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Accounts assistant

Account technician

Accounts assistants help keep track of the money that comes in and goes out of a business. As an accounts assistant, you would be providing accounting and administrative support to accounting and finance staff to ensure customer and supplier accounts are accurate; receiving, processing and filing paperwork; and managing petty cash transactions.

Average salary*

£18000

-

£25000

Typical hours per week

38 - 40

How to become an accounts assistant

There are several routes to becoming an accounts assistant. Most companies will require a basic understanding of accountancy and bookkeeping, including knowledge of accounts software. You can gain the qualifications you need by doing a college course, an apprenticeship, or by applying to an employer directly for work. 

You should explore these routes to become an accounts assistant to find out which is the right one for you. Although some of these options have certain qualification requirements, many employers are more interested in people who are enthusiastic, willing to learn and can follow instructions.

You may need a Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) card to work on a construction site. 

College/training provider

You don’t need any formal qualifications to become an accounts assistant, however you could complete a course which is accredited by the Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT) or the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) to help you gain the knowledge needed for this role.

You’ll generally need up to 5 GCSEs, or equivalent, at grades 9 to 3 (A* to D), plus a good grasp of maths and IT, to enrol on an accountancy course.

> Find a course near you

> Funding advice

Apprenticeship

An apprenticeship is a good way into the industry. An intermediate accountancy apprenticeship takes around two years to complete, and a higher apprenticeship in professional accounting/taxation takes 18 - 20 months.

For these courses, you will need 5 GCSEs (or equivalent) at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), including English and maths.

Apprenticeships are open to anyone over the age of 16. As an apprentice, you will be fully employed by your company and expected to work a minimum of 30 hours a week. Your time will be split between on-the-job experience and a college or training provider.

> Find an apprenticeship near you

> Guide to apprenticeships

Work

If you have some basic experience, you could apply directly to a construction company to gain experience as an accounts assistant, and progress as your abilities improve.

Work experience

Work experience is essential to gaining employment within the construction industry. You could gain this at school, or by working weekends and holidays with a company or relative who works as an accounts assistant. Potential employers will always be pleased to see work experience listed on your CV.

> Find out more about work experience

Skills 

Additional skills which may benefit anyone considering a job as an accounts assistant include: 

  • Analytical thinking skills
  • Good grasp of numeracy
  • Excellent organisational abilities.

What does an accounts assistant do?

As an accounts assistant, you could be:

  • Overlooking the money that comes into and goes out of the company
  • Making sure that customer and supplier accounts are accurate (reconciling)
  • Receiving, processing and filing paperwork, e.g. invoices, expenses, requests for payment
  • Checking/verifying calculations to make sure they’re correct
  • Processing payments such as wages/salary of the company’s employees
  • Inputting information into a computer-based accounts system
  • Keeping track of figures by working with spreadsheets
  • Managing petty cash transactions
  • Working in an office.

How much could you earn as an accounts assistant?

The expected salary for an accounts assistant varies as you become more experienced. Salaries and career options improve with chartered status. 

  • Newly trained accounts assistants can earn £17,000 - £18,000
  • Trained accounts assistants with some experience can earn £18,000 - £25,000
  • Senior or chartered accountants can earn £60,000 - £80,000.* 

Hours and salary depend on location, employer and any overtime you may do.

* Salaries have been collected from multiple industry sources and have been updated as of 2019


Jobs

Check out the latest accounts assistant vacancies: 

As these are external websites, the number of vacancies related to your preferred role may vary. New opportunities will be posted as they come up.

Career path and progression

You may start off as a trainee or accounts assistant and work your way up to a junior or assistant accountant whilst you are part qualified.

Once you are a fully qualified accountant, you could become a senior accountant or work in management and earn a higher salary. Eventually, you could become a finance director.

You will improve your career prospects by becoming chartered through the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA). You’ll need to have three years’ work experience in a relevant role to enrol. It usually takes 3 - 4 years to qualify fully.

As an accounts assistant, you could work in the public or private sector. You may choose to specialise in one area of accountancy such as business or property.

You could become self-employed and work freelance.

Progression Opportunities

Explore the progression opportunities below

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