Accounting Clerk Skills

The accounting clerk position is often underrated as it is an entry-level position at the bottom of the accounting department hierarchy; however, accounting clerks have one of the most important jobs in the department as they are directly in charge of managing financial information and ensuring the accuracy and integrity of said data. Accounting clerks have a wide variety of skills that are suited to their sectors, and these skills are very transferable to higher positions in the department as they grow and develop their professional careers. Some important accounting clerk skills include integrity, computer skills, familiarity with enterprise resource planning software (ERP), critical thinking ability, and flexibility. Accounting clerks are responsible, adaptable, and up for the challenge posed by keeping track of large amounts of financial information.

Is an accounting clerk a bookkeeper?


Accounting clerks and bookkeepers occupy similar positions within an accounting department. They are both entry-level positions that require data entry, recordkeeping, and sometimes the creation of reports. The accounting clerk job description and bookkeeper description are sometimes the same, especially in smaller organizations; however, in larger firms, the two positions are more distinct, with each covering a certain area, such as pure data entry or only creating reports. Additionally, accounting clerks may have specialized positions such as billings, credit, invoicing, accounts payable or receivable, or collections. There is a large amount of diversity in the position and job descriptions depending on the organization a clerk or a bookkeeper is employed by.

The distinction between accounting clerks and bookkeepers mostly occurs in larger organizations that require both positions. In this case, the bookkeeper position is usually described as being more responsible for the recording and reconciliation of the raw financial data, while a clerk will handle the reporting and interpreting. Clerks may also assist superiors in the department in creating strategies based on the data to guide future financial decisions within the organization. Regarding the bookkeeper versus accountant salary, in entry-level positions, the starting salary for nearly all members of the accounting department ranges between $45,000 and $62,000. This is above the national average starting salary, so accounting may be a great career for those looking to be fairly rewarded for their work.

As accounting clerks gain experience and perhaps pursue further education, they will likely be rewarded with increased responsibility. If they succeed in handling the responsibilities they are given, they will likely be promoted to higher positions within the company or organization. The upward mobility in accounting departments is a great feature of the career field that allows even the most inexperienced starting out to reach whatever level of seniority they desire by the end of their career.

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Which clerk salary is highest?


There are many different forms of accounting clerk duties and responsibilities, which can be grouped into a variety of specializations depending on the needs of the organization. Some common accounting clerk jobs include:

  • Accounting Specialists: Specialists may be placed in charge of the clerical tasks for one branch of a department or have a more generalized role in helping their superiors generate reports.
  • Accounts Payable Clerks: These clerks work with expenses. Their disposition is all about reconciling expenses, updating account balances, and using their keen eye to fix any discrepancies and investigate their cause.
  • Accounts Receivable Clerks: They are tasked with managing client payments and other transactions that generate profit for the company. Their responsibilities may include creating customer invoices and ensuring they are paid.
  • Administrative Accounting Clerks: These clerks generally perform a variety of tasks, though their main duty involves bookkeeping. The administrative accounting clerk job description generally includes details such as maintaining financial records, recording transactions within the business, and generating reports.
  • Credit Specialists: They work almost solely with the company or organization’s lending capabilities. These people oversee ensuring that the organization is paid back from credit lines that are extended, as well as reconciling loans generated by the organization.

The highest-paid accounting clerk in an organization is usually not determined by the specific title of the clerk. So, any of these positions could be a great starting point if you’re interested in becoming part of the accounting career field. In general, the accounting clerk salary varies by organization and level of experience within the field of accounting. Generally, higher levels of education and experience will be awarded with higher pay. As accounting clerks gain experience, they are usually awarded professional advancement opportunities.

Accounting clerks should not be afraid to ask for greater responsibilities and compensation for their work as they become more valuable members of the team by seeking responsibility and acquiring education and experience. Responsible firms try their best to reward growth, so asking for reasonable pay increases and promotions may be helpful if it feels as though your work is being overlooked. Most professionals support the idea of asking for a raise once a year if you haven’t been awarded one yet.


What are the five job qualities of a clerk?

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While the character traits and skills for a successful accounting clerk may not be specifically outlined in an accounting clerk job description, successful accounting clerks have several qualities that, when combined, create the perfect disposition for performing clerical duties. In the business world, these job qualities are usually known as hard and soft skills. Hard skills refer to the more technical abilities learned through education and experience, while soft skills describe traits that are less tangible but still play an important role in the working environment, such as teamwork and flexibility. The five important job qualities of a clerk are:


  • Integrity: This describes the honesty of a person as well as their sense of justice and willingness to ensure that business operates within regulations and the law. Integrity is particularly crucial in data entry and reporting processes as they impact the overall functioning of an accounting department.
  • Communication Skills: Communication holds varying levels of importance depending on the occupation; however, if there is any interaction with the public, other team members, or different teams, strong verbal and written communication skills help accounting clerks collaborate effectively.
  • Critical Thinking Skills: These involve rational thought and decision-making abilities. Having the confidence and knowledge to make responsible choices as an accounting clerk can save time and ensure that the job is completed efficiently and with integrity.
  • Organizational Ability: Organization is one of the most important job qualities for accounting clerks as they handle large amounts of information daily and need to process it in a timely manner. Without organization, there is a high likelihood of mishaps and discrepancies.
  • Technology Familiarity: This is growing more important each day, as accounting departments have become predominantly digital. Having a basic understanding of computer processes allows accounting clerks to be flexible in learning more complex operations without stress.
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The job description of specific clerk positions varies greatly by industry, organization, and experience. For any position, these qualities listed will be necessary in varying amounts. Reading job descriptions and emphasizing the desired qualities for a particular position can be a great strategy for building a resume tailored to the job. If you are looking to improve any of these skills, the first step is being honest with yourself about your strengths and weaknesses. Once you identify and acknowledge your strengths, you can work on developing weaker qualities through practice and education. Some ways to work on these qualities include reading, self-reflection, watching educational videos, and practicing a little bit every day; it adds up!

What are the duties of an accounts clerk?

Accounting clerk duties and responsibilities are deeply connected to the tasks they perform. This list of accounting clerk duties and responsibilities varies by organization and sector, but many qualities remain the same along with the duties that require them. The general accounting clerk job description will include clerical tasks such as data entry and possibly communication with clients and other financial entities to reconcile financial data. Some accounting clerk positions will require familiarity with enterprise resource planning software, which helps businesses keep track of all four elements of their finances, including assets, liabilities, profits, and expenses. The ability to process large amounts of data accurately and efficiently remains one of the most important qualifications of an accounting clerk.

Beyond clerical duties, accounting clerks are often tasked with generating reports and providing advice to the management of the organization. Report generation generally utilizes ERP software to analyze trends, reflect on previous financial decisions, discuss recent profits and losses, and identify potential areas of improvement. Each organization will require a different type of report, so being flexible and ready to present any necessary information will help you avoid stress in any accounting clerk position. Once reports are generated, areas of improvement can be noted, and accounting clerks can communicate with their team to generate strategies based on this data that can improve the financial standing of the organization.


Another crucial task that accounting clerks may perform is data reconciliation. It’s a fact of life that data entry can sometimes be messy with small mistakes and discrepancies, even for the most experienced accounting clerks. However, the ability to recognize these anomalies and uncover the correct information defines the characteristics of a successful clerk. Once a clerical mistake is discovered, it is the responsibility of the clerk to locate the documentation of the data and rectify the situation, calling in superiors if necessary.

What does an entry level account payable clerk do?

The accounting clerk job description for accounts payable usually includes duties and responsibilities such as receiving invoices, processing them, entering data into the financial management system, and reconciling the information. Additional tasks of accounts payable clerks may include paying bills for companies, sending invoices, and creating better processes for handling financial data tailored to a specific organization’s needs. The entry-level accounts payable position is usually responsible for the more clerical tasks involving raw data. However, as they gain experience and education, accounts payable clerks may be tasked with more creative endeavors such as improving department organization and creating new data processes.

Accounting is a stable and regular career that allows people to work regular hours and feel satisfied that their tasks are completed proficiently at the end of the day. A typical day in the life of an entry-level accounts payable clerk generally follows a specific order set by the organization. For example, in the mornings, an entry-level accounts payable clerk might enter invoices and transactions into the system. Once this task is completed, they will likely spend time reconciling data. Afterward, they may work on generating reports depending on the time of the month or assist clients and other organizations in creating accounts within the firm.


Final Thoughts

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Accounting has been around for as long as money, and this career field remains prominent in the modern world, especially in larger businesses and organizations. The accurate record-keeping of financials ensures that organizations are functioning legally and responsibly. Additionally, accounting allows for the improvement of the company through the investigation of previous strategies and the improvement upon them. For many people, accounting is a very interesting career field that provides sufficient challenge, job satisfaction, and stability. Accounting as a career can be a very fulfilling lifelong career as it provides variety as well as opportunities for upward mobility through the organizational hierarchy. Additionally, accounting provides the opportunity for growth and professional development, as well as starting a side hustle or pursuing other endeavors, as the skills acquired through accounting experience are transferable to many alternative career paths.

Generally, most accountants start out in clerical or assistant positions. While these are entry-level jobs, they are crucial to the functioning of the organization, as they dictate the success of all other financial processes. Successful accounting clerks are responsible, rational, and dedicated to their careers, promoting integrity and accuracy within the department. If you are interested in entering the field of accounting, seeking a position as a clerk can be a great way to get involved and learn the ropes. However, a clerical position may not be suitable for everyone, so conducting research to determine the right path within the accounting career field is important.