A ledger clerk is responsible for entering information into account ledgers on behalf of a business or organization. Laws in many countries require business owners to keep detailed financial records of income and expenses and these records are reviewed used during tax preparation and company audits. The ledger clerk has to ensure that financial information is accurately recorded and the company's books are balanced on a daily, weekly or monthly basis.
Many companies maintain separate ledgers for different types of expenses such as payroll or inventory. Before funds are deposited or withdrawn from these accounts, the ledger clerk may first pass all the transactions through a general ledger. Deposits are recorded in the general ledger and then debited from that account and redeposited into the appropriate sub-ledger. The clerk uses sub-ledger account numbers to track these deposits and withdrawals but the general ledger account book contains details of all of the firm's debits and credits.
At the end of each day, the ledger's ending balance should reflect the combined total of the day's starting balance plus all of the credits and minus all of the debits. Typically, firms require the clerk to balance the general ledger on a daily basis. If any discrepancies are found, the ledger clerk must carefully review all of the transactions and receipts to identify the source of the problem. The clerk must correct the mistake and ensure that the ending balance is accurate. In some nations, clerks are not required to audit ledgers on a daily basis but the more frequently ledgers are reviewed, the more easily clerks can detect and resolve problems.
Ledger clerks are sometimes responsible for preparing financial reports and for making presentations to company directors or owners. They can answer questions about the firm's financial performance by referring to data contained in the ledgers. When the tax authorities conduct audits, the ledger clerk is responsible for answering the auditor's questions and for providing copies of receipts and financial information that the auditors request.
Some companies hire certified public accountants to work as ledger clerks. These individuals usually have a college degree in accounting, finance or a related field and are licensed to work as accountants. Major companies may employ a large number of clerks to oversee the finances of various different divisions of the company. Small firms sometimes hire bookkeepers who have no formal accounting training to work as ledger clerks. These individuals may or may not have college degrees but usually have some experience as office administrators, secretaries or treasurers.