What does an Accounts Assistant do?

Being an Accounts Assistant is a varied and interesting role and one which can lead the way to great career progression opportunities if desired. Day to day tasks include processing invoices and payments, compiling and maintaining financial records, VAT returns and more.

Sometimes this can be a freelance position but more typically it will be an office-based role with standard working hours.

The specifics

It’s dependant on the business you’re working in but you could be asked to perform any of the following tasks: –

  • Raising and sending out invoices
  • Managing sales and purchase ledger
  • Monitoring budgets
  • Credit control
  • Maintaining financial records and spreadsheets
  • Processing employee expenses
  • Preparing statutory accounts
  • Preparing VAT returns
  • Processing weekly/monthly payrolls

What skills should you have to be an Accounts Assistant?

There are a few key attributes necessary to be able to work within an accounts role. The first one, would definitely be a good head for numbers. Here are a few others:

  • Methodical
  • Ability to multi-task and prioritise effectively
  • Good project management skills
  • Thorough
  • Able to work under pressure and to strict deadlines
  • Ability to problem solve
  • Discrete, honest and trustworthy
  • Comfortable working with different IT Accountancy software packages, such as Sage.

Do I need specific training or qualifications to be an Accounts Assistant?

To really put yourself ahead of the rest, there are some industry standard qualifications, which if gained, prove to employers you’re serious about your career development and willing to put time into learning the correct ways to manage a business’s financial records.

Employers will look for those with qualifications such as ACCA or AAT (The Association for Accounting Technicians). If you have proven Sage skills, especially within Sage RTI if you’re processing the payroll, this will also set you apart from the rest in the crowded CV pile.

You’ll also find that having excellent proven spreadsheet skills in a package such as Microsoft Excel will stand you in good stead.

We have a number of AAT courses and Diplomas which offer you the opportunity to gain a Level 2 or 3 AAT Qualification.

What kind of salary could I earn as an Accounts Assistant?

Salaries obviously vary from region to region and also are dependent on experience.

If you’re based in the London region, you could look for a starting salary of around £20-22,000 per year whereas further North you could be looking at £18,000 as a reasonable starting salary.

Our Finance and Accounts Training

We have a number of Diplomas and courses which offer a formal qualification.
For example, you could study the Foundation in Bookkeeping Diploma with AAT or the Foundation Award in Bookkeeping with AAT. Both of these will help you to gain the AAT Level 2 Certificate in Bookkeeping and the main Diploma will also give you the AAT Level 2 Certificate in Computerised Accounting.

As well as the AAT endorsed range of training, we have a number of Sage courses available which can help you get to grips with this renowned accounting package that is used by so many businesses these days. You could try the Sage 50 Accounts course, or if you think you’d like to process company salaries, you could try the Sage Payroll course.

With the number of financial spreadsheets that are required, a good depth of knowledge of Microsoft Excel would also appeal to employers. You can try the standard course, or if you already have a good basic knowledge level of the program, we have the Microsoft Excel Expert course available.