Bookkeeping, accounting, and auditing clerks maintain accurate financial records for their employers by counting and arranging numbers and figures. Those with less experience use 10-key calculators, typewriters, and copy machines, while those with more experience may use computers and accounting software packages. Bookkeeping clerks maintain records of accounts and financial arrangements by verifying and entering information into computers or ledgers, balancing the books, compiling reports and statements, balancing checkbooks monthly, and calculating employee wages. Accounting clerks, also known as accounts payable clerks, accounts receivable clerks, or assistant bookkeepers, keep up-to-date records of financial and statistical documents by calculating, posting, and verifying financial data. Auditing clerks verify the accuracy of other workers’ figures and calculations. They verify expense accounts, commissions payments, cash receipts, bank records, and inventory records, and correct any mistakes that need to be corrected.
Bookkeeping, accounting, and auditing clerks need to have an aptitude for mathematics and be able to use a 10-key adding machine. They need to be very detail-oriented and be able to complete their work with an extremely high degree of accuracy. Employers look for people with good communication skills and the ability to use computers. They must also be willing to sit for lengthy periods of time and complete a high volume of mathematical calculations. In the hotel, restaurant, or sales industries, they may be required to work longer hours during particular seasons, such as holidays or vacations.
The income of bookkeeping, accounting, and auditing clerks depends on a number of factors such as location, experience, level of responsibility, and skills. Entry level clerks may start at minimum wage up to $11.50 per hour. More experienced clerks may make up to $14.00 per hour, while clerks who work more than three years with a particular firm may make up to $19.50 per hour. They usually work a standard 40-hour work week, with occasional overtime. Some employers offer benefits such as paid vacations and sick leave, life and health insurance, bonuses, participation in a credit union, or retirement and profit sharing plans.
Training and Education
While most employers require a high school diploma, some look for candidates who have a degree from a business school or community college. Others prefer candidates with at least two years of bookkeeping experience. Training in typing, bookkeeping, and computer accounting are recommended. Many employers provide on-the-job training through work-experience programs at schools such as high school Regional Occupational Programs (ROP). This type of training can be highly advantageous in finding and securing a job after graduation.
Job opportunity for bookkeeping, accounting, and auditing clerks is expected to grow about as fast as the average. New jobs will account for some of the growth, while job openings resulting from workers retiring or changing occupations will account for the rest. Job growth will be somewhat tempered by the increased use of computers and automation, creating organizational structures that requires fewer workers. This also means that job opportunity will be best for those workers who possess the necessary computer skills.