Accounting clerks never go out of style, whether they are temporary positions or full time. But are their salary ranges moving up the way they are in the rest of the finance and accounting world?
Large businesses, small firms, government agencies and nonprofits all need accounting clerks with experience, soft skills and an eye for detail. And because the demand for accounting jobs has strengthened, newly minted accounting professionals can be optimistic about finding the perfect fit for a higher salary than last year.
Here’s what you need to know about accounting clerk salaries, duties, expectations and skills.
Salary benchmarks for accounting clerks
According to the 2018 Robert Half Salary Guide, the midpoint salary for an accounting clerk is $34,000.
At the midpoint, candidates have average experience with the necessary experience level, skills and expertise to meet the job requirements. Job complexity, duties and the competition for talent are considered moderate.
Aside from company size and industry, an important factor that can influence your pay as an accounting clerk is your location.
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Duties and expectations
Accounting clerks are the financial record keepers in an organization, using ledgers and software to record expenses, payroll and other financial transactions. They also provide clerical and accounting support while maintaining accurate records and files, processing invoices and managing data.
In a larger company, an accounting clerk may specialize in a specific area like accounts payable, accounts receivable or payroll.
An accounts payable (A/P) clerk updates and maintains records concerning all expenses, from credit card payments to employee reimbursement reports. An A/P clerk also processes, reviews and assures that payments are sent, both internally and externally.
An accounts receiving (A/R) clerk monitors payment activity, prepares and submits invoices, and deposit receipts. An A/R clerk also ensures that invoices are paid and accurately monitors payment and history of clients.
A payroll accounting clerk collects and processes time cards, calculates taxes and prepares payroll checks. Payroll professionals should know applicable income tax laws and regulations in accordance with making sure that time cards are accurate.
Professional experience and skills
An accounting clerk needs a keen eye for detail, the ability to perform advanced mathematics and a thorough understanding of accounting software, including Microsoft Excel and QuickBooks. Oracle experience is often a plus at many organizations.
An accounting clerk should also be familiar with standard concepts, practices and procedures within the industry or a specific field. Much of this knowledge is gained on the job. Aside from technical skills, many organizations look for candidates who bring a variety of soft skills to the table, like critical thinking skills, communication abilities and the willingness to embrace new methodologies.
The experience and skills needed to be an accounting clerk vary depending on the industry and specific position. Some organizations will accept a skilled applicant with a high school diploma, plus some related experience or coursework. Others may seek candidates with an associate’s degree or related certification. A senior accounting clerk requires several years of experience in addition to a degree or certification.
Are you ready to take a closer look at your accounting clerk salary?
Editor's note: This post was updated recently to reflect information from the 2018 Salary Guide.