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What does it take to become an accounts assistant?

An Accounts Assistant’s role is to support an accountant, or a team of accountants, within a business. The support that they provide is both accounting and clerical and can be anything from low level book keeping work, such as reconciliations or administrative duties like typing reports, taking phone calls and filing.

Those interested in taking on such a role will need to have good written and verbal communication skills to deal with both internal and external customers, as well as an excellent knowledge of computer systems. Office experience of any kind is also advantageous, as is a basic understanding of book keeping and general accounting practices. This is an ideal role for anyone who is part of the accounting function and wants to progress within finance, so if you are already a sale or purchase ledger clerk or work within payroll, this could be the first step towards becoming an accountant.

Qualifications

Qualifications from ACCA, AAT or CIMA could help you secure an Accounts Assistant role. Not all businesses will require their Accounts Assistants to be partly or fully qualified, as in-house training is often provided.

Job Description

Although the job varies from business to business, Accounts Assistants are normally called upon to fulfil the following duties. Providing accounting support wherever required, reconciling accounts, maintaining spread sheets, checking employee commissions and posting journals. All of these duties help with the preparation of monthly management accounts.

Skill Set

The attributes required to be successful in the role include good numerical skills and a good knowledge of accounting packages and spread sheets. Handling stress and being organised is also important as this role is structured to monthly deadlines.

Although knowledge of the accounting process and an understanding of the office environment are essential, being full or part qualified is not normally required. Most companies see the role as a support function for their accountants and leave the training to them. Those that want their Accounts Assistant staff to be working towards an accounting qualification, will often provide the training as part of the job role. With the right company, this is a role that can lead to a career as a management accountant.

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