shutterstock 540375400Are you looking for work experience while you prepare to become a CPA? Thankfully, many jobs exist to help you gain experience and fill out your resume. One of the jobs includes becoming an accounting clerk. Accounting clerks typically work for small to medium-sized businesses. Their job description is typically quite broad since they tend to handle just about any financial task for a business. That’s why it can be such a valuable position for gaining experience. On the other hand, some businesses may only need part-time support. If you enjoy accounting but are pursuing another career, or just need a part-time job to help make ends meet, accounting clerk might work for you.

Job Description

To understand the job of an accounting clerk, you will need to know the basic tasks and requirements. This will help give a fuller understanding of their salary. In a job posting, you can find the description of an accounting clerk to go something like this…

We’re looking for a reliable, trustworthy person to fill the role of accounting clerk for our business. Typical tasks will include: bookkeeping, recording financial transactions, producing various reports about income and balance sheets, self-auditing said reports, and reporting any discrepancies discovered in financial records. High degree of mathematical and computational skills required, including familiarity with accounting software. Will communicate frequently with the director. High school diploma or higher required. 1-2 years’ experience preferred.

Usually, businesses will look for an applicant who pays attention to detail and can work as a “self-starter” with minimal supervision. Also, you’ll also want to convey your high level of integrity. Familiarizing yourself with the Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) may go a long way.

A lot of overlap exists between this job and someone who works as a full-time CPA. So whether you’re preparing for the CPA exam, or are working your way through school right now, working as an entry-level accounting clerk can help you tremendously. Coming out of school with both your degree and some relevant experience will really help your resume stand out.

Entry-Level Accounting Clerk

Now that we understand the duties and competencies necessary to work as an accounting clerk, let’s talk a look at entry-level accounting clerk salaries. Like many things related to accounting, often the average salary can depend on which state you work. For example, the highest average salary for an accountant in the US isn’t among those who work in Florida or California. In fact, it’s not in a state! The highest average salary for an accountant in the US comes from those who work in Washington, DC. As you might expect, the top five states with the highest average earnings for an accounting clerk fall along the same lines as accounting in general. They are as follows:

  • District of Columbia
  • Alaska
  • Connecticut
  • California
  • Massachusetts

According to glassdoor.com, the average entry-level salary for an accounting clerk in the US is $46,726. However, many accounting clerk jobs pay an hourly rate instead. Finding the average hourly rate for an accounting clerk differs from source to source. According to payscale.com, you can expect an hourly rate to fall somewhere between $10.99 to $18.49 per hour for an entry-level position.

Range of Salary for an Accounting Clerk

You might wonder about the range of salary for an accounting clerk. Perhaps you’ve worked as a CPA or private accountant for a number of years and you want to scale back. Maybe you have kids now. Maybe you want to pursue other interests. Whatever the case may be, if you have experience and education in accounting, you’re not interested in entry-level earnings. You want to know whether or not this job can pay the bills.

If that’s you, then the range of salary for an accounting clerk largely depends on the size of the business for whom you work. According to glassdoor.com, the salary range looks something like this…

  • 1-3 Years’ Experience: $48,533 avg. salary
  • 4-6 Years’ Experience: $52,567 avg. salary
  • 7-9 Years’ Experience: $55,610 avg. salary
  • 10-14 Years’ Experience: $55,799 avg. salary
  • 15+ Years’ Experience: $56,684 avg. salary

The pay-off starts to plateau after about 10 or more years’ worth of experience. If you’re looking at a job that pays by the hour, then the rate can go between $13.80 and $22.46 in the same range of experience. Point being, the ceiling can only go so high for an accounting clerk, regardless of their experience.

DQ Staff

February 2020

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