Junior Accountant Job Description: Top Duties and Qualifications

Last updated: June 22, 2022

A Junior Accountant, or Entry Level Accountant, manages daily financial and accounting tasks for businesses. Their main duties include preparing and maintaining financial statements, compiling reports and preparing balance sheets.

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Junior Accountant Duties and Responsibilities

Junior Accountants support upper-level accounting managers and senior accountants while providing important services within the office. They are integral to the hierarchy of the office and resolve many issues before they become larger problems. Junior Accountants have the following responsibilities:

  • Maintaining accounts receivable, document bills and supporting documentation
  • Maintaining accounts payable, ensure timely payment of invoices, confirming validity of the debt and gathering appropriate signatures
  • Updating financial records via accounting software
  • Gathering payroll expenses and input into appropriate entry line
  • Preparing quarterly budget under the purview of senior management
  • Analyzing financial statements and prepare balance sheets
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What does a Junior Accountant do?

Junior Accountants are financial professionals just starting out in the accounting field. They typically work under the Accountant within a company and assist in managing the day-to-day financial operations to keep a business financially stable. They’ll work closely with the management teams and other team leads to prepare budgets that work best for each department and the overall company. 

A Junior Accountant reviews the organizational financial guidelines and procedures to ensure the business is following the proper state and federal regulations. If any accounts payable and receivable questions or issues appear, the Junior Accountant addresses them and works to resolve the problem. They also develop monthly financial statements regarding the company’s profits, loss statements and balance sheets.

Junior Accountant skills and qualifications

The skills and qualifications of the Junior Accountant include the following:

  • Attention to detail: The Junior Accountant will have to reconcile accounts, noticing any discrepancies and miscalculations. This requires strong observation skills and keen attention to detail. Incorrect information can throw a budget off track and cause incorrect reporting.
  • Problem-solving skills: Junior Accountants work closely with the accounting team and upper management. The ability to identify a problem and resolve it appropriately is critical to resolving potential mistakes. Reconciling accounts requires a comparison between reports, accounts and line items. Locating a discrepancy and resolving the error is easiest when you can identify the problem and take the steps to resolve it without excessive time spent.
  • Skill with technology: Junior Accountants will benefit most from being adept with technology. Accounting software, spreadsheet programs and standard email are all key elements in this type of work. Being comfortable with these programs will enable the candidate to succeed as a Junior Accountant.
  • Communication: Because Junior Accountants interact with multiple staff members, the ability to communicate clearly and effectively is beneficial to a productive individual. Phone conversations, written communication via email and formal letters, as well as in-person meetings all require the Junior Accountant to have the ability to convey their ideas, concerns and solutions.

Junior Accountant Salary Expectations

A Junior Accountant makes an average of $48,477 per year. Pay rate may depend on level of experience, education and the geographical location. 

Junior Accountant education and training requirements

Junior Accountants typically have a bachelor’s degree or specific certification in their field of expertise. A bachelor’s degree in accounting or finance is sufficient for most employers, but additional certifications would be needed in order to eventually promote to CPA or CFO. 

Junior Accountant experience requirements

While a Junior Accountant starts as an entry-level position with a bachelor’s degree requirement, previous experience is helpful for faster promotion potential and a better grasp of work responsibilities. This does depend on the company posting the position as some may prefer a number of years of experience, while others may opt to train in-house. 

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Frequently asked questions about Junior Accountants

 

Who does a Junior Accountant report to?

The person the Junior Accountant reports to typically depends on the size of the company. Larger businesses may hire multiple Junior Accountants who all report to a Senior Accountant. This employee assigns the Junior Accountants tasks and oversees their performance. 

Some Junior Accountants who work for smaller organizations report directly to an Accountant, Senior Accountant or Chief Accountant. This employee provides guidance and advice to the Junior Accountant when they need additional support on any complex challenges that occur. 

 

What makes a good Junior Accountant?

A good Junior Accountant is strong with reading and reviewing numbers, analytics and statistics. Since they’re regularly handling an organization’s financial files and documents, they must have great organizational skills. 

Some Junior Accountants are expected to solve complex problems and deliver on tight deadlines, so it’s best if they have impressive problem-solving and critical thinking abilities to successfully accomplish this. They should also contain strong report writing and presentation skills to present financial data to senior and leadership teams.

 

Do Junior Accountants have different responsibilities in different industries?

Most Junior Accountants work in an office within the business industry, preparing budgets for certain departments and keeping the organization financially stable. Others may serve as Public Junior Accounts, working for corporations and individuals as they prepare tax forms, balance sheets and other financial documents that their clients are required by law to complete and submit. 

Some may work as Government Junior Accountants, working solely for government entities examining their records and auditing private businesses who are subject to taxation or certain government regulations. 

 

What's the difference between a Junior Accountant and an Accounting Clerk?

Though they’re both lower-level accounting positions, there are some key differences between the two. Most Accounting Clerks are only required to earn a high school diploma, while Junior Accountants usually must receive a bachelor’s degree or higher to start at most organizations. Accounting Clerks’ job duties typically center on basic administrative tasks, while Junior Accountants are able to complete more high-level and complex accounting duties, like auditing and taxation duties. 

Junior Accountants are also able to move up in their role to a management or senior level position where they complete more big-picture items for an organization. Most Accounting Clerks are usually limited to what they can be promoted to, unless they return to school and earn a more advanced degree.

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