what does an accounting assistant do

The Accounting Assistant Job Description: Is it a Fit?

If you are an organized, detail-oriented person who has excelled in math and enjoys a good “number crunching,” you may be interested in a career within the field of accounting. Of course, when most people hear “accounting,” they often associate it with the “accountant” job title – a great career path for some, but not the right career for every money-wise individual. Some aspiring accounting professionals do not want to commit to a four-year degree, plus some, to become a CPA. Some wish to dip into accounting with an entry-level position, before getting knee-deep.

For those interested in studying accounting, rest assured that this is an all-encompassing field, needed in every industry and at all stretches of the job market. Starting at the associate degree level, there are a variety of job options for you.

One of your career choices includes that of the accounting assistant. But just what does a professional in this role do? And how does one land a job like this? Read on to learn about the accounting assistant job description and what this title involves.

An Accounting Assistant’s Day-to-Day Job

An accounting assistant works with accountants on a daily basis. The big difference between these two roles is that an accounting assistant focuses on administrative, clerical, and data-entry tasks. Some examples of the daily duties of an accounting assistant include:

  • Answering client phone calls
  • Faxing important documents to clients
  • Inputting data on spreadsheets or Quickbooks software
  • Reviewing documents for accuracy and completeness
  • Compiling reports for insurance billings
  • Monitoring and following-up on outstanding claims
  • Performing billing-related duties, as needed
  • Updating client contact information, and keeping payers up to date

Working as an accounting assistant, you would likely report to an accountant, Certified Public Accountant, or controller. Most accounting assistants work in an office setting, in front of a computer, during normal business hours. Some CPA firms require overtime work, which may involve weekends and evenings during tax season. Accountants and assistants putting in extra hours typically reap the reward.

Accounting Assistant Job Requirements

At minimum, accounting firms will require accounting assistants to have at least a high school degree. However, many more employers today are looking for someone with postsecondary, college education in a related field. In order to land a great job, you should also have working knowledge of, experience with, and (even better) professional certification in standard accounting software like Quickbooks and Microsoft Excel.

In today’s competitive climate, a college degree will help ensure you find a successful position in the field of accounting – because due to the number of jobs and comfortable compensation, these jobs are in high demand. An Associate Degree in Accounting can give you the knowledge and skillsets needed to excel in this industry. In Goodwin College’s associate accounting program, for example, you will gain technical know-how, acquiring experience in:

  • Entering transactional data
  • Adjusting and closing entries into accounting systems
  • Managing payroll
  • Investigating trial and balance discrepancies
  • Preparing financial reports

In addition, you will strengthen your problem-solving and critical-thinking skills, and develop an awareness of professional and ethical issues surrounding the accounting world. You will learn to integrate and apply your newfound accounting skills to real financial and business problems, which will serve you well as you enter an accounting assistant career. An AS accounting program like Goodwin’s will also make you eligible, and prepare you, to pursue professional certification in Quickbooks, bookkeeping, and Microsoft Excel.

Many like-minded individuals who are interested in accounting do not have the time or ability to commit to a four-year, bachelor’s degree program. As a result, they look to alternative accounting careers like that of the accounting assistant. They may also look to more flexible options for training.

A flexible accounting college like Goodwin’s offers classes days, nights, and weekends, too. Students may choose to learn in a classroom, or in a hybrid online format. At Goodwin, accounting courses are offered in a standard, 15-week format or at an accelerated pace – allowing you to complete your associate degree in half the typical time, fulfill the accounting assistant job description, and launch your career within a matter of months.

If you would like to learn more about the Accounting program offered at Goodwin College, call 1-800-889-3282 or visit us online.