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 #1

Contributions and responsibilities

  • Plan, coordinate, and successfully execute a variety of business requests
  • Coordinate completion of client requests as directed by partners and managers through team communication
  • Project tracking/organization
  • Assist with accounting and tax return projects and ad hoc projects as assigned
  • Prepare or assist with client billings under the guidance of the Billing Manager
  • Assist with E-filing/processing tax returns
  • Maintain schedules and calendars for meetings, travel, and appointments
  • Prepare expense reports

Background and skills

  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills
  • Associate’s degree, preferably in accounting or finance, and/or appropriate balance of education and work experience
  • Prefer candidates with any prior office/administrative experience or prior internships
  • Perform work accurately and in a time efficient manner, with strong attention to detail, organization, and follow through
  • Strong computer skills, including solid skill in the Microsoft Office suite
  • A basic understanding of accounting and tax rules is preferred but not required
  • Maintain a professional demeanor with co-workers and clients

Sample job description #2

Role

  • Account Receivable (AR) /Account Payable (AP)
  • Bank reconciliations
  • Auditing of invoices for primary vendors, main outsource partners, and logistics partners such as DHL and FedEx.

Requirements

  • Basic, intermediate accounting
  • An accounting lifer who is passionate about accounting and has studied or is studying accountancy
  • Ideally, someone who has a degree or is well educated
  • QuickBooks or similar experience
  • Advanced Excel
  • Payroll experience, ideally with ADP and knowledge of payroll taxes & process
  • Must also have a desire to learn logistics costings, advanced costing analysis and a mindset of wanting to learn manufacturing costings

Sample job description #3

ABC Company is looking to hire a full time Accounting Assistant to support the Director of Accounting.

Necessary practical knowledge

  • Payroll processing
  • AP, AR & bank reconciliations
  • Journal entries
  • Financial statement preparation
  • Credit card receipt reconciliation
  • Full proficiency with QB online
  • Full Microsoft Office Suite – especially Excel & Word
  • Must be a team player, able to multitask, and be a self-starter
  • Ability to respond to field employees regarding payroll questions
  • Demonstrate the ability to act as a backup for the accounting manager

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.

LocationSalary LowSalary High
Phoenix, Arizona$43,550$58,950
Los Angeles, California$49,150$66,500
Denver, Colorado$40,950$55,400
Washington, DC$49,900$67,500
Miami, Florida$40,750$55,150
Orlando, Florida$37,600$50,850
Tampa, Florida$37,950$51,400
Atlanta, Georgia$39,850$53,900
Chicago, Illinois$45,800$61,950
Boston, Massachusetts$49,500$67,000
Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota$39,450$53,400
New York City, New York$52,100$70,500
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania$42,450$57,400
Dallas, Texas$41,300$55,900
Houston, Texas$41,150$55,650
Seattle, Washington$47,650$64,450
National Average$43,550$50,350

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?
  • What do you know about the position? 

Accounting Assistant Jobs in Ashburn

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