Strongcommunication skillsfor dealing with co-workers and customers
Goodorganization skillsfor monitoring and working with a number of financial documents
Critical thinking skillsfor solving problems
Math skillsand attention to detail when working with financial documents
Ability to exercise discretion when handling confidential documents
Computer literacy, especially for financial and common office software. You should be able to use basic Microsoft Office programs and QuickBooks. Understanding payroll, performance analysis, and depreciation programs is also helpful.
Many accounting clerks have a high school diploma or an associate's degree. Those with a bachelor's degree have a greater earning potential and more opportunities for career progression. Certification from theAmerican Institute of Professional Bookkeeperscan also improve salary and career opportunities.
Next Steps: Junior Accountant
The experience accounting clerks gain assisting accountants often makes transitioning to ajunior accounting roleeasy. Many responsibilities overlap between these two positions, including preparing financial reports, reconciling financial statements, and making sure financial records are up to date. In addition, junior accountants may be responsible for the following tasks:
Suggesting ways to improve performance of accounting department
Handling taxation issues and preparing tax reports
Completing financial audits
Junior accountants need similar skills to accounting clerks, including goodproblem-solving, analytical, and communication skills. They must be able to work efficiently and accurately.
Some accounting clerks may be promoted to junior accountants with time and experience. However, earning more qualifications is the best way to advance to a junior accountant role. As a junior accountant, you should have at least abachelor's degreein accounting, commerce, or business administration. Gaining your master's degree is preferable for new hires, although if you've been working as an accounting clerk, your experience should help you transition without an advanced degree.
Next Steps: Auditor
Working as an accounting clerk or a junior accountant will expose you to auditing procedures. If you enjoy this specialized area of accountancy, you may want to pursuea career as an auditor. As with junior accountants, auditors need at least a bachelor's degree in accounting or a related field.
Analytical skills to process data, break down reports, identify problems, and reach necessary conclusions
Good communication skills for working with auditing clients and co-workers and documenting audit results
Ability towork under pressureto meet auditing deadlines
Next Steps: Certified Public Accountant
For many people interested in accounting careers,working as a certified public accountant(CPA) is the goal. The experience you've gained working as an accounting clerk and junior accountant can serve you well in this role.
While other accounting professions are flexible and accept candidates with a range of qualifications, all CPAs require CPA certification. Requirements vary from state to state, but usually, CPAs need to:
Complete 150 semester hours ofpostsecondary studyin accounting or a similar area of study
Complete at leasttwo years of workexperience in accounting
Passfour CPA examswithin 18 months
Meeting these criteria requires a significant commitment of time, but many employers will give some flexibility to their employees pursuing CPA qualifications. CPAs must complete further studies in most states to maintain their CPA licenses.
CPAs are accounting leaders, so goodmanagement skillsandpublic-speakingabilities are important. CPAs should also show strongbusiness acumenand acommitment to learningby staying up to date with accounting and tax practices.
Enjoy your time as anaccounting clerk. With hard work, you can use this job as a great way to investigate a variety of careers in finance.