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Accounts Clerk CV Writers

Accounts Clerk CV Writers

If you’re an organised person who loves working with facts and figures, this could be a job that you would really enjoy.

Accounts clerks (also known as finance clerks or bookkeepers) work in all types of businesses and organisations, keeping financial records and helping to prepare accounts.

Although entry requirements may vary, employers may prefer you to have some GCSEs (A-C) including maths, or a similar level of qualification. It will be it helpful to have previous experience of office work but, most importantly, you should feel confident with numbers and using computers.

Once you are working as an accounts clerk, most of your training will be on the job and as your experience grows, you could work towards more advanced accountancy qualifications.



The work

As an accounts clerk your duties could include:

  • balancing accounts (often known as ‘double entry book-keeping’)
  • dealing with sales invoices, income, receipts and payments
  • arranging purchase orders
  • preparing statements showing income and payments
  • completing VAT returns
  • checking that accounts are accurate
  • preparing wages and managing claims for expenses
  • helping to prepare annual accounts
  • using computerised accounting systems and maintaining accurate records
  • giving administrative support to accountants.

In larger companies you would usually work as part of an accounting team. You might specialise in one area like sales or purchase ledger, payroll or credit control. In small businesses you might do all of these tasks and also check banking activities and handle cash.


Hours

In a full-time job you would typically work standard office hours, Monday to Friday. If you were a self-employed bookkeeper you could work part-time or flexibly at times to suit you.

Part-time hours and temporary work are often available.


Income

Starting salaries can be around £15,000 a year. With experience, you may earn up to £22,000 a year.

As a senior clerk you may earn up to £25,000 a year, and as an accounts manager possibly £35,000 or more.

Figures are intended as a guideline only.


Entry requirements

You will find it helpful to have previous experience of office work. Temporary work (‘temping’) can be a good way of getting experience that may lead to a permanent job. Computer experience is also useful, particularly for using programs like Microsoft Excel and Access.

Most importantly, you should feel confident with numbers and using computers.

Although entry requirements may vary, employers may prefer you to have some GCSEs (A-C) including maths, or a similar level of qualification. A Diploma in Business, Administration and Finance may give you a useful introduction to working in financial services.

It may help you if you take a recognised basic accounts or bookkeeping qualification before looking for work. These are available at levels 1 to 3, and are offered by:

  • Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT)
  • Institute of Certified Bookkeepers (ICB)
  • International Association of Bookkeepers (IAB)
  • OCR
  • ABC Awards
  • City & Guilds
  • Edexcel EDI
  • Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA).

You can study for most of these qualifications full-time or part-time in local colleges or training centres, or by distance learning.

You may be able to become an accounts clerk through an Apprenticeship scheme. You will need to check which schemes are available in your area.


Training and development

Once you are working as an accounts clerk, most of your training will be on the job while you help experienced staff. Employers may also support you if you study for recognised accounting and bookkeeping qualifications.

As your experience grows, you could work towards more advanced qualifications such as:

  • AAT Accounting Qualification (at Level 2 Certificate, Level 3 Diploma and Level 4 Diploma levels)
  • ACCA Foundations in Accountancy Awards, such as the Certified Accounting Technician (CAT) Qualification
  • IAB Level 3 Diploma in Accounting and Advanced Bookkeeping or Computerised Accounting
  • ICB Level 3 Diploma in Bookkeeping (Manual or Computerised).

See the Accounting Technician profile on this website for more information.

All the professional accountancy bodies offer fast qualification routes and exemptions to AAT members and people with ACCA CAT qualification. These could eventually lead to qualifying as a chartered accountant. Foundation degrees in accounting and related subjects are also available.


Skills and knowledge

As an accounts clerk you would need to enjoy working as part of a team and have:

  • confidence working with numbers
  • good spoken and written communication skills
  • an interest in business and finance
  • an organised and methodical approach
  • a high level of accuracy and attention to detail
  • honesty and discretion
  • an ability to solve problems.

Opportunities

You could work for companies in any business sector, or for public sector organisations such as local councils, colleges, universities or the NHS. You could also be a self-employed bookkeeper for a number of small businesses.

Jobs may be advertised by Jobcentre Plus, on company websites, by recruitment agencies and in the local and national press.

With more experience and qualifications, you could become an accounting technician and take on more complex work. You could also continue studying and qualify as an accountant.


Related industry information

Industry summary

The financial services industry is represented by the Financial Skills Partnership (FSP) which includes the following activities:

  • Banking – for individuals and businesses to manage their money, access loans, buy property, exchange currencies and many other activities. It is organised into three core categories: Retail; Corporate; and Wholesale banking.
  • Investments – managing and growing the wealth of individuals and organisations
  • Insurance – covers a huge variety of risks, from cars and houses to ships, planes and satellites.
  • Financial Advice – about working with people to plan their financial goals, based on their current situation and looking at the best ways they can achieve their financial objectives, such as helping someone to choose a mortgage, invest their savings or plan for their retirement.

Almost 1.2 million staff in 34,000 workplaces constitute the UK’s financial services sector, from online car insurers to retail banking giants, and from self‐employed independent financial advisers (IFAs) to global investment banks. Operating under a regulatory framework unique to the UK, the sector facilitates the allocation of capital, promotes confidence and continuity in life and business by managing risk and maintains the transaction systems that the rest of the economy relies on to conduct its business.

Key facts:

  • 47% of firms employ 250 people.
  • Employment is dominated by a handful of large employers, most notably the high street retail banks, e.g. Barclays, HSBC.
  • 29 % of the financial services workforce is employed in administrative or secretarial roles.
  • About a quarter of the workforce is in associate professional and technical roles.
  • Managerial roles, including owners in private companies and the self‐employed, account for 37% of the workforce.
  • Employment growth in UK financial services has been weak when compared with other countries, notably the US
  • Recently, there have been notable declines in employment numbers because of the recession
  • Staff turnover has declined, as fewer vacancies and concerns about the recession may be deterring people from changing jobs

Jobs in the industry range from:

  • Insurance – underwriting, broking, customer services, sales, risk management, compliance, training, actuarial and administrative roles
  • Investments – asset management (sometimes called fund management), product development, product management, investment analysis, relationship management
  • Banking – retail banking (customer services, customer advice, financial advice, foreign exchange and branch management); corporate banking (corporate advice, relationship management, small business management and corporate management); and wholesale banking (mergers and acquisitions, research, sales and trading, and corporate finance)
  • Financial advice – mortgage adviser, independent financial adviser, compliance practitioner, pensions adviser

National and regional data

East Midlands – retail banking dominates financial services employment in the East Midlands. Women make up 53% of the workforce and 51% of workers are aged 35‐59. Full‐time employees account for 73% of the workforce and the average salary is £29,383.

East of England – insurance and insurance broking make up the most important parts of the financial service economy in this region, with Norwich a main centre. The region employs 12% of the country’s financial services workforce, with the majority, 88%, full‐time. Men make up 56% of employees, with 57% of workers aged 35‐59. Average earnings are £34,433.

London – this is the major centre of the UK’s financial services industry, centering on the City and Canary Wharf. Wholesale banking and insurance, investments and exchange markets are all well represented here. Almost of quarter of the workforce; 24% is based in London. Men make up 66% of the workforce and most jobs are full‐time, 94%. The majority of employees; 49% are aged 20‐34 and the average salary is £86,779 although this is heavily skewed by the number of high‐earning posts in the City. For most, the average is much lower.

North East – insurance broking and banking are the most important financial services in the region, with Newcastle the main centre of activity. Around 3% of the UK workforce is based in the region. Women form 66% of the workforce and 63% of workers are full‐time. Employees aged 34‐59 make up the largest share of the workforce at 52%, and the average salary is £27,219.

North West – Manchester is the biggest centre in the region but Chester, Macclesfield and Stockport are important clusters. Banking and general insurance form the bulk of businesses. The region employs 9% of the UK’s financial services workforce, with women making up 56% of employees, and most jobs are full‐time, 80%. Workers aged 34‐59 form the largest section of the workforce at 57%. The average salary in the region is £28,416.

South East – the region is second only to London in size, taking up 15% of the workforce. The gender split between men and women is fairly even at 54% and 46%, respectively, and 60% of all employees are aged 34‐59. Most people are employed full‐time, 84% and the average earnings are £37,298.

South West – The main centres for financial services in this region are Bristol, Bournemouth, Gloucester and Swindon. The sector here makes up 7% of the UK’s sector total. Women form 59% of the workforce and the majority of jobs are full‐time, 75%. People aged 34‐59 form the largest share of the workforce. Average salary for the sector is £34,910.

West Midlands – the region employs around 6% of the UK’s workforce, with the majority centred on Birmingham. Banking, general insurance and credit are the most important sub‐sectors here. Men make up 52% of employees, with 72% of jobs overall being full‐time. Workers aged 34‐59 are in the majority at 52%. The average salary is £29,014.

Yorkshire and the Humber – the emphasis across the region is on retail banking and makes up 7% of the country’s workforce. There are slightly more women than men working in the sector at 51%, and 81% of jobs are full‐time. Once again, the 34‐59 age range is most common among employees, accounting for 51%. Average earnings are £27,481.

Scotland – financial services in Scotland range from retail banking to pensions and car insurance, with centres of activity in and around Edinburgh, Glasgow and Dunfermline. Over 2,100 companies are directly involved in the industry, providing 7% of the UK’s financial services workforce. The most common age range of employees is 34‐59, and most people work full‐time, 81%. The average salary for the sector as a whole is £35,016.

Originally from National Careers Service

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