An accounting assistant is an administrative professional who performs basic accounting functions to support other accounting professionals. Responsibilities include reconciliation of accounting records, creating and maintaining accounting records and providing support such as answering phones and filing. In March 2011, PayScale.com reported average salaries for accounting assistants based on 2,702 individuals reporting their wages.
Of the accounting assistants reporting their wages to PayScale, most received hourly wages and overtime for working over 40 hours a week. Average hourly wages range from $12.44 to $17.05. Overtime ranges from $19.18 to $26.10 per hour. Average bonuses range from $391 to $20,596 per year, and average profit-sharing ranges from $502 to $1,657 per year. The total compensation for accounting assistants ranges from $28,120 to $38,791 per year.
Experience and Advancement
Accounting assistants can increase their salary as they gain professional experience. The largest majority, 47percent, have one to four years of experience and earn $11.94 to $15.82 per hour or $29,348 to $37,984 per year. Those with five to nine years of experience earn $13.30 to $17.21 per hour and those with over 10 years of experience earn $14.05 to $19.03 per hour. Some accounting assistants advance their careers and become accountants, earning an average salary ranging from $35,340 to $50,355 per year.
Industries with high levels of employment of accounting assistants include health care, banking, manufacturing and distribution, and accounting, auditing and tax services. The highest wages were in the health care industry, where accounting assistants earn an average of $12.57 to $16.77 per hour. In the banking industry, average salaries range from $12.24 to $16.11 per hour and in the manufacturing and distribution industry, average salaries range from $12.59 to $16.93 per hour.
The highest wages for accounting assistants were in Irvine, California, where average hourly rates range from $17.78 to $21.06 per hour, or $36,984 to $43,804 per year. In Chicago, Illinois, average hourly rates range from $12.48 to $20.90 per hour and in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, average hourly rates range from $15.71 to $19.15.