What Does an Accounting Specialist Do?

Accounting specialists help businesses record financial transactions, maintain accounting records, and prepare reports. Keep reading to find out more about what accounting specialists do. Schools offering Accounting degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Job Description

Accounting specialists, often employed by banks, accounting companies, or other businesses' payroll or accounting departments, are typically responsible for various aspects of recording and reporting financial transactions. As an accounting specialist, you might handle general ledger bookkeeping, payroll tasks, bank statement reconciliation, or accounts receivable and accounts payable. You might also prepare relevant reports of certain financial activity and use your accounting skills for problem-solving.

Important Facts About Accounting Specialists

Similar Occupations Cost estimator, financial clerk, tax examiner/collector, budget analyst
On-the-Job Training Available and typically lasts up to six months
Professional Certification Available through the National Association of Certified Public Bookkeepers
Median Salary (2018) $40,240 (for Bookkeeping, Accounting, and Auditing Clerks)*
Job Outlook (2016-2026) -1% (for Bookkeeping, Accounting, and Auditing Clerks)*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Special Skills

You'll need to understand the basic principles of accounting, along with common accounting standards and office procedures. You will also typically need a comprehensive understanding of accounting software. Thinking critically is a crucial skill as you may be required to prepare reports and conduct a primary analysis of business transactions. The ability to clearly organize financial information, understand relevant laws, identify and fix any financial discrepancies that may arise, and perform mathematical equations accurately is also important.


Programs for accounting specialists are typically offered at the certificate level and associate's degree level. They are designed to prepare you for entry-level accounting positions, like those of accounting specialists. Usually, you'll need to have a high school diploma or the equivalent to apply. You might also be required to have completed a certain number of math classes in high school, like algebra.

These certificate and degree programs cover basic accounting topics, such as tax procedures, accounting software, economics, principles of finance, and standard business practices. You might also take classes in English, communications, or computers. Some programs may offer you the chance to complete an internship. An associate's degree program may prepare you to transfer to a bachelor's degree program for the continued study if you so desire.

Common Job Titles

While you may be interested in working as an accounting specialist, it's possible to have a very similar job with a different title. You could find a clerical job as an accounting, billing, collections, or payroll clerk. Other possible job opportunities include becoming an office assistant or administrative specialist.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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