10 Things Every City Clerk Should Know How to Do

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Did you know that only 8 percent of people follow through on their New Year’s Resolutions? Most have already faltered by today’s date.

We feel, however, that it’s never too late to start anew and make goals for the year. That’s why we decided to compile of list of useful advice for city clerks and utility billing clerks, inspired by conversations and comments made by the hardworking municipal clerks that we network with all year long. Check out the list below and decide where you are really making strides, and where you could do better. Start today and make your own resolution to be the best you can be in 2014!

10 Things Every Clerk Should Know How to Do

  1. How to navigate a government conference. Knowing how to navigate through the chaos, schedule your time, network, and prepare are key to a successful conference experience.
  2. Proper cash handling procedures. Though policies may differ slightly between organizations, there are some general and specific cash handling procedures that can be implemented to improve – or maybe even explain – your cash handling processes. When it comes to properly handling receipts, creating and maintaining a list of procedures and requirements are key to keeping books balanced, regulations honored, and questions to a minimum. Your cash handling list should be kept close by for quick reference and should be updated and re-distributed as new situations arise.
  3. Basic accounting terms. Like it or not, accounting is an integral, and necessary part of our jobs. There is not a single business or agency today that does not have some element of accounting to attend to: tax reporting, billing, payables, receivables, payroll. Since these jobs include invoicing, customer billings, and payroll, not knowing your “reimbursements” from your “accounts receivable” can lead to inaccurate entries and coding that can affect the overall accounting picture.
  4. How to multi-task. Interruptions are a part of the daily grind for a clerk; whether it’s the phone ringing or customers coming into the office to pay their bills, it always happens! It is very important to be able to be interrupted and yet, come back and finish what was started.
  5. How to have a positive attitude. Research has shown that the benefits of positivity in the workplace are endless. Just merely going through the motions can actually trigger feelings of happiness. A happy workplace results in increased productivity, fewer sick days, feelings of security, and positive conflict resolution.
  6. How to welcome a new employee. A new employee doesn’t need to rock the workplace. In fact, with the right techniques, it can be rather seamless, resulting in a quicker transition, friendly relationships, and fewer mistakes while learning the job.
  7. How to simplify budget preparation. Budget planning and preparation are at the heart of good expenditure management. No matter how wonderful an organization’s budget execution is, if a poor or unrealistic budget was prepared, the organization will be faced with a myriad of problems.
  8. The Rules of Engagement for Social Media when on the clock. Unlike formal codes of conduct, which guide our interactions at work, there is no “Government Social Media for Dummies” book to gain insight from, and most lessons are learned by trial and error. All government employees who engage in social media need to consider possible consequences of their engagement such as security breaches, confidentiality, personal topics, privacy settings, reputation, and quality of the items they are posting.
  9. How to encourage sustainable practices. “Greening” your office can save time and money, while showing your commitment to the environment. Small steps can make a big difference, whether it’s planting a tree on Earth Day, volunteering at a local food bank, or setting up a recycle box in the lunchroom or next to the printer.
  10. How to be more productive with less. An hour of planning is worth four hours of doing. Getting more organized, taking breaks, creating to-do list, sticking to a schedule, minimizing interruptions, and organizing your office to drastically improve your ability to get more accomplished in less time.

It’s never too late to make personal goals to improve your knowledge base and work processes.

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