An accounting internship is a trainee who reports to an organization's accountant in order to learn about the accounting field, complete financial projects and files taxes, and financial reports. An intern should be a graduate of a Bachelor's or Master's in Accounting and should have an aptitude for mathematics and proficiency with computers. In order to prepare financial reports, an intern should possess knowledge with bookkeeping software. An intern must also know how to handle sensitive information with honesty and integrity.

Accounting Internship Responsibilities

Here are examples of responsibilities from real accounting internship resumes representing typical tasks they are likely to perform in their roles.

  • Manage all companies in ADP including adding employees, entering hours, processing child support, and garnishment requests.
  • Record journal entries for business transactions using QuickBooks with proficiency.
  • Examine, analyze and interpret financial statements and prepare for CPA review
  • Insure preparation and submission of computerize payroll to DFAS for assign personnel.
  • Assist accountants in completing tax returns while simultaneously entering payroll taxes into accounting program
  • Prepare and process accounts payable checks and ACH payments.
  • Develop PowerPoint presentations for use in trials and conferences.
  • Code diagnosis and add appropriate modifiers to CPT codes.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of medical terminology, ICD-9 codes, and CPT codes.
  • Complete a fix asset inventory project of assets on site for SOX compliance.
Accounting Internship Traits
Computer skills involves understanding how to operate a computer, as well as computer programs and applications.
Detail oriented involves being extremely mindful and observant of all details.
Integrity involves honesty and a high regard of morals.

Accounting Internship Job Description

When it comes to understanding what an accounting internship does, you may be wondering, "should I become an accounting internship?" The data included in this section may help you decide. Compared to other jobs, accounting interns have a growth rate described as "decline" at -4% between the years 2018 - 2028, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. In fact, the number of accounting internship opportunities that are predicted to open up by 2028 is -65,800.

On average, the accounting internship annual salary is $28,194 per year, which translates to $13.55 an hour. Generally speaking, accounting interns earn anywhere from $22,000 to $35,000 a year, which means that the top-earning accounting interns make $13,000 more than the ones at the lower end of the spectrum.

It's hard work to become an accounting internship, but even the most dedicated employees consider switching careers from time to time. Whether you're interested in a more challenging position or just looking for a fresh start, we've compiled extensive information on becoming a bookkeeper, finance clerk, finance coordinator, and account technician.

Accounting Internship Jobs You Might Like

Accounting Internship Resume Examples

Accounting Internship Skills and Personality Traits

We calculated that 17% of Accounting Interns are proficient in General Ledger Accounts, Financial Statements, and Data Entry. They’re also known for soft skills such as Computer skills, Detail oriented, and Integrity.

We break down the percentage of Accounting Interns that have these skills listed on their resume here:

  • General Ledger Accounts, 17%

    Audited and reconciled general ledger accounts, which included a detailed analysis of expenditures for proper account coding and accuracy.

  • Financial Statements, 10%

    Assisted controllers in preparing and analyzing financial statements on a daily basis in an effort to provide timely information to management.

  • Data Entry, 9%

    Assisted financial manager in data entry and analysis for end-of-month report and account revenue procedures.

  • Special Projects, 8%

    Entered journal entries in general ledger-Maintained organization of computer files-Completed special projects for management-Prepared account schedules for audit

  • Payroll, 7%

    Provided administrative support to management: Payroll, food/beverage inventory, making employee schedules and correspondence.

  • Internal Audit, 7%

    Performed internal audit procedures including analyzing current business processes, interviewing personnel and comparing results with internal control objectives.

Some of the skills we found on accounting internship resumes included "general ledger accounts," "financial statements," and "data entry." We have detailed the most important accounting internship responsibilities below.

  • The most important skills for an accounting internship to have in this position are computer skills. In this excerpt that we gathered from a accounting internship resume, you'll understand why: "bookkeeping, accounting, and auditing clerks need to be comfortable using computer spreadsheets and bookkeeping software." According to resumes we found, computer skills can be used by a accounting internship in order to "ensured accurate data entry of vendor payments in computerized ledger system. "
  • Another trait important for fulfilling accounting internship duties is detail oriented. According to a accounting internship resume, "bookkeeping, accounting, and auditing clerks are responsible for producing accurate financial records." Here's an example of how accounting interns are able to utilize detail oriented: "maintain detailed financial records and help prepare monthly financial statements for accountants according to gaap and company procedures. "
  • Integrity is also an important skill for accounting interns to have. This example of how accounting interns use this skill comes from a accounting internship resume, "bookkeeping, accounting, and auditing clerks have control of an organization’s financial documentation, which they must use properly and keep confidential" Read this excerpt from a resume to understand how vital it is to their everyday roles and responsibilities, "bank reconciliation accounts payable/receivable income, estate and trust tax return preparation payroll data entry and check processing"
  • A thorough review of lots of resumes revealed to us that "math skills" is important to completing accounting internship responsibilities. This resume example shows just one way accounting interns use this skill: "bookkeeping, accounting, and auditing clerks deal with numbers daily and should be comfortable with basic arithmetic." Here's an example of how this skill is used from a resume that represents typical accounting internship tasks: "utilized vlookup, mathematical functions, concatenation, and pivot tables. "
  • See the full list of accounting internship skills.

    We've found that 73.3% of accounting interns have earned a bachelor's degree. Furthermore, 10.5% earned their master's degrees before becoming an accounting internship. While it's true that most accounting interns have a college degree, it's generally possible to become one with only a high school degree. In fact, one out of every eight accounting interns did not spend the extra money to attend college.

    Those accounting interns who do attend college, typically earn either a accounting degree or a business degree. Less commonly earned degrees for accounting interns include a finance degree or a economics degree.

    When you're ready to become an accounting internship, you might wonder which companies hire accounting interns. According to our research through accounting internship resumes, accounting interns are mostly hired by Wipfli, KPMG, and Enterprise Holdings. Now is a good time to apply as Wipfli has 29 accounting interns job openings, and there are 27 at KPMG and 8 at Enterprise Holdings.

    But if you're interested in companies where you might earn a high salary, accounting interns tend to earn the biggest salaries at Moss Adams, Total S.A., and Cadence Design Systems. Take Moss Adams for example. The median accounting internship salary is $46,079. At Total S.A., accounting interns earn an average of $44,333, while the average at Cadence Design Systems is $42,060. You should take into consideration how difficult it might be to secure a job with one of these companies.

    View more details on accounting internship salaries across the United States.

    We also looked into companies who hire accounting interns from the top 100 educational institutions in the U.S. The top three companies that hire the most from these institutions include Robert Half International, Walmart, and JPMorgan Chase.

    For the most part, accounting interns make their living in the manufacturing and finance industries. Accounting interns tend to make the most in the finance industry with an average salary of $29,882. The accounting internship annual salary in the technology and manufacturing industries generally make $28,783 and $28,587 respectively. Additionally, accounting interns who work in the finance industry make 8.6% more than accounting interns in the hospitality Industry.

    The three companies that hire the most prestigious accounting internships are:

      What Bookkeepers Do

      Bookkeepers are employees who are in charge of the company's general ledger. They are well-versed in basic accounting principles, and they apply these in their work. Bookkeepers manage the entry of items in the general ledger, assign items into their proper categories, and ensure that the entries are balanced. They also act as auditors by checking the accuracy and veracity of the receipts or vouchers in their possession before entering them into the system. Bookkeepers ensure that their files are up to date and free of errors.

      In this section, we compare the average accounting internship annual salary with that of a bookkeeper. Typically, bookkeepers earn a $11,017 higher salary than accounting interns earn annually.

      While their salaries may differ, one common ground between accounting interns and bookkeepers are a few of the skills required in each craft. In both careers, employees bring forth skills like general ledger accounts, financial statements, and data entry.

      As far as similarities go, this is where it ends because an accounting internship responsibility requires skills such as "special projects," "internal audit," "gaap," and "administrative tasks." Whereas a bookkeeper is skilled in "customer service," "hr," "income," and "office supplies." So if you're looking for what truly separates the two careers, you've found it.

      Bookkeepers really shine in the professional industry with an average salary of $40,051. Whereas accounting interns tend to make the most money in the finance industry with an average salary of $29,882.

      The education levels that bookkeepers earn is a bit different than that of accounting interns. In particular, bookkeepers are 8.5% less likely to graduate with a Master's Degree than an accounting internship. Additionally, they're 0.0% more likely to earn a Doctoral Degree.

      What Are The Duties Of a Finance Clerk?

      Finance clerks are financial professionals who are responsible for performing various administrative tasks such as keeping financial records, preparing bills, and delivering excellent customer service. These clerks are required to process bills, checks, receipts, and other documents to ensure that they are all properly signed and distributed. They must verify financial and other data so that they can enter those data into the database and maintain updated records. Finance clerks must also assist with account reconciliations and should report the status of accounts and discrepancies to the management.

      The next role we're going to look at is the finance clerk profession. Typically, this position earns a higher pay. In fact, they earn a $6,092 higher salary than accounting interns per year.

      Not everything about these jobs is different. Take their skills, for example. Accounting interns and finance clerks both include similar skills like "general ledger accounts," "financial statements," and "data entry" on their resumes.

      But both careers also use different skills, according to real accounting internship resumes. While accounting internship responsibilities can utilize skills like "special projects," "payroll," "internal audit," and "tax returns," some finance clerks use skills like "hr," "financial aid," "telephone calls," and "finance department."

      On average, finance clerks earn a higher salary than accounting interns. There are industries that support higher salaries in each profession respectively. Interestingly enough, finance clerks earn the most pay in the energy industry with an average salary of $28,769. Whereas, accounting interns have higher paychecks in the finance industry where they earn an average of $29,882.

      On the topic of education, finance clerks earn lower levels of education than accounting interns. In general, they're 8.1% less likely to graduate with a Master's Degree and 0.0% more likely to earn a Doctoral Degree.

      What technology do you think will become more important and prevalent for Accounting Internships in the next 3-5 years?

      Josh Sauerwein

      Associate Professor of Accounting, George Fox University

      This is a tough one as technology innovation is moving quickly, and it is highly dependent on the firm's size. Any technology that automates the functions of the audit or tax return will continue to evolve. Students would be well-served to understand the basics of coding languages, like Python, that could help their firms find efficiencies. Additionally, the continued adoption of cryptocurrencies will push public accountants to keep pace. Show more

      What technology do you think will become more important and prevalent for Accounting Internships in the next 3-5 years?

      Sheri Geddes

      Associate Professor of Accounting, Hope College

      Virtual interviews are nothing new. For years companies have used phone interviews to filter candidate pools. However, as hybrid or Zoom interviews become more common, candidates will need to show the same professional attributes as face-to-face interviews. These professional attributes include joining the meeting on time, dressing appropriately, actively listening, and being polite and understanding, even if there are technical issues during the interview process. Show more

      How a Finance Coordinator Compares

      Finance coordinators are skilled professionals who are employed by all types of industries to manage their financial records accurately. Under the supervision of financial managers, they correlate the company's accounts receivables and payables. They should be able to keep records together with documentation effectively to ensure precision and punctuality of deliverables. Their responsibilities include ensuring accurate billing of customers, managing billing issues and disputes, and making required adjustments to clients' accounts. Candidates for the job must be organized, detail-oriented, able to multi-task as well as cautiously handle sensitive information.

      The finance coordinator profession generally makes a higher amount of money when compared to the average salary of accounting interns. The difference in salaries is finance coordinators making $22,373 higher than accounting interns.

      By looking over several accounting interns and finance coordinators resumes, we found that both roles utilize similar skills, such as "general ledger accounts," "financial statements," and "data entry." But beyond that the careers look very different.

      As mentioned, these two careers differ between other skills that are required for performing the work exceedingly well. For example, gathering from accounting interns resumes, they are more likely to have skills like "special projects," "tax returns," "cpa," and "gaap." But a finance coordinator might have skills like "insurance companies," "customer service," "payment plans," and "medical records."

      Additionally, finance coordinators earn a higher salary in the professional industry compared to other industries. In this industry, they receive an average salary of $59,417. Additionally, accounting interns earn an average salary of $29,882 in the finance industry.

      Finance coordinators typically study at similar levels compared with accounting interns. For example, they're 2.9% more likely to graduate with a Master's Degree, and 0.2% more likely to earn a Doctoral Degree.

      Description Of an Account Technician

      Account technicians are skilled professionals who are responsible for gathering data and preparing financial statements and reports from the account records they have maintained. These technicians are required to settle accounts with insurance companies and maximize benefits payments received from those companies. They must maintain a client management system for multiple accounts and coordinate marketing outreach for potential and existing clients. Account technicians must also monitor and compile all documents of the department, such as invoices, checks, and financial records.

      Account technicians tend to earn a higher pay than accounting interns by about $19,737 per year.

      While their salaries may vary, accounting interns and account technicians both use similar skills to perform their jobs. Resumes from both professions include skills like "general ledger accounts," "financial statements," and "data entry. "

      Each job requires different skills like "payroll," "internal audit," "tax returns," and "cpa," which might show up on an accounting internship resume. Whereas account technician might include skills like "veterans," "insurance companies," "party payers," and "hr."

      In general, account technicians reach similar levels of education when compared to accounting interns resumes. Account technicians are 2.4% less likely to earn their Master's Degree and 0.4% more likely to graduate with a Doctoral Degree.