The field of finance is flourishing. Across the United States, more than one million job openings are expected for financial specialists with the right skills and training under their belts, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. For aspiring accountants and financial clerks, this means that there are numerous job opportunities readily available to kick off your future in finance.
You may be here now as you are looking for an entry-level accounting job that doesn’t require a CPA or years of on-the-job experience to achieve. You may be a very numbers-driven individual—for example, the friend that helps others out with their taxes and budgeting plans—but don’t want to commit to years of schooling to land a good job in this field. You want to become certified, dive into the workforce fast, and pursue a flexible, entry-level accounting program that won’t break the bank.
Goodwin College makes this possible with our associate degree in Accounting program. Here, students prepare to earn professional certification in bookkeeping, QuickBooks, and Microsoft Excel and become qualified for many different entry-level accounting jobs across Connecticut. Below are just a few entry-level positions that students have landed upon graduation from our AS Accounting program:
- Accounting Assistant
Often called ‘Accounts Payable’ or ‘Accounts Receivable’ clerks, accounting assistants work alongside a licensed accountant to complete a range of basic accounting duties. Typically, they are responsible for managing and maintaining records of invoices, payments, and transactions in an accounting firm or an organization’s financial department. Your responsibilities as an accounting assistant will vary depending on your level of experience. In the beginning, you may prepare financial records, handle cash and purchase orders, as well as oversee office administration (such as answering phones and scheduling appointments). As you advance, you may begin to process checks, perform data-entry, monitor account data, and even code documents.
Bookkeepers, also known as bookkeeping clerks, are responsible for an organization’s financial accounts, known as the general ledger. They are in charge of recording all transactions from post debits (costs) to credits (income), as well as managing an organization’s financial records and bank accounts. Whereas accounting assistants typically work in larger companies, bookkeepers can be found primarily in small businesses and non-profits. They may also work in government organizations (such as a healthcare facility), and typically work alone. Bookkeepers perform a variety of general accounting duties (e.g. prepare bank deposits, send payments, produce financial statements, prepare invoices), but differ from accountants in that they are not legally certified.
- Payroll Professional
Payroll clerks, much like their name implies, are the paraprofessionals in charge of timekeeping and employee payroll data. If you have held a job before, there’s no doubt you’ve encountered a payroll professional. Payroll clerks can be found in a variety of organizations, recording and calculating the number of hours worked, as well as the money earned, for an entire employee base. They are responsible for computing hourly wages, annual salaries, any applicable commission income, as well as any deductions or benefits as necessary. They are also accountable for issuing paychecks, processing direct deposit payments, calculating overtime, and processing tax documents like W-2 and W-4 forms.
While educational requirements will differ place to place, the above entry-level accounting jobs typically require some college-level education with specific accounting coursework. This is because all bookkeeping, accounting, and payroll clerks must hold a foundational level of math and computer skills, as well as have some experience with spreadsheets and bookkeeping software. Some employers prefer that their bookkeeping, accounting, and auditing clerks become certified, which is also where postsecondary education can help. When applying for entry-level accounting jobs, a college degree and proper certification will show that you have the skills and knowledge needed to carry out all basic accounting tasks, from managing payroll to balancing bank accounts.
Despite popular belief, you don’t need to hold a Master’s degree or a CPA to land a job in accounting. With an associate degree from Goodwin College, you can qualify for many entry-level accounting jobs across Connecticut. And, we can help you get there in little time. Our AS Accounting program is offered in standard, 15-week format or at an accelerated 7 ½ week pace. Goodwin also offers six class starts per year, so that you can apply anytime and start towards your future in accounting.