5 Top Careers with an Associate’s in Accounting

top careers with an associate in accounting

  • Accounts Receivable Clerk
  • Payroll Clerk
  • Accounting Assistant
  • Bookkeeper
  • Auditing Clerk

Despite many people believing they need a bachelor’s degrees to become accountants, there are still several careers available with an Associate’s in Accounting degree. Accounting is a vast field and one that’s utilized in most businesses. As long as there is payroll and financial transactions, there is the need for accounting professionals. The associate’s degree can open doors to many jobs in the accounting field as well as many other career possibilities. Here are five top careers that can be found with an Associate’s in Accounting degree.

Accounts Receivable Clerk

An accounts receivable clerk has many job duties, but the main one is ensuring that the employer is getting paid for services and goods provided to clients and making sure the payments are recorded correctly. In large organizations where money is transferred from one account to another, the accounts receivable clerk has that responsibility. They also post and verify revenues, record checks and credit card transactions, microfilm invoices, debits and credits, maintain financial records and send out receipts.

Payroll Clerk

Payroll clerks are the individuals responsible for getting the employees paychecks on time. Almost anything payroll-related is done by the payroll clerk. They keep track of sick pay, employee hours, overtime, vacation time and benefits accrued. Payroll clerks may also be in charge of distributing paychecks to the employees. They also handle any discrepancies or complaints regarding payroll. While there are not a lot of promotions within the payroll department, payroll clerks may advance to other departments such as general accounting or human resources.

Accounting Assistant

An accounting assistant has a wide range of duties throughout the course of his or her day. The specific duties may differ depending on if the accounting assistant works for one accountant or an entire accounting department or firm. The accounting assistant works alongside of accountants and assists them in their duties. The assistant oversees different areas such as bookkeeping, payroll and general accounting. This position provides the assistant with accounting experience that often leads to promotions and advancements within the industry.


The art of bookkeeping is just that: keeping books. The bookkeeper keeps track of all or most of the financial transactions and accounts. In almost every business you will find a bookkeeper, but they’re more commonly found in large organizations and businesses. Bookkeepers work for companies but may also work as freelance bookkeepers. They prepare bank deposits, post debits and credits, verify receipts and take care of the company’s general ledger. In small companies, the bookkeeper may also prepare invoices, purchase goods and handle payroll. The U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics puts bookkeepers, accounting clerks and auditing clerks in the same group.

Auditing Clerk

Auditing clerks are probably one of the top careers available with an Associate’s in Accounting degree. Their main duty is to make sure that financial forms for accounts receivable and payable are filled out correctly. They also ensure that debit and credit transactions are processed correctly while also double-checking discrepancies. Other duties include checking posts, figures and documents to ensure they are accurate mathematically and correctly coded. Auditing clerks obtain extensive experience and knowledge of how accounting works. U.S. News & World Report ranks bookkeeping, accounting and auditing clerks number 25 among best business jobs.

Students pursuing an associate’s degree in accounting may choose from the Associate of Science in Accounting or the Associate in Applied Science degree. The Associate of Science degree can be transferred into a bachelor’s or master’s degree program for those interested in furthering their education. The Associate in Applied Science degree prepares students for instant employment, which is a plus because they can choose from several careers with an associate’s in accounting degree.

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