Accounting AssistantJob Description, Salary, Career Path, and Trends
Accounting assistants provide administrative support to accountants or an accounting department by performing various clerical tasks, such as filing, mail handling, making bank deposits and keeping bank records, handling invoices, tracking expenses for specific projects, and bookkeeping. Other typical duties include preparing financial records, office administration, and processing payroll. This position requires attention to detail, reliability, and excellent communication skills.
An accounting assistant must have good computer skills, solid math skills, and a strong familiarity with computer accounting software and bookkeeping practices. They typically work in accounting departments for large companies or private accountants. Accounting assistants may also be found in many other sectors, such as retail businesses, manufacturing firms, health care facilities, and educational institutions.
Sample job description
We are looking for an inspired individual who is an excellent communicator, multitasker and has great time management skills to become our next accounting assistant. You should be accurate and motivated to work for our company. Our ideal candidate will be able to work in a fast paced environment and should have a great deal of accuracy. As an accounting assistant, you will support our financial team and help our department run smoothly. You must have 2+ years of experience or strong entry-level skills in financial administration. You must also work well under pressure and be independent. Your duties will include reconciling bank statements, making financial documents, and collecting payments, just to name a few.
Typical duties and responsibilities
Support the accounting department
Prepare financial reports
Handle communications in person, by phone, and by email
Perform basic office duties
Evaluate financial statements and expenses
Draft and report financial statements
Create and update expense reports
Prepare bank deposits
Review and file payroll documents
Assist accountants and other financial professionals
Organize bookkeeping processes
Education and experience
High school diploma
Accounting assistant certificate
Associates degree in a related field
Work experience in a related field
Required skills and qualifications
Skilled with computers and bookkeeping software
Strong computer and typing skills
Time management skills
Knowledge of Microsoft Office Applications
Ability to work independently
Manage priorities while meeting deadlines
Attention to detail
Familiarity with financial regulations and procedures
Ability to multitask
Ability to prioritize important and time-sensitive tasks
Knowledge of accounting software
You can expect to advance in an accounting assistant position very quickly if you are dedicated to your career and improve your skills on the job. Obtaining new skills and certifications can result in a promotion or bonus.
Average salary and compensation
The average accounting assistant makes $43,800 in the United States. Compensation will vary depending on skills, education, experience, industry, and employer size.
Los Angeles, California
Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota
New York City, New York
Typical work environment
Accounting assistants work for corporations as a part of their accounting or finance departments. They may also work for private institutions, government agencies, and individuals. An accounting assistant usually works in an office setting but can travel from place to place. Leaving the office may be required to attend meetings with clients, customers, or coworkers. The work environment can include professional, scientific, and technical services industries.
Accounting assistants work typical hours from 9 AM to 5 PM, Monday through Friday. During busy times of the year, overtime is common due to the end of the financial year and tax time. There are possibilities for part time and flexible hours which are usually obtained by freelance accounting assistants.
Accounting Assistant Certification. To receive this certification, one must pass the uniform accounting certification examination and complete an accounting principles course.
Certified Public Bookkeeper (CPB). CPBs must pass a four-part exam, complete 24 hours of continuing education each year, and agree to abide by a professional code of conduct.
Certified Public Accountant (CPA). A CPA will need to take a licensure exam, and each state varies on what their requirements are. However, most candidates will need to have a bachelor’s or master’s in accounting.
Certified Management Accountant (CMA). This certification goes one step beyond a CPA. Most candidates getting a CMA do so before applying for executive-level positions
Those who want to become an accounting assistant should study accounting and receive an associate’s degree or bachelor’s. An accounting assistant can work their way up from being an assistant to more complex positions. Some choices of career paths for assistants include an accountant, auditor, and accounting manager. Accountants calculate payrolls, create financial statements and reports, and calculate all other expenses.
US, Bureau of Labor Statistics’ job outlook
SOC Code: 43-3030
Projected Employment in 2030
Projected 2020-2030 Percentage Shift
Projected 2020-2030 Numeric Shift
Due to the ongoing advancements in technology, accounting assistants are on the downward trend. From 2020 to 2030, there is a decline of 3%. This loss is about 48,100 positions in this industry, which is a fairly large decline.
The recent pandemic has impacted the world of technology more than ever in the past. Now more than ever, workers are working remotely from home and changing the way we can go to work without leaving home. The use of technology in day-to-day work is already very substantial in today’s world. The increase in automation has replaced some accounting assistant positions. In the next 10 years, we can expect to see robot automation taking over jobs that can be automated.
Sample interview questions
Talk about a time when you worked with confidential documents or accounts.
Talk about a time when you had to finish multiple tasks on a tight deadline.
Do you have any accounting experience?
Do you have any accounting certifications?
How would you explain what the importance of an Accounting Assistant is?
How would you handle an audit?
How would you handle a financial discrepancy?
Do you have experience working with accounting software?
What skills are needed to become a successful Accounting Assistant?
What accounting software have you worked with in the past?
How would you handle an accounting error?
What are the main branches of accounting?
What day to day responsibilities did you have in your last position?
What is the difference between an inactive account and a dormant account?
What skills do you think are essential to be a successful Accounting Assistant?
What special skills and courses do you need to become more efficient at an Accounting Assistant position?
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