There’s something quite satisfying about being good at maths. When most quiver under the desk at the thought of filling in their latest tax form, you’re wondering what the fuss is about. If you like to crunch numbers even in your spare time, why not think about a career as an assistant accountant?
So, what will I actually be doing?
You’ll work closely with a team of management accountants to keep the financial engine of an organisation ticking over. As well as giving you a chance to prove your mathematical prowess, an assistant accountant job can take you to many places as every business, from hospitals to film companies to slick city banks, needs a reliable team of number crunchers.
It’s all about the numbers with this job, so duties are likely to range from helping to prepare financial statements to producing monthly management accounts. Other tasks you will be likely to take on include:
- Raising invoices
- Managing ledgers
- Processing expenses
- Preparing VAT returns
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The nitty gritty
With the exception of training days and out-of-office appointments, this role is largely office based. Full-time positions are usually 9 to 5 working 37 to 40 hours per week. However, this can change depending on the time of year as there may be occasions, such as the financial year end, when you’ll need to put in some overtime.
Money, money, money
One of the major draws of taking up an assistant accountant position is the healthy starting salary which is in the region of £25 - £27k per year.
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The good points...
Great career prospects means that a variety of roles are open to you if you work hard, including:
Plus don’t forget the fabulous starting salary.
...and the bad
After a long day at the office, you’ll still need to get your head down and start studying for your accountancy qualifications so there’s no time to be lazy.
Is there study involved?
If you’re starting this as a newbie, don’t worry, you can still learn and earn. It’s common for assistant accountants to study for their accountancy qualifications while working and employers often allow for training demands. Although employers will look for a minimum of five GCSEs (A-C) including English and maths.
A large number of assistant accountants are graduates although this isn’t a necessity, as some enter the profession using alternative routes such as taking an accounting technician qualification (AAT).
A competent level of IT skills is also a bonus, including knowledge of Excel and some bookkeeping skills.
Most assistant accountants will be training for their accountancy qualification with one of the following bodies:
You’ve got to be committed to this role though, as it takes around three years and bags of dedication to qualify. Rest assured, however, there is traditionally plenty of employment for accountants – so all your hard work should pay off.
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OK, I'm interested... But is it really the job for me?
If the thought of simple subtraction brings you out in cold sweats, you might want to take a step back from this role. But if you are a whizz with numbers, clear-minded and methodical, then a career in accountancy could be for you. Other qualities that are useful in this role include:
- Good at problem-solving
- A stickler for deadlines
- Sharp IT skills
- Honest and trustworthy