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Purchasing Clerk

A Purchasing Clerk is in charge of completing various tasks, usually clerical in nature, related to the inward movement of goods, supplies and raw materials into an organisation.

Job Duties:

If you have an accounting background and are interested in a position that could be a stepping stone to positions such as purchase manager or purchasing agent, you might be interested in a Purchasing Clerk job. This job is most prevalent in the manufacturing, distribution, healthcare and medical services sectors.

Duties normally are:

1) Preparing or editing purchase orders from various departments.
2) Checking if there is enough stock in the inventory to meet requirements.
3) Placing orders with suppliers or vendors and ensuring that documentation is in order, with terms and conditions being clear.
4) Maintaining a filing system in the purchase department and updating appropriate records when required.
5) A good Purchasing Clerk will look for ways to reduce costs to the company, such as evaluating costs of purchasing from various suppliers to arrive at the best deal.
6) Approving payment of bills.
7) Inspecting consignments to verify if they are in order and as per agreed terms.
8) Interacting with suppliers in case of delay in delivery of supplies, receipt of damaged or incorrect quantity of goods.

Knowledge and Skills:

1) In depth knowledge of accounting and mathematics.
2) Ability to work with computers and software such as Microsoft Excel, as well as data processing skills, are valued.
3) Good communication skills to deal with people internal to the company, as well as with suppliers, shipping agents, courier companies and sometimes government officials.
4) Legal know how, pertaining to the job.

Educational Qualifications and Experience:

1) A Bachelor's or Associate's degree in Accounting or Business is usually preferred.
2) A huge amount of entry level Purchasing Clerk positions are available, with only a small percentage requiring advanced experience.
3) Certain additional qualifications pertaining to the particular industry or job may be required, for example for some jobs in the medical services sector the candidate may also need to possess knowledge about medication and medical supplies.

Salary and Benefits:

1) Average hourly rates are between $10 and $15, while overtime rates range from $17 to $25. Annual Purchasing Clerk salaries are between $25,000 and $40,000 on an average.
2) Most companies offer medical and dental insurance, 401(k), paid sick leave and time off, while some companies offer training and education reimbursement.