Accounts assistant

assistant accountant, accountancy assistant, finance assistant

Career outlook for accounts assistant

Figures and forecasts for roles at the same level, which require similar skills and qualifications.

Average UK salary

£26,520

Currently employed in Scotland

29,400

Five year job forecast

+2.49%

"LMI for All" supplies our salary and employment status information. "Oxford Economics" supplies job forecasts and employment figures.

What's it like?

Accounts assistants work alongside accountants to support them in their job. This includes administrative duties, such as filing, making phone calls, mail handling or bookkeeping.  

In this job, you’d work directly for an accountant or finance manager to help keep things organised and run smoothly. Organisation is key in an accountant’s job, so supporting them with the clerical duties is crucial. 

Producing spreadsheets to create sales and purchase ledgers and journals to keep track of the company’s spending. You’d also calculate payments and amounts to make sure records are correct. Control credit and chase any debts, as well as manage any petty cash transactions. 

What you might do:

  • Create and maintain spreadsheets to track and record spending 
  • Issue invoices to customers 
  • Check financial transactions to make sure they’re accurate 
  • Make bank deposits and keep records up to date 
  • Type up any data into the company accounting system 
  • Validate invoices and record them 
  • Process expense forms and provide reimbursements 
  • Write and handle cheques 
  • Manage incoming and outgoing post 
  • Provide administrative support  

Working conditions

Hours

Working hours can vary, but usually full-time hours will be Monday to Friday around 37-40 hours per week.

Environment

This job is usually office-based, where you’ll work in-house within the accounts department.

UK employment status

Full-time

60%

Part-time

27%

Self employed

13%

Here are some of the skills needed for this job. Sign in to see how your skills match up.

  • Building relationships
  • Supporting
  • Written communication
  • Resourceful
  • Evaluating
  • Working with numbers
  • Attention to detail
  • Sorting
  • Managing resources
  • Analysing

Build your skills

Your skills can help you choose the career that’s right for you. You can build your skills through work, study or activities you do in your spare time.

To understand more, have a look at what are my skills?

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Getting in

Entry requirements for courses can change. Always contact the college, university or training provider to check exactly what you’ll need.

Foundation Apprenticeships

Choosing a Foundation Apprenticeship as one of your subjects in S5 and S6 can help you get a head start with this type of job.

You'll get an SCQF level 6 qualification (the same level as a Higher) plus valuable work placement experience and skills you can't learn in a classroom.

Interested? Find out what's on offer at your school on Apprenticeships.scot.

Qualifications

There are no fixed entry routes to this job but most employers would prefer a selection of subjects at National 4/5 level or above including maths and English, which show strong written and verbal communication skills.

Most employers look for relevant experience - this could be gained through college or university courses such as NQ, HNC, HND in business, accounting or finance, or through work based experience and qualifications.

Useful subjects

Many colleges and universities will have required subjects that you must have for entry.  They might also highlight additional subjects that they value. See individual institutions websites for specific entry information. 

Useful subjects would be:

  • Maths focussed subjects
  • ICT subjects
  • Administration or business

Helpful to have

Not all employers list specific qualification requirements but they might ask for relevant (usually work based) experience that demonstrates a range of transferable skills.

Qualifications and experience that show your employability, business and ICT skills such as Skills for Work Financial Services (SCQF Level 5) can be helpful.

Having, or working towards, professional qualifications in IT or Finance, such as AAT qualifications (Association of Accounting Technicians) are highly valued.

Explore more information about this job