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Accounts Clerk Profile

Accounts Clerk Profile


This Section of the site details information that you might find useful if you are looking to secure employment or require further details regarding working as an Accounts Clerk. This page details the following Information:-

  • Finding Suitable Work as an Accounts Clerk
  • Working Duties Expected
  • Hours and Environment
  • Working Skills Required
  • Training Requirements
  • Salary Expectations
  • Trade Information
  • Other useful Actuary Work Information
  • Finding Suitable Work 

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    Working Duties Expected

    Organisations that have a central accounts team usually employ a number of accounts clerks. Their role is to provide administrative support to professionally qualified accountants. Some work within business teams, measuring and recording expenditure and keeping track of budgets.

    Also known as bookkeepers, some specialise in one aspect of accounting, such as cashing up and banking, credit control, sales or purchase ledger, or payroll. They cannot give high-level financial advice or conduct audits, however they can help in the preparation and presentation of data. Part of their duties may include checking documents for accuracy and monitoring internal processes.

    Accounts clerks usually work Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm. Part-time work and job shares are possible.

    Starting salaries are around £10,000 and rise up to £22,000 for more experienced accounts clerks. Self-employed clerks can charge between £10 and £15 an hour.

    Accounts clerks should:

    be confident with numbers
    have strong computer skills
    have good communication skills
    be accurate and pay attention to detail
    be able to work to deadlines
    be discreet with confidential information.

    Opportunities for accounts clerks exist in accounting practices, commercial and industrial organisations, local authorities, public services like healthcare trusts, and voluntary organisations. Many are self-employed providing bookkeeping services to smaller organisations.

    No formal academic qualifications are required, although employers may ask for GCSE/S grades (A-C/1-3) in maths and English. Professional accountancy qualifications are widely available, including NVQs/SVQs from Level 1 to Level 4. Some are recognised internationally. Many employers accept older entrants. Some posts may require experience of working in a finance office or working with spreadsheets.

    Individual employers usually provide on-the-job training. Professionally recognised qualifications exist in general accounting practices as well as in specialised skills such as payroll administration or internal audit. These are available through many training providers and can usually be studied via day release, evening classes or distance learning.

    Accounts clerks may progress into an accounting technician role. There are several technician qualifications available, which may count towards a professional accountancy qualification or degree for those wanting to become a Chartered Accountant. Many become self-employed, setting up their own bookkeeping practice.

    What does the role encounter?

    Accounts clerks provide administrative support to businesses of all sizes in all industries, both in the public and private sectors. While many work in a central accounting department, some larger organisations place clerks within specific business functions, such as marketing or sales, helping to measure expenditure and business budgets.

    Accounts clerks frequently specialise in one area, such as cashing up and banking, credit control, sales or purchase ledger, or payroll. Duties may include:

    keeping financial records of incoming and outgoing payments
    producing and analysing figures for professional accountants or departmental managers, such as cash-flow statements
    helping to prepare and audit accounts
    raising purchase orders and processing payments
    issuing and checking invoices, receipts and debit/credit notes
    calculating wages and making up wage packets
    completing VAT returns
    checking and processing expenses claims from staff.

    Their precise tasks are difficult to define, as duties vary depending on whether they work in a central team or an individual department. Generally, they ensure financial records are accurate and up to date, providing clerical assistance to accounting professionals.

    An accounts clerk's level of responsibility depends upon individual employers. Although they cannot give high-level financial advice or conduct audits, they can help in the preparation of information. In public bodies such as councils, they can be involved in preparing applications for government grants or European Union funds.

    Most organisations use computerised systems with a variety of software packages, including databases. An accounts clerk often randomly inspects documents, checking accuracy and monitoring financial processes, reporting any mistakes or bad practice to their finance officer or manager.

    In a large organisation they usually work as part of a central accounts team. In a smaller business, they may be the only person working in the accounts department.

    The starting salary for an accounts/finance clerk is around £10,000 a year.

    What hours will I have to work?

    Accounts clerks usually work Monday to Friday, 9am until 5pm. They can often work part time and possibly job share. Temporary work is often available.

    The work is generally office based. Most of the time is spent working at a desk with a computer and also dealing with telephone enquiries. Checking documents may involve visiting staff in other departments.

    Self-employed accounts clerks often work from home, visiting their clients on a regular basis.

    What level of salary/benefits can I expect?

    Please note that this is a guide only, rates of pay may vary.

    Starting salaries are around £10,000 a year.
    More experienced clerks can earn between £12,000 and £18,000.

    A senior accountancy clerk can earn up to £22,000.

    Many accounts clerks are self-employed or work on a temporary contract. Hourly rates can range from £10 to £15 an hour. Self-employed clerks may have to cover costs like rent, heating and other expenses. Those working from home can offset some expenses against tax.

    What kind of skills will I need?

    An accounts clerk should:

    be confident with numbers
    have strong computer skills, particularly accountancy systems and spreadsheets
    be able to communicate and convey information clearly
    be accurate and pay attention to detail
    have good research and analytical skills
    work well under pressure and keep to tight deadlines
    inspire trust and be discreet and tactful when handling confidential information
    be able to work as a team member, but equally work without close supervision.

    Career Progression:

    There are many opportunities for clerks to progress. One route is to study to become an accounting technician, where they may be responsible for several accounts clerks and a wider area of work. There are several technician qualifications, including those awarded by AAT, the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) and the Institute of Financial Accountants (IFA).

    For individuals working towards further study, the UK chartered accountancy bodies and many universities recognise the AAT accounting qualification, and offer exemptions to AAT student members.

    ACCA offers a qualification for accounting technicians, the ACCA Certified Accounting Technician (CAT) qualification, which is internationally recognised.

    The IFA offers membership at Technician, Associate and Fellow levels. Exemptions from some of its examinations are granted to holders of certain qualifications including those of the IAB.

    Some experienced accounts clerks set up their own bookkeeping practice, providing services and advisory support to a number of smaller organisations.

    Similar Types Of Jobs/Industries:

    Accounting Technician

    Bank/Building Society Customer Adviser

    Insurance Technician

    Payroll Clerk/Supervisor/Manager

    Pensions Administrator

    Further information can be found at:

    ACCA Connect (The Association of Chartered Certified Accountants), 64 Finnieston Square, Glasgow G3 8DT. 0141 582 2000. Website:

    Accountancy Occupational Standards Group, 154 Clerkenwell Road, London EC1R 5AD. 020 7415 7507. Website:

    Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT), 154 Clerkenwell Road, London EC1R 5AD. 020 7837 8600. Website:

    Institute of Financial Accountants (IFA), Burford House, 44 London Road, Sevenoaks, Kent TN13 1AS. 01732 458080. Website:

    International Association of Book-Keepers (IAB), Burford House, 44 London Road, Sevenoaks, Kent TN13 1AS. 01732 467132. Website:

    OCR Training, Mill Wharf, Mill Street, Birmingham B6 4BU. 0121 628 2950. Website:

    Pitman Training. 0800 220454. Website:

    Trade Journals/Publications:

    Accounting - ACCA

    Accounting Technician Bulletin - ACCA

    Accounting Technician - the monthly magazine for members of the AAT

    The accountancy profession carries a wide and varied selection of different job roles. Here are some examples of related job positions in the accountancy sector:

    • Analyst
    • Auditor
    • Company Secretary
    • Cost Accountant
    • Director
    • Finance Manager
    • Financial Controller
    • Forensic Accountant
    • Interim Manager
    • Life Accountant
    • Management Accountant
    • Practice Manager
    • Practice Partner
    • Project Accountant
    • Syndicate Accountant
    • Systems Accountant
    • Tax Accountant
    • Trust Accountant
    • Accounts Admin
    • Assistant Accountant
    • Credit Controller
    • Graduate Trainee
    • Ledger Clerk
    • Legal Cashier
    • Part Qualified
    • Accounts Payroller
    • Practice Accountant.

    Other Useful Accounts Clerk Work Information

    We have a section available at this site on Accounts Clerk job interview tips that you may find of interest should you wish to brush up your skills in this area and we also have number of career articles that may also be of use to you from within our guides and documents section.

    Locations where we feature Jobs include:-
    Aberdeen, Berkshire, Aberdeen, Bath, Bedfordshire, Berkshire, Birmingham, Bradford, Bristol, Cambridgeshire, Cardiff, Central London, Cheltenham, Cornwall, Coventry, Derby, Devon, Docklands, Dorset, Dundee, Durham, East Midlands, East Sussex, Edinburgh, Essex, Glasgow, Gloucester, Hampshire, Hertfordshire, Kent, Lancashire, Leeds, Leicester, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Liverpool, London, Manchester, Middlesbrough, Midlands and in various parts of the West Midlands

    Details of other Accounts Clerk Jobs can also be found in other UK wide areas including:-
    Milton Keynes, Newcastle, Newcastle Upon Tyne, Norfolk, North London, North Midlands, Northampton, Northamptonshire, Northern Ireland, Northumberland, Norwich, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, Oxford, Oxfordshire, Plymouth, Salisbury, Scotland, Sheffield, Shropshire, Somerset, South East, South London, South Midlands, Southampton, Staffordshire Surrey, Swansea, Swindon, Telford, Wales, Warwickshire, West End, West London, West Midlands, Worcestershire, York and throughout Yorkshire.

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