What Does an Accounting Assistant Do?
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, healthcare facilities, and educational institutions.
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National Average Salary
Accounting assistant salaries vary by experience, industry, organization size, and geography. To explore salary ranges by local market, please visit our sister site zengig.com.
The average U.S. salary for an Accounting Assistant is:
Accounting Assistant Job Descriptions
The key to attracting the ideal accounting assistant often lies in the job description. To make this task easier, we have curated a selection of examples that can be used as templates, ensuring you set the right foundation for your talent search.
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
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 skills 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
- 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
- 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 the desire to learn logistics costings, advanced costing analysis, and a mindset of wanting to learn manufacturing costings
Essential duties and functions
- Assist with department results and coordination of team productivity.
- Assist with the workflow of the team not limited to assisting in delegating and distributing work associated with processing direct bill statements.
- Assist in providing direction and responding to specific questions.
- Assist with overseeing or taking over complex cases and escalations.
- Assist with training and developing teammates on new systems and procedures.
- Assist in creating templates from direct bill commission statements, apply cash to invoices, and resolve errors.
- Assist in monitoring direct bill suspension reports to ensure all direct bill commission payments are processed manually and via upload.
- Assist with critical elements required for month-end close not limited to working on ad hoc projects as requested.
- Correspond with Brokers by phone, mail, and email to respond to complex questions, investigate and resolve issues, and follow up on outstanding items. Ensure all correspondence and requests are documented and attached to the appropriate file in the appropriate systems.
- Frequently coordinate and correspond with other internal departments.
- Time management—the individual prioritizes and uses time efficiently.
- Interpersonal skills—the individual maintains confidentiality, remains open to others’ ideas, and exhibits a willingness to learn new things.
- Oral communication—the individual speaks clearly and persuasively in positive or negative situations and demonstrates group presentation skills.
- Written communication—the individual edits work for spelling and grammar, presents numerical data effectively, and is able to read and interpret written information.
- Problem-solving—the individual identifies and resolves problems in a timely manner, gathers and analyzes information skillfully, and maintains confidentiality.
- Quality control—the individual demonstrates accuracy and thoroughness and monitors their own work to ensure quality.
- Minimum education required High School Diploma or GED
- Proficient with MS Office Suite
- Exceptional telephone demeanor
- Ability to maintain a high level of confidentiality
- 5 or more years of experience in a similar position or industry
- Associate’s or Bachelor’s degree in an accounting-related discipline
- Some licensing or insurance-related courses
- Build detailed business plans to facilitate the attainment of goals and quotas
- Lead the entire sales cycle from finding a client to securing a deal
- Support and solve problems for clients by understanding and exceeding their expectations
- Illustrate the value of products and services to build growth opportunities; compile and analyze data to identify trends
- Follow up with clients regularly to ensure needs are being met and find opportunities for growth
- Maintain a database of clients, prospects, partners, and vendors
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 the importance of what 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 in an accounting assistant position?
- What do you know about the position?