Accounting Careers

Billing Clerks

Billing ClerksBilling clerks produce and process bills and collect payments from customers. They enter transactions in business ledgers or spreadsheets, write and send invoices, and verify purchase orders. They are responsible for posting items in accounts payable or receivable, calculating customer charges, and verifying the company’s rates for certain products and services. Billing clerks must make sure that all entries are accurate and up-to-date. At the end of the fiscal year, they may work with auditors to clarify billing procedures and answer questions about specific accounts. There are approximately 523,000 billing clerks employed in the United States.

Billing Clerks Job Description

Billing clerks are responsible for keeping records and upto- date accounts of all business transactions. They type and send bills for services or products and update files to reflect payments. They also review incoming invoices to ensure that the requested products have been delivered and that the billing statements are accurate and paid on time.

Billing clerks set up shipping and receiving dates. They check customer orders before shipping to make sure they are complete and that all costs, shipping charges, taxes, and credits are included. Billing clerks are also troubleshooters. They contact suppliers or customers when payments are past due or incorrect and help solve the minor problems that invariably occur in the course of business transactions.

Billing clerks enter all transaction information onto the firm’s account ledger. This ledger lists all the company’s transactions such as items bought or sold as well as the credit terms and payment and receiving dates. As payments come in, the billing clerk applies credit to customer accounts and applies any applicable discounts. All correspondence is carefully filed for future reference. Nearly all of this work is currently done using spreadsheets and computer databases.

The specific duties of billing clerks vary according to the nature of the business in which they work. In an insurance company, the transaction sheet will reflect when and how much customers must pay on their insurance bills. Billing clerks in hospitals compile itemized charges, calculate insurance benefits, and process insurance claims. In accounting, law, and consulting firms, they calculate billable hours and work completed.

Billing clerks are also often responsible for preparing summary statements of financial status, profit-and-loss statements, and payroll lists and deductions. These reports are submitted periodically to company management, who can then gauge the company’s financial performance. Clerks may also write company checks, compute federal tax reports, and tabulate personnel profit shares.

Billing clerks may have a specific role within a company. These areas of specialization include the following:

  • Invoice-control clerks post items in accounts payable or receivable ledgers and verify the accuracy of billing data.
  • Passenger rate clerks compute fare information for business trips and then provide this information to business personnel.
  • COD (cash-on-delivery) clerks calculate and record the amount of money collected on COD delivery routes.
  • Interline clerks compute and pay freight charges for airlines or other transportation agencies that carry freight or passengers as part of a business transaction.
  • Settlement clerks compute and pay shippers for materials forwarded to a company.
  • Billing-control clerks compute and pay utility companies for services provided.
  • Rate reviewers compile data relating to utility costs for management officials.
  • Services clerks compute and pay tariff charges for boats or ships used to transport materials.
  • Foreign clerks compute duties, tariffs, and price conversions of exported and imported products.
  • Billing-machine operators mechanically prepare bills and statements.
  • Deposit-refund clerks prepare bills for utility customers.
  • Raters calculate premiums to be paid by customers of insurance companies.
  • Telegraph-service raters compute costs for sending telegrams.

Billing clerks may work in one specific area or they may be responsible for several areas.

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