Entry level accounting jobs are the gateway to a lucrative, fulfilling career in an industry that’s expected to grow in leaps and bounds. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, a 5.6 percent employment growth for accountants, in the decade between 2021 and 2031, will produce an estimated 81,000 new job openings.
Such promising numbers and myriad opportunities in the field are great news, but how do you get started in accounting if you’re looking to venture into the industry for the first time? Here’s what to expect:
Entry Level Accounting Job Duties
Entry-level accounting jobs typically involve supporting senior accountants or working on basic accounting tasks. Some of the common duties of entry-level accountants include:
- Recording financial transactions: Accountants are tasked with entering and recording financial data and ensuring that it is accurate and up to date.
- Reconciling bank statements: You’ll need to check that the amounts recorded in the company’s accounting records match the amounts shown on the bank statements.
- Financial statement preparation assistance: This may involve gathering data, preparing schedules and creating reports.
- Responding to financial inquiries: Questions from employees, vendors or customers about their financial transactions need to be addressed and answered by a staff accountant.
- Tax preparation assistance: A critical function of accountants is gathering data, preparing schedules, and supporting the preparation of tax returns.
Entry Level Accounting Skills
To be successful in an entry-level accounting job, you need to have strong attention to detail, excellent organizational skills, and the ability to work independently. Some of the specific skills that are important for entry-level accountants include:
- Accounting software proficiency: Familiarity with accounting software, such as QuickBooks or Xero, is essential for recording financial transactions and preparing financial reports.
- Strong numerical skills: You need to be comfortable with numbers and can perform calculations accurately.
- Communication skills: You will be working with people from different departments, and you need to be able to communicate financial information clearly and effectively.
- Time management: You’ll need to be able to prioritize tasks and meet deadlines in a fast-paced environment.
Entry Level Accounting Qualifications
To be considered for an entry-level accounting job, you typically need at least a bachelor’s degree in accounting, finance or a related field. Some employers may also require you to have completed an internship or related work experience.
Additionally, having a professional certification, such as the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) or Certified Management Accountant (CMA) designation, is highly valued within the industry and can increase your chances of getting hired and advancing in your career.
Potential Career Paths for Entry Level Accountants
Many entry-level accountants start their careers in the finance and accounting department of a company and then move on to more senior roles, such as financial analyst or senior accountant. With experience and the right qualifications, you may be able to advance to a management position, such as a controller or chief financial officer. Some entry-level accountants also choose to specialize in a specific area of accounting, such as tax, auditing or cost accounting, which can lead to additional career opportunities.
Another career path for entry-level accountants to consider is becoming self-employed as a consultant, providing accounting services to businesses and individuals. This can provide a high level of flexibility and control over your work — an excellent option for those who prefer working independently and building a brand around yourself.
Find the Best Entry Level Accounting Jobs
Whether it’s as an accounting assistant, budget analyst, accounting clerk or bookkeeper, Unity Search can help you find and land the right opportunity in Dallas’ thriving accounting and finance sector. Established on a foundation of service, we ensure our proven process finds you the match you’re looking for.
Looking to relocate? Expand your job search with Unity across the U.S. and Canada. As a member of the American Association of Finance and Accounting, Unity works with over 40 affiliates across the country to present you with the best career advancement opportunities available.
Ready to get started? Contact us today.