Accounting clerks are employees assigned to manage administrative and clerical tasks in the accounting department. Accounting clerks handle office accounting records and ensure that files are properly labeled and stored. They validate records and check whether these are updated. They also sort through documents to ensure that they are in their proper storage bins. Aside from document handling, they also help with creating and validating financial statements and bookkeeping. As such, accounting clerks should have a strong background in accounting to manage their tasks better.

Accounting Clerk Responsibilities

Here are examples of responsibilities from real accounting clerk resumes representing typical tasks they are likely to perform in their roles.

  • Manage revenue ledger including other subsidiary ledgers and responsible for the reconciliation of various income accounts to ensure accuracy of postings.
  • Perform balance sheet reconciliations and resolve open items by notifying employees and vendors of transaction discrepancies.
  • Assist in monthly financial close process by analyzing preliminary departmental expense reports and making necessary adjustments and accruals.
  • Develop a spreadsheet that pulls all data relate to project hours by operation from the ERP system.
  • Process all incoming payments receive via ACH, EFT, or the web; ensure accounts are accurately balance and reconcile.
  • Digitize proof of delivery receipts into ERP system (AS400) serving as an easy backup for employees to verify occurrence.
  • Devise powerful PowerPoint presentations for business development initiatives.
  • Conduct monthly staff meetings and prepare monthly PowerPoint presentations.
  • Enter invoices from various carriers into QuickBooks software for immediate reconciliation.
  • Apply GAAP fundamentals concerning financial and tax reporting procedures and analysis.
  • Plan and perform regularly schedule cycle counts of inventory and reconcile differences in QuickBooks.
  • Compile and organize client data for taxation and litigation purposes; reconcile bank statements.
  • Gain proficiency in utilization of PeopleSoft accounting software package and supervise two data entry clerks.
  • Participate in auditing financial statements and examining documents that support financial statements and GAAP procedures.
  • Create general ledger process for inventory receipt and accruals during the implementation of a new inventory management system.

Accounting Clerk Skills and Personality Traits

We calculated that 15% of Accounting Clerks are proficient in Data Entry, Customer Service, and Purchase Orders. They’re also known for soft skills such as Computer skills, Detail oriented, and Integrity.

We break down the percentage of Accounting Clerks that have these skills listed on their resume here:

  • Data Entry, 15%

    Analyzed inventory receipts for correct data entry and inventory movements by comparing reports to information that was entered into inventory.

  • Customer Service, 10%

    Provided excellent customer service and reception, communicated effectively with internal and external clients, managed special projects as assigned.

  • Purchase Orders, 9%

    Received, identified/matched and Processed purchase orders according to packing receipts received with merchandise.

  • Reconciliations, 6%

    Performed balance sheet reconciliations and resolved open items by notifying employees and vendors of transaction discrepancies.

  • Vendor Invoices, 6%

    Analyzed/reconciled vendor invoices/inventory receipts with operating reports.

  • QuickBooks, 3%

    Reconciled Accounts payable transactions through QuickBooks and organization-specific information systems for non-profit clients with multiple divisions throughout various jurisdictions.

Most accounting clerks list "data entry," "customer service," and "purchase orders" as skills on their resumes. We go into more details on the most important accounting clerk responsibilities here:

  • Computer skills can be considered to be the most important personality trait for an accounting clerk to have. According to a accounting clerk resume, "bookkeeping, accounting, and auditing clerks need to be comfortable using computer spreadsheets and bookkeeping software." Accounting clerks are able to use computer skills in the following example we gathered from a resume: "reconcile daily cash receipts with computer system, immediately resolving any discrepancies. "
  • While it may not be the most important skill, we found that many accounting clerk duties rely on detail oriented. This example from a accounting clerk explains why: "bookkeeping, accounting, and auditing clerks are responsible for producing accurate financial records." This resume example is just one of many ways accounting clerks are able to utilize detail oriented: "prepare bank deposits and generate daily deposit tracking report and balance the detail cash receipts into the cash subsidiary record. "
  • Accounting clerks are also known for integrity, which can be critical when it comes to performing their duties. An example of why this skill is important is shown by this snippet that we found in a accounting clerk resume: "bookkeeping, accounting, and auditing clerks have control of an organization’s financial documentation, which they must use properly and keep confidential" We also found this resume example that details how this skill is put to the test: "handled inquiries, disputes and reconciliation questions from lawyers and vendors regarding invoices, trust accounts and cash receipts. "
  • In order for certain accounting clerk responsibilities to be completed, the job requires the skill "math skills." According to an accounting clerk resume, "bookkeeping, accounting, and auditing clerks deal with numbers daily and should be comfortable with basic arithmetic." As an example, this snippet was taken directly from a resume about how this skill applies: "tracked departmental statistics on the volume of the monthly data entry work. "
  • See the full list of accounting clerk skills.

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    What Bookkeepers Do

    Bookkeepers are employees who are in charge of the company's general ledger. They are well-versed in basic accounting principles, and they apply these in their work. Bookkeepers manage the entry of items in the general ledger, assign items into their proper categories, and ensure that the entries are balanced. They also act as auditors by checking the accuracy and veracity of the receipts or vouchers in their possession before entering them into the system. Bookkeepers ensure that their files are up to date and free of errors.

    In this section, we take a look at the annual salaries of other professions. Take bookkeeper for example. On average, the bookkeepers annual salary is $1,654 higher than what accounting clerks make on average every year.

    While the salaries between these two careers can be different, they do share some of the same responsibilities. Employees in both accounting clerks and bookkeepers positions are skilled in data entry, customer service, and purchase orders.

    As far as similarities go, this is where it ends because an accounting clerk responsibility requires skills such as "quickbooks," "credit card payments," "ledgers," and "cash receipts." Whereas a bookkeeper is skilled in "payroll tax returns," "journal entries," "credit card accounts," and "sales tax." So if you're looking for what truly separates the two careers, you've found it.

    Bookkeepers really shine in the manufacturing industry with an average salary of $42,063. Whereas accounting clerks tend to make the most money in the government industry with an average salary of $40,064.

    On average, bookkeepers reach similar levels of education than accounting clerks. Bookkeepers are 0.1% less likely to earn a Master's Degree and 0.0% more likely to graduate with a Doctoral Degree.

    What Are The Duties Of a Clerk?

    Clerks are responsible for many of the general administrative tasks in the office. They are in charge of manning office telephone lines, managing incoming and outgoing mails, filing paperwork and other needed records, scheduling and documenting meetings, typing out documents when needed, disseminating memos and other official announcements, and keeping an inventory of office equipment and supplies. Clerks should have good office skills, communication skills, business writing skills, and time management skills. They should also be able to treat any document or paperwork they handle with confidentiality.

    Now we're going to look at the clerk profession. On average, clerks earn a $7,520 lower salary than accounting clerks a year.

    Not everything about these jobs is different. Take their skills, for example. Accounting clerks and clerks both include similar skills like "data entry," "customer service," and "bank deposits" on their resumes.

    In addition to the difference in salary, there are some other key differences that are worth noting. For example, accounting clerk responsibilities are more likely to require skills like "purchase orders," "reconciliations," "vendor invoices," and "quickbooks." Meanwhile, a clerk might be skilled in areas such as "basic math," "math," "cleanliness," and "pos." These differences highlight just how different the day-to-day in each role looks.

    On average, clerks earn a lower salary than accounting clerks. There are industries that support higher salaries in each profession respectively. Interestingly enough, clerks earn the most pay in the health care industry with an average salary of $31,380. Whereas, accounting clerks have higher paychecks in the government industry where they earn an average of $40,064.

    When it comes to the differences in education between the two professions, clerks tend to reach similar levels of education than accounting clerks. In fact, they're 2.0% less likely to graduate with a Master's Degree and 0.0% more likely to earn a Doctoral Degree.

    What Technology Do You Think Will Become More Important And Prevalent For Accountants In The Next 3-5 Years?


    Dr. Benjamin Hoffman Ph.D.

    Assistant Professor, Cleveland State University

    Any technology related to the analysis of big data in a way that can provide financial statement users with key takeaways.

    How an Accounts Payable Associate Compares

    An accounts payable associate is primarily responsible for processing bills and payments for a company, ensuring accuracy and timeliness. Moreover, they are also responsible for maintaining records of all transactions, liaising with external agencies, coordinating with different departments to gather data, receiving and monitoring invoices, and obtaining approval from managers or supervisors when it comes to payments as needed. An accounts payable associate may also produce financial reports and statements, create presentations, train new members of the workforce, and assist audits, all while adhering to the company's policies and regulations.

    The accounts payable associate profession generally makes a higher amount of money when compared to the average salary of accounting clerks. The difference in salaries is accounts payable associates making $587 higher than accounting clerks.

    While looking through the resumes of several accounting clerks and accounts payable associates we discovered that both professions have similar skills. These similarities include skills such as "data entry," "customer service," and "purchase orders," but they differ when it comes to other required skills.

    Some important key differences between the two careers are a few of the skills necessary to fulfill responsibilities. Some examples from accounting clerk resumes include skills like "hr," "credit card payments," "ledgers," and "cash receipts," whereas an accounts payable associate might be skilled in "journal entries," "vendor inquiries," "payment processing," and "credit card. "

    Interestingly enough, accounts payable associates earn the most pay in the construction industry, where they command an average salary of $42,366. As mentioned previously, accounting clerks highest annual salary comes from the government industry with an average salary of $40,064.

    Accounts payable associates typically study at similar levels compared with accounting clerks. For example, they're 0.1% more likely to graduate with a Master's Degree, and 0.0% more likely to earn a Doctoral Degree.

    Description Of a Junior Accountant

    Junior accountants maintain the financial records of companies through the analysis of their general ledger accounts and balance sheets. The accountant's post journal entries, maintain accounts receivable and payable, and update financial statements. They pay payroll every month, reconcile ledgers, and submit payroll taxes. The skills necessary for this job include analytical skills, problem-solving, information confidentiality, and proficiency in accounting software and technology. They are also expected to be detail-oriented.

    The fourth career we look at typically earns higher pay than accounting clerks. On average, junior accountants earn a difference of $11,761 higher per year.

    While both accounting clerks and junior accountants complete day-to-day tasks using similar skills like data entry, purchase orders, and reconciliations, the two careers also vary in other skills.

    Each job requires different skills like "customer service," "credit card payments," "cash receipts," and "bank statements," which might show up on an accounting clerk resume. Whereas junior accountant might include skills like "accruals," "balance sheet accounts," "gaap," and "income statement."

    In general, junior accountants make a higher salary in the construction industry with an average of $56,091. The highest accounting clerk annual salary stems from the government industry.

    In general, junior accountants reach similar levels of education when compared to accounting clerks resumes. Junior accountants are 3.6% more likely to earn their Master's Degree and 0.0% less likely to graduate with a Doctoral Degree.

    What an Accounting Clerk Does FAQs

    Is An Accounting Clerk An Accountant?

    No, an accounting clerk is not an accountant. An accounting clerk is an administrative support person to accountants and other more senior accounting staff members.

    Entry-level accounting clerks work as junior members of an accounting department and report to accountants or senior bookkeepers. Their responsibilities include entering financial information into databases, filing documents, and verifying the accuracy of invoice information and monthly statements.

    What Is Responsibility Accounting?

    Responsibility accounting is a system in which accounting costs and profits are assigned to the department of primary responsibility. This allows for a more accurate assessment of a company's strengths and weaknesses.

    What Is The Difference Between An Accounting Clerk And A Bookkeeper?

    The difference between accounting clerks and bookkeepers is typically in their level within the organization, with a bookkeeper generally being a higher-level position. Bookkeepers and accounting clerks both help manage a company's financial records.

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