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accounts assistant or assistant accountant
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# 1
sebe
Old 11-12-2009, 8:42 AM
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Default accounts assistant or assistant accountant

what is the difference between accounts assistant and assistant accountant. the agency termed the job Assistant accountant but the company terms the job accounts assistant.
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# 2
Clark80
Old 11-12-2009, 8:54 AM
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I wouldn't worry about the wording. If I was pushed to choose one I prefer Assistant accountant because you are an accountant but down a level. Where as, Accounts assistant means you the accountant's assistant but not an accountant
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# 3
timnicebutdim
Old 11-12-2009, 8:58 AM
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Assistant Accountants are generally more senior; they are studying towards a qualification and do both day to day and management tasks e.g. management accounts, forecasting, month/year end reporting, reconcilliations etc They are doing tasks as a trainee accountant.

Accounts Assistants/Finance Assistants on the other hand do more of the day to day admin work like a book keeper such as purchase & sales ledger admin. Both roles can overlap though depending on the employer and the role.
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# 4
NiceGuyEddie
Old 11-12-2009, 9:00 AM
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I've found that, broadly speaking, an accountants assistant often incorporates more of a ledger clark role, so processing invoices etc, with other duties as required.

An assistant accountant should be exactly that - an accountant, but not the primary one in the company. Could be doing anything from supervision of junior staff to production of management accounts to preparation of statutory accounts.

As there can be quite a difference between the roles of each, I'd ask for a more detailed explanation from the agency about the roles and responsibilities of the job
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# 5
sandiep
Old 11-12-2009, 9:04 AM
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An assistant accountant I would expect to be either in training, or time barred, with a knowledge of statutory requirements.

An accounts assistant I would expect to be someone with a more book-keeping role, maintaining the ledgers, cash books, etc.
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# 6
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Old 11-12-2009, 9:09 AM
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What it means is the agency likes a good bank of staff hence it puts out generic assistant accountant/accountant ads then squeezes these people into every financial role going.
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# 7
jessicamb
Old 11-12-2009, 5:38 PM
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I wouldnt worry too much about it - I prefer assistant accountant as it sounds a bit more senior but there isnt a standard definition/difference between the two.
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# 8
456789
Old 11-12-2009, 5:46 PM
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I agree with the comments that the latter tends to be more senior - though their is overlap - to be really sure of what you will be doing you need to look at the job spec
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# 9
brightonman123
Old 12-12-2009, 5:45 PM
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asst avvtnt. implies (to me) some experience, and that he/she knows what to do,

and be able to show the accts assistant where the kettle is..
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# 10
Any
Old 12-12-2009, 10:43 PM
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I am an accountant and Assistant accountant is exactly that - accountant but not the main one.

Accounts assistant is a posh name for accounts clerk. They just make it sound better. Like some companies prefer to use PA instead of secretary, while those two are not the same at all but through few years of companies using them it stucked.

Then when you get proper PA and someone asks her what she does for living and she says PA everyone ask "are you really PA or just a glorified secretary?"

Assistant accountant must have some qualifications or in training (to be able to use the term "accountant") while accounts assistant doesn't have to.
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# 11
terra_ferma
Old 12-12-2009, 11:15 PM
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I don't work in finance, but I have a lot of experience dealing with agencies, and I'm afraid dressing up jobs as something they are not is very typical....

Always try to get hold of a job description if you can, and ask the right questions (you will learn what they are in your area of work).

(there are many other tricks like making up jobs that don't exist , lying about... well.... everything, from pay to length of contract etc etc, but I will not go into all this here...)
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# 12
orangeslimes
Old 13-12-2009, 12:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Any View Post

Assistant accountant must have some qualifications or in training (to be able to use the term "accountant") while accounts assistant doesn't have to.
I am reliably informed that anyone can call themselves an accountant...

Are there any other alternative job titles for this kind of job? I usually call my current job 'accounts assistant' but maybe I can put something better sounding on my CV without saying accountant as that might be misleading? (I don't have a contract or anything which sets out my job title)
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# 13
Reds-on-Sea
Old 13-12-2009, 10:43 AM
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This reminds me of "The Office" where Gareth always said his job title was "Assistant Manager" and David Brent always corrected it to "Assistant TO the Manager" haha. it's amazing what difference 2 words can make.

OP - Assistant Accountant means you're an Accountant
Accounts assistant means you're an Assistant

I'd imagine there's probably a fair difference in wage packet which should tell you the difference between the two roles
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# 14
456789
Old 13-12-2009, 12:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by orangeslimes View Post
I am reliably informed that anyone can call themselves an accountant...
Indeed there is no protection in law for the term 'accountant' unlike the term 'doctor' or 'barrister'
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# 15
anamenottaken
Old 13-12-2009, 2:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 456789 View Post
Indeed there is no protection in law for the term 'accountant' unlike the term 'doctor' or 'barrister'
... or architect

And the job title "secretary" has been debased. Basically it now means "word processor operator" but originally was a senior position, someone entrusted with secrets.
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# 16
jackomdj
Old 13-12-2009, 10:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by orangeslimes View Post
Are there any other alternative job titles for this kind of job? I usually call my current job 'accounts assistant' but maybe I can put something better sounding on my CV without saying accountant as that might be misleading? (I don't have a contract or anything which sets out my job title)
Financial Analyst is always an option, depending upon what you actually do.
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