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Bookkeeping, Auditing, & Accounting Clerks: Career, Salary and Education Information
Career Profile: What do Bookkeepers, Auditors and Accounting Clerks do?
The financial records of an entire company may be left in the capable hands of trained bookkeeping clerks, while accounting and auditing clerks typically have more specific tasks. Regardless of the individual task, these skilled professionals use computers and specialized programs to calculate and record the data they collect and compile.
Within the larger career fields, bookkeeping, auditing, and accounting clerks can have different specialties. Accounts payable and receivable clerks focus on one particular step of the billing or payment process. All clerks must keep careful, accurate records of their work.
A Day in the Life of Bookkeeping, Auditing, and Accounting Clerks
About 24 percent of bookkeeping, auditing, and accounting clerks worked part-time in 2006. Most clerks work traditional 40-hour work weeks, though some may work longer hours or late nights depending on the season and workload. During tax or audit time, overtime may be encouraged or even required.
Clerks are typically found in the standard office environment although some can work on-location in hotels, restaurants, or retail stores, logging overtime during vacation times and peak holiday seasons.
Training and Education
A high school diploma or its equivalent is generally required for bookkeeping, auditing, and accounting clerks. Hiring managers rarely require a bachelor's degree, but accounting coursework and relevant experience is considered a strong advantage for those hoping to work in the field.
Accounting coursework programs can be completed in a matter of months. Associate's degrees in the field typically take two years of full-time study and cover the fundamentals of bookkeeping, auditing, and accounting.
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Bookkeeping, Auditing, and Accounting Clerks Employment & Outlook
Over 2.1 million workers were employed as bookkeeping, auditing, and accounting clerks in 2006. Job opportunities in the industry are expected to grow 12 percent through 2016, about as fast as average for all careers, with about 264,000 careers added nationwide. The Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 calls for more transparency in the way public companies report finances, further increasing the need for trained, qualified bookkeeping, auditing, and accounting clerks.
As technology related to the field continues to improve and regulations are added to the financial system, these educated clerks may require more training to take advantage of advancement opportunities, which include office and administrative support and supervisory positions.
Typical Salary for Bookkeeping, Auditing, and Accounting Clerks
Mean annual wages for bookkeeping, auditing, and accounting clerks were $32,780 in 2007, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Top employers include accounting, tax preparation, bookkeeping, and payroll services, along with management positions and local government. Montana, South Dakota, and Wyoming reported the highest published employment concentrations in this field.
Bureau of Labor Statistics, Bookkeeping, Auditing, and Accounting Clerks
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