An apprentice accounting technician is a member of an accounting team that works in-house with a particular industry or as part of a specialised accounting firm. Accounting technician apprentices are auxiliary because they are recruited to help more qualified accountants. Still, the role is sometimes used as a stepping stone for those interested in pursuing a career in accounting.
Accounting technicians apprentices are hired to help perform various accounting and administrative tasks. They are generally responsible for acquiring, validating, and analysing financial data on behalf of accountants.
Accounting technician apprentices often work in an office under the supervision of a licenced accountant. The amount of hours worked by an accounting technician apprentice varies based on the job and the time of year. Like many other accounting professionals, accounting technician apprentices are often busiest as the fiscal year’s end approaches.
Some accounting technician certificates, such as the MAAT, are recognised internationally, allowing accounting technicians to work anywhere in the world.
You may be responsible for various duties, such as gathering, confirming, and analysing financial data, depending on your chosen route, qualifications, and future professional experience.
Regardless of where you work, you will help with the following tasks:
- process and pay invoices
- record receipts and payments
- prepare and check ledger balances and other monthly accounts
- complete and submit tax returns, VAT returns and National Insurance contributions
- handle company expenses
- update computer accounting systems
An apprentice accounting technician training salaries typically vary between £16,000 and £22,000; however, once qualified, accountant technicians may earn up to £30,000 per year, depending on location and sector. Remember that if you opt to work for yourself, you will be able to set your prices but will not be eligible for benefits like maternity/paternity pay or annual leave.
As an accounting technician, you will have opportunities for growth, which will usually come with higher pay.
Accounting technician apprentices often work regular office hours 37 to 39 per week between 8am and 6pm . Busy periods may occur while processing end-of-month accounts and at the beginning and end of the fiscal year.
Qualifications you can achieve as an apprentice accounting technician include:
- Level 2 Accounts or Finance Assistant – Entry requirements for this level include some GCSEs, usually including English and maths, or equivalent, for an intermediate apprenticeship.
- Level 3 Assistant Account – Entry requirements for this level include 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths, for an advanced apprenticeship.
- Level 4 Professional Accounting or Taxation Technician – Entry requirements for this level include 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) and A levels, or equivalent, for a higher or degree apprenticeship.
On an accounting technician apprenticeship you’ll learn:
- to be thorough and pay attention to detail
- the ability to work well with others
- administration skills
- customer service skills
- the ability to use your initiative
- to be flexible and open to change
- maths knowledge
- excellent verbal communication skills
- to be able to use a computer and the main software packages confidently
Accounting technician apprentices work in various organisations across all business, industry, and business sectors. Many begin their careers as chartered or certified accountants’ assistants. Changing jobs while training may be possible.
You could find work as an accounting technician apprentice in:
- accounting firms
- banks and building societies
- educational institutions
- health authorities
- insurance companies
- local government
- the media
- public utilities
- retail companies
- service industries
- small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), where you may be the only qualified
- member of accounting staff.
The AAT Accounting Certification and the ACCA CAT qualification are both required as proof of practical competence by the AAT and the ACCA.
If you have completed all of your AAT or CAT exams, you may continue your education to become a chartered accountant. All professional accounting organisations provide fast-track paths and exemptions, whether you’re an AAT member or CAT qualified.
The majority of accounting technicians get on-the-job training. However, procedures and software programmes vary according to the industry, business, and profession in which you work.
Many companies are eager to help employees update and improve their skills and knowledge via continual professional development (CPD).
Employer aid may include paying for educational expenses or providing time off for study, either via a day release course or study leave.
From the role of accounting technician, you could progress to a higher position, such as:
- directors of finance division
- finance controller
- internal auditor
- payroll manager
- tax analyst.