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accounting clerk vs. Staff Accountant: What Are the Differences?

Learn about the two careers and review some of the similarities and differences between them.

If you’re interested in a career in accounting, you may be wondering what the difference is between an accounting clerk and a staff accountant. Both positions require knowledge of accounting principles and procedures, but there are some key differences between the two. In this article, we’ll discuss the duties of an accounting clerk and a staff accountant, and we’ll compare and contrast the two positions.

What is ?

An accounting clerk is responsible for performing a variety of accounting, bookkeeping, and financial tasks. They maintain financial records, prepare financial reports, and process invoices. They may also reconcile bank statements, prepare tax returns, and assist with auditing. Accounting clerks typically work in the accounting or finance department of a company and report to an accountant or financial manager. Many accounting clerks have an associate’s degree in accounting or a related field, and some employers may require certification.

What is a Staff Accountant?

A Staff Accountant is responsible for preparing financial statements, maintaining ledgers, and reconciling accounts for their organization. They work with a variety of financial documents to ensure accuracy and compliance with relevant laws and regulations. Staff Accountants may also be responsible for auditing financial documents, preparing tax returns, and providing support to the organization’s senior accounting staff. In larger organizations, Staff Accountants may specialize in a particular area of accounting, such as auditing, tax, or financial analysis.

vs. Staff Accountant

Here are the main differences between and a staff accountant.

Job Duties

Accounting clerks perform a wide variety of tasks, depending on their employer and the needs of the business. They may take care of bookkeeping duties like processing invoices, reconciling accounts or maintaining financial records. Accounting clerks also may assist other accounting staff with more advanced tasks like preparing tax forms or managing corporate finances.

Staff accountants typically perform accounting duties for a company, providing support to other employees as they complete daily work and helping them with any questions they have about accounting procedures. They may also help other departments within accounting by answering questions from other employees and assisting with filing documents.

The duties of a staff accountant are similar to those of an accounting clerk, but there are some differences in the types of work they do. A staff accountant is usually the primary point of contact for accounting inquiries from other employees and often serves as the first person that someone from another department speaks to when they have a question about accounting. Accounting clerks can also perform these duties, but it’s less likely that they will because they often work under the supervision of a manager.

Job Requirements

To become a staff accountant, you need at least a bachelor’s degree in accounting or a related field. You may be able to find entry-level positions with just an undergraduate degree, but many employers prefer candidates who have completed a master’s degree program in accounting or business administration. In addition to your education, you will also need to pass the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) exam before you can begin working as a staff accountant.

Work Environment

Accounting clerks work in a variety of environments, including accounting firms, banks and other financial institutions. They may also work for companies that provide services to businesses, such as bookkeeping or tax preparation.

Staff accountants typically work in an office environment with other staff members. They may work for large corporations, small businesses or government agencies. Some staff accountants work on their own, while others work in teams.


The specific skills used on the job by accounting clerks and staff accountants can differ depending on their responsibilities. However, both types of professionals typically use basic math skills, computer skills and communication skills in their work.

Accounting clerks often have more administrative duties than staff accountants, so they may benefit from having strong organizational skills to keep track of paperwork and deadlines. They also may need to have customer service skills if they are responsible for interacting with clients or customers. Staff accountants may need to use more complex math skills when they are preparing financial reports or performing data analysis. They also may need to be familiar with tax laws and regulations if they are responsible for filing taxes for a company.


The average salary for an accounting clerk is $38,318 per year, while the average salary for a staff accountant is $62,583 per year. The salary for both positions may vary depending on the size of the company, the location of the job and the level of experience the employee has.


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