Accounting Assistant vs. Accounting Clerk

When you're thinking about a job in accounting, different titles seem similar but are different. Two of these are an accounting assistant and an accounting clerk. Both careers involve working with financial data. They also help accountants and financial managers. However, they differ in duties, education, and the job outlook. This blog post will discuss what's similar and different in these roles. This is to help you decide which one might be right for you.
Share this article

What is an accounting assistant?

An accounting assistant helps out the accounting team by handling administrative tasks. They keep financial records in order, create reports, and manage invoices and payments. They also do basic bookkeeping, like recording transactions and balancing bank statements. They work closely with accountants to get things done accurately and on time.

What is an accounting clerk?

An accounting clerk focuses more on clerical duties related to accounting. They handle tasks like entering data, managing financial records, and reconciling accounts. Accounting clerks use software and spreadsheets to organize and analyze financial information. They are crucial in ensuring that financial transactions are recorded and documented correctly.

Accounting Assistant vs. Accounting Clerk

In this part, we already have a basic understanding of their roles. Thus, let’s look at the differences between accounting assistants vs. accounting clerks.


There is some overlap in the duties of accounting assistants and accounting clerks. However, there are also distinct differences in the tasks they perform. Here is a breakdown of the typical responsibilities for each role:

Accounting Assistant Duties

  • Processing invoices and payments
  • Reconciling bank statements
  • Assisting with payroll processing
  • Maintaining financial records
  • Assisting with audits
  • Preparing financial reports

Accounting Clerk Duties

  • Data entry and transaction processing
  • Maintaining financial records
  • Assisting with accounts payable and accounts receivable processes
  • Bank reconciliations
  • Generating financial reports

As you can see, accounting assistants handle a more comprehensive range of tasks. Their tasks involve payroll processing and audits. On the other hand, accounting clerks mainly focus on bookkeeping and keeping records in order.


Both accounting assistants and clerks usually need a high school diploma or equivalent. However, some employers might like it if you have more education. Others are also okay with certification in accounting or bookkeeping.

A degree is only sometimes a must. However, getting an associate’s degree or a certificate in accounting can make it easier to find a job. It can also give you a better grasp of accounting principles and practices.

Article continues after recommendations

Job Outlook

When considering a career path, it’s crucial to assess the job outlook for the profession. According to the BLS, employment of accounting assistants is projected to grow 5 percent from 2019 to 2029. This job outlook is about as fast as the average for all occupations. This growth can be attributed to the increasing demand for financial data analysis and the need for individuals to assist with financial tasks.

For accounting clerks, the job outlook is also positive. The BLS projects a 4 percent decline in employment for accounting clerks from 2019 to 2029. This decline is mainly due to technological advancements that have automated many tasks. These automated tasks are traditionally performed by accounting clerks. However, there will still be a need for accounting clerks to handle more complex financial transactions. There’s also a need to assist with financial reporting.

Which is Higher: Accounting Clerk or Accounting Assistant?

Regarding career progression, being an accounting assistant generally offers more opportunities than being an accounting clerk. Accounting assistants usually handle more complex tasks, like payroll and helping with audits. This means better pay and more chances to advance in your career.

But keep in mind the structure of companies can be different. Some use other titles or have different levels within the accounting department. Researching the specific job market and the career paths available in your area is always a good idea.

Final Thoughts

Both accounting assistants and accounting clerks play crucial roles in maintaining accurate financial records and supporting an organization’s accounting department. Even though their tasks are similar, there are apparent differences in what they do and how much responsibility they have.

Consider what you enjoy when deciding between a career as an accounting assistant or an accounting clerk. It’s also essential to consider your education and long-term career goals. It’s also helpful to check out job opportunities and potential earnings.

If you’re considering a career in accounting, CCI Training Center can help you get started. They offer training programs that give you the skills for success in accounting. With financial aid options, accelerated program formats, and instructor-led online classes, CCI Training Center offers flexibility and convenience for students. Additionally, their dedicated instructors and career services support can help you navigate the job market and pursue a rewarding career in accounting.

Take the first step towards a career in accounting by exploring the programs CCI Training Center offers today.

Written By

Carey Maceira

An accomplished leader in the allied health career education sector, Carey enjoys managing career education programs, teaching, and mentoring adult students. Her success in working in the field drives her to go above and beyond each and every day.

Related Articles

CCI Training Center is proud to have completed 40 years in service.