What to Expect in Your First Year as an Accounting Specialist

Working in the field of accounting can mean solid and steady work that is actually more rewarding and fulfilling than many people realize. Accounting typically involves much more than moving numbers from one piece of paper to another; an accountant working for a corporation may try to solve financial problems for the company or work on cost-saving measures. He or she may also be involved in auditing reports and ledgers and using those audits and reports to make suggestions as to changes the company could consider.

An accounting specialist typically works in one area of the accounting department or may be an assistant to a financial manager or other officer of the company. Typically an accounting specialist may work on one particular project or job within the company and is usually also part of a team that is working on a larger project overall.

The job of an accounting specialist is always varied and interesting, no matter the company or the industry.

So what can you expect during your first year as an accounting specialist? Consider a few common responsibilities that you may encounter during this time.

Administrative Assistant

An accounting specialist may be hired to work as an administrative assistant for any number of individuals within that company. Today's administrative assistants are much more than just secretaries that type and file; they are truly meant to assist the executive with various projects that deal with accounting issues.

An administrative assistant and accounting specialist may handle preliminary paperwork for sales figures, payroll figures, and things such as these. As an example, he or she may be asked to write up daily reports regarding sales figures for products sold the previous day. This may include pulling figures from the sales or accounting departments and organizing them so that the accounting executive can follow trends with these products.

The accounting specialist that acts as an administrative assistant may write up reports this way for sales meetings as well; he or she may follow sales numbers for each individual as well as for the different products that are represented. These reports can help each person see where work needs to be done in different territories or for different products.

Accounting Responsibilities

The first year of an accounting specialist's job may involve more simple report generation such as these, but they may get more involved in problem solving and goal setting as well. It's not unusual today for accountants to work with other team members to plan budgets, to cut expenses on personnel and other costs, to plan new procedures and processes, to consider new software and other purchases, and things such as these.

An accounting specialist may be given certain assignments to support these team efforts. For instance, they may be asked to conduct a cost/benefit analysis of installing new software. How long will it take for the staff to learn this new software and what does that cost the company in terms of man hours? They may be asked to develop a report on the tax benefits of new equipment purchased or new property purchased. These types of reports are invaluable for a team to make decisions in these areas. They may also assist with audits, year-end tax returns, and with inventory management as well.

The job of an accounting specialist is always varied and interesting, no matter the company or the industry. They act as problem solvers and often have freedom to make recommendations for new processes. They may work by themselves much of the time but also work with others as well. If you're considering a position as an accounting specialist, you're sure to find your first year to be an exciting and varied one.