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Bookkeeping and Accounting Clerks

At a Glance

  • Communicate with customers and coworkers daily
  • May work part time or full time
  • May work long hours during tax season or the end of the fiscal year
  • Train through formal training programs or on the job

Career summary

Bookkeeping and accounting clerks manage the financial records of companies or clients.

#4/1/19 lh

Bookkeeping and accounting clerks document and record financial data. In smaller offices, bookkeepers handle all finances. They record money taken in or spent. They summarize spending habits and prepare reports for managers and supervisors. They may also prepare bank deposits by collecting cash and checks.

In larger offices and accounting departments, bookkeepers are more specialized. Their title may reflect the type of accounting they do.

Entry-level accounting clerks enter the details of transactions, such as the amount of the check and the check number. They also find the total for accounts and compute interest charges. They may monitor loans as well as accounts payable and receivable. Clerks make sure that payments are up to date.

Many accounting clerks are responsible for payroll and bills. Other duties may include creating and filing vouchers and invoices.

Bookkeeping and accounting clerks must ensure that their actions comply with federal and state laws and with company procedures.

Auditing clerks verify the records that other workers enter. They check numbers, postings, and documents for correct entry and proper codes. They also correct or note errors for accountants or other workers to fix.

Clerks use accounting software and spreadsheets to organize data. Experienced workers may code documents and post transactions on the computer. They review invoices and statements as well as check reports.

Related careers

This career is part of the Business Management and Administration cluster of careers.

Related careers include:

Military careers

Job duties

Task list

The following list of tasks is specific to bookkeeping and accounting clerks.

Common work activities

Bookkeeping and accounting clerks perform the following tasks. These tasks are common to many careers.

Work requirements

Working conditions

In a typical work setting, bookkeeping and accounting clerks:

Interpersonal relationships

Physical work conditions

Work performance


Physical demands

Bookkeeping and accounting clerks frequently:

It is important for bookkeeping and accounting clerks to be able to:

It is not as important, but still necessary, for bookkeeping and accounting clerks to be able to:

Skills and abilities

Bookkeeping and accounting clerks need to:


Reason and problem solve

Use math and science

Manage oneself, people, time, and things

Education and training

Educational programs

The programs of study listed below will help you prepare for the occupation or career cluster you are exploring.

Programs of study directly related to this occupation

Other programs of study to consider


To work as a bookkeeping or accounting clerk, you typically need to:

Education after high school

Many bookkeeping and accounting clerks have completed some college courses or an associate degree. You can learn bookkeeping and accounting skills at high schools, business schools, or two-year colleges.

On-the-job training

Employers usually provide on-the-job training for new bookkeeping and accounting clerks. For example, you learn office procedures from experienced workers. You may also attend some formal classes to learn the company's computer software. Training may last up to one year.

Military training

The military trains people to be finance and accounting specialists. Training lasts six to 12 weeks, depending on your specialty. Additional training occurs on the job. Depending on your specialty, you may need classes in math, accounting, or bookkeeping before you enlist.

Helpful high school courses

You should take a general high school curriculum that meets the state's graduation requirements. You will be required to take both math and science classes to graduate.

Helpful electives to take in high school that prepare you for this career include:

The courses listed above are meant to help you create your high school plan. If you have not already done so, talk to a school counselor or parent about the courses you are considering taking.

You should also check with a teacher or counselor to see if work-based learning opportunities are available in your school and community. These might include field trips, job shadowing, internships, and actual work experience. The goal of these activities is to help you connect your school experiences with real-life work.

Join some groups, try some hobbies, or volunteer with an organization that interests you. By participating in activities you can have fun, make new friends, and learn about yourself. Maybe one of them will help direct you to a future career. Here are examples of activities and groups that may be available in your high school or community.

Things to know

Employers prefer to hire clerks who have previous office experience. Most employers require clerks to have a high school diploma or equivalent. Knowledge of word processing and spreadsheet programs is especially helpful.

State agencies may require applicants to pass a civil service exam.


Take classes to become familiar with bookkeeping and accounting software. Conduct research on companies where you would like to work. Get summer or internship experience. Large employers, such as banks, often hire beginning workers from general clerical positions.

Costs to workers

Some bookkeeping and accounting clerks may wish to join a professional association, which may have annual dues.

#Took over national content as had statement saying employers prefer applicants who are computer literate. Anymore, think this more than a preference so removed statement and pulled in state text. 3/21/16 cj.

Job listings

Listed below are links to job categories from the National Labor Exchange that relate to this career. Once you get a list of jobs, you can view information about individual jobs and find out how to apply. If your job search finds too many openings, or if you wish to search for jobs outside of Washington, you will need to refine your search.

To get a listing of current jobs from the WorkSource system, go to the WorkSource website (external link).


Bookkeeping, accounting, and auditing clerks (SOC 43-3031)

Pay Period
Washington Hourly $14.89 $17.60 $21.37 $25.34 $30.07
Monthly $2,580 $3,050 $3,703 $4,391 $5,211
Yearly $30,980 $36,600 $44,450 $52,710 $62,540
    Bellingham Hourly $15.99 $18.31 $21.84 $25.13 $29.85
Monthly $2,771 $3,173 $3,785 $4,355 $5,173
Yearly $33,257 $38,083 $45,419 $52,259 $62,085
    Bremerton-Silverdale Hourly $14.78 $17.92 $21.91 $25.46 $29.45
Monthly $2,561 $3,106 $3,797 $4,412 $5,104
Yearly $30,752 $37,285 $45,568 $52,970 $61,244
    Clarkston-Lewiston Hourly $13.48 $16.19 $19.27 $23.77 $28.68
Monthly $2,336 $2,806 $3,339 $4,119 $4,970
Yearly $28,043 $33,687 $40,085 $49,453 $59,647
    Kennewick-Richland Hourly $14.63 $17.61 $21.18 $25.31 $30.92
Monthly $2,535 $3,052 $3,670 $4,386 $5,358
Yearly $30,426 $36,627 $44,063 $52,640 $64,320
    Longview Hourly $13.47 $17.02 $20.23 $24.56 $30.44
Monthly $2,334 $2,950 $3,506 $4,256 $5,275
Yearly $28,019 $35,399 $42,068 $51,093 $63,325
    Mount Vernon-Anacortes Hourly $15.53 $18.86 $22.46 $26.13 $30.63
Monthly $2,691 $3,268 $3,892 $4,528 $5,308
Yearly $32,288 $39,218 $46,727 $54,347 $63,693
    Olympia-Tumwater Hourly $14.73 $17.55 $21.52 $26.16 $30.00
Monthly $2,553 $3,041 $3,729 $4,534 $5,199
Yearly $30,646 $36,485 $44,757 $54,411 $62,412
    Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue Hourly $15.96 $19.00 $22.83 $27.17 $31.59
Monthly $2,766 $3,293 $3,956 $4,709 $5,475
Yearly $33,196 $39,523 $47,479 $56,519 $65,697
    Spokane-Spokane Valley Hourly $14.22 $16.67 $19.36 $23.52 $28.04
Monthly $2,464 $2,889 $3,355 $4,076 $4,859
Yearly $29,571 $34,670 $40,270 $48,916 $58,333
    Vancouver Hourly $14.44 $17.32 $21.33 $25.20 $30.17
Monthly $2,502 $3,002 $3,696 $4,367 $5,228
Yearly $30,042 $36,037 $44,365 $52,404 $62,733
    Walla Walla Hourly $14.08 $17.16 $21.08 $24.80 $29.67
Monthly $2,440 $2,974 $3,653 $4,298 $5,142
Yearly $29,305 $35,688 $43,835 $51,572 $61,727
    Wenatchee Hourly $14.33 $16.83 $19.66 $23.57 $32.49
Monthly $2,483 $2,917 $3,407 $4,085 $5,631
Yearly $29,815 $35,008 $40,881 $49,018 $67,576
    Yakima Hourly $14.35 $16.68 $19.15 $23.60 $28.11
Monthly $2,487 $2,891 $3,319 $4,090 $4,871
Yearly $29,845 $34,692 $39,842 $49,095 $58,456
United States Hourly $12.14 $15.49 $19.35 $24.27 $29.64
Monthly $2,104 $2,684 $3,353 $4,206 $5,137
Yearly $25,260 $32,220 $40,240 $50,480 $61,650

Pay varies by area of the country, size of the city, and type and size of the employer.

Bookkeeping and accounting clerks who work full time usually receive benefits. Typical benefits include sick leave, health insurance, and paid vacation. Some employers also provide a retirement plan.

Employment and outlook

Washington outlook


The table below provides information about the number of workers in this career in various regions. It also provides information about the expected growth rate and future job openings.

Bookkeeping, Accounting, and Auditing Clerks (SOC 43-3031)

Location Current employment Growth over 10 years Annual openings
Washington 34,898 7.3% 16.1% 4,507
    Adams, Chelan, Douglas, Grant, and Okanogan Counties 1,369 5.6% 13.4% 171
    Asotin, Columbia, Ferry, Garfield, Lincoln, Pend Oreille, Stevens, Walla Walla, and Whitman Counties 943 3.3% 8.6% 112
    Benton and Franklin Counties 1,197 9.2% 15.0% 161
    Clallam, Jefferson, and Kitsap Counties 1,383 5.1% 11.9% 171
    Clark, Cowlitz, and Wahkiakum Counties 2,542 3.2% 15.2% 300
    Grays Harbor, Lewis, Mason, Pacific, and Thurston Counties 2,123 8.8% 14.1% 284
    Island, San Juan, Skagit, and Whatcom Counties 2,265 7.7% 14.6% 295
    King County 12,625 8.3% 19.6% 1,661
    Kittitas, Klickitat, Skamania, and Yakima Counties 1,612 5.6% 13.8% 201
    Pierce County 3,380 9.6% 15.2% 459
    Snohomish County 2,866 6.4% 12.4% 364
    Spokane County 2,872 7.1% 13.9% 369
United States 1,707,700 -3.9% 5.2% 188,500

National employment

Bookkeeping and accounting clerks work in almost every industry.

Major employers:

National outlook

Demand is expected to show little to no change for this occupation. The automation of office functions will limit demand. Large organizations are likely to continue combining departments to reduce costs. This will reduce demand for bookkeeping and accounting clerks.

Many job openings will occur as people retire or leave the occupation.

Other resources

American Institute of Professional Bookkeepers (external link)
6001 Montrose Road, Suite 500
Rockville, MD 20852
Institute of Financial Operations (external link)
149 Terra Mango Loop, Suite B
Orlando, FL 32835
Washington Business Week (external link)
PO Box 1170
Renton, WA 98057


Career cluster

Career path

O*Net (external link) occupation

O*Net job zone (external link)

DOT occupations

Strong Interest Inventory

Holland occupational clusters