How to Hire a Junior Accountant

Does your growing business need a junior accountant? A junior accountant is a critical support system in a business’s finance department, responsible for maintaining daily accounts and making financial statement reports.

Here are some tips to help you find great junior accountant candidates and make the right hire for your business.

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Junior accountants searching for jobs on Indeed*

52,087

job seekers that clicked junior accountant jobs

4,629

resumes for job seekers with junior accountant experience on Indeed

658

junior accountant jobs that received clicks

What is the cost of hiring a junior accountant?

  • Common salary in US: $48,627 per year
  • Typical salaries range from $20,000$89,000 per year
  • Find more information on Indeed Salaries
Common
 
 
$20,000
$89,000

*Indeed data (US) – December 2020

As of December 2020, junior accountant jobs in the US are moderately competitive compared to other job markets, with an average of 79 job seekers per junior accountant job.

Why hire a junior accountant?

Junior accountants help companies manage their daily accounting transactions, formulating accurate financial statements as per GAAP and minimizing ambiguity in a company’s finances.

Contributions of a great junior accountant include:

  • Record all business transaction in the form of journal entries in the books of accounts
  • Reconcile and invoice accounts payable and receivable by updating them
  • Review and maintain payroll records and perform department-wide expense reviews

Deciding between a full-time vs freelance junior accountant

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

Many small businesses only hire junior accountants during tax season, but some businesses may find that having a junior accountant on staff is more valuable. Consider starting by hiring a junior accountant on a contract or freelance basis for a few hours per week. If you find that you have more tasks for them or your accounting department needs more support, it may be time to hire a full-time junior accountant.

What are the different types of junior accountants?

When hiring a junior accountant, it’s important to understand the specific kind of junior accountant you need for your business. Here are some of the most common types and levels of junior accountants to help you find one that meets your needs:

  • Accounting assistant: Handles basic accounting and admin duties, such as office administration and and handling cash.
  • Accounting clerk: Performs data entry tasks and uses simple Excel formulas to prepare financial records for junior accountants and other accountants to analyze.
  • Bookkeeper: Maintains accounts receivable, accounts payable and general ledgers. Typically does not require advanced education like a junior accountant does.
  • Junior auditor: Works under the supervision of an auditor to review financial statements. Typically requires a bachelor’s degree in accounting or a related field.

Where to find junior accountants

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

  • Join a professional accounting association: Tap into a national or local accounting association (e.g., American Institute of CPAs, National Society of Accountants) to access directories of members who match your junior accountant hiring criteria. 
  • Ask for referrals: Ask friends, family members and current employees if they know any junior accountants they’d recommend.
  • Recruit at local colleges: Attend job fairs, distribute flyers and post job listings at local colleges to recruit junior accountants who meet your education requirements.
  • Post your job online: Try posting your junior accountant job on Indeed to find and attract quality junior accountant candidates.

Skills to look for in a great junior accountant

A junior accountant is typically the first line of communication in the finance department of an organization. They ensure accounting entries are done on time and provide timely review and reconciliation of accounting heads. Here are a few skills, qualifications and attributes to look for when hiring a junior accountant:

  • Bachelor’s degree in accounting, finance or a related field
  • Past experience in a similar role
  • Professional qualifications like ACA or CIMA is an added advantage
  • Excellent understanding of MS Office and financial software like SAP and JD Edwards
  • Strong analytical mindset with attention detail
  • Exceptional organizational skills

Writing a junior accountant job description

A thoughtful description can help find qualified junior accountant candidates. A junior accountant job description includes a compelling summary of the role, a detailed list of duties and responsibilities and the required and preferred skills for the position.

When writing your junior accountant 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 junior accountant jobs, according to Indeed data:

  • accounting
  • accountant
  • junior accountant
  • accounting clerk
  • accounting assistant
  • accounts payable
  • accounts payable clerk
  • staff accountant
  • finance & accounting
  • accounts receivable

Interviewing junior accountant candidates

After you’ve reviewed the resumes of your top junior accountant candidates, ask meaningful interview questions to gain insight into a job candidate’s education, experience, personality traits and qualifications in order to find a focused and dedicated junior accountant. Strong candidates for junior accountant positions will be confident when answering a variety of questions about the following topics:

  • Different accounting principles and their usage in financial reporting
  • Importance of using accounting software
  • How they’ve successfully applied different accounting concepts and prepared reports for management

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

FAQs about how to hire a junior accountant

What is the difference between junior accountant and staff accountant?

Junior accountant is typically an entry-level accounting position, reporting to higher level accounting roles like senior accountant. Staff accountant is generally one level below senior accountant, typically working under the supervision of a controller or certified public accountant (CPA). Junior accountants work in a support role handling administrative-related tasks and reconciling accounts, while staff accountants perform duties like accounts payable and accounts receivable and may or may not be a CPA.

How do I keep my junior accountant happy?

To keep junior accountants happy, consider offering competitive salaries, attractive benefits and perks, and frequent recognition and incentives to reward them for their hard work. Another important benefit to offer junior accountants is career growth. Sit down with them to discuss their career goals, plan out a roadmap to help them achieve their goals and offer promotion opportunities to support their growth into positions like accountant or staff accountant. 

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    Last updated: Apr 21, 2021