what is an accounts officer?

As an accounts officer, your role is supportive since you handle day-to-day activities in the accounting department and report to the finance or accounting manager. It is important to accomplish your tasks efficiently to ensure the smooth running of your department. That requires familiarity with the company's accounting principles and financial reporting policies.

Since an accounts officer is an entry-level role, your workload includes basic bookkeeping activities and administrative tasks. For instance, you manage bank reconciliations and expenses using data entry platforms and accounting software to ensure the company accounts are up-to-date. You also update monthly forecasts and company budgets and pass the reports to the relevant managers. Sometimes, you work with the human resource department to prepare payroll. You also work with the sales and procurement departments to issue invoices, pay suppliers and prepare quarterly tax returns.

As an accounts officer, being highly organised helps you juggle multiple tasks, and financial knowledge like bookkeeping and accounting principles is also crucial. It is essential to be detail-oriented to maintain the accuracy of accounting records.

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average salary of a accounts officer

An accounts officer receives an average salary of between $47,000 to $82,000 per year. Entry-level positions for recent graduates with less experience attract the lowest salary due to the minimal skills they bring on board. Experienced accounts officers earn more due to their extensive knowledge of accounting and finance practices.

what factors affect the salary of an accounts officer?

Various factors dictate the remuneration packages for workers. For instance, working hours can influence your earning potential. accounts officers working full-time usually have a higher hourly rate than part-time roles. Your experience and educational qualifications should also meet the minimum threshold to improve your remuneration prospects. Accounts officers working in metro areas earn higher salaries due to the high demand for their expertise.

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types of accounts officers

As a accounts officer, you can perform general bookkeeping tasks or specialise in specific roles in the finance department like:

  • accounts payable and receivable: an accounts officer manages accounts receivable and payable. You track incoming cash flow, issue invoices and handle billing statements in accounts receivable. Sometimes, you enquire about unpaid bills. Accounts payable keep a record of the company's debts and payment plans.
  • financial planning: you can also participate in financial planning roles like budgeting. You help your employer research the best investments to improve their financial position.
  • risk management: you may assist with risk management by reviewing the company's investment portfolio. Your job is to evaluate risks and opportunities. You help your employer find ways to exploit opportunities and deal with risks.
  • cashflow management: an accounts officer can help the finance manager control the company's cash flow. Your job is to evaluate the company's liquidity.

working as an accounts officer

Working as an accounts officer allows you to hone your skills in finance and prepares you for top roles in the business sector. Let's explore the specific duties, responsibilities and job outlook of accounts officers.

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females having a conversation

education and skills

There are no specific requirements to become an accounts officer as you gain skills on the job. However, a business or accounting qualification may be useful.

  • work experience: most employers prefer candidates with considerable work experience. You can go for internships or take on entry-level positions to learn the ropes.

skills and competencies

As an accounts officer, you need the following skills and competencies:

  • maths skills: an accounts officer needs good maths and numeracy skills. Your job involves making quick calculations and ensuring accurate computations of financial data. Math skills help you maintain the accuracy of financial documents.
  • communication and interpersonal skills: as you work alongside various teams in the organisation, it is vital to have good communication and teamwork skills to collaborate with others and ensure efficient communication.
  • time management: your role involves juggling numerous tasks and dealing with strict deadlines. Without time management skills, you cannot keep up with the tasks.
  • attention to detail: an accounts officer ensures the accuracy of financial data since minor errors can cause serious issues. Your detail-oriented skills help you spot financial statements and spreadsheet errors during the reporting process.
  • computer skills: many companies use accounting software and computerised systems to record transactions. As a finance accountant, your computing skills help you navigate the software.
  • accounting knowledge: as an accounts officer, you require a good command of accounting practices and regulations. For instance, it is important to understand how to process invoices, prepare financial statements and develop effective budgets. You also need a background in business tax obligations.

FAQs about working as an accounts officer

Here are the most asked questions about working as an accounts officer:

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