The designation of an Accounting Technician is supported by their Association in the United Kingdom (AAT). This designation together with that of Chartered Accountant is used primarily in the United Kingdom, although the title is sometimes seen in the United States. Here, a comparable occupation would be a professionally trained bookkeeper or accounting clerk. A comparable United States certificate to the AAT is awarded by the American Institute of Professional Bookkeepers (AIPB).
Accounting technicians are required to produce entry level accounting work in accounting or finance departments. Their focus should be relative to data entry, accounts receivable, accounts payable and payroll. In many offices, they act as office managers for generally small companies, as it is considered beneficial to have an office manager with a firm understanding of accounting principals. There are also many accounting technicians who have supervisory positions over personnel without degrees, or clerk-level accounting staff. Similar positions of responsibility to an accounting technician are an accounting clerk or bookkeeper, office manager and accounting analyst.
The functions relating to this position involve aspects of accounts payable, to classify and record bills, vendor invoices and liabilities. With regard to the accounts receivable department, they will record invoices, payments and produce aging reports on receivables. Their roll in the payroll department, will involve payroll figures and liabilities, together with tax with-holdings, reports runs and preparation of the of the payroll cheque runs.
Further focus is needed on data entry, the checking for errors and account reconciliations. As the work is of a repetitive nature, dedicated attention to detail is required! They are relied upon to discover and correct accounting errors, generally caused by mistakes in data entry. This calls for an analytical mind, which is a requirement in a proficient Accounting Technician. It is also required that he or she carries out basic audit functions. They may be responsible for the monitoring of payable and receivable accounts, bank deposits and balances and for the perceiving of any irregularities. In addition, they are accountable for the maintaining of proper separation of duties and the procedures related to internal control. As and when any irregularity is discovered, then it is generally their perogative to initiate an investigation.
Generally, financial statements are prepared by professional or accountants who have degrees, as part of their responsibilities. Although Accounting Technicians are rarely engaged in the preparation and analysis of financial statements, they must be familiar with the process of the creation of them and from which accounts the data originated? This does assist them in the coding and entering of transactional data, as well as the discovery and correction of any errors, in the event of an unbalance.
Account Technicians generally commence working in a support role at a firm of accountants. Alternatively, it may be within the accounts or finance departments or sections, of commercial organisations’, industrial companies or the public sector. Whatever their choice, there is work available for them in all areas of the financial world. There are independent opportunities in the business environment for experienced Account Technicians. It could be as a self employed provider of a variety of accountancy related services, to the many small and medium business owners, who either cannot or do not wish to employ a permanent accountant.