Bookkeeping, Accounting, and Auditing Clerks

Compute, classify, and record numerical data to keep financial records complete. Perform any combination of routine calculating, posting, and verifying duties to obtain primary financial data for use in maintaining accounting records. May also check the accuracy of figures, calculations, and postings pertaining to business transactions recorded by other workers.

Sample of reported job titles: Account Clerk, Accounting Assistant, Accounting Associate, Accounting Clerk, Accounting Specialist, Accounting Technician, Accounts Payable Clerk, Accounts Payable Specialist, Accounts Payables Clerk, Accounts Receivable Clerk

Occupation-Specific Information

Tasks

  • Operate computers programmed with accounting software to record, store, and analyze information.
  • Check figures, postings, and documents for correct entry, mathematical accuracy, and proper codes.
  • Comply with federal, state, and company policies, procedures, and regulations.
  • Operate 10-key calculators, typewriters, and copy machines to perform calculations and produce documents.
  • Receive, record, and bank cash, checks, and vouchers.
  • Code documents according to company procedures.
  • Perform financial calculations, such as amounts due, interest charges, balances, discounts, equity, and principal.
  • Reconcile or note and report discrepancies found in records.
  • Perform general office duties, such as filing, answering telephones, and handling routine correspondence.
  • Access computerized financial information to answer general questions as well as those related to specific accounts.
  • Classify, record, and summarize numerical and financial data to compile and keep financial records, using journals and ledgers or computers.
  • Debit, credit, and total accounts on computer spreadsheets and databases, using specialized accounting software.
  • Match order forms with invoices, and record the necessary information.
  • Perform personal bookkeeping services.
  • Prepare and process payroll information.
  • Prepare bank deposits by compiling data from cashiers, verifying and balancing receipts, and sending cash, checks, or other forms of payment to banks.
  • Compute deductions for income and social security taxes.
  • Calculate and prepare checks for utilities, taxes, and other payments.
  • Monitor status of loans and accounts to ensure that payments are up to date.
  • Reconcile records of bank transactions.
  • Compile budget data and documents, based on estimated revenues and expenses and previous budgets.
  • Compare computer printouts to manually maintained journals to determine if they match.
  • Transfer details from separate journals to general ledgers or data processing sheets.
  • Complete and submit tax forms and returns, workers' compensation forms, pension contribution forms, and other government documents.
  • Calculate, prepare, and issue bills, invoices, account statements, and other financial statements according to established procedures.
  • Calculate costs of materials, overhead, and other expenses, based on estimates, quotations and price lists.
  • Prepare purchase orders and expense reports.
  • Prepare trial balances of books.
  • Compile statistical, financial, accounting, or auditing reports and tables pertaining to such matters as cash receipts, expenditures, accounts payable and receivable, and profits and losses.
  • Maintain inventory records.

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Technology Skills

  • Accounting software — Fund accounting software; Intuit QuickBooks In-Demand Hot technology ; Sage 50 Accounting; Tax software; 31 more
  • Business intelligence and data analysis software — IBM Cognos Impromptu
  • Cloud-based data access and sharing software — Dropbox; Google Drive; Microsoft SharePoint Hot technology
  • Compliance software — Corporate Responsibility System Technologies Limited CRSTL Compliance Positioning System; Financial compliance software; Intrax ProcedureNet; Sage EDP Payroll Tax; 3 more
  • Customer relationship management CRM software — Act!; Blackbaud The Raiser's Edge
  • Data base reporting software — SAP Crystal Reports
  • Data base user interface and query software — Database software; Microsoft Access Hot technology ; Oracle Database Hot technology ; Yardi software Hot technology ; 3 more
  • Desktop communications software — Skype
  • Desktop publishing software — Microsoft Publisher
  • Document management software — Adobe Systems Adobe Acrobat Hot technology ; Document management system software; OmniRIM Records Management Suite; Records management software; 1 more
  • Electronic mail software — IBM Notes; Microsoft Exchange; Microsoft Outlook In-Demand Hot technology
  • Enterprise application integration software — SAP BusinessObjects Data Integrator
  • Enterprise resource planning ERP software — AcornSystems Corporate Performance Management; Microsoft Dynamics Hot technology ; Sage 100 ERP; SAP software Hot technology ; 12 more
  • Financial analysis software — Delphi Technology; Oracle E-Business Suite Financials; RSM McGladrey Advanced Practice Solutions Paperless Audit; RSM McGladrey Auditor Assistant; 6 more
  • Human resources software — ADP Workforce Now; Human resource management software HRMS
  • Information retrieval or search software — LexisNexis
  • Internet browser software — Microsoft Internet Explorer
  • Medical software — Epic Systems Hot technology ; Medical condition coding software; Medical procedure coding software; MEDITECH software; 1 more
  • Office suite software — Microsoft Office software In-Demand Hot technology
  • Operating system software — Microsoft Windows Hot technology
  • Presentation software — Microsoft PowerPoint Hot technology
  • Project management software — HCSS HeavyBid; HCSS HeavyJob; Microsoft Project Hot technology
  • Spreadsheet software — Microsoft Excel In-Demand Hot technology
  • Time accounting software — ADP Pay eXpert; HMS; Payroll software
  • Transaction server software — Customer information control system CICS; Tumbleweed SecureTransport
  • Video conferencing software — FaceTime
  • Word processing software — Google Docs Hot technology ; Microsoft Word In-Demand Hot technology
Hot technology
Hot Technologies are requirements most frequently included across all employer job postings.
In demand
In Demand skills are frequently included in employer job postings for this occupation.

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Occupational Requirements

Work Activities

  • Working with Computers — Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
  • Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
  • Documenting/Recording Information — Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships — Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
  • Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
  • Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work — Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
  • Processing Information — Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
  • Performing Administrative Activities — Performing day-to-day administrative tasks such as maintaining information files and processing paperwork.
  • Communicating with People Outside the Organization — Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
  • Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards — Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
  • Monitoring Processes, Materials, or Surroundings — Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
  • Analyzing Data or Information — Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.
  • Performing for or Working Directly with the Public — Performing for people or dealing directly with the public. This includes serving customers in restaurants and stores, and receiving clients or guests.
  • Resolving Conflicts and Negotiating with Others — Handling complaints, settling disputes, and resolving grievances and conflicts, or otherwise negotiating with others.

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Detailed Work Activities

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Work Context

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Experience Requirements

Job Zone

Title
Job Zone Three: Medium Preparation Needed
Education
Most occupations in this zone require training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience, or an associate's degree.
Related Experience
Previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required for these occupations. For example, an electrician must have completed three or four years of apprenticeship or several years of vocational training, and often must have passed a licensing exam, in order to perform the job.
Job Training
Employees in these occupations usually need one or two years of training involving both on-the-job experience and informal training with experienced workers. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.
Job Zone Examples
These occupations usually involve using communication and organizational skills to coordinate, supervise, manage, or train others to accomplish goals. Examples include hydroelectric production managers, desktop publishers, electricians, agricultural technicians, barbers, court reporters and simultaneous captioners, and medical assistants.
SVP Range
1-2 years of preparation (6.0 to < 7.0)

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Training & Credentials

State training
Local training
Certifications
Apprenticeships
Have a career path or location in mind? Visit Apprenticeship.gov external site to find apprenticeship opportunities near you.

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Worker Requirements

Skills

  • Mathematics — Using mathematics to solve problems.
  • Active Listening — Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions, or approaches to problems.
  • Reading Comprehension — Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work-related documents.
  • Speaking — Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Writing — Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
  • Monitoring — Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
  • Time Management — Managing one's own time and the time of others.

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Knowledge

  • Customer and Personal Service — Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
  • Administrative — Knowledge of administrative and office procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and workplace terminology.
  • Mathematics — Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
  • Economics and Accounting — Knowledge of economic and accounting principles and practices, the financial markets, banking, and the analysis and reporting of financial data.
  • English Language — Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Computers and Electronics — Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.

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Education

How much education does a new hire need to perform a job in this occupation? Respondents said:

  • 41%
     
    responded: High school diploma or equivalent requiredmore info
  • 21%
     
    responded: Post-secondary certificate required
  • 12%
     
    responded: Bachelor’s degree required

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Worker Characteristics

Abilities

  • Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Mathematical Reasoning — The ability to choose the right mathematical methods or formulas to solve a problem.
  • Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
  • Written Comprehension — The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
  • Written Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
  • Number Facility — The ability to add, subtract, multiply, or divide quickly and correctly.
  • Oral Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • Problem Sensitivity — The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing that there is a problem.
  • Category Flexibility — The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
  • Inductive Reasoning — The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
  • Information Ordering — The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
  • Speech Recognition — The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
  • Deductive Reasoning — The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
  • Selective Attention — The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted.
  • Speech Clarity — The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.

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Interests

Interest code: CE
Want to discover your interests? Take the O*NET Interest Profiler at My Next Move.
  • Conventional — Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.
  • Enterprising — Enterprising occupations frequently involve starting up and carrying out projects. These occupations can involve leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.

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Work Values

  • Support — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical.
  • Relationships — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment. Corresponding needs are Co-workers, Moral Values and Social Service.
  • Achievement — Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment. Corresponding needs are Ability Utilization and Achievement.

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Work Styles

  • Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
  • Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
  • Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical.
  • Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
  • Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
  • Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
  • Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
  • Concern for Others — Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
  • Independence — Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
  • Leadership — Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
  • Self-Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
  • Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high-stress situations.
  • Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
  • Analytical Thinking — Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
  • Social Orientation — Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job.
  • Innovation — Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.

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Workforce Characteristics

Wages & Employment Trends

Median wages (2021)
$21.90 hourly, $45,560 annual
State wages
Local wages
Employment (2021)
1,707,800 employees
Projected growth (2021-2031)
Decline (-2% or lower)
Projected job openings (2021-2031)
197,600
State trends
Top industries (2021)

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2021 wage data external site and 2021-2031 employment projections external site. “Projected growth” represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2021-2031). “Projected job openings” represent openings due to growth and replacement.

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Job Openings on the Web

State job openings
Local job openings

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More Information

Related Occupations

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Sources of Additional Information

Disclaimer: Sources are listed to provide additional information on related jobs, specialties, and/or industries. Links to non-DOL Internet sites are provided for your convenience and do not constitute an endorsement.

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