what is an accounts assistant?

An accounts assistant is a finance administrator working in a junior position in an accounting department. You support and report to financial managers and ensure the department accomplishes its financial tasks by working on bookkeeping and other financial administration.

Accounts assistants can find employment opportunities in all types of companies because finances are a major part of any business. Your role as a financial support employee is critical to a company's success, especially if the employees work with large quantities of financial data.

are accounts assistants junior accountants?

Accounts assistants are often confused with junior accountants as they also perform support roles for accountants. However, these are completely different roles. As an accounts assistant, you report to junior accountants who double-check entries and fix accounting errors. Due to your role in administrating financial accounts, you can work in various industries. These include professional companies, financial institutions and government offices. In most companies, you are in charge of all accounting tasks, although it's possible to specialise.

Would working in finance as an accounts assistant suit your mathematical and analytical skills? Then read on to find out what competencies and qualifications you need to thrive in an accounts assistant role.

accounts assistant jobs

average salary of an accounts assistant

According to ONS, an accounts assistant earns an average salary of £23,000 per year. The compensation package usually depends on your academic qualifications, experience and the complexity of your role. As a trainee accounts assistant, your take-home salary starts at £21,248 annually and increases with your experience. Top earners in the role earn above £27,000 per year since they have more responsibilities.

Most companies provide monetary and non-monetary benefits to employees. For instance, you will earn overtime pay for working additional hours. Some companies have annual bonuses, annual leave and paid sick days.

what factors affect your salary as an accounts assistant?

Your location determines your salary range. For instance, accounts assistants in London have an average salary of £28,750 per year compared to those in Wales, who earn £23,250 annually. Working in urban settings is the best choice to improve your salary prospects. Your experience also affects your earnings. If you have experience and additional certifications, you can receive higher pay, depending on your skills.

female speaking on phone while sitting in front of laptop
female speaking on phone while sitting in front of laptop

types of accounts assistants

Some types of accounts assistants include:

  • accounting clerks: as an accounts clerk, you are responsible for tracking and monitoring accounts and company transactions. You can work in any business to record accounts receivable and payable.
  • bookkeeping clerks: as a bookkeeper, you can work in any business. Your job is to record transactions, store financial documents and analyse financial statements.
  • auditing clerks: as an auditing clerk, you deal with more mathematical tasks. In this position, you audit financial documents for inaccuracies and provide solutions for errors.

working as an accounts assistant

Working as an accounts assistant involves helping companies keep track of their financial transactions. Let's explore the daily duties and responsibilities in the role.


education and skills

As an accounts assistant, you need the following academic qualifications:

  • university degree: employers expect you to have a degree in accounting, finance, mathematics or economics. The degree course equips you with basic knowledge of accounting procedures and bookkeeping skills.
  • apprenticeship: explore apprenticeship opportunities in accounting, such as intermediate apprenticeships in accounts or as a finance assistant. If you have 5 GCSEs, you can pursue an assistant accountant apprenticeship. The opportunities allow you to work as you study, which improves your experience and skills.
  • certification: to become an accounts assistant, you need to be a member of the Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT) or Association of Chartered and Certified Accountants (ACCA).

skills and competencies

Accounts assistants need a particular set of skills to carry out various accounting responsibilities competently. They include:

  • analytical skills: mathematics is at the core of accounting. As an accounts assistant, you collect necessary financial data, analyse it, and make accurate calculations and conclusions. Strong mathematical and analytical skills enable you to notice disparities between reports and solve bookkeeping problems.
  • computer skills: to make their work possible, accounts assistants rely on computer apps and software such as spreadsheets to record and store volumes of data. Therefore, you have to be knowledgeable about computing and have some experience with the relevant accounting software.
  • listening and communication skills: since accounts assistants work in collaboration with other accounting experts, it's necessary to have the ability to interact and communicate well with other people. As an accounts assistant, you need good listening skills to learn from your superiors fast. You should also be very clear when passing on information. Constant communication will help you avoid errors in accounting records.
  • strong attention to detail: precision is important for success as an accounts assistant. Being thorough when handling accounting records helps you deliver high-quality work. In accounting, the smallest errors can cause problems for even a large company if they're not resolved promptly.
  • organisational skills: as an accounts assistant, your work can be complex, especially when dealing with many records in a large firm. You must be good at organising your work to beat deadlines and deliver exceptional results.
female and male having a conversation
female and male having a conversation


FAQs about working as an accounts assistant

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