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How Much Does An Accounting Clerk Cost?

Navigating Costs: Hiring an Accounting Clerk for Your Small Business

Running a small business can be a lot of work, and one of the most important tasks is to keep your finances in order. 

This is where an accounting clerk can come in handy. 

An accounting clerk can help you with a variety of tasks, such as bookkeeping, accounts payable, and accounts receivable. But how much does an accounting clerk cost? The answer to that question depends on several factors. 

In this blog post, we will discuss the cost of an accounting clerk for a small business, as well as some tips for hiring one.


What Does An Accounting Clerk Do?

An accounting clerk plays a vital role in the financial ecosystem of any business, ensuring that the intricate web of financial transactions and records remains organized, accurate, and compliant.

Their responsibilities encompass a wide range of tasks that contribute to the smooth functioning of a company's financial operations. 

Here are some key duties that an accounting clerk typically performs:

What Do Accounting Clerks Do?

Accounts Receivable

  • Prepare and issue invoices
  • Process ACH/credit card transactions
  • Identify delinquent accounts and insufficient payments
  • Reconcile deposits, transactions, and bank statements
  • Resolve discrepancies in customer accounts
  • Provide the weekly aging report to the client
  • Maintain up-to-date accounts receivable records
  • Reconcile customer balances

Accounts Payable

  • Enter all vendor bills and expenses into the accounting software
  • Process bill payments through a 3rd-party bill pay system, like
  • Review, code and process vendor bills
  • Maintain vendor database and vendor balances
  • Verify W9 completion
  • Review expense reports and investigate any issues
  • Reconcile and review credit card statements
  • Reconcile accounts payable sub-ledgers

What Do Accounting Clerks Not Do?

  • Develop long-term financial strategies, set financial goals and make high-level financial decisions
  • Complex tax planning, tax strategy development or tax optimization strategies
  • Create detailed financial forecasts and projections
  • Produce complex external financial reports like annual reports
  • Interpret complex legal regulations or handle intricate legal compliance matters related to finances
  • Develop comprehensive budgets that align with the company's strategic goals and growth plans
  • Formulate financial policies, procedures, and guidelines that shape the company's financial practices
  • Create or modify complex financial software or systems
  • Conduct thorough reviews of financial records and practices
  • Mergers and acquisitions, major investments, or significant capital allocation
  • Negotiations with clients or customers regarding financial terms and contracts


Basic Accounting Clerk Costs Per Month and Year

The basic cost of an accounting clerk per month and year will vary depending on a number of factors, including the clerk's experience, location and the specific duties they will be responsible for. 

It's important to remember that these estimations can vary significantly due to factors such as location, candidate experience, industry, and the specific job responsibilities assigned to the accounting clerk.

However, as a general rule of thumb, you can expect to pay an accounting clerk between $2,500 and $5,000 per month, or $30,000 and $60,000 per year.

An entry-level accounting clerk's monthly salary can range between approximately $2,000 and $4,000, contingent on the company's size and location. With an average monthly salary of around $3,000, the yearly salary would be approximately $36,000.

At BELAY, our Accounting Clerks start at $1,200 a month.


The Indirect Costs of DIY Accounting Clerks

When considering a DIY approach to accounting clerk tasks, it's important to recognize that while it might seem cost-effective on the surface, there are several indirect costs that could arise. 

These costs can impact your business's efficiency, accuracy, and overall financial health. Here are some indirect costs to consider:

1. Time Investment: Handling accounting tasks yourself takes time away from other critical business activities. This can affect your ability to focus on core operations, business development, and customer service.

2. Opportunity Cost: The time spent on accounting could be better used for activities that directly contribute to business growth and revenue generation. DIY accounting might prevent you from seizing new opportunities.

3. Inaccuracies and Errors: Inexperienced handling of accounting tasks can lead to mistakes, inaccuracies, and improper data entry. This can result in incorrect financial records, which may impact decision-making and financial planning.

4. Regulatory Compliance: Accounting involves adhering to various tax laws and financial regulations. Mishandling compliance requirements could result in penalties, fines or legal issues.

5. Lack of Expertise: Professional accountants bring specialized knowledge and skills to the table. DIY accounting might lack the depth of expertise needed for complex financial scenarios or strategic planning.

6. Scalability Challenges: As your business grows, the complexity of accounting tasks typically increases. A DIY approach might struggle to accommodate these expanding demands effectively.

7. Audit and Verification: In the case of audits or financial reviews, having professionally managed financial records can ease the process. DIY records might be more challenging to verify and could raise concerns during audits.

8. Data Security: Properly securing financial data is crucial. A lack of security measures in DIY accounting could expose sensitive financial information to risks.

9. Employee Satisfaction: If you're taking on accounting tasks personally, it might affect your overall job satisfaction and stress levels, impacting your well-being and motivation.

10. Strategic Focus: Business owners and managers need time to strategize and plan for the future. DIY accounting could divert attention from these essential activities.

11. Reconciliation Difficulties: DIY accounting might make it harder to reconcile bank statements, track expenses and maintain accurate financial records.

12. Transition Challenges: If you decide to hire a professional accountant later, transitioning from DIY accounting to professional services could involve additional costs and time for rectifying any mistakes made during the DIY phase.

In essence, while a DIY approach might initially seem cost-effective, the indirect costs can accumulate and impact your business's overall performance, accuracy and growth potential. Engaging a qualified accounting professional or team can help mitigate these indirect costs and ensure your business's financial operations are managed effectively.


How To Hire The Right Accounting Clerk

Hiring the right accounting clerk is essential for any business, big or small. Accounting clerks are responsible for a variety of important tasks, such as bookkeeping, accounts payable, and accounts receivable. 

They also play a key role in ensuring that your business's financial records are accurate and up-to-date.

Here are some tips on how to hire the right accounting clerk for your business:

Start by creating a detailed job description. This will help you to identify the specific skills and qualifications that you are looking for in an accounting clerk. Be sure to include the following information in your job description:

    • The duties and responsibilities of the position
    • The level of experience and education required
    • The desired skills and qualifications
    • The salary range

Post your job description on job boards. This will help you to reach a wider pool of candidates. Be sure to include keywords that are relevant to the accounting profession, such as "bookkeeping," "accounts payable" and "accounts receivable."

Screen resumes and conduct interviews. When screening resumes, look for candidates who have the required skills and experience. Be sure to ask questions during the interview to assess the candidate's knowledge of accounting principles and procedures.

You should also ask about the candidate's experience with different accounting software programs.

Check references. Once you have narrowed down your choices to a few candidates, be sure to check their references. This will give you a good idea of the candidate's work ethic, personality, and fit for the position.

Make an offer and extend a welcome. Once you have found the right candidate, be sure to extend a job offer and welcome them to your team. Be sure to provide them with the training and resources they need to be successful in the role.


Stop Doing It All Yourself. We Can Help.

With BELAY, you get a team of real people – not a rotating team of faceless bots – but a team of seriously skilled, servant-hearted people to provide the exact nonprofit and business accounting services you need.

Accounting Clerks are financial professionals that are data-entry wizards who assist with accounts payable, accounts receivable or any other transactional processes that support the bookkeeping cycle.

They organize documents and apply incoming and outgoing payments to the proper accounts while maintaining a high level of efficiency and accuracy.

Get that kind of help today and get back to what only you can do: growing your organization!