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Career profile Accounting Specialist

Also known as Account Clerk, Accounting Assistant, Accounting Associate, Accounting Clerk, Accounting Specialist, Accounting Technician, Accounts Payable Clerk, Accounts Payable Specialist, Accounts Payables Clerk, Accounts Receivable Clerk

Accounting Specialist

Also known as Account Clerk, Accounting Assistant, Accounting Associate

Interests Profile
  • Conventional
  • Enterprising
  • Realistic
Pay Range
$27,050 - $63,900 (annual)
Required Skills
  • Mathematics
  • Reading Comprehension
  • Active Listening
Knowledge Areas
  • Customer and Personal Service
  • Administrative
  • Mathematics
Core tasks
  • Perform personal bookkeeping services.
  • Operate computers programmed with accounting software to record, store, and analyze information.
  • Prepare and process payroll information.
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What does an Accounting Specialist do?

Accounting Specialists compute, classify, and record numerical data to keep financial records complete.

In addition, Accounting Specialists

  • perform any combination of routine calculating, posting, and verifying duties to obtain primary financial data for use in maintaining accounting records,
  • may also check the accuracy of figures, calculations, and postings pertaining to business transactions recorded by other workers.

What kind of tasks does an Accounting Specialist perform regularly?

Accounting Specialists are often responsible for overseeing or executing some or all of the following tasks:

  • Operate computers programmed with accounting software to record, store, and analyze information.
  • Check figures, postings, and documents for correct entry, mathematical accuracy, and proper codes.
  • Comply with federal, state, and company policies, procedures, and regulations.
  • Receive, record, and bank cash, checks, and vouchers.
  • Operate 10-key calculators, typewriters, and copy machines to perform calculations and produce documents.
  • Code documents according to company procedures.
  • Perform financial calculations, such as amounts due, interest charges, balances, discounts, equity, and principal.
  • Reconcile or note and report discrepancies found in records.
  • Perform general office duties, such as filing, answering telephones, and handling routine correspondence.
  • Access computerized financial information to answer general questions as well as those related to specific accounts.
  • Debit, credit, and total accounts on computer spreadsheets and databases, using specialized accounting software.
  • Classify, record, and summarize numerical and financial data to compile and keep financial records, using journals and ledgers or computers.
  • Match order forms with invoices, and record the necessary information.

The above responsibilities are specific to Accounting Specialists. More generally, Accounting Specialists are involved in several broader types of activities:

Working with Computers
Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
Getting Information
Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Documenting/Recording Information
Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships
Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.

What is an Accounting Specialist salary?

The median salary for an Accounting Specialist is $42,410, and the average salary is $44,100. Both the median and average roughly describe the middle of the Accounting Specialist salary range, but the average is more easily affected by extremely high or low salaries.

Many Accounting Specialists earn significantly more or less than the average, due to several factors. About 10% of Accounting Specialists earn less than $27,050 per year, 25% earn less than $33,920, 75% earn less than $52,430, and 90% earn less than $63,900.

Between the years of 2020 and 2030, the number of Accounting Specialists is expected to change by -3.0%, and there should be roughly 170,200 open positions for Accounting Specialists every year.

Median annual salary
$42,410
Typical salary range
$27,050 - $63,900
Projected growth (2020 - 2030)
-3.0%

What personality traits are common among Accounting Specialists?

Interests

Career interests describe a person's preferences for different types of working environments and activities. When a person's interest match the demands of an occupation, people are usually more engaged and satisfied in that role.

Compared to most occupations, those who work as an Accounting Specialist are usually higher in their Conventional interests.

Accounting Specialists typically have very strong Conventional interests. Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.

Values

People differ in their values, or what is most important to them for building job satisfaction and fulfillment.

Compared to most people, those working as an Accounting Specialist tend to value Support, Relationships, and Achievement.

Most importantly, Accounting Specialists strongly value Support. Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees.

Second, Accounting Specialists moderately value Relationships. Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment.

Lastly, Accounting Specialists moderately value Achievement. Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment.

Psychological Demands

Each occupation brings its own set of psychological demands, which describe the characteristics necessary to perform the job well.

In order to perform their job successfully, people who work as Accounting Specialists must consistently demonstrate qualities such as dependability, attention to detail, and integrity.

Below, you'll find a list of qualities typically required of Accounting Specialists, ranked by importance:

Dependability
Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
Attention to Detail
Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
Integrity
Job requires being honest and ethical.
Cooperation
Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
Initiative
Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.

What education and training do Accounting Specialists need?

Accounting Specialists often have training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience, or an associate's degree.

Accounting Specialists usually need one or two years of training involving both on-the-job experience and informal training with experienced workers. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with this occupation.

Educational degrees among Accounting Specialists

  • 3.7% did not complete high school or secondary school
  • 26.3% completed high school or secondary school
  • 37.1% completed some college coursework
  • 12.3% earned a Associate's degree
  • 17.1% earned a Bachelor's degree
  • 3.1% earned a Master's degree
  • 0.5% earned a doctorate or professional degree

Knowledge and expertise required by Accounting Specialists

Accounting Specialists may benefit from understanding of specialized subject areas, such as customer and personal service, administrative, or mathematics knowledge.

The list below shows several areas in which most Accounting Specialists might want to build proficiency, ranked by importance.

Customer and Personal Service
Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
Administrative
Knowledge of administrative and office procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and workplace terminology.
Mathematics
Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
Economics and Accounting
Knowledge of economic and accounting principles and practices, the financial markets, banking, and the analysis and reporting of financial data.
Computers and Electronics
Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.

Important Abilities needed by Accounting Specialists

Accounting Specialists must develop a particular set of abilities to perform their job well. Abilities are individual capacities that influence a person's information processing, sensory perception, motor coordination, and physical strength or endurance. Individuals may naturally have certain abilities without explicit training, but most abilities can be sharpened somewhat through practice.

For example, Accounting Specialists need abilities such as oral comprehension, written comprehension, and mathematical reasoning in order to perform their job at a high level. The list below shows several important abilities for Accounting Specialists, ranked by their relative importance.

Oral Comprehension
The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
Written Comprehension
The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
Mathematical Reasoning
The ability to choose the right mathematical methods or formulas to solve a problem.
Near Vision
The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
Written Expression
The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.

Critical Skills needed by Accounting Specialists

Skills are developed capacities that enable people to function effectively in real-world settings. Unlike abilities, skills are typically easier to build through practice and experience. Skills influence effectiveness in areas such as learning, working with others, design, troubleshooting, and more.

Accounting Specialists frequently use skills like mathematics, reading comprehension, and active listening to perform their job effectively. The list below shows several critical skills for Accounting Specialists, ranked by their relative importance.

Mathematics
Using mathematics to solve problems.
Reading Comprehension
Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work-related documents.
Active Listening
Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Critical Thinking
Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions, or approaches to problems.
Writing
Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.

What is the source of this information?

The information provided on this page is adapted from data and descriptions published by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration under the CC BY 4.0 license. TraitLab has modified some information for ease of use and reading, and the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment, and Training Administration has not approved, endorsed, or tested these modifications.

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