As an accounting and finance professional, your role is supportive since you handle day-to-day activities in the accounting department and report to the finance and accounting manager. You have to accomplish the tasks efficiently to ensure the smooth running of department operations. That means one must know the company’s accounting principles and financial reporting policies.
Since the finance and accounting assistant is entry-level, your role will include basic bookkeeping activities and administrative tasks. For instance, your job involves managing bank reconciliations and expenses using data entry platforms and account software to ensure the company accounts are up-to-date. You also update monthly forecasts and company budgets and pass the reports to the relevant managers. Sometimes, you work with the human resource department to prepare payroll or the sales and procurement departments to issue invoices, pay suppliers, and prepare quarterly tax returns.
What does an accounting and finance assistant do?
As a finance assistant, you must be highly organized, juggle multiple tasks, and have financial knowledge like bookkeeping and accounting and finance principles. It is also crucial to be detail-oriented since the accounting and finance records must be accurate.
Would a career in finance, working as a finance assistant, suit your numeracy skills? Then continue on to learn more about what skills and qualifications you need to thrive in a finance assistant role.
Finance assistant jobs are usually entry-level opportunities for candidates with minimal experience. However, employers are on the lookout for specific academic qualifications:
- Degree: to become a finance assistant, you need a bachelor’s degree in accounting, finance, or a related business course like economics or statistics. While some employers don’t require a degree for an assistant finance role, degree-holders progress faster to higher finance roles. Most fresh graduates become finance assistants to gain real-world experience and secure better company positions.
- Specialized training: join the finance assistant position through courses from the UK Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT). The professional body provides finance and accountancy qualifications for globally-recognized finance assistant roles. You can pursue a Foundation Diploma in Accounting and Business (Level 2), Advanced Level 3 Diploma in Accounting, or Professional Diploma in Accounting (Level 4). There is also a membership program for accounting and finance technicians.
- Certification: as a finance assistant, you can join certification and membership bodies for accountants like the Institute of Chartered Accountants or ICAP of the United Kingdom. Professional certifications improve your competitiveness and fast-track your career.
skills and competencies
As a finance assistant, you need the following skills and competencies:
- Maths skills: a finance assistant needs good maths and numeracy skills. You must carry out quick calculations and ensure accurate computations of financial data. Maths skills help you maintain the accuracy of financial documents.
- Communication and interpersonal skills: a finance assistant works alongside various workers in the organization. Having great communication and teamwork skills to collaborate and ensure efficient communication is key.
- Time management: as a finance assistant, your role involves juggling numerous tasks and dealing with strict deadlines. With time management skills, you can keep up with the tasks.
- Attention to detail: a finance and accounting assistant must ensure financial data’s accuracy since minor errors can cause serious issues. Your detail-oriented skills help you spot financial statement and spreadsheet errors during reporting.
- Computer skills: many companies use accounting and finance software and computerized systems to record transactions. As a finance accountant, your computing skills help you navigate the software easily.
Are you good at maths and have exceptional numeracy skills? Then becoming a finance assistant is an excellent career for you. Your job will involve completing daily financial and accounting, and finance tasks or supporting senior accounts and finance managers in running the department. You can work in all industries with an accounting and finance department or a consultancy and auditing firm.
Whether entering the financial sector or planning your next career move, it helps to know where the best finance jobs lie.
The United Kingdom’s financial sector is one of the world’s most exciting professional environments, attracting thousands of applicants worldwide.
Searching for the right finance and accounting job can be very tough, especially with the market’s sheer size. Therefore, the best approach is understanding the landscape before venture forth.
Find the best finance and accounting jobs.
To help you focus your employment thoughts, let us take a dive at some of the top finance and accounting roles in the current UK job market.
Finance and accounting positions span industries and sectors. With a bit of good fortune and planning, you could soon find yourself taking the first steps into an exciting new stage of your career.
- Financial Analyst
Working in institutions such as banks, insurance agencies, and stock traders, financial wizards look at investment options, stocks, bonds, private equity firms, and securities. They craft policy and strategy guidance to their companies based on their results.
Despite the trouble caused by Brexit, the United Kingdom’s need for Financial professionals has held up. In fact, the industry has seen a 3 percent or larger increase in international candidates coming to Britain to start their careers.
Financial professionals do not necessarily work just for banks or investment companies. Retailers and public service companies also need their skills. To be great in the w, you will need to be in a situation to think well, have a strong grip on finance and accounting-related trends and current events, and be a good communicator.
The field is a well-known springboard to different positions, but the average starting salary for a Financial Analyst is around £30,000, rising to over £50,000 with experience.
Accountancy is a highly-skilled and highly-disciplined field, which is why good Accountants remain in demand across the UK. In fact, research shows that the country will require around 80,000 more Accountants by the year 2050.
Accountants will be directly responsible for the finance-related affairs of their companies. Their duties involve balancing the records, preparing financial statements, and ensuring clients adhere to the rules and legislation.
It needs to mention that all employees in the finance and accounting sector need mathematical skills. But, Accountants also need to have a keen eye for the fine print. You will also need to sift through a significant amount of education before you qualify. Entry-level people can expect salaries of around £35,000 pounds sterling to £45,000 pounds sterling. Those numbers rise to £70,000 pounds sterling within four years of experience and over £100,000 in senior gigs.
- Investment Banker
Investment banking remains one of the highest-paid things in the finance and accounting sector and is a competitive area.
Investment Bankers guide their employers on financial things. They also buy and sell holdings on the financial markets to raise capital. Investment Bankers must be vigilant for good trades with the potential to result from a significant profit over the short and long term.
Investment banking is a saturated field, and job seekers should aim to distinguish themselves with their academic performance and communication skills.
Beyond the standard maths and numeracy skills, Investment Bankers must be ready to put in the long hours and grasp industry ethics well. After all, most of the job is spent on the phone dealing with clients and investors.
- Payroll Outsourcer
Payroll is a popular part of the modern-day financial services outsourcing trend as businesses seek to add expertise and efficiency to their pay processes. In fact, payroll outsourcing organizations provide a host of services to their customers. This might be about logging work hours and figuring out tax to comprehensive end-to-end deals and the delivery of pay and salary.
Payroll Administrators must reflect that diversity with a host of skills, including customer success, communication, and administration.
Working in an international outsourcing role, Payroll Administrators may find they are working in places worldwide. Candidates for these jobs may distinguish their jobs with a strong grip of international payroll practices and law-related things. Obviously, the grip of foreign languages is also advantageous for this.
Entry-level payroll salaries are around £26,000, but the field offers excellent scope for advancement into other financial roles. This includes management, executive, and senior positions.
Since the insurance industry revolves around financial deals, employees with accounting and finance backgrounds are in huge demand. The United Kingdom’s insurance market is the third largest in the world. The field is diverse, with many opportunities and career paths. However, enterprise organizations provide the majority of entry-level jobs.
Employees may enter in the insurance field as actuaries or analysts involved in fixing insurance rates based on previous and current data trends and global events. Ideal people will have a university education, an instinct for risk and loss prevention, and a keen eye for the finer things. Entry-level salaries range start out at £18,000 to £25,000 and can be scaled up to £100,000 when experienced.