2. Walmart
4.9
Avg. Salary: 
$33,061
Accounting Clerks Hired: 
521+
3. Wells Fargo
4.8
Avg. Salary: 
$42,050
Accounting Clerks Hired: 
409+
4. US Army
4.0
Avg. Salary: 
$53,674
Accounting Clerks Hired: 
319+
5. Bank of America
4.8
Avg. Salary: 
$56,114
Accounting Clerks Hired: 
256+
6. Kelly Services
4.5
Avg. Salary: 
$29,557
Accounting Clerks Hired: 
241+

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Recently Added Accounting Clerk Jobs

Updated October 2, 2020