|Number of Jobs:||259,000|
|This Job is Ranked in|
|Best Business Jobs||#5|
|The 100 Best Jobs||#41|
Bookkeeping, accounting, and audit clerks are tasked with recording financial transactions, updating statements, and checking financial records for accuracy. Between the three titles are three distinct areas of responsibility. According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS), bookkeeping clerks have a wide portfolio: handling a company's accounts, completing financial statements and reports for management, sending various forms of payment to banks, and possibly handling payroll, among other responsibilities. But as David Bybee, president of the National Bookkeepers Association, notes, the possibility of bookkeepers handling financial statements and reports only comes with a QuickBooks certification. Working for larger companies, accounting clerks have a more narrow area of focus, such as accounts payable or accounts receivable. Meanwhile, auditing clerks ensure the use of proper coding in financial documents and relay to accountants any errors within them.
Demand in the occupation should be spurred by economic and business growth. Also, with a new round of financial regulations resulting from the financial crisis, opportunities in the field should grow. The BLS predicts employment growth of 13.6 percent between 2010 and 2020, creating 259,000 new positions during the decade.
According to the BLS, bookkeepers, accounting, and audit clerks earned $34,740 in 2011. The best-paid earned $53,250 while the lowest paid earned $21,450 in 2011. Areas of the industry that pay well include the postal service, the motion picture and video industries, and securities and commodity contracts intermediation and brokerage. California is home to some of the highest-paying metropolitan areas for this occupation, which include San Francisco, San Jose, and Napa.
Clerks are best served by certification and work experience rather than a college education. "Training is more of a keyword than education," Bybee explains. He adds that if your career plans begin and end with this occupation, bookkeeping fundamentals, training, and a single-year certificate is all you need. But he notes that in an economy where a single job post can invite hundreds of applications, certification in QuickBooks, payroll, and Microsoft Excel can distinguish your resume.
Prior experience and certification only increase your chances for landing a job. But where you pursue employment is important, too. Larger corporations with a larger financial staff may not require as much past experience or formal training. But many smaller businesses, those with 25 employees or less, are searching for candidates who can have an immediate impact and require little to no on-the-job-training.
|Upward Mobility||Below Average|