Trainee Accountant Job Description

Trainee accountants work with senior accountants to develop their knowledge of the accounting industry and to gain practical experience at the start of their career. They are involved with tasks such as creating and sending out invoices, managing accounts, and tracking inventory. Most trainee accountants work full-time and may need to work overtime to meet deadlines at the end of the fiscal year or around tax periods, when monthly or yearly audits are carried out. This job is well-suited to people with strong numeracy skills, the ability to retain objectivity with regards to confidential information, and who are able to follow instructions effectively.


Trainee Accountant Duties and Responsibilities

The type of organization a trainee accountant works for will determine the exact roles and responsibilities. Based on job listings we analyzed, a trainee accountant’s duties typically involve:

Input Income and Expense Entries

Trainee accountants work with a senior accountant or controller to assist with tasks that will build their knowledge. One of the most common daily duties is inputting income or expense entries into the accounting system that the organization uses.

Manage Invoices

Trainee accountants pay bills, create invoices for the company’s clients, and enter vendor invoices into the system. They are also responsible for administering payroll, accounts receivable, and accounts payable to keep records up-to-date.

Check Data for Accuracy

Data accuracy is an important aspect of this role, so trainee accountants are involved with checking entries for accuracy and making the necessary corrections if they spot anything that’s wrong before filing the documents in the corresponding place.

Present Information

Some trainee accountants are charged with presenting information to colleagues and clients. They review and summarize client reports and have the opportunity to liaise with other departments at such meetings.

Administrative Duties

As a trainee accountant, helping colleagues with tasks and administrative duties is an everyday part of the role. This might include helping with asset inventory, cost accounting, or payroll tasks.


Trainee Accountant Skills and Qualifications

Trainee accountants have strong numerical skills, can accurately analyze data for errors, and are adept at following instructions. Typically, employers will require an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in mathematics, accounting, or a similar subject, as well as the following abilities:

  • Numerical Abilities – Trainee accountants need to have an aptitude for numbers and the ability to make calculations and work out formulas with ease
  • Analytical Skills – As part of this job, trainee accountants need to be able to spot trends in data and highlight inaccuracies or discrepancies in records
  • Integrity – Trainee accountants work with a company’s financial data and need to keep this information confidential, so they possess the integrity to uphold best practices and retain transparent records about the organization’s financial records
  • Computer Skills – This role requires the ability to use accounting software as well as computer software to input and amend data and records
  • Detail-Oriented Trainee accountants need to be detail oriented to be able to input data accurately and to recognize any errors they or others may have made


Tools of the Trade

Trainee accountants regularly use these tools and should have a good understanding of how to use:

  • Accounting Software (Quickbooks, SAGE 50 Accounting)
  • Database Software (Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Access)


Trainee Accountant Education and Training

The minimum requirement to become a trainee accountant is an associate’s degree in accounting, mathematics, or a related subject. Some employers may request a bachelor’s degree in these subjects. Most trainee accountants gain their experience through on-the-job training, but will go on to gain a certified public accountant (CPS) qualification which is a requirement of accountant positions.


Trainee Accountant Salary and Outlook

The median annual salary for trainee accountants is $38,000. Trainee accountants in the 10th percentile earn around $24,000 a year and the highest paid earn close to $60,000 a year. Some organizations offer bonus structures and profit-sharing opportunities, which can reach as much as $7,000, as well as commission, which can reach as much as $11,000.

Level of experience impact the pay level for this role, and many employers offer dental plans and medical insurance as part of their benefits package. The BLS predicts that the growth rate for this sector is expected to decline by 1 percent through 2026.


Helpful Resources

We’ve collected some of the best resources to help you develop a successful career as a trainee accountant:

Financial Statements: A Step-by-Step Guide to Understanding and Creating Financial Reports – This expanded version of an already popular guide by Thomas Ittlelson will help readers gain a full understanding of “the numbers” that lead to business success. From how balance sheets and cash flow statements work together, to examples to illustrate each concept, this book explains financial statements in a clear and understandable way.

Accounting: The Ultimate Guide to Accounting for Beginners – For those looking to learn about the fundamentals of accounting, this book by Greg Shields is the perfect guide. The book discusses key topics within the accounting field, from the terminology to balance sheets and the accounting equation.

World Finance Network – The World Finance Network LinkedIn group, with over 190,000 members, provides a fast-growing and vibrant accounting community that serves as a useful forum for sharing knowledge, joining discussions, and networking with financial professionals.

Accounting Coach – The Accounting Coach is a valuable site where students can look up terms, take tests, and watch visual tutorials to learn the fundamentals of accounting. It’s a valuable site for trainee accountants who are in the learning stages of their career to brush up on topics and develop their understanding of the sector.


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