Accounts/Finance clerks provide financial administration support and information. They are sometimes referred to as book-keepers. They are involved in keeping accurate financial records, preparing and auditing accounts, overseeing profit and loss and incoming and outgoing expenses and dealing with petty cash and banking. They may work in a company's finance department, assist professional accountants or work in a specific department such as marketing and sales. The normal working week would be 37 hours, but at some times of the year they may be required to work overtime. Part time employment is possible.
There are no formal entry requirements, although it is usual to have GCSEs/S grades (A – C/1 – 3) in maths and English. Other helpful qualifications are: City & Guilds (8953) Level 1-2 Book-keeping and Accounts, OCR Level 1 Certificate in Book-keeping or the Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT) ABC Level 2 Certificate in Book-keeping. Also the Institute of Certified Book-keepers (ICB) offers Level 1 in Basic Book-keeping and Level 2 in Manual or Computerised Book-keeping. There is no age restriction.
An accounts/finance clerk needs to have good numerical skills, pay good attention to detail and accuracy, and be able to work easily with other people and customers. They must be able to work on their own or as part of a team.
Opportunities for career progression are good, rising through management structure ultimately to manager. Specialisation in particular areas such as accountancy, credit and payroll administration is also possible, as is becoming self-employed and advising smaller companies.
There are apprenticeships available, and training is usually on the job. Often there are in-house training schemes, and a wide range of qualifications is available, such as: NVQ/SVQ Levels 2 and 3 in Accounting; AAT Certificate (Foundation) and Advanced Certificate (Intermediate) in Accounting; International Association of Book-keepers (IAB) Levels 2 and 3 Certificates in Book-keeping, etc.; ICB Level 3 Diploma in Book-keeping (non-accredited qualification), etc.; and OCR Levels 2 and 3 in Certificates in Accounting.