Assistant Accountant – Duties and Role

An Assistant Accountant is an important member of a finance team. This is usually the first step on the accountancy career ladder(as a graduate or after working as an accounts assistant).

In a larger finance function the Assistant accountant will report into the Management Accountant, in a smaller team they might report to the Financial Controller.

Assistant Accounts Job Spec

A job spec might look like this:

  • Support the Management Accountant and assist the wider team
  • Manage the VAT returns
  • Reconcile the nominal accounts
  • Produce or assist in producing the management accounts
  • Process payments and invoices
  • Assist in preparing the yearly budget
  • Work with other departments to improve commercial performance

This is usually a varied role and gives you a good round of experience that is necessary for moving up the ladder as a Management Accountant, Financial Controller or even a CFO.

During this time you will often get exposure to technical accounting (like management accounts) and developing your commercial and management experience by working alongside managers and directors in improving performance in there department.

How to Become an Assistant Accountant

There are usually two routes that you can take to become an Assistant Accountant.

The first route is by getting a job after university with a degree in one of the following:

  • Accounting and Finance
  • Economics
  • Mathematics
  • Physics or Chemistry

These degrees usually show you have a strong understanding of numbers, and the first two show working in finance is something you are committed to.

If the job market is tough or you don’t have the degree, you can start by taking a more junior role in the finance team such as an Accounts Assistant. Here you will do more processing of invoices and easier reconciliations.

After proving yourself in the role, and maybe doing a more junior finance qualification like AAT, you can move into the Assistant Accountant position.