Bookkeeping Clerk Job Description
As behind-the-scenes operators in a wide and diverse range of companies, bookkeeping clerks track and record organizations’ expenses and income to provide short- and long-term financial data. This is a basic accounting position requiring some mathematical aptitude, and computer savvy, and a high level of organization.
Bookkeeping clerks are employed in every type of industry. Depending on the size of the organization, they may report to an accounting manager or to the owner of the business itself. This position is generally in an office setting, though bookkeeping clerks can work remotely as well.
Bookkeeping Clerk Duties and Responsibilities
Regardless of the industry or type of business, bookkeeping clerks oversee an organization’s day-to-day business transactions. They record and document all income and expenses. Based on our review of job postings, these are the most common bookkeeping clerk duties:
Receive and File Invoices
Bookkeeping clerks are charged with reviewing, receiving, and filing business invoices. This may include interfacing with clients or communicating with other staff and management to track down missing invoices.
Oversee Vendor Transactions
Many bookkeeping clerks also manage vendor transactions. Sending and paying invoices as well as ensuring their companies receive payment may be part of these duties.
Maintain a General Ledger
Bookkeeping clerks track organizations’ income and expenses to ensure financial accuracy. If discrepancies are found, these professionals reconcile the differences.
Assist in Creation of Reports
When companies create financial reports for shareholders, taxes, or other purposes, they often rely on bookkeeping clerks to provide pertinent information, analyze numbers, and aid in authoring.
Track Client Records
Recording and organizing all transactions from clients include basic data entry and may require some communication with internal team members and external clients.
Assist in Audits
Bookkeeping clerks provide financial records and other support for companies being audited or reevaluating their spending and revenue.
Bookkeeping Clerk Skills and Qualifications
Successful bookkeeping clerks excel in mathematics and have a mixture of organizational, analytical, and clerical skills, some of which include:
- Accounts payable/receiving experience – bookkeeping clerks may be required to manage multiple accounts simultaneously, making previous experience in tracking expenditures and revenue highly desirable
- Mathematics – when tracking income and expenses, there is a need for basic mathematics skills. As a bookkeeping clerk’s responsibilities increase to include analysis, stronger math skills become more necessary
- Data entry – bookkeeping clerks are required to document finances, including the use of spreadsheets and a high amount of typing, formatting, and other data entry tasks
- Customer service – as a company’s financial gatekeeper, bookkeeping clerks often have to speak with clients to reconcile accounts
- Organization – having a record of financial transactions ready to go at a moment’s notice is difficult without an effective organizational system. Successful bookkeeping clerks are highly organized.
- Detail oriented – With hundreds of thousands and even millions of dollars in daily, monthly, and annual transactions, it’s easy for inaccuracies to go unnoticed; bookkeeping clerks pay attention to the details
- Analytic thinking – at times, bookkeeping clerks are asked to look beyond the numbers and offer analysis to help management make financial decisions
Bookkeeping Clerk Tools of the Trade
Bookkeeping clerks need to be efficient with a calculator and will use the following computer software on a regular basis:
- Accounting programs (QuickBooks, Quicken, Microsoft Dynamics, etc.)
- Microsoft Office (primarily Word and Excel)
Bookkeeping Education and Training
While many bookkeeping clerks have bachelor’s degrees in accounting or another related field, it is not uncommon for one to have only a high school diploma. Candidates looking to advance quickly would be best served by attaining some higher education or completing a certification.
Bookkeeping Salary and Outlook
A bookkeeping clerk is often an entry-level or mid-level position for individuals looking to advance to higher paying accounting jobs. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, bookkeeping clerks earn a median annual salary of $38,390 or $18.46 per hour. Glassdoor reports an average salary of $34,677, with income ranging from a low of $24,000 and topping out at $49,000 annually.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a one percent decrease in the overall demand for bookkeeping clerks by 2026.
Bookkeeping Clerk Helpful Resources
We’ve identified resources that will help you break in and grow as a bookkeeping clerk. This list includes training sites, certification organizations, and a resource for advertising your freelance work:
American Institute of Bookkeepers – The American Institute of Bookkeepers is a national certification organization for bookkeeping clerks.
National Bookkeeping Association – Training and certification organization for bookkeepers.
Upwork – Site for advertising freelance bookkeeping services.
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