Accounting Assistant/Specialist

An accounting assistant/specialist is an individual who helps an accountant or a group of accountants perform the basic accounting tasks that they need to carry out on a regular basis. In other words, an accounting assistant and/or an accounting specialist may record the receipts and invoices from an organization’s financial transactions; enter payroll information into a computer system; help an accountant examine an organization’s accounts to determine if there are sufficient funds for a project and/or identify areas from which funds may be reallocated to a project; prepare financial reports; verify journal and ledger entries; verify financial records; and perform a number of other similar tasks as needed. Individuals in this accounting careers may also specialize in another accounting subfield and may work under any of a number of different titles depending on the accounting subfield in which they work.

Some of the most common job titles for an accounting assistant/specialist include:

  • Accounting assistant
  • Accounting administration specialist
  • Accounts payable clerk
  • Accounts receivable clerk
  • Accounting associate
  • Auditing assistant
  • Auditing clerk
  • Bookkeeping assistant
  • Bookkeeping clerk
  • Payroll assistant.

In most cases, an individual will be able to obtain a position as an accounting assistant or an accounting specialist with an associate’s accounting degree from an accredited accounting school’s accounting assistant program or an equivalent amount of experience (two to three years in a field related to accounting). It is important to note, however, that some employers may require an individual to obtain an Accounting Assistant (AA) certificate, an Accounting Assistant/Specialist (AAS) certificate, or a certification for the accounting specialty in which the individual is planning to work. (For example, a bookkeeping assistant may need to obtain the Certified Bookkeeper (CB) certificate for some positions.) It is also important to note that an individual may not be required to have a degree and/or experience for every position, and that there are some accounting assistant/specialist positions that do not require any college education or experience at all. (However, these positions will require an individual to have a high school diploma or a General Educational Development (GED) credential).