what is an accounting clerk?

As an accounting clerk, you calculate and process bills in a company. In addition to dealing with invoices and accounts payables, you manage accounts receivables and handle other financial records. It is important to be conversant with manual and computerized systems to maintain correct financial records. You handle the budget for office stationery and supplies. You also maintain the company's financial records and perform other clerical duties, such as the filing of financial documents. In most parts of Canada, your job is called an accounts clerk, but in Ontario, you require a professional designation to be an accountant. Hence, you are likely to be called a receivable clerk.

Aside from processing bills, you gather budget data and documents based on estimated expenses and revenue. You also calculate the cost of materials and overhead expenses spent on a project and prepare the relevant reports. You work closely with customers, answer questions, resolve problems related to their billing and solve any mistakes.

As an accounting clerk, you work in various industries, from retail companies to wholesale distribution centres. In large companies that handle huge payments, you perform basic clerical tasks and leave complex accounting tasks for the accountants. You require computer skills and technical knowledge to excel in your role.

Would working as an accounting clerk suit your aptitude for numbers? Then read on to find out what competencies and qualifications you need to thrive in an accounting clerk role.

accounting clerk jobs

average accounting clerk salary

According to Job Bank, the median salary of an accounting clerk in Canada is $42,500 per year or $21.79 hourly. The earnings reflect the complexity of the duties and qualifications of the accounting clerk. You perform simple clerical tasks in entry-level positions, like filing documents and processing bills. Hence, your salary is $35,100 per year. As your experience improves, you earn more since you are expected to handle complex accounting tasks. Your salary is upward of $57,960 per year.

what factors affect the salary of an accounting clerk?

As an accounting clerk, your earnings vary with experience and qualifications. The longer you work in the role, the more skills you acquire, and you'll then become an expert in the field. Hence, you can negotiate a higher salary. While only a high school diploma is expected for an accounting clerk position, additional qualifications improve your job and salary prospects.

The location of the company and its size also affect your salary. When you work in Northwest Territories, British Columbia and Alberta, your earnings are higher than the national average. Working in large cities also increases your salary prospects due to the high demand for the role. When you work in a small company, they have limited resources and might be unable to pay high salaries.

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types of accounting clerks

Accounting clerks often specialize in various industries or diverse areas of expertise in accounting. As an accounting clerk, you can specialize in the following areas:

  • taxation: when you specialize in taxation, you work in private companies or government offices. You review the tax responsibilities of a company and organize tax account statements. Your duties are mostly entry-level administrative tasks.
  • government accounting: an accounting clerk works in government offices and manages various types of budgets, transactions and reports. You work in school districts, government offices and public welfare agencies.
  • investment accounting clerks: you work in investment firms to handle personal and real estate investments. You manage clients' investment accounts by tracking transfers, transaction fees and other financial transactions. You also sell real estate assets and perform clerical duties.
employee talking on phone
employee talking on phone

working as an accounting clerk

Accounting clerks perform critical services in the accounting department and assist clients. Learn about accounting clerk duties, job requirements and work schedules.


accounting clerk skills and education

The educational requirements of accounting clerks include:

  • education: complete secondary school education and find entry-level jobs as an accountant. Alternatively, pursue a college course in accounting to learn the necessary skills required for the role. The course should be certified by the Canadian Bookkeepers Association or the General Accountants Association of Canada. You can also check out courses certified by the Canadian Securities Institute.
  • experience: most employers provide on-the-job training for accounting clerks to learn specific accounting systems. Internships and entry-level administrative roles also prepare you for the job.

competencies and characteristics of accounting clerks

Some of the qualities of an accounting clerk are:

  • multitasking skills: as an accounting clerk, you perform multiple tasks. For instance, you handle clerical and administrative tasks. You require multitasking skills to perform multiple duties throughout the day. Organizational skills help you manage time effectively and complete all the tasks.
  • communication skills: as an accounting clerk, you communicate daily with financial decision-makers, accounting professionals and clients. You interact with various stakeholders through email, phone and face-to-face communication. You need oral and written communication skills to communicate effectively.
  • teamwork skills: as an accounting clerk, you are a valuable member of the accounting department who's relied on to keep the office running smoothly. You work in teams and thrive on collaboration with other financial professionals. Your teamwork skills help you appreciate the importance of every professional in the office.
  • willingness to learn: as an accounting clerk, your responsibilities change as the company evolves. Your eagerness to learn helps you improve your skills and knowledge of accounting functions.


Here, you will find the answers to the most frequently asked questions about the profession of an accounting clerk.


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