What they do
Accounts clerks manage and maintain the financial accounts for a business or organisation. They perform accounting duties such as setting budgets, billing clients, expenditure management and payroll. Other tasks may include reconciling account statements, reviewing invoices, checking for any discrepancies and writing financial reports. They also manage relationships with clients, and address queries regarding payments and invoicing. Accounts clerks usually specialise in either accounts payable or accounts receivable, but will sometimes perform both roles.
Accounts clerks may work for a variety of different businesses in a wide range of industries. In larger firms they will usually work as part of a team in a specific accounting branch of the institution.
They usually work in an office environment, and may need to work longer hours during peak financial periods such as the end of the financial year.
Tools and technologies
Accounts clerks perform most of their tasks on a computer. They use specialist financial and business software to record, monitor and analyse the financial activities of the business. Spreadsheets and electronic databases are used on a daily basis for maintaining accounting records. Accounts clerks may spend considerable time on the phone or using email.
How do I become one?
Education and training
It is possible to work as an accounts clerk without any formal qualifications and get training on the job. However, entry into this occupation may be improved by obtaining a qualification in accounting, accounts administration, business, or business administration or a related area. The education and training requirements for this occupation are undergoing a formal review. This may or may not lead to changes in the requirements.
The Certificate III in Accounts Administration, Certificate III and Certificate IV in Business Administration, Certificate III and Certificate IV in Business, and Certificate IV in Accounting and Bookkeeping are offered at TAFE Colleges and other registered training organisations throughout Western Australia. Browse courses through Jobs and Skills WA and search on the My Skills website to find a registered provider near you.
You can also undertake a traineeship in accounts administration (level 3), accounting and bookkeeping (level 4), business administration (level 3 and level 4), and business (level 3 and level 4). The traineeships usually take 12 months to complete. The business (level 3) and business administration (level 3) traineeships are available as school-based traineeships.
Apprenticeships and traineeships
As an apprentice or trainee, you enter into a formal training contract with an employer, enabling you to complete training towards a nationally recognised qualification. You spend time working and learning practical skills on the job and you spend some time undertaking structured training with a registered training provider.
You can do an apprenticeship or traineeship if you are a school-leaver, re-entering the workforce or as an adult or mature-aged person wishing to change careers. You can even begin your apprenticeship or traineeship while you're still at school.
If you are still at school you can access an apprenticeship through your school. Talk to your school's VET Co-ordinator to start your training now through VET in Schools. If you are no longer at school you can apply for an apprenticeship or traineeship and get paid while you learn and work.