Bookkeeping, accounting and auditing clerks are financial recordkeepers. They update and maintain accounting records, including those which calculate expenditures, receipts, accounts payable and receivable and profit and loss. These workers have a wide range of skills from full-charge bookkeepers, who can maintain an entire company's books, to accounting clerks who handle specific tasks. All these clerks make numerous computations each day and must be comfortable using computers to calculate and record data.
In small businesses, bookkeepers and bookkeeping clerks often have responsibility for some or all the accounts, known as the general ledger. They record all transactions and post debits (costs) and credits (income). They also produce financial statements and prepare reports and summaries for supervisors and managers. Bookkeepers prepare bank deposits by compiling data from cashiers, verifying and balancing receipts and sending cash, checks or other forms of payment to the bank. Additionally, they may handle payroll, make purchases, prepare invoices and keep track of overdue accounts.
In large companies, accounting clerks have more specialized tasks. Their titles, such as accounts payable clerk or accounts receivable clerk, often reflect the type of accounting they do. In addition, their responsibilities vary by level of experience. Entry-level accounting clerks post details of transactions, total accounts and compute interest charges. They also may monitor loans and accounts to ensure that payments are up to date. More advanced accounting clerks may total, balance and reconcile billing vouchers; ensure the completeness and accuracy of data on accounts and code documents according to company procedures.
Auditing clerks verify records of transactions posted by other workers. They check figures, postings and documents to ensure that they are mathematically accurate and properly coded. They also correct or note errors for accountants or other workers to fix.
As organizations continue to computerize their financial records, many bookkeeping, accounting and auditing clerks use specialized accounting software, spreadsheets and databases. Most clerks now enter information from receipts or bills into computers, and the information is then stored electronically. The widespread use of computers also has enabled bookkeeping, accounting and auditing clerks to take on additional responsibilities, such as payroll, procurement and billing. Many of these functions require these clerks to write letters and make phone calls to customers or clients.