Companies and government agencies, such as local police departments, couldn't manage the billing or fines collection process as efficiently without creditors' clerks. These clerks maintain accounts for all creditors, a number that is often in the thousands for large corporations. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics classifies creditors' clerks as "bookkeeping, accounting and auditing clerks." Salaries for creditors' clerks vary, depending on their geographical location and experience.
Creditors' clerks take phone calls and answer billing questions from residential and business customers. They also advise those with delinquent accounts on required actions. A creditor's clerk also may arrange special payment plans for creditors, with the approval from her supervisor, or initiate legal action or collections for delinquent accounts. These accounting clerks record the dates for all transactions, prepare invoices for customers and maintain database records of all payments.
In 2012, 28 percent of all creditors' clerks worked in professional, scientific and technical services or for retailers or wholesalers, the BLS reported. A quarter of them worked part time. Most creditors' clerks work in offices during regular business hours -- from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday to Friday, although some may work evenings and weekends, depending on their employers. Work can sometimes get stressful, as most companies have deadlines for processing transactions and collecting payments.
Education and Qualifications
The minimum educational requirements for a creditor's clerk was a high school diploma or general educational development certificate. Some employers may require creditors' clerks to take and pass certification exams through the Institute of Professional Bookkeepers or the National Association of Certified Public Bookkeepers. To qualify for certification exams, creditors' clerks must have at least two years of full-time bookkeeping experience. A passing grade typically is 80 percent, according to the BLS.
Average salaries for creditors' clerks were $37,250 as of May 2013, according to the BLS. The top 10 percent earned more than $55,170 per year. Creditors' clerks who worked for the US Postal Service earned the highest annual salaries of $59,280, while those in the securities and commodities industry averaged $51,590. Washington, D.C., employers paid their creditors' clerks the most at $51,640, followed by those in Connecticut -- $42,690.
With one or more years of experience, a creditor's clerk can become a junior accountant by obtaining an associate degree in accounting. Junior accountants help accountants create financial statements, prepare taxes for residential and business clients and manage corporate budgets. Creditors' clerks need bachelor's degrees in accounting to become accountants. Many accountants enhance their careers by becoming certified public accountants, which requires passing the four-part Uniform CPA Examination through the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.
The BLS doesn't track jobs for creditors' clerks. It estimates an 11 percent increase in employment for bookkeeping, accounting and auditing clerks, including creditors' clerks, from 2012 to 2022, which is on par with the national average of 11 percent for all jobs. The number of jobs for bookkeeping, accounting and auditing clerks is usually contingent on the economy, increasing during strong economies. The recent financial crisis in the United States spawned legislation for greater scrutiny of financial records, which also should increase jobs for bookkeeping, accounting and auditing clerks.
2016 Salary Information for Accountants and Auditors
Accountants and auditors earned a median annual salary of $68,150 in 2016, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. On the low end, accountants and auditors earned a 25th percentile salary of $53,240, meaning 75 percent earned more than this amount. The 75th percentile salary is $90,670, meaning 25 percent earn more. In 2016, 1,397,700 people were employed in the U.S. as accountants and auditors.