Essential Skills for an Accounting Clerk

Posted in Career Blog

An accounting clerk is someone who is responsible for financial record keeping, more commonly known as bookkeeping, for businesses. In order to do their jobs correctly and enjoy any level of success within the job market, there are several skills that these individuals must possess.

Computer Skills
Basic computer skills are a must-have in this industry. Individuals who work in this field must understand the basics of computers and their integrated software. In today’s age of technologically advanced record keeping, most businesses use specialized accounting software to post and maintain account information. As such, a successful clerk must be able to understand these programs and use them proficiently. Some of the different programs that these individuals may encounter include QuickBooks, Excel, Sage 50 and perhaps even software designed specifically for the company. The best accountants also have great typing skills and can enter numbers quickly as well as accurately into databases.

Organizational Skills
Large companies often keep records for hundreds or even thousands of accounts. For this reason, accounting clerks must have superb organization skills in order to manage all of these accounts. This organization is important for paying attention to small details, reducing clerical errors when entering information into databases, and ensuring that written records are properly stored and maintained. On the same note, these individuals must be observant enough to identify errors that other workers may have made as they relate to one or more accounts.

Mathematics Skills

Although today’s accounting software will perform most basic calculations on its own, an accounting clerk must have a keen understanding of basic mathematics in order to perform his or her job efficiently. There will undoubtedly be times when these individuals will need to add or subtract numbers quickly. Computer programs and calculators are not always on hand, especially when speaking to a client on the telephone or answering a question from a co-worker. Finally, accountants who are proficient in mathematics can more easily spot errors in accounts and make any necessary corrections.

Communication Skills

Depending on the exact position held by an accounting clerk, he or she may also be responsible for collecting payments from clients. It is highly likely that this individual will also need to communicate with members of management as well as other accounting teams, particularly if he or she works for a large company or corporation. For these reasons, good communication skills are absolutely essential. Clerks will also be responsible for handling private information, so they will need to be trustworthy and honest. As time goes by, accounting clerks may find themselves responsible for other team members; this requires another level of communication to ensure that the team gets the job done efficiently.
A successful accounting clerk must not be proficient in only one or two of the aforementioned areas of skill; he or she must be able to use all four of these skills together in order to work efficiently. As time goes by, these skills can be honed on-the-job for even more career opportunities down the line.

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