Accounts Payable jobs and opportunities in SA
Interested in finance jobs? Today we take a closer look at accounts payable jobs, looking at the career itself as well as the opportunities in South Africa.
What is an Accounts Clerk?
Also known as an accounting clerk or accounts payable or receivable clerk, an accounts clerk performs a range of accounting tasks, across the accounting department.
These types of jobs in finance require you to help verify the accuracy of invoices, accounting documents. You are also responsible for updating and maintaining ledgers, records and journals, which are used to detail transactions, from expenses, receipts, disbursements and many more.
You’ll also find yourself working with the computer program SAP, and compiling records, data and reports. This career’s daily tasks and responsibilities also involve reconciling records, reporting to management and employees and investigating and recommending various action, depending on the data and numbers.
Accounts payable jobs are a great option if you are highly analytical, have an attention to detail, excel in verbal and written communication and are highly motivated and organised and can multi-task efficiently.
The current job market is an exciting one that is filled with a range of opportunities for accounting or account clerks to experience a range of businesses, from small to large. You can do it all.
Want to know more? As an accounting clerk you are vital to the organisation to keep things running smoothly.
You’ll find yourself working with a range of databases and accounting spreadsheets while calculating and working with banks, businesses and more to get a thorough understanding of all the elements of the business. The exciting part of it all is that you can work for a range of businesses, and become more specialized as the business requires more skills and a niche accounting pattern.
As your job requires you to monitor accounts, you’ll need to be able to see patterns, be organised and spend hours reconciling and checking figures to ensure all adds up.
You’ll find yourself work with other accountants on documents that need mathematical accuracy, figures and postings. You’ll also be working with various programs to help store, record and make the most of the data and information you receive and need to understand and sort.
An accounts clerk accounting clerk also takes on many responsibilities that are vital to any business and its functioning, and your role is key in making things run smoothly and efficiently.
Responsibilities of an Accounts Clerk
While responsibilities vary from job to job and business to business, there is a set of key responsibilities you will need to take on in this field of finance jobs.
Primarily you will be responsible for support across the department and your job would be ensuring that ledger systems, files and reports are compiled and correct.
On a day-to-day basis you would research, track, compile and solve a range of accounting problems. You would also record transactions and keep track of general ledger and file and tally a range of data. You would find yourself working with a range of databases, banks and systems to ensure everything is in place.
An accounting clerk is also responsible for supporting key personnel in all accounting matters. This could include inputting vouchers, account statements, reports and records. You would also be vital in monitoring discount opportunities and resolving issues and discrepancies.
You’ll also be responsible for paying employees, verifying vendor relations, reporting and calculating taxes and reports on vendors and related businesses.
Accounts payable jobs will also see you working with highly sensitive information, so keeping it confidential and protecting privacy is a vital aspect of your job.
Skills required for these jobs in finance
As with responsibilities, while the specific set may range from job to job, there is a host of key skills that you will need in any business setting when it comes to finance jobs in South Africa.
These skills include having an attention to detail, being thorough, professional and analytical. You’ll need to be proficient in data, systems, maths, and have a knack for both written and verbal communication.
You’ll need to be able to think logically, communicate well and enjoy working with a range of people. You’ll also need to be ethical and have sound judgement on all monetary and data matters.
If you are looking to take on the role of an accounting clerk, you can expect an average pay of around R97,287 each year. That said your level of experience heavily influences your salary and career opportunities. Most accounting clerks move to new positions after around 10 years in the field.
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Education and Training for Finance Jobs in South Africa
If you would like to kick-start your career with jobs in finance, you will be glad to hear that South Africa boasts a range of great programmes. If you are interested in accounts payable jobs or just looking at the broader field finance jobs in South Africa, here are some of the training and education options available.
To get your started you will need to have a National Senior Certificate, learnerships or qualifications from various professional fields. These can lead to you finding yourself as either an Accounting Technician or Bookkeeper, if you choose to move on from being an accounts clerk.
You can study at a range of universities, across the country. The University of Cape Town offers both a BCom and BBusSc in Accounting. If you choose to study at UCT, it isn’t necessary to have taken accounting in school and as long as you have maths, you can choose it as a pathway.
With either of the qualifications, you can work in a range of organisations.
You can also choose to study at the University of Pretoria, though the Department of Accounting. You can choose to study a BCom in Accounting or a BCom in Accounting Sciences, which is a 3-year degree that can be followed by a postgraduate option which gives you a PGDip in Accounting Sciences and further heighten your studies with a range of professional courses.
So what can you do with either a BCom in Accounting or a BCom in Accounting Sciences? With these you can go on to study a range of professional qualifications from a range of accredited institutes across South Africa, preparing you for exciting jobs in finance. You can also carry on to study to be a chartered accountant or registered accountant and auditor later on in life, through these institutes. Both qualifications are recognised across the world and are some of the highest accounting qualifications in the country.
Other Training Options for Finance Jobs
If you have a passion for a career as an accounts or accounting clerk, you can also choose to obtain a qualification through accounting institutes across the country. All of which give you practical experience and allow you to study further.
You can choose to do a CFA through the Institute of Commercial and Financial Accountants of Southern Africa, you can also choose CIMA, which is offered by the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants, and while based in the UK they do have a South African branch. Another option is the ACCA, which is offered by the Chartered Association of Certified Accountants. They are also based in the UK, with links to South Africa.
All qualifications are recognised across South Africa and in many parts of the world, allowing you the opportunity to learn and explore more.
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