Finance assistants carry out a range of basic day-to-day financial and accounting administrative tasks.
They provide essential support to senior finance and accounting staff, in order to keep the department running efficiently.
This full guide includes a finance assistant job description and all the key information about a job as a finance assistant, including average salaries, entry requirements, career prospects and more.
- Finance assistant job description
- How much do finance assistants earn?
- What does a finance assistant do?
- Requirements, skills and qualifications
- Who employs finance assistants?
- Which junior jobs progress to finance assistant roles?
Finance assistant job description
Finance assistant | Secured Insurance Brokers
About Secured Insurance
Secured Insurance is an independent, chartered broker that finds the best home and business insurance policies for our customers.
About the role
We’re looking for an enthusiastic finance assistant to join our friendly and professional finance team. The successful candidate will perform a range of administrative and accounting duties to support the finance department.
- Processing purchase invoices and checking for anomalies
- Data entry, including scanning and inputting invoice details
- Responding to queries by telephone and email
- Supporting senior staff with the preparation of monthly and quarterly forecasts
- Preparing monthly BACS payments
- Basic bookkeeping duties to keep track of incoming and outgoing payments
- Writing weekly and monthly reports for senior staff, including the finance manager
- Any other relevant ad-hoc duties in support of finance team
Location & commitments
- Permanent, full-time role based at our brand new office in Warrington
- am – 5.pm, Mon-Fri, with one hour for lunch— 35-hour working week
- Occasional overtime may be required during busy periods, including some evening and weekend work
- Maths and English GCSE (A-Levels preferred)
- Strong numeracy and analytical skills
- A commitment to professional development and the willingness to pursue professional qualifications, including accounting diplomas
- Well organised, with excellent time management skills and the ability to multitask
- A strong and confident communicator who is comfortable dealing with business partners, major stakeholders, and senior management
- Attention to detail and a can-do attitude
- Experience using Excel, Word, and Outlook
Contact us to apply
So if you want to start your finance career in a professional and encouraging environment, send a CV and cover letter to Anthony Johnson at A.Johnson@securedbrokers.co.uk
How much do finance assistants earn?
The average salary of a finance assistant in the UK is £23,000. While this figure is below the national average, there is plenty of opportunity for progression and salary increases within the finance industry.
Finance assistant salaries in the UK
- Low: £21,000
- Average: £23,000
- High: £26,453
Finance assistant salaries will vary hugely depending on:
- The industry of the employer – As with all jobs, the industry of the employer can have a huge impact on salary — for example, those working for financial services or banking companies are likely to earn much more than those working for a not-for-profit or public sector organisation
- The size of the employer – Large, international companies normally pay more than small or medium-sized businesses
- Location – Finance roles in London are known to pay significantly more than roles in other areas of the UK
For example, a finance assistant working for a large company in a well-funded industry such as banking or capital markets will normally significantly more than a finance assistant working for a small business or charity.
The figures listed above have been taken from job advert samples and therefore do not include extra benefits such as bonuses, overtime and non-financial benefits such as training and progression opportunities.
What does a finance assistant do?
The typical job description of a finance assistant will contain a variety of the following tasks, duties and responsibilities:
- Supporting senior staff – Reporting to and taking direction from financial managers and accountants
- Carrying out admin & clerical tasks – Completing a range of routine administrative tasks, such as sorting post, photocopying and filing
- Responding to enquiries – Answering telephones, responding to emails and taking messages and transferring calls to the appropriate team member
- Inputting financial data – Collecting and inputting financial data into spreadsheets and software and ensuring that all data is up to date
- Writing reports – Supporting the preparation of weekly, monthly and annual financial reports and statements
- Monitoring accounts – Helping accountants and finance managers to monitor and manage individual accounts
- Auditing – Reviewing and auditing financial statements and reports to ensure all calculations and data entries are accurate
- Processing invoices – Creating, sending, recording and following up on invoices and payments
- Setting budgets – Assisting financial managers with the creation and setting of budgets
- Bookkeeping – Carrying out daily basic bookkeeping duties to keep track of all company incomings and outgoings
- Taking notes – Attending financial meetings and taking notes
- Using financial software – Using a range of finance software and computerised accounting systems
What do finance assistants need?
Finance assistant jobs are typically entry-level and open to junior candidates with limited prior experience.
However, employers will still be on the lookout for certain qualifications and skills — and any previous experience can certainly be an advantage.
While specific requirements will vary between employers, here’s what is typically needed to land a finance assistant role:
Finance assistant jobs are normally open to candidates with no prior experience. This makes the role a great way to kickstart a career within finance and learn from the ground up.
With that said, the finance industry can be competitive, so gaining some relevant experience can help to boost a candidate’s chances of landing the job they want.
This might be a voluntary or temporary role within a finance department, a short college or university work experience placement or a part-time job that involves basic financial or bookkeeping duties.
Finance assistant skills
While the job is open to candidates with minimal prior experience, employers will be the lookout for the following skills and knowledge during the recruitment process:
- Maths: Having a good standard of maths and numeracy, with the ability to carry out quick and accurate calculations
- Communication: Communicating clearly and articulately via email and phone with colleagues, clients, customers, suppliers and managers
- Time management: Juggling numerous duties and tasks and meeting strict deadlines
- Customer service: Dealing with clients, customers and members of the public in a positive, professional yet friendly and helpful manner
- Attention to detail: Working with complete accuracy and spotting small mistakes and errors in spreadsheets, statements and reports before they turn into bigger issues
- Computer literacy: Competently using a computer and being able to get to grips with new accounting and finance software with ease
Finance assistant qualifications
Qualifications are not essential to gain employment as a finance assistant, as employers typically provide or sponsor training on-the-job.
However, employers will expect a good standard of education, such as GCSEs and often A-Levels. Most employers will ask for maths and/or accounting and finance qualification at GCSE and/or A-Level, too.
There are a number of additional finance and accounting qualifications that candidates can take to increase their chances of securing a finance assistant role and progressing within the industry:
Generally speaking, a degree isn’t a requirement for finance assistant roles. However, holding a relevant degree will provide access to the most competitive schemes and jobs and allow for much faster progress to higher-paying finance positions. Additionally, working as a finance assistant is a great way for fresh graduates to build up essential, real-world experience.
Relevant degree subjects include:
- Accounting and finance
The AAT is the UK’s leading professional body, offering several skills-based accountancy and finance qualifications. Their courses provide the key skills and knowledge required for a huge range of accounting and finance roles and are respected by employers around the world.
The following qualifications would provide all the skills needed for a finance assistant role and beyond:
- Foundation Diploma in Accounting and Business (Level 2)
- Advanced Diploma in Accounting (Level 3)
- Professional Diploma in Accounting (Level 4) – can be used as a route to become an AAT full member (MAAT)
The ICAEW (the professional membership organisation for chartered accountancy) offers a certificate in Finance, Accounting and Business called the ICAEW CFAB. It teaches essential knowledge in business, finance and accounting and can help aspiring finance professionals to get a job, achieve promotions and open up new career avenues.
What is expected of finance assistants?
Finance assistants are typically expected to commit to the following:
- Full or part-time hours – Finance assistant jobs are available on a wide range of contracts, including full-time (35 – 40 hours per week) and part-time (typically between 20 and 30 hours per week)
- 9–5 hours – Most roles will offer standard 9–5 hours and some may offer flexible working opportunities
- Occasional overtime – Overtime outside of the core business hours may occasionally be required during busy periods, such as the end of the tax year
- Location – Normally based at the employer’s office
- Some travel – Finance assistants who work for a company that provides services to numerous clients may need to travel to attend meetings
Finance assistant benefits
Alongside their standard salary, finance assistants will receive a benefits package. While this will inevitably vary between employers, it usually contains perks like:
- Bonuses – based on performance
- Pension scheme
- Holiday allowance
- Health insurance
- Training and development opportunities
- Flexible working opportunities
- Career progression
Who employs finance assistants?
Finance assistants can find employment in businesses and organisations across all industries and sectors. They typically work in an office environment, as part of a wider finance department.
As companies of all shape and sizes require a team to keep their finances in line, employment opportunities are diverse and available all over the UK. Opportunities are most common within the private sector but are also widely available within the public and not-for-profit sectors.
Finance assistants can either work in-house for a single company or brand or for a financial services or accountancy firm/agency that provides financial management to numerous clients.
Typical finance assistant employers include:
- Accounting and financial services – Companies who provide outsourced finance and accounting services to other organisations
- Industry and commerce (retail, banks, building societies and insurance companies manufacturing, telecoms etc)
- Public sector (government, healthcare, universities, charities etc)
Which junior jobs progress to project manager roles?
A job as a finance assistant is a junior/entry-level role in itself. It’s possible to gain a position with minimal prior experience, providing the candidate can display a good head for maths and numeracy, combined with the desire to learn.
However, for those who wish to dip their toes in the water before securing a full-time role, a finance internship or short work placement can help them to develop key skills and see if the finance world is for them.
Which senior jobs do finance assistants progress to?
A job as a finance assistant is a great opportunity for anyone wishing to progress within the finance industry. Even though the role is entry-level, it provides a fantastic learning environment and normally leads to progression into higher-paying, senior roles.
Depending on the direction the candidate wishes to take, employers often sponsor continued training to become chartered within accountancy or finance, which can lead to significant increases in salary.
With experience and continued training, finance assistants often move into the roles of:
Accounting technicians support accountants with a range of financial, taxation and accounting tasks. Their main responsibility is to ensure that all financial information is accurate, up-to-date and to the required standard. An AAT or ACCA accounting technician qualification is required to become an accounting technician.
Finance managers lead the financial team within a company. They are responsible for analysing and monitoring their employer’s everyday financial activity and advising them on future financial decisions and strategies. Finance managers typically have professional accountancy or finance qualifications.
Chartered accountants are highly-qualified finance professionals who develop and maintain financial and accounting systems and prepare tax and VAT returns. It takes years to qualify as a chartered accountant but can be achieved alongside employment and can lead to extremely lucrative salaries and career prospects.
Finance assistant job description – conclusion
Working as a finance assistant is a great opportunity to break into the finance industry and develop a wide range of transferable skills.
While salaries are lower than the UK national average, the finance industry offers unrivalled opportunity for progression.
The role can be achieved with minimal prior experience but does require basic maths qualifications and a clear head for numbers.