Without bookkeeping and accounting, an organisation is just a chaotic cluster of numbers and figures without a clear direction. In order for an organisation to stay afloat and remain feasible, they must at the very least have a basic accounting system in place to track income, expenditure, profit and loss. This system will act as a performance indicator, as well as assisting in tax compliance, payroll, and various other important functions within the organisation. Bookkeeping and Accounting is therefore a huge sector within which there are many career opportunities.
Accounting Clerks work alongside senior accountants to ensure the maintenance and accuracy of financial records and ledgers. They may also be responsible for the processing of invoices, payroll, expenses and various other financial transactions within an organisation. Also falling into this category is the role of auditing clerk, who is responsible for ensuring company records are fully compliant with local, state, and federal law. Pursuing a career in these areas allows the flexibility to work in accounting firms, educational services, government agencies, and the health care industry.
Accounts Payable/Accounts Receivable
Working within the financial department, accounts payable and receivable clerks play a huge role in the general management of an organisation’s financial records and transactions. Accounts Payable Clerks manages outgoing bills and invoices on behalf of the company, such as utility bills, inventory invoices, purchase orders and reimbursements. Accounts Receivable Clerks manage incoming payments on behalf of the company by preparing and mailing invoices, reconciling cash receipts and deposits, and analyzing financial records. AP and AR Clerks are required to perform these tasks in a timely and efficient manner while always complying with company policy.
Where there is staff, there must be a payroll accountant. The main responsibility of the payroll accountant is to calculate employee paychecks by keeping track of time sheets, annual leave and pay scales while complying with payroll reporting and compliance regulations. Other accounting-related careers within the payroll area are payroll and benefits administrator, payroll clerk and payroll practitioner.
A tax accountant supports both businesses and individuals in achieving tax optimization and minimizing tax liability. Their duties may include communicating tax issues and updates to clients, conducting tax-related research, preparing and administrating tax returns and keeping clients compliant with tax obligations. A tax accountant may also be involved in the highly complex tax planning for large corporations based on business objectives. Other accounting related careers within the tax area are tax preparer, tax officer and tax clerk.
Also known as investment analysts, financial analysts are market experts used by banks, insurance companies, brokers and other financial services to assist in making smart investment decisions. They carry out in-depth evaluations of investment opportunities and conduct detailed reports, which are then presented to clients and used to forecast future performance. Financial Analysts may work in the areas of corporate finance, economics, portfolio management and wealth planning.
Whether it’s a small company, a large corporation, a non-profit or a government agency, bookkeeping and accounting play an integral role in every organisation. Careers in this area are therefore always in high demand, often offering competitive remuneration and wide flexibility. The Accounting and Bookkeeping programs offered by Western Community College can open the door to any of the careers mentioned above, as well as many others. Visit our website today to see our full list of programs, and find out how you can kick-start a successful career in the dynamic and critical area of Bookkeeping and Accounting.