The difference between "accounts assistant" and "assistant accountant"

ambitious
ambitious BannedBanned User Posts: 93
Hi everyone

I'm studying at the AAT intermediate level at the moment. I've worked essentially as an accounts assistant for the past 4 years. But I noticed when the words of my job title of "accounts assistant" are swapped around for "assistant accountant" the level of work seems a lot lot higher and you earn a lot more money! Just search the reed or hays websites and see what I mean. But how does someone make that jump ? There seems to be a gap inbetween the jobs and I don't undertand how it gets bridged. I've never got a chance to go for assistant financial/business/capital/management/production accountant becasue the level of work is a lot lot higher. One time I was refused in an interview becasue I lacked management accounts experience. Yet how am I supposed to get that doing low level ledger jobs ?! Do you strictly have to be AAT qualified rather than be a finalist AAT ? Whats the criteria ?

Comments

  • Beth
    Beth Feels At Home Registered Posts: 40
    An Assistant Accountant is a part or fully qualified position. I think they usually do important 'qualified' things like deal with the tax etc and possibly management duties.

    Sorry I can't be anymore help!
  • phunkyphantom22
    phunkyphantom22 Well-Known Registered Posts: 166
    Beth wrote: »
    An Assistant Accountant is a part or fully qualified position.QUOTE]

    Not necessarily - my first position was as an Assistant Accountant and I had no accounting knowledge or experience at all.

    I'd say it really depends on the company and how they decide to structure their staff, but generally an assistant accountant would normally work on more complex tasks than an accounts assistant.
  • NeilH
    NeilH Trusted Regular Registered Posts: 551
    Never judge a book by it's cover

    Hi

    I'd never take the title of a job into account when considering what the job will involve. Look instead at the job spec and perhaps who you will be reporting to. Quite often agencies and employers will give a job a better sounding title to atract candidates.

    Neil
  • richardw
    richardw Well-Known Registered Posts: 108
    "accounts assistant" and "assistant accountant"

    look at the words
    'accounts' are things or processes
    'accountant' is likely to be a qualified accountant
  • ambitious
    ambitious Banned Banned User Posts: 93
    Ok So how do I get management accounts experience ? I need that to get a assistant management accountant job. But this is catch 22. How many firms would really give an inexperienced person the chance to prove they can produce management accounts ? Not many I bet. Also I did my ECR simulation recently and the problems they gave you like Apportioning overheads, Overhead absorption rates, and classing direct/indirect costs had to be done as if you were an assistant management accountant. But I bet that does not even count. I must be missing something here. Can someone help ?
  • richardw
    richardw Well-Known Registered Posts: 108
    You would need to be at least AAT qualified, probably started studying CIMA for management accounting. Also youd need some experience in accounts & business.
  • ambitious
    ambitious Banned Banned User Posts: 93
    richardw wrote: »
    You would need to be at least AAT qualified, probably started studying CIMA for management accounting. Also youd need some experience in accounts & business.

    Thanks for the reply richardw. I thought as much. I'm already feeling frustrated by this. But then I guess doing the technician year is the equivalent of 1st year CIMA. Oh well 1 more year of technician and under 2 months to go my intermediate exams! Even though I've got a maths degree under my belt it just goes to show how difficult the acounting job market truly is.

    There seems to be a seperation of accounts jobs and accoutants jobs. Is there a sense of arrogance from accountants for managing people who are not qualified or classed as accounts people ? An example of this is my boss who likes to give as many mundane tasks towards me then put his name on completed work like cash reconcilliations even though I counted and prepared it!
  • jorja1986
    jorja1986 Well-Known Registered Posts: 210
    richardw wrote: »
    "accounts assistant" and "assistant accountant"

    look at the words
    'accounts' are things or processes
    'accountant' is likely to be a qualified accountant

    An accountant is ANY person who deals with finance/management reporting.

    When looking for jobs dont look at the title look for job description. Many firms "talk up" jobs to make them sounds better.

    Assistant accountant sounds better than accounts assistant although they are often the same job. Paying differently.
  • gaborkeisz
    gaborkeisz Registered Posts: 1
    edited January 26
    An Assistant Accountant is usually a qualified accountant( in my case AAT) but not the primary one in the company. Our main accountant is Cima Qualified.
    I perform complex tasks involving financial and management accounting, forecasting, budgeting, tax and VAT and everything else that a chartered accountant does.
    The accounts assistant is usually unqualified and takes more of a clerk role. Generally speaking admin and data input.
    If you are fully qualified I would say your goal is an assistant accountant rather then accounts assistant. Or a trainee accountant as i was for nearly 3 years, but most import always consider your career path when taking a job. What is the end goal and how can you get there? If the job offers the real prospect of taking more of an accountant role in the future than your job title to start with doesn't really matter.
    That is why the difference is also reflected in the pay grade.
    livintiv
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