Financial systems can be compared to a labyrinth—intricate and difficult to solve. But no matter how complex these figures are, there are definite ways to track, analyze, and record data. These tasks are now made easier and more organized through accounting. In daily life situations, accounting is extremely vital in facilitating financial business transactions to ensure that they are accurate.
Since accounting is a necessity in businesses, it’s only fair for students to pursue this discipline as their career path. However, students should take note that there are certain qualifications before they can become auditors and public accountants. Each accountant has their own set of roles and responsibilities, and they can fulfill their tasks efficiently with the help of accounting associates.
What Is An Accounting Associate?
An accounting associate offers basic accounting assistance to accountants or auditors at a company. As an accounting associate, your main tasks will include writing financial documents, helping accountants in auditing, and maintaining excellent professional relationships with clients.
As you can probably guess, most accounting associates are highly educated individuals with vast experience in the world of finance and accounting. If you’re planning to enter the world of accounting, being well-educated is crucial to fill your expected roles in a firm. This means that a degree is required—whether accomplished traditionally or through online associate programs.
In addition to being well-educated and experienced in accounting, an accounting associate must also be able to interact professionally in an office environment. An effective accounting assistant is someone who understands the needs of accountants and efficiently communicates these needs to the supervisor.
Qualifications Required To Become An Accounting Associate
To become an accounting associate, you must possess these six qualifications that most companies and employers search for:
Bachelor’s Degree In the Field
A bachelor’s degree associated to accounting is a must for every aspiring accounting associate. Earning an accounting diploma is the most basic requirement to be eligible as an accounting associate. However, some employers or companies with specific demands and fields might require a master’s degree. Generally, degree holders in accounting, finance, and mathematics are the best candidates for the job.
Accounting associates are considered entry-level workers, so it’s best to apply for this position while preparing for your CPA exam or studying for an advanced degree. Once you’ve passed your CPA exam, you can be promoted to a senior accountant, or be qualified to work in fields related to corporate controls, budget analysis, management, and auditing.
An accounting certification is an optional qualification, but most employers seek this certification among the candidates. If you have this in your CV, then you are one step ahead of the other prospects. Also, earning the best accounting certifications isn’t just an advantage when applying as an accounting associate, but also increases your opportunities in every accounting-related position.
These are some benefits of having an accounting certification:
- Increases your potential salary
- Boosts your chances of getting hired
- Decreases your chances of getting fired
- Establishes and strengthens your credibility
Ultimately, earning accounting certifications is crucial for professional advancement.
Knowledge of Basic Accounting Principles and Practices
Accountants are expected to be knowledgeable about the principles and practices of accounting like sred tax credit for CRA. They are also compelled to master these concepts so that they can easily impart vital information to their clients and other companies. Moreover, companies also observe these principles and practices as these are indispensable in the field of accountancy.
Conventionally, these accounting principles are called the Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP), which lay the groundwork for preparing and presenting financial statements. As these concepts are specific and technical, accounting associates must study these in-depth. You can always go back to your accounting textbooks to review or look for online references.
Competitive Communication and Interpersonal Skills
Effective communication is crucial for every financial negotiation. Being a member of an accounting team who oversees these activities, an accounting associate must possess good communication and interpersonal skills, particularly when assisting accountants and auditors within the company.
Accounting associates are also responsible for providing bookkeeping and accounting support to clients. Therefore, they need to communicate important insights and information in a way that clients will understand—despite the difficult technical jargon involved in accounting.
Proficiency In Accounting Software and Tools
Adapting to the fast-paced and tech-equipped world helps a company or business move forward. Since the accountants’ responsibilities are technical and systematic, all accounting firms utilize software and tools that run their overall operation. Accounting systems are created to organize financial activities and manage data with minimum inaccuracy and errors.
As these tools contain features and functions that are necessary for an accounting firm, accounting associates must be proficient in handling these applications. These applications are also beneficial for accounting associates to accomplish their tasks in a more efficient and timely manner.
Organizational and Time Management Skills
These two qualifications are always indispensable in all fields and industries. Being skilled at organization and time management is especially relevant for an accounting associate. You will be managing a wide range of time-consuming and methodical tasks such as preparing tax returns and audits, tracking and verifying accounts (receivable and payable), preparing financial reports, and more.
Excellent time management skills can help an accounting associate deal with the most difficult tasks. This skill becomes exceptionally relevant during month-end and year-end reporting. Accounting teams are expected to prepare and finish their presentations ahead of time, and as an accounting associate, you are a valuable asset in completing these tasks.
Accounting associates fulfill important roles in a company—without them, senior accountants will have a hard time accomplishing the plethora of tasks assigned to them. Accounting associates are flexible individuals who can take part in different accounting-related tasks. If you’re planning to walk this career path, you should know the importance of the position. As early as now, you should be ticking off your checklist of qualifications for you to be eligible as an accounting associate.