Tips on being an Accountant Assistant
This blog is set out to be an introduction and guide to what an Accounting Assistant does. In turn, enabling you to feel confident going into your career or deciding whether this is the right career path for you.
The main duties as an Accounting Assistant include:
- Supporting the accounting department
- Prepare purchase orders for approval
- Filing accounting documents
- General bookkeeping
In the UK, the average salary for an Accounting Assistant is between £23,000 to £29,000. This does depend on the employee's experience, skills, and general jobs incorporated into the position.
Accounting Assistant Requirements
Multiple sections are needed to have been met to get into this profession.
For an entry position, you will need five GCSEs, including maths. A-levels and a degree aren’t a requirement, however, some senior roles may require some further education qualifications.
Going into the position as entry-level means you are likely to be given the main training or even shadow a more senior member of staff. Within this training, Accounting Assistants will also be shown the software that is the organisational system of the company. As well as the basic practices of the job, like keeping records of income, expenses, and payroll.
Going into this position, you don’t need any certain certificates. However, you are likely to want to work towards being a part of the Certified Public Accountants Association (CPAA). To complete this in the UK you have to pass a number of accredited exams in financial management, auditing, business strategy, and taxation.
The main skills needed are familiarity with software like QuickBooks, general knowledge of business terms, management and accounting, communication, forward-thinking, organisational skills, and the willingness to work overtime to complete unfinished projects.
All these skills are qualities of a proactive hireable candidate.
Finally, the steps in becoming an Accounting Assistant are:
Although not always required for an entry position, further education could help you build the abilities required to be an Accounting Assistant. Furthermore, having the ability to take a year of internship could also be beneficial, as it will allow you to build those needed contacts for the future.
If further education is not the route you want to take, then look into courses and B-TEC courses that could be helpful to help you get into the industry.
If you want to become a part of the CPAA, as highlighted before, study and take the exams. Please note that if this is a part of your end goal, the criteria for entry include:
- “Membership of any chartered body of any other acceptable recognised professional body”
- Have a first-class degree “or postgraduate degree in finance or accounting from a recognised university”
- “Have a minimum of two years approved experience”
After putting in the work and getting the qualifications you need, start applying! Remember before applying, create a resume and cover letter that show your skills, experience, and education, highlighting how you're the right fit for the role.