What is Junior Accountant?
A junior accountant is a finance professional who is primarily responsible for maintaining and compiling financial reports and statements while ensuring that they are compliant with the applicable regulatory requirements. Some of the core responsibilities of a junior accountant include analysis of balance sheets, management of ledger accounts, updating of financial statements, maintenance of receivables& payables, payment of monthly payroll, and preparation of financial reports. A junior accountant plays a critical role in an organizational set-up irrespective of whether it is a large multinational company or a small domestic entity. Typically, the accountants start their career at the entry-level in the role of junior accountants and then gradually grow with time as they gain more experience and they take up more responsibilities to become managers or even partners in their firm.
Junior Accountant Job Description
The role of the junior accountant is best suited for those candidates who are interested in finance profile and have special mathematical skills. A junior accountant usually reports to a senior accountant or an accounting manager. The job responsibilities of a junior accountant might vary across organizations, however, some of the most duties and responsibilities of a junior accountant are as follows:
- Posting and processing journal entries ensuring that all the business transactions are properly recorded
- Continuous tracking and monitor of the accounts receivable and accounts payable.
- Issuing and preparing trade invoices and reconciling the entries from time to time.
- Assisting in the preparation and processing of the financial statements, such as income statement, balance sheet, cash flow statement, etc.
- Ensuring that all financial reporting adheres to the legal and regulatory guidelines applicable to the organization.
- Collaborating with other departments, such as Marketing, Operations, and HR, while reviewing the organizational expenses.
- Updating financial information in a timely manner.
- Ensuring that all the recorded information is accurate. In the case of any kind of inaccuracy, immediately communicate the same to the superiors.
- Keeping track of the key performance indicators (KPIs) of the organization and preparing reports for the senior management.
- Supporting the senior accountants and assisting them with other accounting projects as when and needed.
Qualification of a Junior Accountant
Although the minimum educational requirement for the role of a junior accountant is an undergraduate degree,the aspiring candidates can eitherga in higher qualification/ certification or pursue a post-graduation degree in order to enhance their employability.
- Education: An entry-level accountant must hold a bachelor’s degree in the field of accounting, finance,or other related disciplines. However, some of the employers prefer candidates who possessa master’s degree in accounting or taxation or even an MBA degree with finance specialization.
- Certification: If the role of a junior accountant involves filing documents with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), then the additional qualification of Certified Public Accountant (CPA) is definitely preferable. In fact, there are various other certifications or higher qualifications available, such as ACA, ACCA, CIMA, etc., that an aspiring candidate can pursue in order to stay ahead of the competition of the job market. These higher qualifications indicate that the aspiring candidate possesses expertise in a specialized field.
Some of the other desirable attributes for a junior accountant job includes analytical ability, mathematical aptitude, deep interest in finance, eye for detail, and ability to keep things well organized. Also, a junior accountant should be technologically sound as the role might involve learning new accounting software owing to changing accounting requirements coupled with growing technological advancement.
Typically, junior accountants enjoy above-average earning potential as they have access to a wide range of clientele. However, the starting compensation of each junior accountant usually varies and it depends on various factors, such as the location & size of the employer, the tasks that they handle, their experience & qualification in the relevant field. As they gain experience and own up more responsibilities, their salary also increases accordingly. The average salary of junior accountants lies in the vicinity of $41k per annum, wherein the junior accountants with experience of less than a year get somewhere in the range of $27k to $50k per annum and those with experience of more than two decades can earn up to $70k per annum.
The growth of employment opportunities for the accounting role is positively correlated to the economic growth of a country. Hence, healthy economic growth results in the creation of more accounting jobs. Further, the demand for accounting jobs also increases with the introduction of new and changing accounting rules as both public and private sector companies need to hire more and more accounting professionals. In fact, in some cases, the junior accountants with exceptional knowledge in their field get promoted to the role of senior accountants, auditors, accounting supervisors, etc. According to the bureau of labor statistics, the growth in the employment opportunities for accountants in the US during the period from 2019 to 2029 is expected to be average at 4%.
- A junior accountant is responsible for maintaining and compiling financial reports and statements. People who enjoy mathematics and intend to have a career in the finance domain are best suited for the role.
- The aspiring candidates should at least possess an undergraduate degree in finance and accounting. However, some of the candidates also pursue post-graduation degrees or acquire certifications like CPA, ACCA, ACA, CIMA, etc. in order to increase their employability.
- In the US, the employment opportunities for accountants is expected to grow at a healthy rate of 4% during the period from 2019 to 2029.
This is a guide to Junior Accountant. Here we also discuss the introduction and qualification of a junior accountant along with salary and career opportunities. you may also have a look at the following articles to learn more –