How to Hire an Accounting Assistant

Does your growing business need an accounting assistant? An accounting assistant can help your company’s finance team stay ahead by handling routine administrative duties.

Here are some tips to help you find qualified accounting assistant candidates and make the right hire for your business.

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Accounting assistants searching for jobs on Indeed*

241,052

job seekers that clicked accounting assistant jobs

30,883

resumes for job seekers with accounting assistant experience on Indeed

2,024

accounting assistant jobs that received clicks

What is the cost of hiring an accounting assistant?

  • Common wage in US: $16.42 hourly
  • Typical wages range from $7.25$32.65 hourly
  • Find more information on Indeed Salaries
Common
 
 
$7.25
$32.65

*Indeed data (US) – December 2020

As of December 2020, accounting assistant jobs in the US are moderately competitive compared to other job markets, with an average of 120 job seekers per accounting assistant job.

Why hire an accounting assistant?

A great accounting assistant can help your team by:

  • Maintaining ledgers and financial spreadsheets
  • Reconciling payroll data
  • Creating routine financial reports

Deciding between a full-time vs part-time accounting assistant

Before writing an accounting assistant job description or interviewing candidates, it’s important to decide if you need a full-time or freelance, part-time or contract accounting assistant (and what your budget will allow).

Make a list of the tasks, duties and projects you want your future accounting assistant to be responsible for. If you only need an accounting assistant to help with a few financial admin tasks a few days per week, a part-time or contract employee might make more sense than hiring on a full-time accounting assistant. However, if your list of tasks is longer, a full-time employee can help meet your needs.

What are the types of accounting assistants?

When hiring an accounting assistant, it’s important to understand the specific kind of accounting assistant you need for your business. For example, do you need someone to focus on data entry-related accounting tasks or do you need someone who can perform more advanced financial analysis? Here are some of the most common types of accounting assistants to help you find one that meets your needs:

  • Accounting clerk: Responsible for performing data entry, maintaining accounting records, filing documents and assisting with accounts payable and/or accounts receivable. Typically focused on accounting tasks only, while accounting assistants also perform administrative tasks in addition to accounting tasks. 
  • Bookkeeper: Handles financial analysis tasks, records transactions and may also be responsible for an entire company’s accounting duties. Bookkeepers usually need more experience that other types of accounting assistants. 
  • Data entry clerk: Enters, processes and updates different kinds of data, usually in a company’s database. This is typically an entry-level role that requires minimal experience.
  • Tax accounting assistant: Specializes in assisting with tax-related tasks, such as payroll, tax returns and tax resolution.

Where to find accounting assistants

To find the right accounting assistant for your business, consider trying out a few different recruiting strategies:

  • Ask for referrals: Your network of personal and professional connections may have promising leads on accounting assistant candidates. Ask your network if they know anyone with the right skills and experience that fit your hiring requirements.
  • Recruit at local colleges: Post flyers and attend career fairs at local colleges to find qualified candidates graduating with finance or business-related degrees.
  • Post your job online: Try posting your accounting assistant job on Indeed to find and attract quality accounting assistant candidates.

Skills to look for in a great accounting assistant

A qualified accounting assistant candidate will have the following skills and attributes as well as work experience that reflects:

  • A working knowledge and understanding of programs like QuickBooks and Excel
  • Ability to complete most tax filing forms
  • General bookkeeping certification
  • Careful attention to detail
  • Positive attitude
  • Ability to maintain consistency in the completion of routine tasks

Writing an accounting assistant job description

Finding a qualified accounting assistant is dependent on creating the right description. An accounting assistant job description lists the expected duties and responsibilities, minimum qualifications and a summary of the role.

When writing your accounting assistant job description, consider including some or all of the following keywords to improve the visibility of your job posting. These are the most popular search terms leading to clicks on accounting assistant jobs, according to Indeed data:

  • Accounting
  • Accounting assistant
  • Accounting clerk
  • Accounts payable
  • Administrative assistant
  • Data entry
  • Bookkeeping
  • Accounts payable clerk
  • Assistant
  • Accounts receivable

Interviewing accounting assistant candidates

Strong accounting assistant candidates will be confident answering questions on topics like:

  • Their experience with accounting and spreadsheet software
  • Methods used to maintain accuracy in financial reporting
  • Maintaining confidentiality
  • Customer service experience

Need help coming up with interview questions? See our list of accounting assistant interview questions for examples (with sample answers).

FAQs about how to hire an accounting assistant

What is the difference between accounting clerk and accounting assistant?

Accounting assistants and accounting clerks are similar roles. However, accounting assistants typically have more admin duties than accounting clerks do. For example, an accounting clerk may focus entirely on accounts payable tasks, while an accounting assistant may help with accounts payable and other data entry and admin-related work. 

Do I really need an accounting assistant?

Whether or not you need an accounting assistant for your business depends on your budget, current staff and workload. For example, if your finance department or bookkeeper is overwhelmed with admin tasks and doesn’t have time to complete all of their duties, it may be time to hire an accounting assistant to help out. Accounting assistants can bring valuable skills, like attention to detail, and can speed up many processes that may be slowing business growth.

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    Last updated: Apr 21, 2021