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An accounting clerk usually has a specialized accounting position in an organization and manages a certain type of account for the organization's accounting team. Some entry-level positions may involve performing general bookkeeping tasks, while more advanced accounting clerks might verify information to ensure its accuracy. You'll need to have the proper training and college education for both entry-level and specialized accounting clerk positions. You'll also need to have attention to detail and be comfortable dealing with large amounts of calculations if you intend to become an accounting clerk.
Although some employers don't require it, you'll benefit from earning at least an associate's degree in business or accounting. Not only will you learn basic bookkeeping skills, but you'll also have a degree that will benefit you if you want a promotion from an entry-level accounting clerk's position. If you plan to work with a specialized type of account, including accounts payable and accounts receivable, some employers require an associate's degree as the minimum educational requirement for these positions. In addition to learning accounting skills, you'll also learn how to use popular accounting software used at home and in businesses. This also is necessary if you want to become an accounting clerk in most businesses.
The learning process does not stop in the classroom, because most companies train you on the job, especially if the company uses specialized software. If you want to become an accounting clerk, you may have to spend some time doing basic accounting tasks before gaining the position you want. Although the years of experience required for such jobs does vary, you may find that more experience is required for specialized accounting clerk's positions. After working in the field for a while, you may want to gain an industry certification or take some extra courses to help you progress to more specialized positions.
Although having the necessary accounting skills is critical, you should also have other skills to become an accounting clerk. A job in accounting requires a lot of multitasking, so you'll need to be able to handle large amounts of paperwork and calculations. Another critical requirement is that you are accurate in your calculations and can pay great attention to detail, especially if your job involves reviewing the reports of others and looking for mistakes that could harm the company legally or financially. Finally, critical thinking skills are also very important if you have to prepare the company's financial reports and analyze the information.
@MrMoody - Would it be better to become a bookkeeper, or go on and get your degree and become a CPA?
I think the money is in the CPA field. My cousin recently got hired on with a big 8 accounting firm, and he’s working on his CPA exam. He loves it, and as I said the money’s good.
On the other hand, as an accounting clerk, you don’t have the levels of stress that a CPA might have. I don’t suppose you could get sued either, although you could certainly be fired.
The money is not as great, but there is always a big demand for clerks. I think it would be a good way for you to get your foot in the door. You could determine from there whether you love it so much that you want to be a full fledged accountant, or just remain as a clerk.
I don’t know if he holds the title, but in our small business the person in charge of human resources also does the accounting bookkeeping.
He is involved in payroll and also helps to prepare the financial statements. Like the article says, you have to become computer literate and in our business we have some accounting software packages where we have offloaded a lot of these tasks.
The HR guy just needs to know how to use the software modules and prepare reports as needed.
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