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What is the difference between a bookkeeper and an accounting clerk?

Harold Averkamp, CPA, MBA

I envision a bookkeeper as a person employed by a smaller company and being responsible for recording nearly all of its transactions. Hence, the bookkeeper would likely process sales invoices, customers’ remittances, purchases, payments to vendors, payroll, monitoring receivables, preparing journal entries, and more.

I view an accounting clerk as a person employed by a larger company and having a more specialized role. For example, a large company may employ one or more accounts payable clerks to process a large volume of purchases and payments. The company may also employ a payroll clerk to process its many employees’ pay and fringe benefits. Perhaps an accounts receivable clerk will be employed to focus solely on the company’s credit customers. A manufacturer may employ a cost accounting clerk to prepare price quotes and to monitor production information.

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Certificate - Debits and Credits
Certificate - Adjusting Entries
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Certificate - Balance Sheet
Certificate - Income Statement
Certificate - Cash Flow Statement
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Certificate - Payroll Accounting

About the Author

Harold Averkamp

For the past 52 years, Harold Averkamp (CPA, MBA) has
worked as an accounting supervisor, manager, consultant, university instructor, and innovator in teaching accounting online. He is the sole author of all the materials on

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Certificates of Achievement

We now offer 10 Certificates of Achievement for Introductory Accounting and Bookkeeping:

  • Debits and Credits
  • Adjusting Entries
  • Financial Statements
  • Balance Sheet
  • Income Statement
  • Cash Flow Statement
  • Working Capital and Liquidity
  • Financial Ratios
  • Bank Reconciliation
  • Payroll Accounting
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