Assistant Accountant Job Description: Top Duties and Qualifications

Last updated: June 22, 2022

An Assistant Accountant, or Accounting Assistant, supports the Accountant in completing basic bookkeeping, clerical and accounting tasks for a company. Their duties include preparing company budgets, building and assessing financial reports and managing a business’ payroll processes.

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Assistant Accountant duties and responsibilities

An organization’s long-term financial success and maintenance of annual compliance are the responsibilities of an Assistant Accountant, in addition to various day-to-day activities. Depending on the organization and their scope of the business, an Assistant Accountant can perform these tasks:

  • Collaborate with Financial Managers and other team members to successfully execute various accounting tasks.
  • Maintain company ledgers and daily financial transactions.
  • Create financial documents such as bills, invoices, pay-orders, payables, receivables and purchase orders.
  • Identify discrepancies in ledgers and accounts, tracking them to the source and correcting them.
  • Manage payroll activities and release salaries.
  • Coordinate and manage payment and billing details of external service providers, contractors and vendors.
  • Verify payments and deposits made through the company account and coordinate with the bank.
  • Create daily reports for management and team members.
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What does an Assistant Accountant do?

Assistant Accountants typically work on a business’ accounting team to provide assistance in preparing the company’s financial statements and building analysis reports. They may also work in an accounting agency setting, handling financial documents for several different clients. Assistant Accountants are typically entry-level finance professionals who assist an office with their administrative and financial work while meeting the individual bookkeeping needs of the organization. Their main goal is to help the Accountant ensure the company is financially stable and secure. Assistant Accountants often draft financial documents and reconcile a company’s bank records and submit these reports to Accountants.

Assistant Accountant skills and qualifications

Depending upon the size of the organization an Assistant Accountant may be an entry- or intermediate-level position within an organization. Some companies hire high school graduates to fill the position of Assistant Accountant. Here are the basic requirements of an Assistant Accountant:

  • Computer skills
  • Math skills
  • Written and verbal communication skills
  • Ability to work independently and as a team member
  • Organizational skills

Assistant Accountant salary expectations

The national average salary for an Accounting Assistant is $16.56 per hour. The amount may vary depending upon the responsibilities that are to be undertaken by your new employee, the size of your organization and the educational requirement.

Assistant Accountant education and training requirements

If the company requires the Assistant Accountant to be able to create financial documents for tax returns or do the actual filing of tax returns, a Preparer Tax Identification Number is essential. If the Assistant Accountant is required to conduct audits or review financial statements, then they would need to be a Certified Public Accountant. Depending upon the role and function that the newly hired accountant is to fill, additional certification such as Certified Internal Auditor, Chartered Financial Analyst or Certified Fraud Examiner may be required.

Assistant Accountant experience requirements

Since this is an entry-level position, depending upon the size of the company and scope of the business, an Assistant Accountant may not need to have any experience at all. However, recent college graduates and people who worked as an intern in an accounting department before applying for the Assistant Accountant position are always desirable.

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Frequently asked questions about Assistant Accountants

 

What is the difference between an Accounting Clerk and an Assistant Accountant?

Accounting Clerks and Assistant Accountants are both entry-level roles that share similar bookkeeping and clerical responsibilities. An Accounting Clerk usually requires less education than an Assistant Accountant position. Accounting Clerks are typically qualified to work in their role if they have a high school education and some experience working in an office environment. Assistant Accountants usually hold an associate or bachelor’s degree in accounting or a related field.

 

What makes a good Assistant Accountant?

A strong Assistant Accountant knows how to operate common financial management software tools and must quickly learn how to use different applications, since they complete many of their daily tasks on a computer. Most Assistant Accountants are given several assignments and responsibilities throughout the day, so they should know how to best organize and prioritize these tasks to ensure they’re submitted on time. Many hiring managers look for Assistant Accountants who enjoy mathematics and have a background working with numbers and figures, as they regularly perform basic calculations to input important data into various financial documents. 

 

Who does an Assistant Accountant report to?

An Assistant Accountant reports directly to an Accountant as they assist them in managing a company’s financial reports. Assistant Accountants usually compile important financial statements and records, then submit these to the Accountant. After reviewing these financial documents, the Accountant meets with either the client or the leadership team within their company to suggest actions to take to improve their financial status and security. 

Accountants typically handle big-picture financial items and efficiencies throughout the company and oversee the progress of the Assistant Accountant. Since Assistant Accountants are entry-level employees, Accountants are usually more experienced and teach the Assistant Accountant more about their role and effective accounting methods and strategies to follow. Accountants help Assistant Accountants learn new skills and provide them with the resources needed to perform more effectively in their role and eventually advance to an Accountant position.  

 

Do Assistant Accountants hold different responsibilities in different industries?

There are many environments Accounting Assistants may work in. Some operate in private offices and small businesses where there are only two or three accounting members on the team, which means they may take on larger and more complex workloads. If they work in larger companies, they may serve in a designated accounting department where they split their tasks evenly among the other accounting employees. 

For Assistant Accountants who work in an agency setting, they may spend time outside of the office traveling to meet with their clients and discuss their financial status in person. They can work in a variety of industries like retail, health care, education or manufacturing. It’s best for Assistant Accountants to hold experience or knowledge of their specific industry so they can more accurately assist Accountants in suggesting the best financial options for a business.

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