Accounting Intern Job Description: Top Duties and Qualifications

An Accounting Intern, or Finance Intern, is responsible for practicing their accounting knowledge and skills in a professional setting. Their duties include supporting accounting teams with various accounting projects and tasks as they gain more confidence within their desired industry.

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Accounting Intern Duties and Responsibilities

An Accounting Intern is a temporary, entry-level position with a certified financial firm. Here are the duties and responsibilities that could be expected of an Accounting Intern:

  • Monitor any discrepancies in payment, monitor for charges made on credit cards and record any returns.
  • Organize a financial filing system that is easily accessible.
  • Prepare accounting reports to be presented to senior management.
  • Track all payments made for tax preparation and follow up on returns.
  • Speak to clients about payments, refunds and statements.
  • Ensure that all clients receive their financial statements on time.
  • Ensure accuracy of financial statements, making sure that the final figures on statements are correct.
  • Assist with the balancing of the office/department budget.
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Accounting Intern Job Description Examples

What Does an Accounting Intern Do?

An Accounting Intern is typically a college student or graduate student who works within a corporation or accounting firm on a temporary basis. Accounting Interns enter data into spreadsheets, check the accuracy of financial statements, complete balance sheets, organize important files and learn from the advice and expertise of the Senior Accountants around them.

Accounting Intern Skills and Qualifications

To qualify for the position of an Accounting Intern, an applicant should have some primary skills. Below are the skills and qualifications often required for this position:

  • Must either be a recent graduate or in the process of completing a bachelor’s or master’s degree in accounting. 
  • Proficient with computers and different finance software programs.
  • Must have effective written and verbal communication skills to build strong interpersonal relationships.
  • Have strong organization and time management skills with the ability to work without distraction.
  • Must have completed introductory accounting courses and have a basic understanding of financial principles.
  • Must have a very high sense of rigor to prevent any form of mistake that may occur in the process of documenting financial information.
  • Must be a team player and motivated to learn with a strong desire to take on a new challenge.

Accounting Intern Salary Expectations

The average salary for an Accounting Intern is $14.27 per hour. The job is mostly a full-time position, which requires a minimum of 40 hours a week from Monday to Friday. Since it is an entry-level, temporary position, Accounting Interns should be offered additional training on the job. The standard tenure for an Accounting Intern position is one year.

Accounting Intern Education and Training Requirements

Since it’s an entry-level job, the requirements for this position are usually less stringent. To qualify for the position of an Accounting Intern, an applicant must be a recent graduate of accounting, business, economics or relevant degrees, or the applicant should be in the process of completing a relevant degree. Also, an applicant have completed the introductory accounting courses and have an understanding of financial and accounting principles. The applicant should be able to provide proof of proficiency in math and financial management.  

   

Accounting Intern Experience Requirements

Since Accounting Interns often partner with an employee at the company, they should have skills reflecting teamwork and interpersonal communication. Also, since the interns hold a position of trust at the company, they are often required to display strong accountability and documentation skill with undiluted obedience to instructions. 

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Frequently asked questions about Accounting Interns

How long should an accounting internship be?

The length of an accounting internship may depend on your company’s needs or the timeframe set in place by their school to complete the internship. Depending on an Accounting Intern’s schedule, they may be available for a full- or part-time internship. For example, an Intern may be able to work 40 hours a week during their summer break, but they may only be able to commit 15 hours a week during the regular semester. If you are open to taking on a full- or part-time intern, make that clear in the job description.

Who do Accounting Interns report to?

Who your Accounting Interns report to is entirely up to you. You may decide to have them report to the Accounting Manager themselves, or for a more individual approach, you may assign them to a willing Accountant or finance professional within the department to offer them individual guidance.

What is the difference between an Accounting Intern and a Tax Intern?

The difference between an Accounting Intern and a Tax Intern lies in their areas of focus. Accounting Interns typically work with Accountants to prepare financial statements, enter data into spreadsheets and complete additional tasks related to company finances. In contrast, a Tax Intern typically works with a Tax Preparer to calculate payroll deductions, perform audits, fill out tax forms and ensure that a company’s current practices align with IRS protocols for businesses.

What makes a good Accounting Intern?

A good Accounting Intern is someone who is always punctual and eager to learn or help in daily operations in any way they can. However, these desirable qualities and character traits may vary depending on the type of help you’re looking for in your department. For example, if you’re looking to bring on an Accounting Intern with the hopes of hiring them to a full-time entry-level position, you may require the following attributes:

  • Ability to complete tasks with little to no help
  • Ability to fill-in for other positions in areas with limited staff availability
  • Advanced understanding of accounting software and procedures
  • Previous experience as an Intern or in a related role
  • Professional attitude and teamwork

In contrast, if you want to provide career guidance to a young professional and do not require them to have advanced knowledge in accounting, be sure to convey this in the job description. The requirements you list in the job description may have an effect on the types of applicants who apply for the opportunity.

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