Education and Training: Associates degree or diploma
Average Salary: $35,000
Job Outlook: Good
An assistant accountant reports to a head accountant or senior manager. They are required to prepare financial records, issue checks, and create reports for banks as well as reports on cash flow. Other duties include ensuring financial data and documents are accurate, and they often work as a member of an in-house finance team. They can work within an accountancy firm, or maybe employed in a number of industries. If they work for a smaller firm they may be responsible for a wide variety of financial tasks, while those choosing to work in larger firms may have to specialize in a certain area of accounting such as credit control or payroll duties.
Other duties can include taking minutes at meetings, answering the phone, and generally making sure the office runs smoothly. Those working for accountancy firms are often responsible for sending out information packs to potential new clients, and answering any inquiries they might have. It is a job that comes with many responsibilities, and anyone considering becoming an assistant accountant needs to have the ability to think quickly, and must be good at math and English.
Education and Training Requirements
Anyone wishing to become an assistant accountant will generally need at least an associate’s degree or some type of vocational training such as an accounting assistant diploma. It’s not unusual to find assistant accountants who have a bachelor’s degree. It’s also necessary to be computer literate and to have good word processing skills, and a genuine interest in finance really helps. They must be willing to work as part of a team, and to be polite and discreet when dealing with company accounts. It goes without saying that anyone doing this job needs a high level of integrity and must be honest with a high degree of attention to detail.
Getting the Job
Apart from having the relevant credentials, employers will be looking for someone who is neat and tidy and polite, as this job may involve meeting some clients. It’s essential to be able to demonstrate computer literacy, and to appear highly organized in your work. You also need to stress that you are a good team player and that you will communicate well with supervisors and peers. It’s also a good idea to have concentrated on math and English at school, as these two disciplines are highly relevant for this job.
Job Prospects, Employment Outlook and Career Development
Job prospects for assistant accountant are extremely good, as there is an increasing need to ensure that company records are kept accurately, and that all federal and state regulations are adhered to. There may be substantial scope for career development, and a lot of employers may offer in-house training. It’s possible to gain professional certification as a bookkeeper, and to pursue continuing education in this manner. A lot of assistant accountants become more senior by taking on more duties, thereby earning higher salaries.
Working Conditions and Environment
Assistant accountants work typical office hours, and the majority are office-based. Most of the work isn’t client facing, and is spent at a computer working independently. As this is an office based job, the working conditions are generally pleasant and comfortable, although some of the work can be quite repetitive and it’s not uncommon to suffer from eye and muscle strain due to the repetitive motion from using a computer on a daily basis.
Salary and Benefits
The median salary for an assistant accountant is about $35,000, but there are those earning $27,000, and those who earn $40,000 or more. In general the top 10% will earn more than $50,000, while the bottom 10% will earn less than $20,000.
The benefits largely depend on the employer, but the majority of assistant accountants will enjoy paid holidays and sick leave, while some may get additional benefits such as health insurance.
Where to Go for More Information
American Institute of Professional Bookkeepers
6001 Montrose Rd., Ste. 500
Rockville, MD 20852
Atlantic Technical Center
4700 Coconut Creek Parkway
Coconut Creek, Florida 33063
McCann School of Business & Technology
2200 N Irving St.
Allentown, PA 18109