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Assistant Accountant

Course Code: A3/0133/00-P1

Level: 3
Subject area: Business, Management & HR

Qualification: Apprenticeship
Course type: Full-time
Time of Day: Daytime
Duration: 18 months

About the course

An assistant accountant provides support to internal and external customers and will work predominantly either as an assistant accountant within practice or alternatively within the finance function of an organisation. Part of their role will involve assisting in the day-to-day financial activities, such as data entry to month-end management accounts and/or year-end financial statements. In addition, the assistant accountant may find themselves involved in regulatory financial requirements, such as the completion of VAT returns or assisting in the preparation of tax computations.

What you'll learn

An Apprenticeship is broken down into three learning categories – skills, knowledge and behaviours. For the Level 3 Assistant Accountant Apprenticeship, you will cover the following …

Knowledge:

  • understands the transactional processes and support provided by accountancy firms or the accounting function within an organisation
  • understands an organisation’s business strategy, including customer and supplier needs in order to produce relevant and compliant financial information, and is aware of how their role fits in with the wider organisation and sector they are working in
  • understands how to enter accounting transactions, perform a reconciliation, correct errors and produce a range of reports using a computerised accounting system
  • understands the systems and process of the organisation, within the responsibility of the position such as sales, purchase and payroll; understands the use of all relevant office and accounting packages used within their organisation, relevant to their job role
  • understands the relevant ethical standards to protect their own and their organisation’s professional reputation and integrity; understands the importance of upholding relevant codes of conduct
  • understands the basic elements of double-entry bookkeeping and accounting standards required to process financial documents and report financial information to users of accounts
  • understands current financial standards for basic accounts preparation, in order to be able to make necessary end-of-year adjustments
  • understands what is required to draft final accounts and how to account for the purchase and disposal of non-current assets
  • understands the basic tax principles to apply current regulations to calculate VAT and submit a VAT return
  • understands how to recognise and use different approaches in management accounting and is able to gather, analyse and report information about income and expenditure to support decision-making, planning and control.

Skills:

  • effectively records and analyses financial data at the appropriate level using the organisation’s standard tools and processes
  • communicates to all stakeholders to aid decision making to add value to the organisation, within the responsibility of the position.
  • works both independently and as part of a team within the organisation’s standards; competently demonstrates an ability to communicate both in writing and orally at all levels, using a range of tools and demonstrating strong interpersonal skills and cultural awareness when dealing with internal and external customers.
  • demonstrates the ability to communicate financial information in a way that non-finance staff can interpret and understand
  • consistently delivers high-quality financial and performance data in a timely fashion in line with the organisation’s requirements, to aid decision making and planning.
  • the ability to identify the appropriate systems and processes to work productively in order to complete required tasks.
  • competent use of office and accounting packages; able to maintain the security of accounting information using passwords and backup routines
  • applies techniques to both common and non-routine problems, analysing where required and selecting the appropriate tools and techniques to produce solutions; escalates or seeks guidance and support where appropriate.

Behaviours:

  • accepts changing priorities and working requirements readily and has the flexibility to maintain high standards in a changing environment
  • identifies opportunities to actively engage in the wider business when appropriate
  • provides information that positively contributes to influencing business decisions whilst continually striving to improve own working processes and those of the organisation
  • applies a transparent and objective manner in all actions and interactions to ensure that they meet the ethical requirements of the profession
  • takes initiative for own personal development; proactively takes responsibility for completing tasks and meeting expectations, and can prioritise to work to deadlines
  • organises work effectively and achieves required results within deadlines; performs professionally in pressurised situations and escalates appropriately when necessary
  • consistently supports colleagues and collaborates to achieve results.

You will be taught, guided and assessed on the above topics over the duration of your Apprenticeship to prepare for your achievement. This will be done via tutor practical sessions and visits at the workplace from your designated assessor who will ensure you are competent in the job you are doing.

Entry requirements

To undertake this Apprenticeship you will be required to undergo an assessment with the course tutor. This is nothing to worry about! The tutor will have a conversation with you in order to assess your employability skills and your willingness to learn. They will also want to find out about any prior knowledge you may have. The assessment may include a practical task and a short workbook of basic questions about the industry.

If you do not already hold a GCSE at a grade 4-9 (A-C) or Functional Skills (level 1 – 2) in English and maths then you will be asked to complete a short assessment to determine what level you are currently working at. The results from this, combined with your tutor meeting, will ascertain whether we will be able to accept you onto an Apprenticeship and work with you to find an employer to begin your learning journey.

Assessments/Exams

You will be required to complete an end-point assessment with pass, merit or distinction to complete the Apprenticeship.

The end-point assessment is the name given to a series of tests you must take to prove your ability to do the job you have been training for. These tests take place at the end of the Apprenticeship following a period of training and development.

This Apprenticeship has an expected duration of 18 months, however, this may vary depending on your readiness to sit the end-point assessment.

What's next?

As well as ensuring full competency as an assistant accountant, this standard provides the foundation for progression into a number of career paths in the accounting sector, including audit trainee, corporate recovery analyst, credit controller or tax accountant.

Important information

By applying for this position you will go through the College’s assessment procedure and once successful, you will be assigned a Business Engagement Officer who will guide you into employment by supporting you to find the best-suited workplace.

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