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Become An Accounting Assistant

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Working As An Accounting Assistant

  • Getting Information
  • Interacting With Computers
  • Processing Information
  • Documenting/Recording Information
  • Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work
  • Mostly Sitting

  • Repetitive

  • $39,000

    Average Salary

What Does An Accounting Assistant Do

Bookkeeping, accounting, and auditing clerks produce financial records for organizations. They record financial transactions, update statements, and check financial records for accuracy.

Duties

Bookkeeping, accounting, and auditing clerks typically do the following:

  • Use bookkeeping software, online spreadsheets, and databases
  • Enter (post) financial transactions into the appropriate computer software
  • Receive and record cash, checks, and vouchers
  • Put costs (debits) and income (credits) into the software, assigning each to an appropriate account
  • Produce reports, such as balance sheets (costs compared with income), income statements, and totals by account
  • Check for accuracy in figures, postings, and reports
  • Reconcile or note and report any differences they find in the records

The records that bookkeeping, accounting, and auditing clerks work with include expenditures (money spent), receipts (money that comes in), accounts payable (bills to be paid), accounts receivable (invoices, or what other people owe the organization), and profit and loss (a report that shows the organization’s financial health).

Workers in this occupation have a wide range of tasks. Some are full-charge bookkeeping clerks who maintain an entire organization’s books. Others are accounting clerks who handle specific tasks.

These clerks use basic mathematics (adding, subtracting) throughout the day.

Bookkeeping, accounting, and auditing clerks use specialized computer accounting software, spreadsheets, and databases to enter information from receipts or bills. They must be comfortable using computers to record and calculate data.

The widespread use of computers also has enabled bookkeeping, accounting, and auditing clerks to take on additional responsibilities, such as payroll, billing, purchasing (buying), and keeping track of overdue bills. Many of these functions require clerks to communicate with clients.

Bookkeeping clerks, also known as bookkeepers, often are responsible for some or all of an organization’s accounts, known as the general ledger. They record all transactions and post debits (costs) and credits (income).

They also produce financial statements and other reports for supervisors and managers. Bookkeepers prepare bank deposits by compiling data from cashiers, verifying receipts, and sending cash, checks, or other forms of payment to the bank.

In addition, they may handle payroll, make purchases, prepare invoices, and keep track of overdue accounts.

Accounting clerks typically work for larger companies and have more specialized tasks. Their titles, such as accounts payable clerk or accounts receivable clerk, often reflect the type of accounting they do.

The responsibilities of accounting clerks frequently vary by level of experience. Entry-level accounting clerks may post details of transactions (including date, type, and amount), add up accounts, and determine interest charges. They also may monitor loans and accounts to ensure that payments are up to date.

More advanced accounting clerks may add and balance billing vouchers, ensure that account data are complete and accurate, and code documents according to an organization’s procedures.

Auditing clerks check figures, postings, and documents to ensure that they are mathematically accurate and properly coded. They also correct or note errors for accountants or other workers to fix.

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How To Become An Accounting Assistant

Most bookkeeping, accounting, and auditing clerks need some postsecondary education and also learn some of their skills on the job. They must have basic math and computer skills, including knowledge of spreadsheets and bookkeeping software.

Education

Employers generally require bookkeeping, accounting, and auditing clerks to have some postsecondary education, particularly coursework in accounting. However, some candidates can be hired with just a high school diploma.

Training

Bookkeeping, accounting, and auditing clerks usually get on-the-job training. Under the guidance of a supervisor or another experienced employee, new clerks learn how to do their tasks, including double-entry bookkeeping. In double-entry bookkeeping, each transaction is entered twice, once as a debit (cost) and once as a credit (income), to ensure that all accounts are balanced.

Some formal classroom training also may be necessary, such as training in specialized computer software. This on-the-job training typically takes around 6 months.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Some bookkeeping, accounting, and auditing clerks become certified. For those who do not have postsecondary education, certification is a particularly useful way to gain expertise in the field. The Certified Bookkeeper (CB) designation, awarded by the American Institute of Professional Bookkeepers, shows that those who have earned it have the skills and knowledge needed to carry out all bookkeeping tasks, including overseeing payroll and balancing accounts, according to accepted accounting procedures.

For certification, candidates must have at least 2 years of full-time bookkeeping experience or equivalent part-time work, pass a four-part exam, and adhere to a code of ethics.

The National Association of Certified Public Bookkeepers also offers certification. The Uniform Bookkeeper Certification Examination is an online test with 50 multiple-choice questions. Test takers must answer 75 percent of the questions correctly to pass the exam.

Advancement

With appropriate experience and education, some bookkeeping, accounting, and auditing clerks may become accountants or auditors.

Important Qualities

Computer skills. Bookkeeping, accounting, and auditing clerks need to be comfortable using computer spreadsheets and bookkeeping software.

Detail oriented. These clerks are responsible for producing accurate financial records. They must pay attention to detail in order to avoid making errors and recognize errors that others have made.

Integrity. Bookkeeping, accounting, and auditing clerks have control of an organization’s financial documentation, which they must use properly and keep confidential. It is vital that they keep records transparent and guard against misappropriating an organization’s funds.

Math skills. Bookkeeping, accounting, and auditing clerks deal with numbers daily and should be comfortable with basic arithmetic.

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Accounting Assistant Career Paths

Accounting Assistant
Accounts Payable Clerk Accountant Accounting Manager
Assistant Controller
6 Yearsyrs
Accounts Payable Clerk Accountant Controller
Corporate Controller
12 Yearsyrs
Accountant Finance Analyst Senior Finance Analyst
Manager Finance Planning And Analysis
8 Yearsyrs
Accounts Payable Clerk Payroll Administrator Office Manager
Office Manager Of Human Resources
6 Yearsyrs
Bookkeeper Charge Bookkeeper Office Manager
Accountant And Office Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Staff Accountant Charge Bookkeeper Office Manager
Accounts Receivable Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Staff Accountant Senior Accountant Controller
Accounting Director
11 Yearsyrs
Staff Accountant Finance Analyst Controller
Finance Controller
9 Yearsyrs
Accounting Clerk Finance Analyst Accounting Manager
Senior Accounting Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Accounting Clerk Accounts Receivable Specialist Credit Analyst
Credit Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Accounts Receivable Specialist Credit Analyst Credit Manager
Credit And Collection Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Accounting Clerk Auditor Senior Auditor
Audit Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Bookkeeper Certified Public Accountant Senior Accountant
Accounts Payable Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Bookkeeper Charge Bookkeeper Accounting Manager
Manager, Accounting Operations
7 Yearsyrs
Accounts Receivable Specialist Senior Accountant Assistant Controller
Assistant Director Of Finance
7 Yearsyrs
Executive Assistant Consultant Assistant Controller
Comptroller
6 Yearsyrs
Cost Accountant Accountant And Office Manager
Account Human Resources Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Executive Assistant Office Manager/Administrative Assistant
Office And Operations Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Cost Accountant Project Accountant
Management Accounts Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Account Payables Analyst Accounts Payable Supervisor Accounts Payable Manager
Account Operations Manager
6 Yearsyrs
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Do you work as an Accounting Assistant?

Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
Bookkeeper 4.0 years
Accounting Clerk 3.4 years
Accounting Staff 2.8 years
Junior Accountant 2.4 years
Top Careers Before Accounting Assistant
Bookkeeper 6.3%
Cashier 5.9%
Accountant 3.6%
Internship 3.3%
Teller 2.7%
Secretary 2.4%
Assistant 1.8%
Top Careers After Accounting Assistant
Accountant 9.0%
Bookkeeper 6.9%
Cashier 4.3%
Internship 2.1%

Do you work as an Accounting Assistant?

Accounting Assistant Demographics

Gender

Female

70.3%

Male

18.7%

Unknown

11.0%
Ethnicity

White

56.6%

Hispanic or Latino

17.5%

Asian

11.8%

Black or African American

10.5%

Unknown

3.6%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

41.6%

Chinese

11.8%

Mandarin

11.4%

French

7.2%

Cantonese

4.6%

Japanese

3.0%

Russian

3.0%

Korean

2.5%

German

2.5%

Vietnamese

2.0%

Hindi

1.9%

Portuguese

1.8%

Italian

1.5%

Arabic

1.4%

Tagalog

1.0%

Urdu

0.8%

Polish

0.7%

Armenian

0.5%

Ukrainian

0.5%

Gujarati

0.4%
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Accounting Assistant Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

26.6%

Strayer University

8.6%

University of Houston

6.5%

Kaplan University

5.0%

University of Maryland - University College

4.5%

Northern Virginia Community College

3.8%

San Jose State University

3.7%

Southern New Hampshire University

3.6%

Georgia State University

3.4%

George Mason University

3.4%

Florida International University

3.3%

Houston Community College

3.3%

Davenport University

3.2%

Miami Dade College

3.2%

San Diego State University

3.2%

San Francisco State University

3.1%

Baruch College of the City University of New York

3.0%

Liberty University

2.9%

University of Texas at Dallas

2.9%

University of Washington

2.8%
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Majors

Accounting

43.0%

Business

28.1%

Finance

6.0%

Management

2.4%

Health Care Administration

2.2%

Psychology

2.0%

Economics

1.6%

Marketing

1.5%

General Studies

1.4%

Criminal Justice

1.4%

Human Resources Management

1.4%

Communication

1.2%

Nursing

1.1%

Liberal Arts

1.1%

Computer Science

1.0%

English

1.0%

Education

1.0%

Legal Support Services

0.9%

Medical Assisting Services

0.8%

Computer Information Systems

0.8%
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Degrees

Bachelors

44.2%

Other

20.7%

Associate

15.2%

Masters

13.3%

Certificate

4.4%

Diploma

1.4%

Doctorate

0.5%

License

0.3%
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Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary
Average Yearly Salary
$39,000
View Detailed Salary Report
$27,000
Min 10%
$39,000
Median 50%
$39,000
Median 50%
$39,000
Median 50%
$39,000
Median 50%
$39,000
Median 50%
$39,000
Median 50%
$39,000
Median 50%
$55,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
Carnival
Highest Paying City
Anchorage, AK
Highest Paying State
Alaska
Avg Experience Level
2.6 years
How much does an Accounting Assistant make at top companies?
The national average salary for an Accounting Assistant in the United States is $39,389 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 $55,000.

Real Accounting Assistant Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Accounting Assistant Gen II Fund Services, LLC New York, NY Jul 09, 2016 $72,800
Accounting Assistant Petrochina International (America), Inc. Houston, TX Feb 01, 2014 $72,200
Accounting Assistant Domestic Fire Protection LLC Jersey City, NJ Feb 05, 2010 $62,443
Accounting Assistant Gen II Fund Services, LLC New York, NY Sep 07, 2013 $60,900
International Accounting Assistant MTC Industries Inc. Hauppauge, NY Sep 17, 2015 $58,436
Business/Accounting Assistant Professional Tax Help Miami, FL Oct 20, 2015 $56,099
Accounting Assistant Microfinance International Corporation Washington, DC Aug 30, 2011 $55,000
Financial & Accounting Assistant Orion Transportation Inc. NY Sep 15, 2015 $54,163
Accounting Assistant Global Syn-Turf Inc. Hayward, CA Sep 19, 2015 $52,864
Financial & Accounting Assistant Orion Transportation Inc. NY Sep 03, 2014 $52,582
Accounting Assistant Wagamama, Inc. Boston, MA Oct 01, 2010 $52,175
Bilingual Accounting Assistant Ace CPA PC Fort Lee, NJ Jan 06, 2016 $51,979
Accounting Assistant Chon B Lee, CPA Palisades Park, NJ Aug 17, 2016 $51,979 -
$55,000
Accounting Assistant Platinum Roofing, Inc. San Jose, CA Nov 04, 2016 $45,914
Accounting Assistant Orchestra Technology, Inc. Richardson, TX Aug 23, 2016 $45,822
Accounting Assistant E.R.Tax Advisor Inc. Silver Spring, MD Oct 27, 2010 $45,386
Accounting Assistant Ocean Springs Tech, Inc. Desert Hot Springs, CA Mar 21, 2016 $44,637
Special Accounting Assistant Sonair USA, LLC Houston, TX Oct 01, 2011 $43,827
Accounting Assistant Diamond Bar Outdoors Inc. Commerce, CA Sep 25, 2013 $43,827
Accounting Assistant WEMA U.S.A, Inc. Fort Lauderdale, FL Aug 28, 2015 $35,000
Accounting Assistant Somerset Club Boston, MA Aug 27, 2010 $35,000 -
$40,000
Accounting Assistant Preservation Management, Inc. South Portland, ME Oct 01, 2012 $34,632
Accounting Assistant R Babu Enterprises Inc. Los Angeles, CA Jun 29, 2016 $34,632
Accounting Assistant Sunny's Investments, Inc. Orange Park, FL Dec 19, 2014 $33,779
Accounting Assistant Third Coast Management, Inc. FL Jun 15, 2012 $33,530
Accounting Assistant Taxon Corporaton Mount Prospect, IL Oct 11, 2007 $33,392
Accounting Assistant Nardone Construction Inc. Thornwood, NY Apr 29, 2011 $33,371

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Top Skills for An Accounting Assistant

  1. Payroll
  2. General Ledger Accounts
  3. Financial Statements
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Provide payroll support to other accounting professionals by performing appropriate checks.
  • Reconcile several daily key and high risk general ledger accounts identifying differences and providing supporting documentation to the Accountants for certification.
  • Prepare consolidated financial statements and other financial reports by gathering and analyzing data from QuickBooks/ Maxwell Systems and from departments.
  • Processed inventory department journal entries for all assigned inventory accounts and reconciled assigned accounts.
  • Demonstrated efficiency in data entry skills.

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Top 10 Best States for Accounting Assistants

  1. New York
  2. District of Columbia
  3. Connecticut
  4. Rhode Island
  5. Alaska
  6. Minnesota
  7. Massachusetts
  8. New Jersey
  9. Delaware
  10. Washington
  • (928 jobs)
  • (154 jobs)
  • (259 jobs)
  • (77 jobs)
  • (30 jobs)
  • (507 jobs)
  • (571 jobs)
  • (529 jobs)
  • (52 jobs)
  • (445 jobs)

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