Career Development

What Does an Accounts Assistant Do?

Find out what an accounts assistant does, how to get this job, and what it takes to succeed as an accounts assistant.

Accounts assistants are the glue that holds together many companies’ financial operations. They are responsible for handling a wide range of tasks related to accounting and finance, including processing invoices, paying bills, reconciling accounts, tracking expenses, and more.

Accounts assistants typically work under the supervision of accountants or other financial professionals. Their duties may include entering data into databases, preparing reports, and performing other administrative tasks as needed.

Accounts Assistant Job Duties

Accounts assistants have a wide range of responsibilities, which can include:

  • Processing customer orders, payments, and shipping transactions using an accounting software program
  • Reviewing account statements from banks to ensure accuracy of deposits and withdrawals
  • Processing payroll for employees by preparing checks and deposits for salaries, commissions, and other compensation items
  • Updating account balances by posting transactions such as receipts of cash or checks into the system
  • Maintaining detailed records of each transaction in an accounting system and updating them regularly
  • Preparing bank deposits by counting cash and making bank deposits according to bank procedures
  • Preparing reports on sales trends, cash flow, or other business activities using an accounting software package
  • Preparing tax forms such as 1099 forms for independent contractors who had business transactions with the company during the year

Accounts Assistant Salary & Outlook

Accounts assistants’ salaries vary depending on their level of education and experience, the size of the company and the geographic location of the job.

  • Median Annual Salary: $41,500 ($19.95/hour)
  • Top 10% Annual Salary: $67,500 ($32.45/hour)

The employment of accounts assistants is expected to decline over the next decade.

Employment growth will be limited because automation and computerization are expected to increase productivity and efficiency in accounting offices. As a result, fewer workers will be needed to do the same amount of work.

Accounts Assistant Job Requirements

The following are some of the requirements that are often needed to become an accounts assistant:

Education: Entry-level accounts assistants are typically required to have a high school diploma or GED certificate. Some companies may prefer an associate’s degree or technical certificate. Relevant coursework includes basic accounting, computer software, business communication and business law.

Training & Experience: Accounts assistants typically receive on-the-job training from their new employers. This training may include learning the company’s specific accounting software and procedures. Accounts assistants who work for government agencies may receive additional training to learn the agency’s specific procedures.

Certifications & Licenses: Accounts assistants are not required to have any certifications to acquire their position, however, there are certifications available for finance professionals working with accounts who wish to raise their earning capacity or to help themselves earn advancement in their career.

Accounts Assistant Skills

Accounts assistants need the following skills in order to be successful:

Organization: Organization is another skill that can help you be more effective in your role as an accounts assistant. You may be responsible for managing files, entering data and maintaining records. Being able to keep your workspace and files organized can help you complete your tasks efficiently.

Communication: Communication skills are necessary in this role, as you may be communicating with clients over the phone or in person, with other employees in the office and with clients online. You may also be communicating with clients who speak a different language, so it’s important to be able to translate your messages effectively.

Attention to detail: Attention to detail is a skill that can help you be more efficient in your work and help you notice mistakes before they happen. This skill can help you be more successful in your role as an accounts assistant. For example, if you’re entering data into a spreadsheet, attention to detail can help you notice if a number is in the wrong column or if you accidentally entered the same data twice.

Time management: Time management skills allow you to prioritize tasks and manage deadlines. As an accounts assistant, you may be responsible for balancing the company’s checkbook, filing paperwork and entering data into a company database. Having strong time management skills can help you complete your tasks on time and help you work more efficiently.

Problem-solving: Problem-solving skills allow you to identify issues, find solutions and implement them. As an accounts assistant, you may be responsible for resolving issues with invoicing, reconciling accounts and other tasks. Your ability to identify problems, research solutions and implement them can help you be successful in this role.

Accounts Assistant Work Environment

Accounts assistants work in a variety of settings, including corporate accounting departments, public accounting firms, and government agencies. They typically work a standard 40-hour week, although they may have to work overtime during busy periods, such as at the end of the fiscal year. Accounts assistants who work in public accounting firms may have to travel to meet with clients. The work environment is usually fast-paced and deadline-oriented, and accounts assistants must be able to work well under pressure. They must also be able to work independently and as part of a team.

Accounts Assistant Trends

Here are three trends influencing how accounts assistants work. Accounts assistants will need to stay up-to-date on these developments to keep their skills relevant and maintain a competitive advantage in the workplace.

The Rise of the Digital Accountant

The rise of the digital accountant is a trend that is quickly gaining popularity among businesses. This trend involves using technology to automate many accounting tasks, such as bookkeeping and tax preparation.

As more businesses adopt this trend, accounts assistants will need to learn how to use these technologies in order to stay competitive. They will also need to be able to provide additional services, such as financial planning and risk management.

More Focus on Customer Service

As businesses focus more on customer service, accounts assistants will need to develop skills in this area.

Accounts assistants are often the first point of contact for customers, and they need to be able to provide excellent customer service in order to keep them happy. This includes being able to handle customer complaints effectively and providing accurate information about products and services.

Greater Use of Technology

Technology is becoming increasingly important in all industries, and accountancy is no exception. As technology advances, so too does the role of the accounts assistant, who is now responsible for handling a wide range of tasks that were once done manually.

This includes tasks such as data entry, which can now be done much more quickly and efficiently with the help of software. In addition, accounts assistants can utilize technology to improve their communication with clients, by using tools such as video conferencing or email.

How to Become an Accounts Assistant

When starting your career as an accounts assistant, it’s important to consider the company you want to work for. Do they have a good reputation? Are they known for training their staff well? What is the culture like?

It’s also important to think about what you want to achieve in your career. Do you want to move up the ladder and become a manager or director one day? Or do you want to stay in an entry-level role and learn as much as you can?

No matter which path you choose, it’s important to be dedicated and hardworking. You need to be able to handle a lot of responsibility and be able to work under pressure. And most importantly, you need to be willing to learn new things and take on new challenges.

Advancement Prospects

The most common way to advance in this career is to move up to a higher level position within the same company. As you gain experience and prove yourself to be a reliable and competent employee, you will be in line for promotions to positions such as senior accounts assistant, accounts supervisor, or even accounts manager.

Another way to advance your career is to move to a different company, preferably one that is larger and offers more opportunities for advancement. Here you will start at a lower level, but if you work hard and impress your new employer, you can quickly move up the ladder.

With experience, you may also choose to start your own accounting business. This is a risky proposition, but if you are successful, you will be your own boss and have the potential to earn a very good income.

Accounts Assistant Job Description Example

At [CompanyX], we are looking for an enthusiastic and hard-working Accounts Assistant to join our team. The successful candidate will be responsible for providing support to the Accounts department, including assisting with the preparation of financial statements, invoicing, and general ledger maintenance. This is an excellent opportunity for a recent graduate or someone with some experience in accounting to develop their skills and knowledge in a fast-paced environment.

Duties & Responsibilities

  • Update and maintain accounting records, including but not limited to invoices, ledgers, and journals
  • Assist with month-end closing, including preparing and posting journal entries and reconciling accounts
  • Prepare bank deposits and process payments
  • Maintain accurate records of invoices and receipts
  • Verify accuracy of invoices and other financial documents
  • Code expenses according to the company’s chart of accounts
  • Enter data into accounting software programs
  • Generate reports from accounting software programs
  • Reconcile discrepancies between physical cash on hand and computer records
  • File physical copies of invoices and other documents
  • Assist with audits
  • Perform any other duties as assigned by the Accounts Manager or other members of management

Required Skills and Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree in accounting, finance, or related field
  • 1-3 years professional experience in an accounting role
  • Proficient in Microsoft Office, with aptitude to learn new software and systems
  • Excellent analytical and problem-solving skills
  • Attention to detail and accuracy
  • Highly organized and able to meet deadlines
  • Strong verbal and written communication skills

Preferred Skills and Qualifications

  • Experience with QuickBooks or other accounting software
  • Advanced Excel skills
  • Auditing experience
  • Tax preparation experience
  • CPA or CMA designation

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