What is a Bookkeeping Clerk?

If you would like to work in finance and you want to get into the field as soon as possible, you may want to consider gaining your experience in finance as you work as a bookkeeping clerk. Bookkeeping clerks are entry-level finance professionals who work in a company or an organization and who keep up the books. While both bookkeeping professionals and accounting professionals both work in finance, their roles are very different.

What Does a Bookkeeper Do?

A bookkeeper is responsible for recording all of the financial transactions that are made within a small or medium-sized company. The bookkeeper may record and organize information but they do not analyze data or use the recorded information for other processes that are performed within the accounting department.

What Are Some of the Day-to-Day Duties of Bookkeeping Clerks?

The daily duties of bookkeeping professionals are dependent on the type of organization that you work for and its size. It is easy to confuse the tasks performed by an accountant and a bookkeeper, but the actual responsibilities are very different. Here are the primary responsibilities of bookkeepers who record financial transactions:

  • Update and maintain accounting records after making daily computations
  • Prepare financial reports and summaries for the accounting clerk to review
  • Prepare bank deposits if cash is handled onsite
  • Enter financial transactions into the running accounting ledger to be balanced
  • Handle payroll
  • Prepare invoices for accounts receivables
  • Verify client financial data for receivables
  • Refer the accounts that are overdue to a collections agency
  • Calculate department or company expenditures
  • Send cash and checks to the bank
  • Post debits and credits to keep records up-to-date

What is the Difference Between the Bookkeeper and the Accountant?

An accountant has a more specialized role than a bookkeeper. If you do not understand the difference between accountants and bookkeepers, it is important to learn now, according to Business News Daily. Instead of records daily financial transactions in the general ledger like a bookkeeper does, an accountant verifies data and then generates reports for review by the IRS or company stakeholders. It is the accountant’s role to look at the big picture and it is the bookkeeper’s role to generate data related to the financial activities of the company.

How do you Become a Bookkeeping Clerk?

Getting a job as a bookkeeper does not require a great deal of education. If you want to start a career in finance and you are not interested in going to school for several years, becoming a bookkeeper is a good option. Some employers will hire candidates who possess nothing more than a high school diploma. Other employers prefer clerks who have completed postsecondary training prior to working for the organization. If you are not interested in paying for your own college or vocational training, you should look for an organization that has good on-the-job training.

Related Resource: Auditing Clerk

Bookkeeping clerks an average of $37,250 per year, with professionals in the to 10th percentile earning around $57,920 per year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Since you aren’t required to hold a degree to work as a clerk, this salary is high compared to salaries reported in other fields that require more academic training. If you want to start an entry-level career in finance, consider becoming a bookkeeping clerk and you can get your foot in the door.