Accounts Assistant Job Description
Providing general financial and accounting assistance to an organization’s financial department is an Accounts Assistant’s main function. Their role is a combination of administrative assistance and accounting support. They must be able to run an office as well as perform higher-level functions, such as processing invoices and handling accounts receivable requests.
Accounts Assistants work under the supervision of an accounting manager or department supervisor, but many of their duties are performed with little or no supervision. Accounts Assistants should be self-motivated and comfortable working under minimal supervision. The Bureau of Labor Statistics forecasts an 8 percent decline in demand for Bookkeeping, Accounting and Audit Clerks. Due to the popularity of online financial and bookkeeping services, Accounts Assistants can expect to see a similar decline in their field.
Accounts Assistant Duties and Responsibilities
The type of organization an Accounts Assistant works for will determine their particular responsibilities, however, there are several main duties all Accounts Assistants perform. A review of current job listings identified the following primary tasks and responsibilities.
Perform Financial and Accounting Duties
Accounts Assistants will perform various financial and accounting functions. They may assist with filing annual or quarterly tax returns, processing accounts receivable transactions, making and recording deposits, performing bank reconciliations, preparing financial reports and forecasts, assisting in budget planning and maintaining ledgers and accounting books or software. The scope and nature of these functions will vary widely depending on the type and size of organization one works for, but Accounts Assistants must be well versed in accounting and financial practices in order to perform their duties.
Provide Administrative Assistance
Many Accounts Assistants will also assist in administrative or clerical duties. They may answer phones, greet customers, make appointments, file paperwork, perform data entry, scan documents, receive and sort mail, and any other tasks that contribute to the function of the office. Depending on the type of organization one works for, this may be a large part of the job or a minor part of the job, but most Accounts Assistants will find themselves performing some of these duties at one point or another. In larger organizations these duties may be confined to the accounting department, whereas in smaller businesses the Accounts Assistant may assist multiple or all departments as needed.
Accounts Assistant Skills
An Accounts Assistant must be reliable and highly organized. They should possess excellent communication skills both verbally and in writing and be team players. In addition to these traits, employers look for applicants with the following skillsets.
Core skills: Based on job listings we looked at, employers want Account Assistants with these core skills. If you want to work in Accounts Assistant, focus on the following.
- Proficient in computer software programs, such as Microsoft office applications
- Experience with office equipment such as fax machines, copiers and scanners
- Excellent mathematical skills
- Knowledge of accounting and financial principles
Advanced skills: While most employers did not require the following skills, multiple job listings included them as preferred. Add these to your skillset and broaden your career options.
- College degree in accounting or related field
- Knowledge of Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP)
Accounts Assistant Resources
There are more helpful and informational resources available on the Web for those interested in working in Accounts Assistant. We scoured the internet and found these links full of learning opportunities and the latest industry news.
On the Web
Accounting Today – This online magazine offers the latest news, in-depth articles, and editorial analyses for tax and accounting professionals. There are sections dedicated to financial planning and current news, as well as a plethora of resources.
Accounts Assistant Books
Accounting Made Simple: Accounting Explained in 100 Pages or Less – This resourceful book explains accounting without using any technical jargon or complicated terms. It covers all aspects of accounting including preparing financial statements and the Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP).
Fundamentals of Accounts Payable – This text aims to help businesses create strong and effective accounts payable departments by laying out the best practices and procedures for all aspects of accounts payable from the invoicing to internal controls.
Administrative Assistant’s & Secretary’s Handbook – A great resource for all administrative duties one might be expected to perform. It provides best practices as well as detailed information on the most common software programs assistants use in their work.
American Accounting Association – Founded in 1919, AAA boasts the largest community of accountants in academia. They are also the industry leader in research and publications in the accounting field and offer a wide range of industry news and resources.
National Society of Accountants – The NSA was created in 1945 and promotes standards and ethics in accounting by providing education and advocacy to its accountant members. Members receive access to their large resource library as well as discounts on services and materials.
The Institute of Financial Operations – This group represents many financial professionals, but emphasizes those working in accounts payable and accounts receivable fields. They offer education workshops, networking opportunities and the latest industry news to their members.
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