Assistant accountant job description

Numbers are reassuringly black and white – two plus two always equals four unlike in other professions where there is no one right answer. So, if you like certainty and love numbers, working as an assistant accountant could be great. You can spend your days balancing the books, studying spreadsheets and doing the sums until your heart’s content.

Day to day role

You’ll assist senior accountants with preparing financial information, whether that’s crunching the numbers of a company balance sheet or working out someone’s tax return. It’s all about keeping those well-oiled financial cogs turning and ensuring a company is in the black and profitable.

On any given day you could be invoicing, budgeting, preparing tax returns, managing transactions, preparing reports, completing bank reconciliations and assisting senior accounting staff with various tasks.

Qualifications and experience needed

A lot of assistant accountants are graduates and naturally, it helps if you have a degree in a related subject such as accountancy, business studies, economics or maths. You’ll be able to study alongside your work to gain your professional qualifications – the upside is you get qualified whilst being paid, the downside is after a hard day in the office you still have to come home and study. Still, the rewards are worth it with assistant accountants starting on around £25,000 a year.

Don’t be put off even if you don’t have a degree. Plenty of accountancy firms will take you on as long as you have good GCSEs and you will complete professional qualifications alongside your work. You can also enter the profession by taking an accounting technician qualification (AAT).

Skills

Naturally, the ability to crunch numbers is pretty important but IT skills are also extremely useful, particularly with programmes such as Excel.

You’ll need to be analytical, able to solve problems and make complex financial information comprehensible.

Personality

Being logical and possessing a love of numbers lends itself to the role of assistant accountant. But you also need to be clear-minded and methodical. If you thrive on chaos, then this position probably isn’t the best one for you but if you love order and calm, a career in accountancy beckons.

Opportunities

A job as an assistant accountant is a great way into the industry and a stepping stone to a senior accountant or chartered accountant role. You could go on to become a management accountant, financial controller, financial director, auditor or start up your own firm.

All businesses need accountants in one form or another so you’ll never be short of work – you could work in practice for an accountancy firm dealing with lots of different clients or you could work in the finance firm of a particular company. You can even combine it with your passions – film companies, football clubs and sports venues all need to use accountants to balance the books…

Summary

  • Great route into accountancy
  • Love of numbers is important
  • Ability to think logically and deal with complex data vital
  • Excellent career progression across a range of industries

 

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