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Accounts Assistant Job Description: Top Duties and Qualifications

An Accounts Assistant, or Accounts Clerk provides administrative and bookkeeping support for an accounting or finance team. Their duties include sending and paying invoices, chasing late payments and reconciling company accounts.

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Accounts Assistant duties and responsibilities

The duties of Accounts Assistants vary depending on factors like industry and the size of a company. Some Accounts Assistants are responsible for a wide range of accounting tasks, whereas those who work for larger firms may focus specifically on one area, such as payroll or credit control. In general, their day-to-day activities include:

  • Taking care of administrative tasks, such as correspondence, filing and printing
  • Scheduling client appointments and managing important departmental deadlines
  • Maintaining accurate and detailed customer records and creating new customer accounts
  • Building a good rapport with clients and providing an accounting team with relevant information
  • Completing daily and monthly bank reconciliations
  • Collecting monthly direct debits and making payments
  • Preparing and entering journals into the system
  • Supporting the preparation of management accounts and month-end duties
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What does an Accounts Assistant do?

Accounts Assistants contribute to the smooth running of the day-to-day activities of an accounting or finance office or department. They typically provide assistance for an Accountant, a Finance Manager or an accounting or financial team. Apart from taking care of the office administration, they handle basic accounting tasks. They typically take ownership of a company or department’s purchase and sales ledgers and assist with month-end processes. They also deal directly with customers and handle queries relating to invoices and other accounting issues.

Accounts Assistant skills and qualifications

Apart from working with numbers, Accounts Assistants interact with people, they therefore need strong interpersonal and communication skills to effectively deal with customers, coworkers and Managers. They need to actively listen to stakeholders and should be able to clearly verbalise their ideas and plans of action. A successful Accounts Assistant will have various prerequisite skills and qualifications, these typically include:

  • Excellent organisational and time-management skills to ensure that an office runs smoothly
  • Solid low-level accountancy and basic bookkeeping skills
  • Computer literacy and a working knowledge of accounting packages and other relevant applications, such as spreadsheets
  • Solid understanding of financial systems and processes
  • Strong analytical skills to evaluate financial data and make recommendations
  • The ability to function well in a team, as they need to provide support as needed

Accounts Assistant experience requirements

The level of experience an Accounts Assistant needs varies from one position to another. When applying for entry-level positions, candidates may be able to secure the job without any previous work experience. For more senior positions, candidates will typically need to show previous experience in an accounting or financial environment. Required experience may include good working knowledge of accounting routines, including stock checks and month-end reconciliations. Employers may also require experience in working with financial systems. In addition, candidates may need administrative experience and a working knowledge of relevant software programs.

Accounts Assistant education and training requirements

Accounts Assistants usually hold a foundation degree, a higher national diploma or a degree in subjects like business administration, accounting, finance, economics or a related field.

Candidates can complete various college courses to demonstrate their competencies, such as a Level 2 Certificate in Bookkeeping, a Level 2 Certificate in Accounting or a Level 2 Certificate in Manual and Computerised Bookkeeping. Accounts Assistants may also be working towards obtaining accredited accounting qualifications through professional bodies like the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) or the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA).

Accounts Assistant salary expectations

According to Indeed Salaries, the average salary for an Accounts Assistant in the UK is £20,904 per year. Salaries vary, depending on factors like location, levels of experience and employer.

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Accounts Assistant job description FAQs

What are the hours of an Accounts Assistant?

Accounts Assistants typically have normal Monday to Friday, 40-hour workweeks. During busier periods, such as tax season or the financial year-end they may need to put in some overtime.

What's the difference between an Accounts Assistant and an Assistant Accountant?

An Assistant Accountant is a Junior or Trainee Accountant and has a more senior position than an Accounts Assistant. They are either qualified Accountants or are working towards becoming qualified. Unlike Accounts Assistants, Assistant Accountants take care of accounting tasks exclusively and don’t have clerical responsibilities.

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