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Accounts Receivable Clerk: Job Description, Duties and Requirements

Accounts receivable clerks are the individuals who work with a company's incoming money. Those who wish to become accounts receivable clerks should enjoy working in an office, be comfortable working with numbers, and be trustworthy enough to handle the funds and the confidential information that crosses their desks.

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Accounts Receivable Clerk Job Description

Accounts receivable (A/R) clerks usually work for companies which are large enough to warrant a person or staff dedicated to the keeping track of the inflow of money. They are more specialized than bookkeepers or bookkeeping clerks, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (www.bls.gov). Accounts receivable clerks perform clerical, financial, and administrative services in an office environment, posting transactions, and calculating interest and totals, as well as tracking incoming payments and obligations. As they gain experience, A/R clerks may be given broader responsibilities for accounts and data.

Accounts Receivable Clerk Job Duties

Some typical job duties of the accounts receivable clerk include billing, keeping track of and collecting money owed, maintaining customer files, communicating with customers, preparing bank deposits, making sure the billing system is up-to-date, and operating office equipment such as copiers and fax machines, as well as a 10-key calculator. Given these duties, it is important that an accounts receivable clerk have good interpersonal and communication skills, a strong eye for detail, knowledge of computer software programs such as Microsoft Office, a strong background in mathematics, a familiarity with office equipment, good organizational skills, and the ability to work independently. The skills to handle stress, negotiate, solve problems, and manage conflict may also be helpful.

Accounts Receivable Clerk Requirements

Usually, the only education requirement to become an accounts receivable clerk is to possess a high school diploma or a GED. However, many employers prefer those who have taken college level accounting courses, or who have obtained at least a two-year degree in accounting. Many employers also prefer job candidates who have prior experience working in accounting or accounts receivables specifically. Most employers give new accounts receivable clerks on-the-job training so that they become familiar with the company's policies and procedures.

Salary Info and Job Outlook

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS, www.bls.gov), job growth predicted for bookkeeping, accounting, and auditing clerks is estimated to be 14% between 2010 and 2020. The median annual salary earned by such clerks was reported as $35,170 in May 2012 by the same source. The BLS noted that the post office, movie and television production companies, and rail transportation services paid the highest salaries, each averaging more than $45,000.

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Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics