What Does an Accounting Apprentice Do?

B. Turner
B. Turner
An accounting apprentice working.
An accounting apprentice working.

Apprenticeships help newly trained accountants gain valuable experience in the workplace. As an accounting apprentice, employees perform many of the same tasks as fully qualified accountants, though these apprentices typically work under close supervision. An accounting apprentice may assist with auditing and budgeting, or help maintain a firm's accounting ledgers. This typically involves the use of special accounting software, though some firms may still use paper ledgers. Apprentices also pay bills, handle payroll, and assist management with basic secretarial tasks.

A new accounting apprentice typically begins by performing basic office tasks, including answering the phone, responding to emails and taking care of faxes and mail. These employees also maintain company files, make copies and may act as receptionists. An apprentice may even be responsible for tasks like making coffee, ordering lunch for other staff, and purchasing new office supplies as needed. These types of responsibilities allow apprentices to familiarize themselves with the firm and its operations before diving into more complex tasks.

As the accounting apprentice gains experience, he may move on to more elaborate work, such as maintaining company ledgers. This involves entering each financial transaction the company makes into a special accounting software program. The apprentice logs receivables and payables, and inputs new information regarding vendors, employees, and accounts. He may also use these programs to print reports that allow accounting staff to analyze the company's financial health.

In addition to logging this type of information into the computer, an accounting apprentice may also interact with creditors, customers, and other employees within the company. He performs credit checks to help new customers open an account, makes sure invoices are paid on time, and takes checks and other incoming payments to the bank. An accounting apprentice can even be responsible for handling company payroll, including sending tax and other payments to the appropriate agency. These employees may also be asked to make calls to customers regarding past-due bills, or refer these delinquent customers to collection agencies.

After an accounting apprentice has spent some time with the company and learned a great deal about operations and procedures, he may be required to help with complex tasks like auditing. This includes internal audits, where the company reconciles its own records, and external audits for taxation or other purposes. The auditing process involves matching each payable and receivable with the appropriate support documentation, including purchase orders, contracts, and cost estimates.

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    • An accounting apprentice working.
      By: Arto
      An accounting apprentice working.