A career all figured out; Careers in accounts If dealing with financial matters and figures is where you excel, then a career as an accounts clerk could add up. Emma Thompson found out more in association with fish4jobs.
What does a career as an accounts clerk involve?
Accounts clerks (also known as finance clerks or bookkeepers) keep financial records and help to prepare accounts in all types of business.
As an accounts clerk your duties would typically include: balancing accounts, processing sales invoices, receipts and payments as well as preparing statements showing the company or department's income and outgoings.
It would also include completing VAT returns, checking that accounts are accurate, preparing wages and processing expenses claims, if you deal with payroll, in addition to helping to prepare final accounts.
In larger companies, you would usually work as part of an accounting team, and 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 bank takings and handle petty cash.
What personal skills do you need?
You need to feel comfortable working with numbers and good spoken and written communication skills are required.
An interest in business and finance is essential along with good organisational skills, a high level of accuracy and attention to detail and the ability to work to strict deadlines.
What training do you need?
Requirements vary, but employers will prefer you to have some GCSEs (A-C) including maths (or a similar level of qualification).
You will find it helpful to have previous experience of office work, and computer experience would also be useful, particularly in using spreadsheet and database packages.
Relevant qualifications include: AS or A Level in Accounting; Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT) Level 2 Certificate in Book-keeping; Institute of Certified Bookkeepers (ICB) Level 1 Certificate in Basic Bookkeeping or Level 2 in Manual or Computerised Bookkeeping; OCR Level 1 Certificate in Bookkeeping and Levels 2 and 3 Certificates in Accounting and City & Guilds (8953) Levels 1 and 2 Certificates in Bookkeeping and Accounts.
You may also be able to get into this job through an apprenticeship scheme.
Visit www.apprenticeships.org.uk for further information.
What are the opportunities for career progression?
Most of your training will be on the job, and as your experience grows, you could work towards more advanced qualifications.
When you have reached NVQ Level 4 or AAT Technician level, you will be a qualified accounting technician who is able to produce financial reports and assist accountants with audits.
What is the salary?
(Guideline only) Salaries start around pounds 12,000-pounds 14,000, and with experience around pounds 20,000.
Institute of Certified Bookkeepers (ICB) www.book-keepers.org
International Association of Book-keepers (IAB) www.iab.org.uk
Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT) www.aat.org.uk
Details provided for information only. Jobs not necessarily available.