Accounting technician

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Emma Jones is a trainee accounting technician in the accounts department of a motor group in Leicester.

What does an zccounting technician do?

I work from 9 a.m. until 5.30 p.m. from Monday to Friday in a busy accounts office. I make sure that payments for vehicles and parts are correct and I enter the amounts onto cash sheets.

Why did you want to be an accounting technician?

When I was in my final year at school, I heard about vocational training and other further education options from my school careers adviser. I decided that I wanted to do vocational training rather than carry on with full-time education.

I was okay at maths and I knew someone who was doing accounting training and it sounded interesting. So I applied to a local college that does the Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT) Accounting Qualification and was accepted.

The college also helped me to find a job so that I could do the workplace part of the training alongside the college work.

What do you do in a typical day?

Firstly, I write out any cheques that we need to send out and I get them signed by the company director. Next, I go to the safe to get out all the receipts for vehicle and parts payments and I enter the amounts onto cash sheets.

Then I count the cash, check that it is accounted for and that it balances. I then get the money ready so that security staff can collect it. After that, I put the cash sheets onto the computer system.

I also file the credit card slips and enter the credit card amounts onto the computer system. Finally, I make sure that the cheques that I wrote out in the morning are allocated to the correct expense account.

What skills do you need for your job?

I need to be good at maths because I need to total up and balance out amounts of money (although I use an adding machine to help with long calculations). Problem solving is also a major part of the job.

Good communication skills are also needed for working with colleagues in all departments. And, I need to be able to use a computer to enter data.

What do you enjoy about your work?

I am always learning new things because every account is different to the one before. Also, I like the people that I work with because they are easy going.

What do you find challenging?

Doing accounts can sometimes be complex so the work needs a lot of thought.

Do you have any ambitions for the future?

I am currently in my final year of my AAT course, so my aim is to complete this and then move on to chartered accountancy.

Emma's route to her career as an accounting technician

  • GCSEs including maths and English.
  • Trained towards the Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT) Accounting Qualification (NVQ levels 2-4) at college while working in an accounts department.

Emma's accounting technician tips

  • Talk to your careers adviser or personal adviser at school or college.
  • Get in touch with local colleges that do recognised accounting technician courses.
  • Look at the jobs section in local papers for employers who are willing to give you study time.

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Salary of an accounting technician

  • Salaries vary from area to area and from company to company.
  • Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT) student members who have achieved Foundation stage of the qualification earn about £11,000.
  • At Intermediate stage, the figure rises to around £14,000.
  • And those who have achieved the Technician stage can earn £18,000 and more.

Getting in

  • There are no minimum qualifications, but you need an interest in mathematics.
  • You need to train for an accounting technician qualification. These are offered by the Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT) and the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA). You can train part-time, full-time or by distance learning. Most people choose to train part-time while working.

Modified: 16 June 2013

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