Among the key players in maintaining financial health within an organisation is the Accounts Assistant. In this post, we’ll look at an Accounts Assistant job, including its tasks, qualifications, career path, and much more.


What Does an Accounts Assistant Do?

An Accounts Assistants job is the backbone of finance departments in various organisations, responsible for a range of tasks that ensure the smooth operation of financial processes. While specific duties may vary depending on the size and nature of the organisation, typical responsibilities include:


  • Recording Transactions: Accounts Assistants are responsible for accurately recording financial transactions in accounting software or ledger systems. This includes entering invoices, bills, payments, expenses, and other financial data into the accounting system.
  • Accounts Receivable: Managing accounts receivable involves issuing invoices to customers, tracking payments, and following up on overdue accounts. Accounts Assistants reconcile customer accounts, process payments, and handle any discrepancies or disputes.
  • Accounts Payable: Accounts Assistants handle accounts payable functions by processing vendor invoices, verifying accuracy and approvals, and preparing payments. They maintain vendor records, monitor payment due dates, and ensure timely payment processing.
  • Bank Reconciliation: Reconciling bank statements with accounting records is a critical task performed by accounts assistants. They compare bank transactions to the organisation’s records, identify discrepancies, and investigate and resolve any discrepancies or errors.
  • Financial Reporting: Assist in preparing financial reports, including balance sheets, income statements, and cash flow statements. They compile financial data, analyse trends, and generate reports for management or regulatory purposes.
  • Expense Management: Managing employee expenses involves reviewing and processing expense reports, verifying receipts and documentation, and ensuring compliance with company policies and reimbursement guidelines.
  • Payroll Processing: Accounts Assistants may assist with payroll processing tasks, such as calculating employee wages, processing payroll deductions, and ensuring accurate and timely payroll payments.
  • Tax Preparation Support: Accounts Assistants provide support during tax preparation processes by organising financial data, preparing tax documents, and ensuring compliance with tax regulations.
  • Financial Analysis: Conducting financial analysis involves reviewing financial data, identifying trends, and generating insights to support decision-making. Accounts Assistants may assist in analysing financial performance, budget variances, and cost-saving opportunities.
  • Administrative Support: In addition to financial tasks, accounts assistants may provide general administrative support, such as answering phones, responding to emails, filing documents, and assisting with other office-related duties.


Overall, Accounts Assistants play an important role in maintaining accurate financial records, supporting financial operations, and ensuring compliance with accounting principles and regulations within an organisation.

How to Become an Accounts Assistant?

Embarking on a career as an Accounts Assistant typically requires a combination of education, skills, and practical experience. While there is no strict educational path, many employers prefer candidates with a relevant qualification such as a certificate or diploma in accounting or finance. (We cover this in more detail in the next section.) Additionally, proficiency in accounting software and strong numerical skills are highly valued in this role.


Qualifications, Certifications and Licenses for Accounts Assistant

There are no specific regulatory requirements for becoming an Accounts Assistant in NZ or Australia. However, employers often seek candidates with a relevant qualification and practical experience in accounting or finance. Some may also prefer candidates with knowledge of New Zealand or Australian accounting standards and regulations.

In New Zealand, these are some commonly recognised certificates and qualifications:


  • New Zealand Certificate in Business (Accounting Support Services): This certificate program provides foundational knowledge and skills in accounting support services, including processing financial transactions, maintaining accounting records, and using accounting software.
  • New Zealand Diploma in Business (Accounting): The diploma program offers more comprehensive training in accounting principles, financial management, and business practices. It covers topics such as financial reporting, budgeting, taxation, and accounting software applications.
  • Bachelor of Business Studies (Accounting): A bachelor’s degree in business studies with a major in accounting offers in-depth education in accounting theory, financial analysis, auditing, and business management. Graduates gain a solid understanding of accounting principles and practices, preparing them for roles as accounts administrators.
  • Certified Bookkeeper (ICB New Zealand): The Institute of Certified Bookkeepers (ICB) offers certification programs for bookkeepers, including the Certified Bookkeeper qualification. This certification validates proficiency in bookkeeping tasks, including recording financial transactions, reconciling accounts, and preparing financial reports.
  • Xero Advisor Certification: Xero is a popular accounting software used by many businesses in New Zealand. The Xero Advisor Certification program provides training and certification in using Xero software for accounting and bookkeeping tasks. Holding this certification demonstrates proficiency in Xero and can enhance job prospects for accounts administrators.
  • MYOB Certified Consultant: MYOB (Mind Your Own Business) is another widely used accounting software in New Zealand. The MYOB Certified Consultant program offers training and certification in using MYOB software for accounting and business management. Certified consultants are proficient in implementing and supporting MYOB solutions for clients.
  • QuickBooks Online Certification: QuickBooks Online is a cloud-based accounting software commonly used by small businesses. The QuickBooks Online Certification program provides training and certification in using QuickBooks Online for bookkeeping, invoicing, payroll, and financial reporting.
  • Relevant Tertiary Education: Tertiary education programs offer courses in accounting, finance, and business management that can provide a strong foundation for a career in accounts administration.
  • Industry Experience and On-the-Job Training: While formal qualifications are valuable, relevant industry experience and on-the-job training are also essential for accounts assistants. Practical experience in accounting tasks, software proficiency, and knowledge of industry practices are highly valued by employers.
  • Continuing Professional Development (CPD): Accounts assistants can enhance their skills and knowledge through ongoing professional development activities, such as attending workshops, seminars, and online courses. Continuing education ensures that accounts administrators stay updated on changes in accounting standards, regulations, and technology.

What is the Career Path for an Accounts Assistant?

The career path for an Accounts Assistant job can vary depending on individual aspirations, skills, and opportunities within the accounting and finance field. Career path may include:


  • Accounts Payable/Receivable Clerk: Many Accounts Assistants start their career as Accounts Payable or Accounts Receivable Clerks. In these roles, they focus on specific aspects of the accounting process, such as processing invoices, making payments, managing accounts receivable collections, and reconciling accounts.
  • Junior Accountant: After gaining experience as an Accounts Assistant or Clerk, individuals may transition into a Junior Accountant role. Junior Accountants typically have broader responsibilities, including assisting with month-end close procedures, preparing financial statements, and performing basic accounting functions under the guidance of senior accounting staff.
  • Assistant Account: typically involves assisting in various accounting functions such as financial reporting, reconciliations, budgeting, and analysis. Assistant Accountants work under the guidance of senior accounting staff
  • Senior Accountant: With additional experience and a proven track record of success, Accounts Assistants may progress to the role of Senior Accountant. Senior Accountants take on more complex accounting tasks, provide guidance to junior staff, and play a key role in financial analysis, budgeting, and forecasting processes.
  • Accounting Supervisor/Manager: Accounts Assistants who demonstrate strong leadership skills and managerial potential may advance to supervisory or managerial positions within the accounting department. As Accounting Supervisors or Managers, they oversee the day-to-day operations of the accounting team, ensure compliance with accounting standards and regulations, and contribute to strategic financial planning initiatives.
  • Financial Analyst: Some Accounts Assistants may choose to transition into roles as Financial Analysts, particularly if they have a strong analytical background and excel in financial analysis and reporting. Financial Analysts are responsible for analyzing financial data, preparing reports, conducting financial forecasts and modeling, and providing insights to support decision-making.
  • Certified Public Accountant (CPA): For those who aspire to become Certified Public Accountants (CPAs), pursuing the CPA designation is a common career goal. Becoming a CPA involves passing the CPA exam and meeting specific education and experience requirements set by the state board of accountancy. CPAs often have enhanced career opportunities and may pursue roles in public accounting, corporate finance, or government agencies.
  • Specialised Roles: Depending on individual interests and career goals, Accounts Assistants may pursue specialised roles within accounting and finance, such as tax accountant, internal auditor, financial controller, or accounting software specialist. Specialising in a specific area of accounting can open up new career opportunities and allow individuals to focus on areas of expertise.

NB: Job titles can differ in organisations in NZ and Australia.

Overall, the career path for an Accounts Assistant is characterised by continuous learning, gaining experience, obtaining relevant certifications, and seizing opportunities for advancement within the accounting profession. With dedication, hard work, and a commitment to professional growth, Accounts Assistants can build rewarding and successful careers in accounting and finance.

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Transferable Skills for an Accounts Assistant


  • Attention to Detail : Accounts Assistants must possess a keen eye for detail to accurately record and reconcile financial transactions, ensuring the integrity of financial data.
  • Communication Skills: Effective communication is essential for liaising with colleagues, clients, and external stakeholders, conveying financial information clearly and concisely.
  • Analytical Abilities: Analytical skills are crucial for interpreting financial data, identifying trends, and providing insights that support informed decision-making within the organisation.
  • Time Management: Given the diverse range of tasks Accounts Assistants handle, strong time management skills are vital to prioritize work effectively and meet deadlines.

What Do Accounts Assistants Like About Their Job?

Accounts Assistants find fulfillment in their roles due to various aspects that contribute to job satisfaction.

Here’s some factors liked about an Accounts Assistant job:

  • Working with Numbers: Accounts Assistants often have a natural affinity for working with numbers and financial data. They enjoy the analytical aspect of their role, which involves processing financial transactions, reconciling accounts, and generating reports. The opportunity to work with numbers and analyse financial information appeals to their skills and interests.
  • Detail-Oriented Work: Accounts Assistants thrive in environments that require attention to detail and accuracy. They appreciate the precision required in tasks such as data entry, verifying calculations, and ensuring the accuracy of financial records. The meticulous nature of their work aligns with their preference for detail-oriented tasks.
  • Problem-Solving Opportunities: Accounts Assistants encounter various challenges and discrepancies in their day-to-day work, which provides opportunities for problem-solving and critical thinking. Whether it’s reconciling discrepancies, troubleshooting errors, or resolving issues with accounts, the opportunity to find solutions and address challenges keeps the job intellectually stimulating.
  • Contribution to Financial Health: Accounts Assistants play an important role in maintaining the financial health of the organisation. By accurately recording financial transactions, monitoring budgets, and ensuring compliance with financial regulations, they contribute to the organization’s overall financial stability and success. The sense of contributing to the organisation’s financial well-being is inherently rewarding.
  • Career Growth Opportunities: Accounts Assistants appreciate opportunities for career growth and advancement within the field of accounting and finance. Whether it’s pursuing further education, obtaining professional certifications, or gaining experience in specialised areas such as tax accounting or financial analysis, the potential for career progression keeps them motivated and engaged in their work.
  • Structured Work Environment: Accounts Assistants perform well in structured work environments that provide clear guidelines and procedures for financial processes and transactions.
  • Team Collaboration: Accounts Assistants often collaborate with colleagues in accounting departments, finance teams, and other departments within the organisation. The opportunity to work collaboratively, share knowledge and expertise, and contribute to team goals fosters a sense of camaraderie and belonging in the workplace.
  • Sense of Accomplishment: Accounts Assistants gain job satisfaction from completing tasks accurately and efficiently, meeting deadlines, and achieving financial objectives. The sense of accomplishment that comes from successfully managing financial processes and contributing to the organisation’s financial goals is personally fulfilling and rewarding.


In summary, Accounts Assistants appreciate working with numbers, the detail-oriented nature of their work, problem-solving opportunities, their contribution to financial health, career growth opportunities, structured work environments, team collaboration, and the sense of accomplishment derived from their work. These factors collectively contribute to a fulfilling and rewarding experience as an Accounts Assistant.

10 Accounts Assistant Interview Questions

Preparing for an Accounts Assistant interview involves anticipating and effectively answering questions that help employers assess your suitability for the role.

Here are 10 Accounts Assistant interview questions:

  1. Describe your experience with financial transaction processing.
  2. How do you ensure accuracy when maintaining financial records?
  3. Can you walk us through your understanding of basic accounting principles?
  4. How do you handle tight deadlines when preparing financial reports?
  5. Describe a time when you identified and resolved discrepancies in financial data.
  6. How do you prioritise tasks when faced with multiple deadlines?
  7. What accounting software are you familiar with, and how do you use it in your work?
  8. Share an example of a challenging accounting task you successfully completed.
  9. How do you stay updated on changes in accounting standards and regulations?
  10. Can you provide an example of a time when you provided exceptional customer service in your role as an Accounts Assistant?


For more interview tips check out > How To Prepare For A Job Interview guide.

In Conclusion

In conclusion, Accounts Assistants play an important role in maintaining accurate financial records, supporting financial operations, and ensuring compliance with accounting principles and regulations within an organisation.

Looking for a new Accounts Assistant Job? Visit Chilli Factor Jobs, where you can explore a wide range of job opportunities and connect with top employers in your industry.

Accounts Assistant Jobs

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