Accounting technicians work in all areas of finance and business. They usually start working in a support role within a firm of accountants or in the accounts or finance departments of organisations. They may be employed in industry, commerce or the public sector. Those with more experience may become self-employed, providing a variety of accountancy and taxation services to a range of small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).In many larger organisations, accounting technicians work alongside members of chartered accountancy bodies. In smaller organisations, they may be the only financially trained member of staff.
Typical activities Include:
Assisting with the preparation of accounts, managing staff payroll, receiving and settling invoices, dealing with basic bookkeeping, auditing external and internal work, looking after all financial transactions, budgets and payroll, monitoring staff and company expenses, controlling budgets, accounting for resources, liaising with other professionals in the field and writing reports.
Salary and Conditions
Starting salaries for trainee accounting technicians are in the range of £15,000 - £22,000.Once qualified and with experience, an accounting technician may earn up to £32,000.Salaries vary according to the employer and sector of employment. There are regional variations with higher salaries in southern England, particularly London.Accounting technicians usually work standard office hours, although weekend work or overtime may be required at certain times of the year. Busy periods may occur when processing end-of-month accounts and at the beginning and end of the financial year.Work is mainly office-based. Work environment and conditions vary according to the employer.Some tasks at junior level may be repetitive.Self-employment is an increasingly popular option within this profession. It should be noted that self-employment brings its own pressures, including a lack of job security and no holiday pay or company pension scheme, which may prove to be deterrents.Part-time work and career breaks are usually possible.Temporary and short-term contract work are possibilities.Jobs are available throughout the UK.Travel within a working day is more common for self-employed technicians making visits to clients. Absence from home overnight is not usually a feature of the work.
There are no specific minimum entry requirements to train to be an accounting technician, although a reasonable level of literacy and numeracy is essential.Usual entry involves on-the-job training while studying part time or via distance learning. You may qualify as an accounting technician through schemes run by either the Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT) or the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) .The AAT Accounting Qualification is split into three levels:Level 2 Certificate in Accounting;Level 3 Diploma in Accounting;Level 4 Diploma in Accounting.If you already have an accounting qualification, a degree or significant work experience, you may be eligible to start at a higher level. Check with the AAT and the other accounting bodies for more information about the validity of your qualifications.