Accounting Assistant Job Description: Top Duties and Qualifications

An Accounting Assistant, or Accounting Clerk, is someone who handles tasks related to accounting and finances. Their main responsibility is to handle accounts payable and accounts receivable, prepare invoices, and manage or create financial records.


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What does an Accounting Assistant do?

An Accounting Assistant is responsible for daily bookkeeping tasks of a company or organization. They are different from an Accountant in that they do not offer financial advice and are not responsible for verifying the company’s adherence to the Canadian Tax Act. They are responsible for managing financial documents, filing, and other administrative tasks. An Accounting Assistant may also aid Internal Auditors in their verification process by supplying financial documents and recording all financial transactions regularly. 

An Accounting Assistant generally uses and maintains a filing system to aid in clerical duties. They may also be required to take on other administrative tasks around the office. They are often responsible for basic financial tasks, like data collection and payroll.


Accounting Assistant duties and responsibilities

An Accounting Assistant will be responsible for managing various financial tasks. They will take on both administrative and bookkeeping tasks in either the public or private sectors. Some of the duties and responsibilities that are expected of an Accounting Manager in any industry might include:

  • Manage payroll
  • Manage accounts receivable and accounts payable by depositing cheques and preparing invoices
  • Use computer software to manage reports and track financial data
  • Manage company budgets
  • Create and manage a systematic filing system
  • Prepare documents for the company Accountant or for Internal Auditors
  • Compile data for income tax returns
  • Verify or reconcile bank transactions, complete deposits, or issue cheques


Accounting Assistant skills and qualifications

An Accounting Assistant will demonstrate the skills needed to balance the juggling act of managing financial clerical duties and administrative duties. Some skills and qualifications of a successful Accounting Assistant candidate include:

  • Excellent organizational skills
  • Exceptional attention to detail
  • Aptitude with computer software programs utilized by the company
  • Excellent administrative skills
  • Good oral and written communication skills
  • Strong problem-solving skills
  • Ability to self-motivate
  • Ability to work together with others


Accounting Assistant experience requirements

An Accounting Assistant candidate does not need previous experience, but some experience with clerical work is a strong asset.


Accounting Assistant education and training requirements

An Accounting Assistant requires at least a secondary school diploma. While there is no specific certification for the Accounting Assistant position, certification from the Canadian Securities Institute, the Certified General Accountants Association of Canada, or the Canadian Bookkeepers Association is a strong asset.

In some industries, these certifications are required. Some Accounting Assistants may also need to be bonded in select industries.


Accounting Assistant salary expectations

According to Indeed Salaries, the average salary for an Accounting Assistant in Canada is $19.21 per hour. Wages can range based on location, company, industry, experience, and level of certification. 


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Accounting Assistant job description FAQs


What is the difference between an Accounting Assistant and an Accounting Manager?

The Accounting Assistant reports to the Accounting Manager. The manager oversees the general tasks of the Accounting Assistant and other clerks on the team. The Accounting Assistant is responsible for implementing processes, following those processes, and adhering to the demands of the Accounting Manager. The Accounting Assistant is not licensed to offer accounting advice to clients and does not have an Accounting designation.


What should you look for in an Accounting Assistant resume?

Look for experience in previous accounting or clerical work or specific certifications, if necessary, on a prospective employee’s resume. They should also describe themselves as having excellent communication skills and experience with accounting software systems. You should also look for a candidate with a genuine interest in business and finance within your industry.


What makes a good Accounting Assistant job description?

Because the role of an Accounting Assistant can be broad, it is essential to report as many specific details about the expected day-to-day tasks as you can, including what type of accounting is needed. The job description should state whether the candidate should be capable of auditing, filing tax forms on behalf of the company, reconciling bank documents, or signing cheques. If your company offers any added benefits like extra vacation time or extended health benefits, mention them in the job description. A good job description sample will also include the required educational or certification requirements needed.


What qualities make a good Accounting Assistant?

A successful candidate for an Accounting Assistant position will have qualities that demonstrate their ability to manage sensitive data and multitask. A good candidate will also be hard-working, a natural problem solver, and excellent at managing their time. They should also be receptive to constructive feedback, open to working with a large team, and be comfortable working on tight deadlines.

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