How To Become An Assistant Accountant (Duties And Salary)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 12 April 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

An assistant accountant maintains and compiles financial reports and statements according to the government rules and regulations and assists other staff in the accounting department. Typically, assistant accountants hold an entry-level position in the accounting department of an organization. If you are planning to pursue your career as an assistant accountant, understanding how to become one can help you get a good start. In this article, we discuss how to become an assistant accountant, explore their primary duties, the job description of an assistant accountant, average salary and the skills required to succeed in this role.

How to become an assistant accountant

If you are wondering how to become an assistant accountant, here are the steps you can follow:

1. Complete your senior secondary education

To pursue a career in accounting, you may consider opting for the commerce stream in your 10+2. By choosing this stream, you can study all relevant subjects, including accountancy, economics, business and mathematics during high school. Scoring good marks in your 12th standard can help you get admission to a top college after school.

2. Earn a bachelor's degree

Although it is not mandatory, you may consider pursuing a three-year bachelor's degree in commerce if you wish to become an assistant accountant. After completing your 12th standard, you can take admission in a commerce college either by passing the entrance exam or on a merit basis. Some institutes may conduct separate entrance exams for admission. Enrolling in a bachelor's degree programme in commerce allows you to study subjects including cost accounting, corporate accounting, taxation and business communications.

3. Develop your skills

While pursuing your degree, you can also focus on developing your finance and accounting skills if you aim to become an assistant accountant in the future. Consider doing short-term online courses that can help you develop your communication and accounting skills. It is also helpful to work upon enhancing organisational, attention to detail, analytical and time management skills.

Related: How To Develop Your Skill Set: A Complete Guide

4. Choose a speciality

There are several sub-fields in accounting, including financial accounting, auditing, tax accounting and management accounting. You can choose your area of expertise and build your skills in it. If your degree and certifications pertain to a particular specialisation, consider using your knowledge and skills while looking for an internship or an assistant accountant position. Choosing a speciality can help you focus on developing particular skills and knowledge required in the field.

5. Pursue an internship

Obtaining practical experience as an accounting intern can help strengthen your resume and increase your chances of getting hired as an assistant accountant. You can do apprenticeships during your college semester vacations, or do part-time internships while pursuing your degree. This role requires attention to detail, strong mathematical abilities, business understanding and analytical skills and internships can help you develop these abilities by providing you practical knowledge in a work setting.

6. Prepare your resume and apply for assistant accountant jobs

The last step to becoming an assistant accountant is to apply for a job. Many online jobs and career sites make it easy to find open positions. Carefully review the job descriptions for every job opening, as they may have varying requirements. Then, you can customise your resume based on the company you are applying for. Try to align the skills mentioned in your resume with the required skills mentioned in their job description. This can help to make you a more appealing candidate.

Related: How To Use Icons For A Resume (With Tips And Types)

Primary responsibilities of an assistant accountant

An assistant accountant plays an important role in an organisation's accounting department, assisting with payroll processing, budgeting and record-keeping. Here are the primary responsibilities of an assistant accountant:

  • assisting with daily operations and responsibilities of the finance department

  • creating, updating and maintaining financial documents for clients

  • updating general ledgers and balance sheets

  • ensuring all financial documents of the company are up-to-date

  • assisting in conducting risk assessments and preparing reports

  • assisting in preparing tax returns

  • reconciling bank statements and records of the organisation

  • ensuring that all accounting procedures comply with government guidelines

  • documenting, updating and maintaining records of the firm's fixed assets

Assistant accountant skills

Here are some of the key skills required by an assistant accountant which may help them succeed in their career:

Mathematical skills

Assistant accountants are responsible for documenting a company's financial activities, and their position requires strong mathematical, statistical and accounting skills. Mathematical skills can help you do your daily accounting activities efficiently. Typically, an assistant accountant is responsible for doing financial calculations and updating company data that require immediate comprehension. Having strong mathematical abilities enables you to avoid making basic calculation errors and do data recording tasks efficiently.

Accounting skills

Assistant accountants keep track of an organisation's financial activities and perform tasks such as invoicing and reconciling bank statements. An assistant accountant can benefit from having excellent accounting skills to perform their duties efficiently. Their role also requires them to maintain and record precise data, so having strong accounting abilities can enable them to stay focused on work and increase efficiency while avoiding errors. As an assistant accountant, integrating your technical accounting skills with strong attention to detail can help you do your job accurately.

Related: How To Answer The "Why Accounting?" Interview Question

Time management skills

Assistant accountants work on various tasks in an organization and may manage several accounts and transactions at once. Their duties necessitate their undivided attention to finish work on time. Strong time management abilities can help assistant accountants prioritise their jobs according to precedence. Time management skills can also help them organise their work better and identify what requires their immediate attention.

Analytical skills

An accounting job requires detailed data analysis and a high level of attention to detail to record and document commercial transactions effectively. They review numerous files and financial records to ensure that all information is up to date. Analytical abilities enable them to detect mismatching in the filing or recording documentation. If you can identify problems immediately and fix them after thoroughly analysing data, it can increase your productivity at work and help you allocate your time to other tasks properly. A careful evaluation of information can help you complete bookkeeping responsibilities more efficiently.

Related: Analytical Skills: Definition, Tips And Examples

Organisational skills

Assistant accountants often manage many tasks and projects at once assigned by their accountant and may require multitasking to adhere to the deadlines. They can use their organisational abilities to ensure that they can finish their tasks on time and that their documentation and financial reports comply with set standards. Effective organisation skills can also enable you to accomplish more work in a lesser time. The efficacy of an assistant accountant is dependent on their ability to manage and prioritise work to maximise productivity.

Related: Organisational Skills: Definition And Examples

Communication skills

To perform their work effectively, an assistant accountant may need strong communication skills, as their role requires them to interact with vendors and other stakeholders. Communicating ideas effectively can help prevent miscommunications and effectively fulfil their job responsibilities. As an assistant accountant, you may also want to be an active listener so that you can understand the demands and requirements of your clients and align your work accordingly.

How much does an assistant accountant earn?

The national average salary of an assistant accountant in India is ₹13,652 per month. Many factors can influence the salary of an assistant accountant, including the size and location of the organisation. Enhancing your knowledge and expertise in the field can help you get a higher salary as you advance in the field.

Sample job description of an assistant accountant

Here is a sample job description advertised for the role of an assistant accountant:

Wavewood Finance is looking for an assistant accountant to assist the accounting department with day-to-day tasks and to keep track of all the business transactions. The assistant accountant is required to report directly to the head accountant of the team. Their primary duties may include managing and updating all business transaction records, assisting members of the accounting department with any tasks they may require assistance with. Though not mandatory, a candidate with one or two years of experience in the finance department is preferred. The minimum education required is a diploma or equivalent with either maths or accounts as a subject.

Salary figures reflect data listed on Indeed Salaries at time of writing. Salaries may vary depending on the hiring organisation and a candidate's experience, academic background and location.

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