Accounting assistant programs teach students how to use financial and computer software, maintain financial records, process accounts receivable/payable transactions and perform other office duties. A diploma can be a stepping-stone to pursue other accounting programs and careers. Voluntary certification is also available to qualified graduates.
Prerequisites for these programs include a high school diploma or GED. Students in high school can prepare for study in an accounting assistant program by taking mathematics or office-related courses.
Accounting Assistant: Trade School Diploma
Since all businesses require qualified employees to maintain finances, accounting assistant diploma programs prepare students for entry-level work in any industry. Classes emphasize communication, technology and mathematics skills. Common course topics include:
- Written communication
- Financial accounting
- Payroll accounting
- Business mathematics
- Office communications
- Computer software and applications
Employment Outlook and Salary Information
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics expected bookkeeping, accounting and auditing clerk occupations to decline 8% from 2014 to 2024 (www.bls.gov). In 2015, the median annual salary for bookkeeping, accounting and auditing clerks was $37,250.
Continuing Education Information
Graduates of an accounting assistant program can begin their careers or continue to study accounting or finance through a bachelor's degree program. A bachelor's degree is needed for higher-level positions, such as becoming an accountant.
Additionally, some graduates go on to become Certified Bookkeepers, a credential that's available through the American Institute of Professional Bookkeepers. Candidates must have at least two years of full-time experience or the equivalent, in addition to passing a 4-part examination (www.aipb.org).
Accounting diploma programs prepare students for bookkeeping and accounting assistant jobs through coursework in such areas as financial accounting, business math and computer software applications. Graduates can also continue to study these topics at the bachelor's level, which is a requirement for more advanced positions.