Bookkeeping and Payroll Accounting Careers
Bookkeeping and Payroll Accounting Career Paths
Every business must keep track of monetary transactions. Larger companies typically have an entire department of accountants and accounting support staff specializing in a single area (such as accounts payable or payroll), while smaller companies may have one or two professionals taking over many different accounting duties. The Herzing University Diploma in Bookkeeping and Payroll Accounting program will prepare graduates for entry into many areas, including:
- Bookkeeping Clerks – Bookkeepers record the daily transactions in a general ledger, keeping track of all payment and receipt entries (debits and credits). This often includes preparing bank deposits, preparing invoices, and keeping track of overdue accounts. They may also generate reports or charts of this data for management.
- Accounting Clerks – Duties for clerks are usually specialized in a certain area of accounting, such as accounts receivable or accounts payable. Entry-level clerks may monitor loans, post transaction details, total accounts, and determine/apply interest charges.
- Auditing Clerks – Auditing Clerks are the quality control measure for accuracy of transactions posted by other employees. They will compare figures and postings to make sure there are no errors or discrepancies.
- Payroll Clerks – These professionals are responsible for ensuring employees are paid properly. This requires checking employee time cards, taking out the appropriate taxes and benefit/other contributions, and verifying that vacation and sick time are accruing correctly.
Bookkeepers and Payroll Accounting Clerks spend most of their time at a desk on a computer. They may work part or full-time depending on the employer’s needs. Full-time employees typically receive a comprehensive benefits package including healthcare and retirement savings plan(s). There may be overtime required when fiscal deadlines such as tax time and year end approach. Professionals in this field may need to take precautions against eye strain and carpel tunnel syndrome, symptoms which occur more often for workers spending many hours at a computer.
Employees in this field can advance through a number of avenues. As a clerk, obtaining a certification from an industry organization (such as the The American Institute of Professional Bookkeepers and ADP Software Company) will demonstrate to employers that the clerk has been recognized by professionals in the bookkeeping and/or payroll accounting field for their knowledge and commitment to the profession. Bookkeeping and payroll specialists may also look to advance by taking a supervisory role and managing others in their department, or moving to a different company where they will be given greater responsibility and therefore a higher salary. Lastly, some people use this position as a stepping stone while continuing their education in order to become an accountant or auditor.