what is a finance assistant?

As a finance assistant, your role is supportive since you handle day-to-day activities in the accounting department and report to the finance or accounting manager. You have to accomplish the tasks efficiently to ensure the smooth running of department operations. That means you need to be familiar with the company's accounting principles and financial reporting policies.

Since finance assistant is an entry-level job, your role will include basic bookkeeping activities and administrative tasks. For instance, your job involves managing bank reconciliations and expenses using data entry platforms and account software to ensure the company accounts are up-to-date. You also update monthly forecasts and company budgets and pass the reports to the relevant managers. Sometimes, you work with the human resource department to prepare payroll or the sales and procurement departments to issue invoices or pay suppliers and prepare quarterly tax returns.

what does a finance assistant do?

As a finance assistant, you have to be highly organised to juggle multiple tasks and have financial knowledge like bookkeeping and accounting principles. It is also crucial to be detail-oriented since the accounting records must be accurate.

Would a career in finance, working as a finance assistant suit your numeracy skills? Then read on to find out what competencies and qualifications you need to thrive in a finance assistant role.

finance assistant jobs

average salary of a finance assistant

According to ONS, a finance assistant earns a median annual salary of £22,000. When starting your career with basic skills and minimal experience, you are likely to earn £19,522 per year. When you have years of experience and specialised skills in some accounting duties, your earnings can increase to £29,218 per year. Aside from basic salaries, some companies have additional benefits to boost your earnings. For instance, you may receive various allowances like medical insurance and annual bonuses.

what affects the salary of a finance assistant?

As a finance assistant, your compensation package varies hugely depending on the industry, location and company size. If you work in the banking and financial services industry, you will likely earn more than a finance assistant working in the public sector or not-for-profit organisations. Multinational companies usually pay more compared to medium-sized businesses. However, working in a small company allows you to build your skills since you juggle additional tasks. Finance assistants working in London or Birmingham have better compensation packages than those working in Nottingham and Leicester due to demand and cost of living.

Female smiling, sitting on a table with pen in her hands
Female smiling, sitting on a table with pen in her hands

types of finance assistants

As a finance assistant, you can perform general bookkeeping tasks or specialise in specific roles in the finance department like:

  • account payables and receivables: a finance assistant manages accounts receivables and payables. In accounts receivables, you track incoming cash flow and issue invoices and handlng billing statements. Sometimes, you have to inquire about unpaid bills. Payables keep a record of the company's debts and payment plans.
  • financial planning: as a finance assistant, you can participate in financial planning roles like budgeting. You also help your employer research the best investments to improve the financial position.
  • risk management: finance assistants assist with risk management by reviewing the company's investment portfolio. Your job is to evaluate risks and opportunities. You help your employer find ways to exploit opportunities and deal with risks.
  • cashflow management: a finance assistant can help the finance manager control the company's cash flow. Your job is to evaluate the company's liquidity.

working as a finance assistant

If you are detail-oriented with a knack for numbers, you will enjoy working as a finance assistant. The job demands accuracy in recording accounting information and high organisation skills to deal with daily activities. Let's explore the duties and work environment of a finance assistant.


education and skills

Finance assistant jobs are usually entry-level opportunities for candidates with minimal experience. However, employers are on the lookout for specific academic qualifications:

  • degree: to become a finance assistant, you need a bachelor's degree in accounting, finance or a related business course like economics or statistics. While some employers don't require a degree for a finance assistant role, degree-holders achieve faster progress to higher finance roles. Most fresh graduates become finance assistants to gain real-world experience and secure better company positions.
  • specialised training: join the finance assistant position through courses from the Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT) in the UK. The professional body provides finance and accountancy qualifications for finance assistant roles recognised globally. You can pursue a Foundation Diploma in Accounting and Business (Level 2), Advanced Level 3 Diploma in Accounting or Professional Diploma in Accounting (Level 4). There is also a membership programme for accounting technicians.
  • certification: as a finance assistant, you can join certification and membership bodies for accountants like the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales. Professional certifications improve your competitiveness and fast-track your career.

skills and competencies

As a finance assistant, you need the following skills and competencies:

  • maths skills: a finance assistant needs good maths and numeracy skills. You have to carry out quick calculations and ensure accurate computations of financial data. Maths skills help you maintain the accuracy of financial documents.
  • communication and interpersonal skills: a finance assistant works alongside various workers in the organisation. It is vital to have good communication and teamwork skills to collaborate with others and ensure efficient communication.
  • time management: as a finance assistant, your role involves juggling numerous tasks and dealing with strict deadlines. Without time management skills, you cannot keep up with the tasks.
  • attention to detail: a finance assistant has to ensure the accuracy of financial data since minor errors can cause serious issues. Your detail-oriented skills help you spot errors in financial statements and spreadsheets during the reporting process.
  • computer skills: many companies use accounting software and computerised systems to record transactions. As a finance accountant, your computing skills help you navigate the software easily.
female working in front of her computer
female working in front of her computer


FAQs about working as a finance assistant

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