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Become An Accountant Assistant

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Working As An Accountant Assistant

  • Interacting With Computers
  • Processing Information
  • Getting Information
  • Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards
  • Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work
  • Mostly Sitting

  • Repetitive

  • $40,000

    Average Salary

What Does An Accountant Assistant Do

Accountants and auditors prepare and examine financial records. They ensure that financial records are accurate and that taxes are paid properly and on time. Accountants and auditors assess financial operations and work to help ensure that organizations run efficiently. 


Accountants and auditors typically do the following:

  • Examine financial statements to ensure that they are accurate and comply with laws and regulations
  • Compute taxes owed, prepare tax returns, and ensure that taxes are paid properly and on time
  • Inspect account books and accounting systems for efficiency and use of accepted accounting procedures
  • Organize and maintain financial records
  • Assess financial operations and make best-practices recommendations to management
  • Suggest ways to reduce costs, enhance revenues, and improve profits

In addition to examining and preparing financial documentation, accountants and auditors must explain their findings. This includes preparing written reports and meeting face-to-face with organization managers and individual clients.

Many accountants and auditors specialize, depending on the particular organization that they work for. Some work for organizations that specialize in assurance services (improving the quality or context of information for decisionmakers) or risk management (determining the probability of a misstatement on financial documentation). Other organizations specialize in specific industries, such as healthcare.

Some workers with a background in accounting and auditing teach in colleges and universities. For more information, see the profile on postsecondary teachers.

The following are examples of types of accountants and auditors:

Public accountants perform a broad range of accounting, auditing, tax, and consulting tasks. Their clients include corporations, governments, and individuals.

Public accountants work with financial documents that clients are required by law to disclose. These include tax forms and balance sheet statements that corporations must provide potential investors. For example, some public accountants concentrate on tax matters, advising corporations about the tax advantages of certain business decisions or preparing individual income tax returns.

Public accountants, many of whom are Certified Public Accountants (CPAs), generally have their own businesses or work for public accounting firms. Publicly traded companies are required to have CPAs sign documents they submit to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), including annual and quarterly reports.

Some public accountants specialize in forensic accounting, investigating financial crimes such as securities fraud and embezzlement, bankruptcies and contract disputes, and other complex and possibly criminal financial transactions. Forensic accountants combine their knowledge of accounting and finance with law and investigative techniques to determine if an activity is illegal. Many forensic accountants work closely with law enforcement personnel and lawyers during investigations and often appear as expert witnesses during trials.

Management accountants, also called cost, managerial, industrial, corporate, or private accountants, record and analyze the financial information of the organizations for which they work. The information that management accountants prepare is intended for internal use by business managers, not by the general public.

Management accountants often work on budgeting and performance evaluation. They also may help organizations plan the cost of doing business. Some may work with financial managers on asset management, which involves planning and selecting financial investments such as stocks, bonds, and real estate.

Government accountants maintain and examine the records of government agencies and audit private businesses and individuals whose activities are subject to government regulations or taxation. Accountants employed by federal, state, and local governments ensure that revenues are received and spent in accordance with laws and regulations.

Internal auditors check for mismanagement of an organization’s funds. They identify ways to improve the processes for finding and eliminating waste and fraud. The practice of internal auditing is not regulated, but The Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA) provides generally accepted standards.

External auditors perform similar duties as internal auditors, but are employed by an outside organization, rather than the one they are auditing. They review clients’ financial statements and inform investors and authorities that the statements have been correctly prepared and reported.

Information technology auditors are internal auditors who review controls for their organization’s computer systems, to ensure that the financial data comes from a reliable source.

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How To Become An Accountant Assistant

Most accountants and auditors need at least a bachelor’s degree in accounting or a related field. Certification within a specific field of accounting improves job prospects. For example, many accountants become Certified Public Accountants (CPAs).  


Most accountant and auditor positions require at least a bachelor’s degree in accounting or a related field. Some employers prefer to hire applicants who have a master’s degree, either in accounting or in business administration with a concentration in accounting.

A few universities and colleges offer specialized programs, such as a bachelor’s degree in internal auditing. In some cases, those with associate’s degrees, as well as bookkeepers and accounting clerks who meet the education and experience requirements set by their employers, get junior accounting positions and advance to accountant positions by showing their accounting skills on the job.

Many colleges help students gain practical experience through summer or part-time internships with public accounting or business firms.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Every accountant filing a report with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is required by law to be a Certified Public Accountant (CPA). Many other accountants choose to become a CPA to enhance their job prospects or to gain clients. Many employers will often pay the costs associated with the CPA exam.

CPAs are licensed by their state’s Board of Accountancy. Becoming a CPA requires passing a national exam and meeting other state requirements. Almost all states require CPA candidates to complete 150 semester hours of college coursework to be certified, which is 30 hours more than the usual 4-year bachelor’s degree. Many schools offer a 5-year combined bachelor’s and master’s degree to meet the 150-hour requirement, but a master’s degree is not required.

A few states allow a number of years of public accounting experience to substitute for a college degree.

All states use the four-part Uniform CPA Examination from the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA). Candidates do not have to pass all four parts at once, but most states require that they pass all four parts within 18 months of passing their first part.

Almost all states require CPAs to take continuing education to keep their license.

Certification provides an advantage in the job market because it shows professional competence in a specialized field of accounting and auditing. Accountants and auditors seek certifications from a variety of professional societies. Some of the most common certifications are listed below:

The Institute of Management Accountants offers the Certified Management Accountant (CMA) to applicants who complete a bachelor’s degree. Applicants must have worked at least 2 years in management accounting, pass a two-part exam, agree to meet continuing education requirements, and comply with standards of professional conduct. The exam covers areas such as financial statement analysis, working-capital policy, capital structure, valuation issues, and risk management. 

The Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA) offers the Certified Internal Auditor (CIA) to graduates from accredited colleges and universities who have worked for 2 years as internal auditors and have passed a four-part exam. The IIA also offers the Certified in Control Self-Assessment (CCSA), Certified Government Auditing Professional (CGAP), Certified Financial Services Auditor (CFSA), and Certification in Risk Management Assurance (CRMA) to those who pass the exams and meet educational and experience requirements.

ISACA offers the Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA) to candidates who pass an exam and have 5 years of experience auditing information systems. Information systems experience, financial or operational auditing experience, or related college credit hours can be substituted for up to 3 years of experience in information systems auditing, control, or security.

For accountants with a CPA, the AICPA offers the option to receive any or all of the Accredited in Business Valuation (ABV), Certified Information Technology Professional (CITP), or Personal Financial Specialist (PFS) certifications. The ABV requires a written exam, completion of at least six business valuation projects, and 75 hours of continuing education. The CITP requires 1,000 hours of business technology experience and 75 hours of continuing education. Candidates for the PFS also must complete a certain amount of work experience and continuing education, and pass a written exam.


Some top executives and financial managers have a background in accounting, internal auditing, or finance.

Beginning public accountants often advance to positions with more responsibility in 1 or 2 years and to senior positions within another few years. Those who excel may become supervisors, managers, or partners; open their own public accounting firm; or transfer to executive positions in management accounting or internal auditing in private firms.

Management accountants often start as cost accountants, junior internal auditors, or trainees for other accounting positions. As they rise through the organization, they may advance to accounting manager, chief cost accountant, budget director, or manager of internal auditing. Some become controllers, treasurers, financial vice presidents, chief financial officers, or corporation presidents.

Public accountants, management accountants, and internal auditors can move from one aspect of accounting and auditing to another. Public accountants often move into management accounting or internal auditing. Management accountants may become internal auditors, and internal auditors may become management accountants. However, it is less common for management accountants or internal auditors to move into public accounting.

Important Qualities

Analytical skills. Accountants and auditors must be able to identify issues in documentation and suggest solutions. For example, public accountants use analytical skills in their work to minimize tax liability, and internal auditors use these skills to detect fraudulent use of funds.  

Communication skills. Accountants and auditors must be able to listen carefully to facts and concerns from clients, managers, and others. They must also be able to discuss the results of their work in both meetings and written reports.

Detail oriented. Accountants and auditors must pay attention to detail when compiling and examining documentation.

Math skills. Accountants and auditors must be able to analyze, compare, and interpret facts and figures, although complex math skills are not necessary.

Organizational skills. Strong organizational skills are important for accountants and auditors who often work with a range of financial documents for a variety of clients.

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Accountant Assistant Career Paths

Accountant Assistant
Accountant Senior Accountant Controller
Accounting Director
11 Yearsyrs
Accountant Controller
Regional Controller
10 Yearsyrs
Accountant Tax Accountant Senior Tax Accountant
Tax Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Accounts Payable Clerk Finance Analyst Accounting Manager
Senior Accounting Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Accounts Payable Clerk Payroll Administrator Office Manager
Office And Operations Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Staff Accountant Tax Accountant Tax Manager
Senior Tax Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Accounts Payable Clerk Charge Bookkeeper Accounting Manager
Corporate Accounting Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Staff Accountant Finance Analyst Senior Accountant
Reporting Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Staff Accountant Senior Accountant Accounting Manager
Manager, Accounting Operations
7 Yearsyrs
Bookkeeper Finance Analyst Finance Manager
Business Manager-Finance Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Bookkeeper Consultant Assistant Controller
6 Yearsyrs
Accounting Clerk Credit Analyst Treasury Analyst
Treasury Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Account Executive Consultant Assistant Controller
Assistant Corporate Controller
9 Yearsyrs
Accounting Clerk Cost Accountant Plant Controller
Unit Controller
9 Yearsyrs
Bookkeeper Executive Assistant Administrative Manager
Administrative & Finance Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Account Executive Office Manager Accountant And Office Manager
Account Human Resources Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Accounting Assistant Accounting Clerk Project Accountant
Management Accounts Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Accounting Assistant Accounting Analyst Fund Accountant
Client Account Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Auditor Account Auditor Fiscal Officer
Fiscal Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Account Officer Assistant Account Manager
Finance Account Manager
5 Yearsyrs
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Do you work as an Accountant Assistant?

Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
Public Accountant 4.4 years
Bookkeeper 4.0 years
Accountant 3.7 years
General Accountant 3.5 years
Accounting Clerk 3.4 years
Staff Accountant 3.0 years
Bank Accountant 2.9 years
Cash Accountant 2.6 years
Junior Accountant 2.4 years
Top Careers Before Accountant Assistant
Cashier 8.1%
Internship 6.8%
Accountant 4.5%
Bookkeeper 4.0%
Volunteer 3.1%
Assistant 2.9%
Teller 2.6%
Manager 2.4%
Secretary 2.3%
Top Careers After Accountant Assistant
Accountant 10.1%
Cashier 7.4%
Bookkeeper 4.5%
Internship 4.0%
Assistant 2.7%
Manager 2.6%

Do you work as an Accountant Assistant?

Average Yearly Salary
View Detailed Salary Report
Min 10%
Median 50%
Median 50%
Median 50%
Median 50%
Median 50%
Median 50%
Median 50%
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
China Construction America
Highest Paying City
Laurel, MD
Highest Paying State
Avg Experience Level
2.4 years
How much does an Accountant Assistant make at top companies?
The national average salary for an Accountant Assistant in the United States is $40,359 per year or $19 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $27,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $59,000.

Real Accountant Assistant Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Accountant's Assistant China Construction America, Inc. Jersey City, NJ Feb 01, 2016 $86,000
Accountant's Assistant China Construction Bank New York Branch New York, NY Sep 10, 2013 $72,550
Accountant's Assistant China Construction America, Inc. Jersey City, NJ Apr 29, 2016 $63,069
Accountant's Assistant China Construction America, Inc. Jersey City, NJ Jan 02, 2013 $60,000
Assisting Accountant Cape Environmental Management Inc. Atlanta, GA Mar 26, 2011 $57,616
Accountant's Assistant China Construction America, Inc. Jersey City, NJ Sep 20, 2013 $55,556
Accountant's Assistant China Construction America of South Carolina, Inc. Jersey City, NJ Sep 19, 2013 $55,556
Accountant's Assistant South East World Wide, Ltd. NY Sep 13, 2016 $55,370
Accountant Assistant Rising Sun Brokerage Inc. New York, NY Sep 01, 2013 $47,362
Associate Account Manager (Assistant Account Execu Pearlfisher Inc. New York, NY Jul 21, 2014 $44,000
Accountant Assistant Ernest E. Dow & Co., An Accountancy Corporation Los Angeles, CA Apr 07, 2015 $40,830
Associate Account Manager (Assistant Account Execu Hypermedia Solutions LLC New York, NY Jan 21, 2013 $40,000 -
Accountant Assistant Complete Print Shop, Inc. Phoenix, AZ Oct 01, 2012 $39,653
Accountant Assistant Cabanas & Associates, P.A. Doral, FL Oct 25, 2016 $35,963
Accountant Assistant The Korea Central Daily News, Inc. Islandia, NY May 14, 2015 $35,859
Accountant Special Assistant Konterra Realty LLC Laurel, MD Jul 21, 2010 $35,000 -
Accountant Special Assistant Konterra Realty LLC Laurel, MD Oct 02, 2010 $35,000 -

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Top Skills for An Accountant Assistant

  1. Income Tax Returns
  2. General Ledger Accounts
  3. Financial Statements
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Organized and compiled all client materials for the accountant to prepare federal, state and local income tax returns.
  • Collaborated with co-workers in balancing inter-company general ledger accounts to accommodate management with year end completion of company financial statements.
  • Provide assistance to prepare financial statements according to company policies.
  • Maintained full responsibility for all administrative activities including records management, data entry, spreadsheet development, and file management.
  • Reviewed and processed vendor payment claims and accounts receivables and made trend analysis of account balances.


Average Salary:

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Top 10 Best States for Accountant Assistants

  1. District of Columbia
  2. Rhode Island
  3. Connecticut
  4. New York
  5. New Jersey
  6. Texas
  7. Virginia
  8. Colorado
  9. Massachusetts
  10. California
  • (264 jobs)
  • (115 jobs)
  • (441 jobs)
  • (1,501 jobs)
  • (878 jobs)
  • (2,409 jobs)
  • (904 jobs)
  • (791 jobs)
  • (1,001 jobs)
  • (4,731 jobs)

Accountant Assistant Resume Examples And Tips

The average resume reviewer spends between 5 to 7 seconds looking at a single resume, which leaves the average job applier with roughly six seconds to make a killer first impression. Thanks to this, a single typo or error on your resume can disqualify you right out of the gate. At Zippia, we went through over 15,901 Accountant Assistant resumes and compiled some information about how best to optimize them. Here are some suggestions based on what we found, divided by the individual sections of the resume itself.

Learn How To Create A Top Notch Accountant Assistant Resume

View Resume Examples

Accountant Assistant Demographics










Hispanic or Latino




Black or African American



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Accountant Assistant Education


University of Phoenix


University of Houston


Strayer University


Florida International University


Miami Dade College


San Jose State University


Kaplan University


Florida State University


Southern New Hampshire University


Ashford University


Baruch College of the City University of New York


San Francisco State University


George Mason University


Northern Virginia Community College


Georgia State University


University of California - Los Angeles


New York University


Northeastern University


University of Central Florida


Liberty University

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Health Care Administration






Criminal Justice


Computer Science






Liberal Arts




Medical Assisting Services


Human Resources Management


Political Science


Public Relations

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