A finance assistant is someone who takes on the most time-consuming tasks within an accounting or finance team. In the role you would be expected to support other financial professionals on the team to ensure everyone is as productive as possible. To be successful in the role, you will need to have exceptional maths skills, Excel and computational skills. These skills are important as employers expect finance assistants to handle large amounts of financial data.
Financial assistants are given the responsibility of collecting and recording financial information. They’re also expected to keep account balances up to date to enable their superiors to monitor budgets, profits and spending. You will be given specific duties such as recording and retrieving entries from the financial database, reconciling account balances, preparing invoices, creating receipts, monitoring payroll, ensuring accounting computations are looked at and corrected, generating reports and other general accounting activities. There’s also the possibility of administrative tasks such as arranging appointments and answering the phone being assigned to you.
Applicants are usually expected to have an Associate or Bachelor’s degree in accounting, business, finance or a related field. For some entry-level roles, a high school education can be enough as assistants learn their role through training. Some entry-level positions will prefer candidates to have taken college courses in bookkeeping or finance, however, this will depend on the industry and the employer.
You will find finance assistants in nearly every industry sector for businesses, non-profits, governments and accounting firms. A finance assistant usually works as part of a larger team under another finance professional. With this team environment in mind, you must have excellent teamwork skills.
Typical working hours will be 9-5 Monday to Friday, although busier periods may require overtime to be completed. Employers will look for candidates who can multitask and stay calm under pressure.
According to Payscale, the average finance assistant salary in the UK is £19,873. If you’re an entry level assistant with less than a year of experience, you will probably earn around £18-19,000 a year. An early career assistant with experience between one and four years will earn around £19,000 a year. If you have anything between 5-9 years experience, the average salary is £22,144. Anyone with experience over that could earn an average of between £20-22,000 a year.
Job Growth Trend
The demand for finance assistants is still expected to grow. However, there is a predicted decline for certain roles. Credit authorisers, account clerks and payroll assistants will probably see their roles reduced by automation. Conversely, billing assistants, loan interviewers and staff involved in insurance claims processing will still have demand in an automated world.
Woodrow Mercer are specialist recruiters for finance jobs, and can help you take your next step in this sector. Whether you want a Finance Director, Financial Controller, a Business Analyst, Management Accountant or a Finance Manager, one of our Consultants will find you the right candidate, Alternatively, If you need a finance professional, senior or junior, for maternity cover, project analysis and delivery, acquisition, integration or cash flow management, we can help there too. Upload your CV today and find your next job!