California Occupational Guides

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Detailed Guide for

Bookkeeping, Accounting, and Auditing Clerks in San Diego County

May also be called: Accounting Clerks; Accounts Payables Clerks; Accounting Assistants; Bookkeepers; Accounts Receivable Clerks; Accounting Associates; Fiscal Technicians; Accounting Representatives; Accounting Technicians, and Audit Clerks.

What Would I Do?

Bookkeeping, Accounting, and Auditing Clerks are an organization’s financial record keepers. They update and maintain accounting records, including those which tabulate expenditures, receipts, accounts payable and receivable, and profit and loss.

They represent a wide range of skills and knowledge, from Full-Charge Bookkeepers who can maintain an entire company’s books, to Accounting Clerks who handle a specific account. All of these Clerks make numerous computations each day and must be increasingly more comfortable using computers to calculate and record data.

Bookkeeping Clerks keep complete, up-to-date, and accurate records of accounts and financial arrangements. They verify and enter information into journals and ledgers or into a computer. Bookkeepers periodically balance the books and compile reports and financial statements. They also receive, record, bank, and pay out cash. These Clerks may calculate employee wages from records or time cards and issue payroll checks.

Accounting Clerks calculate, post, and verify basic financial information used to produce and maintain financial and statistical documents. Some of the work includes posting accounts receivable and payable, preparing and making bank deposits, recording payrolls, maintaining inventory records, purchasing supplies, and preparing purchase orders and expense reports. Accounting Clerks may also make schedules, sort documents, and file bills.

Auditing Clerks review records to determine if the figures and calculations by other workers are accurate. They examine documents such as expense accounts, commission payments, cash receipts, bank records, and inventory records. They compute percentages and totals and compare results to financial records. They also correct errors or note mistakes that need to be corrected.

Important Tasks and Related Skills

Each task below is matched to a sample skill required to carry out the task.

View the skill definitions
TaskSkill Used in this Task
Check figures, postings, and documents for correct entry, mathematical accuracy, and proper codes.Mathematics
Operate computers programmed with accounting software to record, store, and analyze information.Perceptual Speed
Comply with federal, state, and company policies, procedures, and regulations.Reading Comprehension
Debit, credit, and total accounts on computer spreadsheets and databases, using specialized accounting software.Critical Thinking
Classify, record, and summarize numerical and financial data to compile and keep financial records, using journals and ledgers or computers.Near Vision
Calculate, prepare, and issue bills, invoices, account statements, and other financial statements according to established procedures.Time Management
Compile statistical, financial, accounting or auditing reports and tables pertaining to such matters as cash receipts, expenditures, accounts payable and receivable, and profits and losses.Problem Sensitivity
Code documents according to company procedures.Information Ordering
Access computerized financial information to answer general questions as well as those related to specific accounts.Clerical
Perform general office duties such as filing, answering telephones, and handling routine correspondence.Oral Comprehension
Source: U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Information Network (O*NET)

Working Conditions

Bookkeeping, Accounting, and Auditing Clerks work in a temperature controlled office environment. They often have to sit for extended periods while reviewing detailed data. Clerks must take proper precautions to avoid muscle strain, backaches, headaches, or repetitive motion injuries that could result from using computers on a daily basis.

Many Clerks work regular business hours and a standard 40-hour week. A substantial number work part time. Full-time and part-time Clerks may work some evenings and weekends. Bookkeeping, Accounting, and Auditing Clerks may work longer hours to meet deadlines at the end of the fiscal year, during tax time, or when monthly or yearly accounting audits are performed. Those who work in hotels, restaurants, and stores may put in overtime during peak holiday and vacation seasons.

Will This Job Fit Me?

People who enjoy work activities that follow set procedures and routines might like this type of job. Those who prefer working with data and detail, and who prefer work that has precise standards, might also enjoy this work. Accounting occupations satisfy those with realistic interests. This work also appeals to those who like working where the lines of authority are clear.

What Wages and Benefits Can I Expect?

Earnings for Bookkeeping, Accounting, and Auditing Clerks often vary by firm, level of experience, and workload assigned.

Wages

The median wage in 2016 for Bookkeeping, Accounting, and Auditing Clerks in California is $43,615 annually, or $20.97 hourly. The median wage for Bookkeeping, Accounting, and Auditing Clerks in San Diego County is $43,114 annually, or $20.72 hourly. The median is the point at which half of the workers earn more and half earn less.

Change to Hourly Wages
Annual Wages for 2016Low
(25th percentile)
Median
(50th percentile)
High
(75th percentile)
California$34,200$43,615$54,770
San Diego County$34,241$43,114$51,863
Source: EDD/LMID Occupational Employment Statistics Survey, 2016 Wages do not reflect self-employment.
View Wages for All Areas

Benefits

In general, full-time Bookkeeping, Accounting, and Auditing Clerks are offered medical and dental insurance, vacation and sick leave, and retirement benefits.

What Do Local Employers Say About Benefits?  Of the 37 employers in San Diego County, almost all provide medical insurance, and most provide vacation and dental insurance and sick leave benefits to Bookkeeping, Accounting, and Auditing Clerks who work full-time.

Percent of Employers Who Provide
Specific Benefits by Time Base
Benefit TypeFull-TimePart-Time
Medical Insurance81%11%
Vacation73%11%
Dental Insurance65%5%
Sick Leave62%5%
Life Insurance54%3%
Retirement Plan51%8%
Vision Insurance51%3%
Disability Insurance24%3%
Paid Time Off Bank24%3%
No benefits11%3%
Source: EDD/LMID Local Occupational Information Survey.

Of the 30 employers surveyed who responded in San Diego County, who provides medical benefits, almost all reported that they pay half or more of the cost of medical insurance for full-time, and most reported that they pay half or more of the cost of medical insurance for part-time Bookkeeping, Accounting, and Auditing Clerks.

Percent of Employers Who Paid Medical
Insurance by Portion Paid by Time Base
Portion Paid by Employer:Full-TimePart-Time
All43%25%
Half or more47%50%
Less than Half7%25%
None3%0%
Source: EDD/LMID Local Occupational Information Survey.

What is the Job Outlook?

The large size of this occupation ensures plentiful job openings in California, including many opportunities for temporary and part-time work. Those who can carry out a wider range of bookkeeping and accounting activities will be in greater demand than specialized Clerks. Certified bookkeepers and those with several years of accounting or bookkeeper experience will have the best job prospects.

Nationally, about seven percent of Bookkeeping, Accounting, and Auditing Clerks are self-employed.

Projections of Employment

In California, the number of Bookkeeping, Accounting, and Auditing Clerks is expected to decline between 2014 and 2024.

In San Diego County, the number of Bookkeeping, Accounting, and Auditing Clerks is expected to grow faster than average growth rate for all occupations. Jobs for Bookkeeping, Accounting, and Auditing Clerks are expected to increase by 20.6 percent, or 3,050 jobs between 2012 and 2022.

Estimated Employment and Projected Growth
Bookkeeping, Accounting, and Auditing Clerks
Geographic Area
(Estimated Year-Projected Year)
Estimated
Employment
Projected
Employment
Numeric
Change
Percent
Change
Additional Openings
Due to Net
Replacements
California
(2014-2024)
192,000188,600-3,400-1.818,800
San Diego County
(2012-2022)
14,81017,8603,05020.61,360
Source: EDD/LMID Projections of Employment by Occupation
View Projected Growth for All Areas

Annual Job Openings

In California, an average of 1,880 job openings due to net replacement needs is expected per year for Bookkeeping, Accounting, and Auditing Clerks.

In San Diego County, an average of 305 new job openings per year is expected for Bookkeeping, Accounting, and Auditing Clerks, plus an additional 136 job openings due to net replacement needs, resulting in a total of 441 job openings.

Estimated Average Annual Job Openings
Bookkeeping, Accounting, and Auditing Clerks
Geographic Area
(Estimated Year-
Projected Year)
Jobs From GrowthJobs Due to
Net Replacements
Total Annual
Job Openings
California
(2014-2024)
01,8801,880
San Diego County
(2012-2022)
305136441
Source: EDD/LMID Projections of Employment by Occupation
View Data for All Areas

How Do I Qualify?

Education, Training, and Other Requirements

Although a college degree is rarely required, graduates may accept Bookkeeping, Accounting, and Auditing Clerk positions to get into a particular company or to enter the accounting or finance field with the hope of eventually being promoted to professional or managerial positions.

Experience in a related job and working in an office environment also is recommended. Employers prefer workers who are computer literate with knowledge of word processing and spreadsheet software.

Once hired, Bookkeeping, Accounting, and Auditing Clerks usually receive on-the-job training. Under the guidance of a supervisor or other senior worker, new employees learn company procedures. Some formal classroom training also may be necessary, such as training in specific computer software. Bookkeeping, Accounting, and Auditing Clerks must be careful, orderly, and detail-oriented in order to avoid making errors and to recognize errors made by others. These workers also should be discreet and trustworthy, because they frequently come in contact with confidential material. In addition, all Bookkeeping, Accounting, and Auditing Clerks should have a strong aptitude for numbers.

Early Career Planning

High school students interested in pursuing this type of work should take business math, algebra, keyboarding, and computer classes to learn basic accounting software programs.

Apprenticeship and Work Study Programs

In many areas of California, Regional Occupational Programs (ROPs) exist for students who want to learn about the accounting field. Some programs offer paid work-study positions.

Where Can I Find Training?

There are two ways to search for training information:

Contact the schools you are interested in to learn about the classes available, tuition and fees, and any prerequisite course work.

Where Would I Work?

The largest industries employing this occupation are as follows: The largest industries employing Bookkeeping, Accounting, and Auditing Clerks are as follows:

Industry TitlePercent of Total Employment for Occupation in California
Accounting and Bookkeeping Services 7.2%
Management of Companies and Enterprises 3.8%
Local Government 3.7%
Office Administrative Services 2.4%
Employment Services 2.2%
Source: EDD/LMID Staffing Patterns

What Employers Say...

The Employment Development Department surveyed 37 employers in San Diego County which employ 107 Bookkeeping, Accounting, and Auditing Clerks. Here's what they had to say:

About Full-Time/Part-Time: Almost All of these firms employ full-time and some employ part-time Bookkeeping, Accounting, and Auditing Clerks.

About Work Experience:  Of the 37 employers surveyed in San Diego County, almost all require new hires to have prior work experience as Bookkeeping, Accounting, and Auditing Clerks. In the table below, percentages may not add to 100% since employers may select more than one time period.

How Much Work Experience
Do Employers Require?
More than 5 years 6%
25 to 60 months 19%
13 to 24 months 39%
1 to 12 months 39%
Source: EDD/LMID Local Occupational Information Survey.

About Recruitment:  Of the 37 employers surveyed in San Diego County, many indicate it is easy to find applicants with experience who meet their minimum hiring requirements, while many indicate it is hard to find applicants without previous experience who meet their minimum hiring requirements to fill vacancies for Bookkeeping, Accounting, and Auditing Clerks.

About Hiring:  Of the 37 employers surveyed in San Diego County, almost all expect the number of Bookkeeping, Accounting, and Auditing Clerks they employ to remain stable during the coming year.

Hiring Expectations
Expect Employment to Increase 14%
Expect Employment to Remain Stable 84%
Expect Employment to Decline 3%
Source: EDD/LMID Local Occupational Information Survey.

About Vacancies:  Of the 37 employers surveyed in San Diego County, 41 percent hired Bookkeeping, Accounting, and Auditing Clerks during the past year. Of the hiring firms, 73 percent filled existing vacancies, 33 percent filled newly created positions, and 20 percent filled temporary assignments.

Finding a Job

 Online job opening systems include JobCentral at www.jobcentral.com and CalJOBSSM at www.caljobs.ca.gov.

To find your nearest One-Stop Career Center, go to Service Locator. View the helpful job search tips for more resources. (requires Adobe Reader).

Yellow Page Headings

You can focus your local job search by checking employers listed online or in your local telephone directory. Below are some suggested headings where you might find employers of Bookkeeping, Accounting, and Auditing Clerks.

  • Bookkeeping
  • Accounting Services
  • Employment Agencies – Temporary

Find Possible Employers

To locate a list of employers in your area, go to "Find Employers" on the Labor Market Information Web site:

  • Select one of the top industries that employ the occupation. This will give you a list of employers in that industry in your area.
  • Click on "View Filter Selections" to limit your list to specific cities or employer size.
  • Click on an employer for the street address, telephone number, size of business, Web site, etc.
  • Contact the employer for possible employment.

Where Could This Job Lead?

Bookkeeping, Accounting, and Auditing Clerks usually advance by taking on more responsibilities in the same occupation for higher pay or by transferring to a closely-related occupation. Most companies promote individuals to office and administrative support supervisory and managerial positions from within their organizations. Clerks who acquire additional skills, experience, and training improve their advancement opportunities. With appropriate experience and education, some Bookkeeping, Accounting, and Auditing Clerks become accountants or auditors.

Related Occupations

Below is a list of occupations related to Bookkeeping, Accounting, and Auditing Clerks with links to more information.

OccupationOccupational
Guide
Industry
Report
Occupational
Profile
Billing and Posting ClerksProfile
Brokerage ClerksProfile
Loan Interviewers and ClerksProfile
Office Clerks, GeneralGuide
Payroll and Timekeeping ClerksProfile
Secretaries and Administrative Assistants, Except Legal, Medical, and ExecutiveGuide
TellersGuide

Other Sources

  • American Institute of Professional Bookkeepers
         www.aipb.org

These links are provided for your convenience and do not constitute an endorsement by EDD.

For the Career Professional

The following codes are provided to assist counselors, job placement workers, or other career professionals.

SystemCode
SOC - Standard Occupational Classification43-3031
O*NET - Occupational Information Network
   Bookkeeping, Accounting, and Auditing Clerks43-3031.00
   Interest Codes (RIASEC)CER
CIP - Classification of Instructional Programs
   Accounting Technology/Technician and Bookkeeping 520302
TOP - Taxonomy of Programs (California Community Colleges)
   Accounting050200