Accounting clerks, also referred to as bookkeepers and finance clerks, are employed across a range of industries to assist in the preparation of accounts and the keeping of financial records. Entry requirements for accounting clerk roles vary but most employers favour candidates with five or more GCSE grades including mathematics.
Experience can be gained by finding temporary agency work either as an accountancy clerk or as an assistant to a clerk. As well as providing experience, many of these roles may lead to the offering of permanent positions should your performance be satisfactory. Temporary roles will also help improve your skills using programs such as Microsoft Access and Excel, which are used in many accountancy roles.
Many people take nationally recognised book-keeping qualifications before attempting to find work as finance clerks. These qualifications are managed by a range of organizations including the Association of Chartered Certified Accounts (ACCA), City and Guilds, the Institute of Certified Bookkeepers (ICB) and the Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT). Course are offered at skill levels of one to three and most courses can be taken part-time or through distant learning. Completing a diploma in an area such as Finance or Business Administration may also be useful for securing positions.
Duties and training
Typical duties of an accounting clerk include balancing accounts, processing receipts, payments and invoices, and completing VAT returns. Accounting clerks may also be required to maintain financial records using computer software, provide administrative support to qualified accounts, help process expense claims and assist with the preparing staff wages. Training for new accounting clerks usually takes place on the job. Some roles also allow you to take time off to study towards gaining more advanced accounting qualifications
Finance clerks working in larger firms often work as part of an accounting team. In such cases, a company may require you to specialise in a specific area of accountancy such as payroll, credit control or managing the sales and purchase ledgers. Within smaller firms, you may be required to fulfil all of these duties in addition to managing petty cash and monitoring a firm’s banking facilities.
Accounting clerks typically work normal nine to five shifts from Monday to Friday. Part-time roles and temporary agency work is also readily available. Self-employed clerks have more flexibility with their working hours. Many accounting clerks are often asked to work some evenings or weekends to catch up on outstanding work, especially during busy periods.
According the National Careers Services UK government website, the starting salary for an accounting clerk is around £15,000. This can increase to as much as £22,000 after just a year of work experience. Advancing to the role of senior finance clerk can yield salaries as high as £25,000 while account managers can earn in excess of £35,000.
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