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Junior Accountant: Definition, Role, Eligibility Criteria & Duties

Updated: January 13, 2023

Many people looking to break into the finance world will start off as junior accountants before becoming an accountant.

Junior accountants assist organizations financially by doing routine accounting and financial chores. This includes both Accounts Receivable and Accounts Payable. Financial statements and other financial papers are created, updated, and reconciled by them.

Read on as we take a broader look into what exactly a junior accountant is, how to become one, and the duties and salary a junior accountant can demand.

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    KEY TAKEAWAYS

    • Junior accountants are in a lower-level position in accountancy.
    • They hold entry-level positions in accounting departments or businesses.
    • Writing diary entries and revising financial statements are duties of a junior accountant along with monitoring accounts receivable and payable. Additionally, they are required to prepare monthly payroll payments and financial reports.
    • A junior accountant is under the supervision of a senior accountant or accounting manager.
    • A bachelor’s degree in accounting and a sharp eye for detail is typically required.

    What Is a Junior Accountant?

    A junior accountant holds an entry-level position in an accounting department or firm. A senior accountant or accounting manager is in charge of overseeing a junior accountant. Typically, the requirements include a bachelor’s degree in accounting, as well as a keen eye for detail.

    What Is the Role of a Junior Accountant?

    Within the company, a junior accountant’s duties and responsibilities would differ, but they would typically involve writing journal entries, preparing financial statements, keeping track of accounts receivable and payable, and paying the payroll each month. 

    Whilst working, they would be learning about accounting processes and the nuances of various business procedures. The junior accountant would carry out their work under the manager or senior accountant’s supervision.

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    How to Become a Junior Accountant

    One of the first things to think about is how much schooling you need to become a junior accountant. Junior accountants typically hold a bachelor’s degree. It is advantageous for junior accountants to also possess master’s degrees in terms of higher education levels. Despite the fact that the majority of junior accountants hold a college degree, becoming one requires only a high school diploma or GED.

    When looking at how to become a junior accountant, choosing the right major is usually a crucial step. A bachelor’s degree or associate degree majors are the most popular choice for a junior accountant. Master’s degrees and diplomas are two further degrees that are frequently seen on the resumes of junior accountants.

    One can also become a junior accountant with experience from previous positions. In reality, a lot of entry-level accounting positions demand prior experience in a position like an accounts payable clerk. Many junior accountants have a prior work history in positions like an accounting clerk or bookkeeper.

    The expansion of job opportunities in the accounting field is subject to change. This tends to be positively connected with a nation’s economic development. Therefore, strong economic growth leads to an increase in accounting jobs. 

    More and more accounting experts are needed by both public and private sector organizations. This makes the need for accounting positions grow alongside this rise in demand, especially with the introduction of new and evolving accounting standards. 

    There are instances where junior accountants who excel in their area get promoted to senior accountants. As well as auditors, accounting supervisors, etc. positions. 

    And it seems that it is a job that is becoming more in demand. This is highlighted by research done by the bureau of labor statistics. It predicts that from 2019 to 2029, there will be an average 4% growth in job opportunities for accountants in the US.

    What Are the Eligibility Criteria for Becoming a Junior Accountant?

    Employers prefer applicants with an accounting bachelor’s degree. As well as at least two years of relevant experience. Candidates must be proficient computer users alongside an in-depth understanding of Excel and other accounting software packages. Additionally, the candidates must have analytical, organizational, communication, problem-solving, and attention to detail abilities.

    Those who appreciate mathematics and are interested in finance would be a good fit for the role of junior accountant. Junior accountants have the possibility of above-average incomes, and they also have access to a diverse clientele. 

    The accounting profession is projected to have persistent demand. This is due to the continued need for accounting services among corporations and small enterprises. If a junior accountant wants to advance in their profession, they can take and pass the exam series. They can then become a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) or a Certified Management Accountant (CMA). They can also become a Certified Internal Auditor (CIA).

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    What Are the Duties of a Junior Accountant?

    A senior accountant or accounting manager works closely with a junior accountant. The roles and responsibilities of a junior accountant may vary depending on the organization. However, some of the most common ones are as follows:

    • Analyzing the organizational expenses. While working with other departments, such as Marketing, Operations, and HR.
    • Updating financial facts in a timely manner.
    • Ensuring the accuracy of all the data that was recorded. Inform the superiors as soon as you become aware of any type of inaccuracy.
    • Tracking the organization’s key performance indicators (KPIs) and creating reports for senior management.
    • Supporting the senior accountants and helping them as required with additional accounting initiatives.
    • Making sure that all business transactions are accurately recorded. Plus, posting and processing journal entries.
    • Continually tracking and monitoring accounts receivables and payables.
    • Issuing and creating trade invoices, as well as periodically reconciling the entries.
    • Helping with the preparation of financial statements. Such as the cash flow statement, balance sheet, and income statement, among others.

    Ensuring that all financial reporting complies with the organization’s specific requirements including their legal and regulatory requirements.

    What Is the Salary of a Junior Accountant?

    Junior accountants typically have above-average earning potential. This is due to their access to a wide range of potential customers. However, the starting pay for each junior accountant typically varies. It is dependent on a number of variables, including the employer’s location and size, the jobs they manage, and their expertise and education in the area. 

    Their pay rises in accordance with their expertise and increased responsibility. The average annual pay for junior accountants is around $41k annually. Those with less experience earn between $27k and $50k annually, and those with more experience earn up to $70k per year. Junior accountants with less than a year of experience typically make between $27k and $50k a year.

    Summary

    A junior accountant is accountable for preserving and gathering financial statements and reporting. The best candidates for the position are those who like math and want to work in finance.

    When looking at how to become a junior accountant, choosing the right major is usually a crucial first step. Master’s degrees and diplomas are two further degrees that are frequently seen on the resumes of junior accountants.

    You might discover that previous employment will assist you to advance to the position of junior accountant. In reality, a lot of entry-level accounting positions demand prior experience in a position like an accounts payable clerk.

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    FAQS on Junior Accountants

    What Is a Junior Accountant Called?

    A junior accountant is otherwise known as an entry-level accountant.

    What Is the Lowest Level of an Accountant?

    The lowest level of an accountant is the junior accountant. It is a position in accounting at the entry-level. They typically report to one of the higher-level positions or, in smaller businesses, the controller. They may or may not hold a bachelor’s degree. Their primary duties are account reconciliation and creating of preliminary reports.

    What Is the Difference Between a Junior Accountant and an Accountant?

    The key distinction is that a junior accountant would work under a senior accountant’s supervision, and support staff for the broader finance team. A junior may advance into a senior job within a few years, depending on his or her performance.

    What Are the Skills of a Junior Accountant?

    There are many skills that a junior accountant should possess. They should have a solid knowledge of accounting standards and processes, excellent mental and problem-solving abilities, an analytical mind, exceptional organizing abilities, meticulous attention to detail, and the ability to meet deadlines and work under pressure.

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