Accounts Clerk or Bookkeeper
Accounts clerks or bookkeepers record a company's financial transactions, update statements, and check financial records for accuracy.
What does an Accounts Clerk or Bookkeeper do?
Accounts clerks or bookkeepers produce financial records for organisations. They record financial transactions, update statements, and check financial records for accuracy.
As an accounts clerk or bookkeeper your duties could include:
- checking and balancing accounts
- dealing with sales invoices, income, receipts and payments
- arranging purchase orders
- preparing statements showing income and payments
- completing GST returns
- monitoring account accuracy
- preparing the payroll and managing expense claims
- assisting the preparation of annual accounts and statements
- using computerised accounting systems and maintaining accurate records
- giving administrative support to accountants.
In larger companies you would usually work as part of an accounting team. You might specialise in one area like sales or purchase ledger, payroll or credit control. In small businesses you might do all of these tasks and also check banking activities and handle cash.
Key skills and interests
To become a accounts clerk or bookkeeper, you would need:
- confidence in working with numbers
- good spoken and written communication skills
- good teamworking skills
- an interest in business and finance
- good IT skills
- an organised and methodical approach
- a high level of accuracy and attention to detail.
Working hours and conditions
In a full-time job you would typically work standard office hours, Monday to Friday. If you were a self-employed bookkeeper you could work part-time or flexibly at times to suit you.
Part-time hours and temporary work are often available.
Accounts clerks and bookkeepers usually work in offices.
How to become an Accounts Clerk or Bookkeeper?
Entry Level Education
To become a bookkeeper you usually have to complete a VET qualification in bookkeeping or accounts administration. You may be able to study through distance education. Entry requirements may vary, but you would generally need a junior secondary school certificate or equivalent.
To work as a BAS agent or tax agent, you must be registered with the Tax Practitioners Board and meet minimum requirements for education and experience.
Employment of accounts clerks and bookkeepers is projected to grow about as fast as the average for all occupations.
Job growth will be largely driven by overall economic growth. Stricter regulation in the financial sector will create demand for accounting services, creating opportunities for accounting clerks.
Some tasks that these clerks do have been affected by technological changes. For example, electronic banking and bookkeeping software has reduced the need for bookkeepers and clerks to send and receive cheques. However, when cheques are sent or received, these workers are still needed to update statements and check for accuracy. Rather than reduce the need for these workers, these technological changes are expected to help bookkeeping and accounts clerks do their jobs.