What Does An Accounts Clerk Do?

'Accounts clerk' is one of those job titles that a small businessman looks at and ignores. Bookkeeping is boring and day-to-day accounts doubly so.

However, the pennies daily spent add up to hundreds of pounds at the end of the year.

Q: If someone offered you £850 as a no-strings Christmas bonus, would you take it?

Beware human psychology. People will fret a week over a £50 purchase and make a £5k purchase in a day. They quibble over spending £10 extra on a pair of shoes but keep a £30 p.m. cable-tv subscription going, even if they never watch it. They don't bother sending and chasing up small invoices, because they're focussing the big deals.

Small outgoings add up. An accounts clerk keeps track of these.

An account clerk does general clerical, accounting and bookkeeping support. Here is a list of what a typical clerk has in his job description:

- General payroll functions;
- Prepare and distribute payroll cheques;
- Prepare and submit customer invoices;
- Code and post receipt payments;
- Prepare and coordinate deposits;
- Perform account, bank and other reconciliations;

- General accounts-receivable functions;
- Monitor customer accounts for delayed payment and non-payment;
- General accounts payable functions;
- Check, verify and process invoices received;
- Prepare payments for signature;
- Sort, code and enter accounts payable data;
- Check for discrepancies and unpaid invoices;

- Process timesheets and overtime;
- Verify taxes;
- Verify other deductions;
- Monitor employee holiday and sick leave;
- Maintain accounts journals and ledgers;
- Assist in month-end reporting;
- Track and audit petty-cash;
- Assist with employee expense reports;
- General filing and administration.

Education and experience:

- A level education;
- 1 - 3 years experience in clerical accounting;
- Knowledge of accounting software;
- Knowledge of standard accounting and bookkeeping principles and procedures;
- MS Office experience;
- Accounting degree or diploma an advantage!

As you can see, this is not a job one should assign to a goofball with a C grade in media studies. A good bookkeeper is sober, able to do mental arithmetic and conscientious enough to check it with a calculator.

An organisation that can't efficiently track income and expenditure is, at the very least, going to spend a lot of time resolving payment disputes. While accounts staff are not the most exciting bods, it is a rare company that does not let its accountant sit at the top table.

A company that does not get a firm grip of income and expenditure can face serious difficulties at financial year-end, even if outwardly things seem to be going well.

Conversely, a company that lets the bean-counters do their job can use their skills to weather the lean years in tranquility.


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