The Definitive Guide: How To Become An Accounts Assistant

Published on: 10 Jul 2018
accounts assitant

If you are organised, analytical, have great communication skills and a knack for numbers then you may have what it takes to start a career as an Accounts Assistant.

What is an Accounts Assistant?

  • Job Description

    As an accounts assistant, you will be supporting accountants through providing administrative help by undertaking a range of tasks. You will assist with compiling and maintaining financial records, invoicing, processing tax returns, preparing company accounts, filing and many other tasks.

  • Hours of Work

    In a full time position, you will be required to work up to 40 hours per week, Monday to Friday. It is very rare to work weekends or evenings, but this depends on the workload and the company that you work for.

  • Main Responsibilities

    So, what will your main responsibilities be as an Accounts Assistant?

    Duties typically include:

    • Maintaining financial records
    • Preparing reports
    • Raising invoices and credit notes
    • Processing company expenses
    • Payroll
    • Credit control and debt chasing
    • Preparing statutory accounts
    • Purchase ledgers
    • Filling out purchase orders
    • Managing petty cash
    • Filing
    • Answering the telephone

Key Accounts Assistant qualifications

Do you have the qualifications to get the job?

As an accounts assistant it is not vital that you have a degree. You can be trained on the job for this role. However, having a qualification or degree will be favourable. You will be expected to have 5 GCSE’s A*-C or equivalent including maths. Having A Levels will only increase your chances of getting yourself a job. Some relevant qualifications you can look into are:

Vital Accounts Assistant Skills

Want to know if you’ve got what it takes? These are the skills you’ll need for the role:

  • Work well as part of a team
  • Analytical
  • Knowledge of Excel
  • Organisational skills
  • Focused
  • Communication skills
  • Trustworthy and discrete when dealing with confidential information
  • Strong administrative skills

What is an Accounts Assistant’s salary?

How much will you take home?

Of course the salary will depend on factors such as the size of the company, the location and your experience. The average salary for an Accounts Assistant is between £15,000 and £20,000. The more experienced you are, the higher your salary will be.

accounts assitant

How to become an Accounts Assistant?

Now that you know what an Accounts Assistant does, how do you become one?

When applying, you may notice that you are often required to have one or two years’ experience in a similar role - and you’re wondering, how you can gain experience when employers want experienced people working for them.

One way to gain experience is by completing an apprenticeship. This will allow you to get full training on the job whilst gaining a qualification. This normally takes 1 year to complete.

Don’t panic if you don’t have any experience, some companies offer on the job training so look out for the companies that are willing to train you up. If you have some relevant qualifications, you can prove that you are capable of learning.

How to develop your Accounts Assistant career?

So, imagine for a second that you’ve been a Accounts Assistant for some time – what next?

The next step is to become a fully qualified chartered accountant by taking more courses with the AAT or ACCA. Some employers will fund further qualifications and will support development within the workplace.

Career Opportunities