The accounting assistant works as an assistant in the accounting department of a company or organization. They basically provide general financial and accounting services to the company’s accounting department.
A successful accounting assistant will provide administrative assistance as well as accounting support.
They’re usually the right hand man or woman to the accounting department, hence, they must be able to run an office and perform higher-level functions.
Accounting Assistant Job Description
Accounting assistants work directly under the supervision of the accounting department, specifically the accounting manager. They handle all sorts of administrative duties including processing invoices and handing accounts receivable requests.
Most accounting assistants work with little or no supervision and require a person with specific character traits and a certain set of skills. Although it varies widely per job, they partake in common duties across the spectrum of the job.
Accounting assistants are cross-trained to perform all essential accounting functions in accounts receivable, accounts payable, grants accounting support and various bookkeeping functions.
This job is responsible for supporting the accounting department by filing documents, reconciling statements and running software programs.
Accounting Assistant Job Duties and Responsibilities
The accounting assistant job description holds man different cards and it can be very specific to the exact job and company the position is for. However, most listings for accounting assistant job description hold at least the same general duties.
As stated before, this job is primarily responsible for assisting the accounting department and is typically supervised by the accounting manager.
Preparing Financial Reports
The accounting assistant job description includes preparing monthly financial reports for the management team to assess.
It is imperative that the person doing this job is very well-versed in numbers and possesses extensive knowledge of bookkeeping and accounts payable and accounts receivable. They should be able to give support to the accounting department and partake in bookkeeping procedures for the company.
The accounting assistant maintains accounting records by making files and organizing documents to their appropriate places. They also reconcile bank statements and compare monthly, weekly, and even daily statements to the general ledger.
Accounting Database Maintenance and Protection
Maintaining accounting databases for the company is a huge part of the accounting assistant job description. Lots of data entry, loggings numbers, and processing backups are all included in this job title as well.
Assistants of the accounting department verify financial reports by running performance analysis software and making sure everything is up to date and accurate.
These individuals are key players in determining the value of depreciable assets by running depreciation software programs.
Accounting assistants obtain approval to satisfy vendor statements, prepare and distribute checks, request and process W-9 forms for new vendors, approve and process wire transfer requests, and prepare and get approval for purchase order requests and line items.
This role is in charge of protecting the organization’s value by keeping any and all accounting information confidential and private. They update job knowledge by seeking and participating in any and all continuing educational opportunities that present themselves.
Accounting assistants perform a majority of the administrative support in the accounting department and are responsible for processing daily invoices and handing all accounts payable and accounts receivable requests that the department receives.
The support of the accounting assistant is crucial for the accounting department to run as smoothly and effectively as possible. This role involves achieving and performing the company’s mission at the highest capability.
Filing Tax Returns and Budget Planning
Possible job duties also include filing monthly or quarterly tax returns for the company while also maintaining the highest accuracy possible. They process all transactions that come through the department and make and record the company’s deposits.
They perform any and all bank reconciliations and prepare financial reports and forecasts.
The accounting assistant job description also includes assisting in budget planning and maintaining company ledgers and accounting books or software.
The functions and duties of this role vary widely depending on the type and size of organization that is in charge. Some accounting assistant jobs are heavy in the administrative assistance department.
This means that accounting assistants also answer phones, greet clients, schedule appointments, file paperwork, complete data entry, scan documents, receive and sort mail, and other tasks that aid in producing the most effective and efficient work atmosphere.
In the case of larger companies, an accounting assistant job description only means serving roles that are strictly to the accounting department. But with smaller companies, they might cover these roles for multiple departments’ needs.
Skills and Qualifications of an Accounting Assistant
A successful accounting assistant possesses a certain skill set and personality type. Accounting assistants typically are required to have a four-year degree in accounting or a related business field. They usually are required to also have knowledge of Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP).
Generally Accepted Accounting Principles are a set of rules composed of the details, complexities, and legalities of business accounting as well as corporate accounting. The Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) uses the GAAP as the base for its comprehensive set of approved accounting approaches and practices.
Core Skills and Knowledge
The core skills of accounting assistants are proficiency in lots of computer software programs, such as QuickBooks, experience with different pieces of office equipment, and sufficient knowledge in terms of troubleshooting typical office problems and issues.
Most hiring agents want accounting assistants to have at least two years of experience in accounting or bookkeeping with an emphasis on accounts payable. They also require at least a high school diploma or GED but is preferred to possess a four-year college degree in accounting or a related field.
Experience with QuickBooks is admirable as well as proficiency in Microsoft Office suite and Google Docs. Excellent typing, especially 10-key skills is extraordinary for accounting assistants and a hiring agent cannot deny an award-winning 10-key specialist.
Communication and Soft Skills
Communication skills in both verbal and written form are definitely a required character trait. To be able to communicate with both clients, interdepartmental as well as with higher management members is crucial in performing the accounting assistant job properly.
Soft skills of teamwork, dependability, and hard work ethic are also very desirable traits for potential accounting assistants.
Hiring managers want to be able to see that you are amazing at communicating as well as working in a collaborative setting.
When it comes to the analytics of accounting, hiring managers want to see that potential assistants have extremely punctual analysis, attention to detail, compliance, mathematical skills, and numerical competence.
Interpersonal and communication skills companies are looking for in accounting assistants include commitment, motivation, multitasking, problem solving, teamwork, training, writing, and written and oral communication skills out of the roof.
Organizational and business skills of accounting assistants include business awareness, asset management, compliance management, corporate reports, credit management, professionalism, QuickBooks, special projects, and finance.
Accounting Assistant Salary Information
According to Indeed, the average pay rate for an accounting assistant in the United States is $15.53 an hour. The range of pay goes from $7.25 to $31.90. These salary estimates are based on 8.507 anonymously submitted salaries submitted to Indeed.
These numbers were sent to Indeed by accounting assistant employees, users, and collected from past and present job advertisement on Indeed’s site for the last three years. The top paying accounting assistant jobs in the United States are for University of California, State of Michigan and Robert Half Finance and Accounting.
Other notable companies that pay their accounting assistant employees top dollar are Cargill, Chrysalis Health, YMCA, ALDO, Jefferson County, and H&R Block. According to Glassdoor, the average base pay of an accounting assistant is $39,509 a year.
The average pay salary according to Glassdoor ranges from a low of $31,000 to a high of $49,000. Furthermore, the range for additional cash compensation for this position is anywhere from $329 to $6,727.
Other comparable job rates are for roles such as accountant, accounts payable, bookkeeper, entry-level accountant, and accounting manager. The ranges for these job salaries vary but stay in a range between $37,000 for bookkeeper to $62,000 for accountant manager.
Other Interesting Facts to Note
Accounting is an integral and necessary department for every single business and organization known to the modern world.
In fact, accountants have been around since 1896, when the state of New York issued its first Certified Public Accountant (CPA) examination.
If this something you’re interested in, try to evaluate yourself to see if you’ve got those knowledge and skills that make a good accounting assistant.
And why not give it a try?