Accounts or Finance Assistant Level 2 Apprenticeship

An Accounts or finance assistant is an integral part of the team responsible for maintaining an efficient and accurate finance function within a business. The Accounts or finance assistant is responsible for assisting the team of accountants with junior accounting duties. These can vary massively depending on the team structure and size of business. An Accounts or finance assistant’s work could include basic bookkeeping activities, working with sales and purchase ledgers, running calculations to ensure that records and payments are correct, recording of cash and data entry.

Course Info
How to Apply
Course Overview

The Accounts/Finance Assistant Apprenticeship is at Level 2 – equivalent to GCSEs – and will equip apprentices with skills and knowledge that can be directly applied in their roles.

This apprenticeship and is ideal for team members who assist with financial tasks and undertake junior accounting duties. Apprentices will learn foundation bookkeeping and accounting software skills.

This flexible apprenticeship is delivered in partnership with Mindful Education, and combines online learning with face-to-face lessons in the classroom.

Role Profile

Overview of the role

Maintaining an efficient and accurate finance function within a business.

Occupation: Accounts or finance assistant

Accounts or finance assistant can work in almost any sector. Potential employers include corporate businesses, sole traders, partnerships, Public sector, not-for-profit organisations and educational institutions. Accounts or finance assistant may work in-house for an organisation or they might work for an accountancy firm, bookkeeping practice, Shared Service provider, self-employed or on behalf of several different clients.

What will I learn?

This qualification will prepare apprentices for junior and entry level accounting roles. It delivers a solid foundation in finance administration – covering areas such as double entry bookkeeping, basic costing principles and using accounting software.

This apprenticeship standard is at Level 2. The structure allows students to achieve the AAT (Association of Accounting Technicians) Foundation Certificate in Accounting as their on-programme learning. This internationally recognised AAT qualification enables those working in accounting or those looking to pursue accountancy as a career to gain knowledge, practical experience and the all-important certification often sought by employers.

Example Modules

The Level 2 apprenticeship covers a range of key areas, including:

  • Bookkeeping transactions
  • Bookkeeping Controls
  • Using Accounting Software
  • Elements of Costing
  • Work effectively in Finance

You will also develop business communications and lifelong learning skills, applying what you learn on the course to the wider industry context.

Study Method – Online and On Campus

We have partnered with Mindful Education to deliver this apprenticeship through our Online and On Campus model. Apprentices will attend college once every two weeks and will study online materials during allotted time at work.

Online lessons can be accessed at any time, using a mobile, tablet or desktop – meaning apprentices can fit their study around work commitments, minimising disruption in the workplace. Each lesson lasts around 45 minutes and is accompanied by animations and motion graphics to bring concepts to life. Exercises, interactive case studies and analytical tools help to enhance the learning experience further.

On campus, apprentices benefit from face-to-face classes at college with an experienced tutor. A combination of classroom-based lessons, group exercises and discussion encourage apprentices to apply theory to real-life workplace situations.

This modern, flexible approach to apprenticeship training empowers learners, minimises disruption to employers, and delivers tangible results in the workplace.

Knowledge, skills and behaviours

Requirements:

All Accounts or finance assistant will demonstrate the following knowledge, skills and behaviours.

KnowledgeWhat is required for occupational competence?
General business
  • Aware of elements of commercial law that may have an impact when working in accountancy, such as contracts, data protection or Anti Money Laundering
  • Can explain the importance of upholding relevant codes of conduct
  • Can explain different legal entities and organisational structures.
  • Aware of the impact of technology on business and its accounting and finance functions.
Understanding your organisation
  • Understand own role within the context of your organisation
  • Understand transactional processes of accounting and their use within a finance function
  • Understand what makes a business or organisation successful, through either buying or selling products or supplying services to a market.
Accounting systems and processes
  • Understand how accounting systems and processes allows a business to keep track of all types of financial transactions
  • Know a range of routine accounts reports, reports and their use within the finance function
  • Understand the basics of internal control within own organisation.
Basic accounting
  • Aware of basic accountancy concepts and double entry bookkeeping
  • Understands bookkeeping controls
  • Understand the cost recording system within an organisation
  • Develop an understanding of the differences between Financial and Management Accounting.
Ethical standards
  • Understands corporate social responsibility (CSR), ethics and sustainability within organisations
  • Understands the importance of the need to keep up-to-date with relevant policies, procedures, regulatory or system changes.
SkillsWhat is required for occupational competence?
Attention to detail
  • The ability to examine data to identify issues
  • The ability to reconcile data to minimise the chance of errors
  • The ability to plan and review work
  • Recognise and rectifies errors.
Communication
  • Deals effectively with a range of stakeholders using appropriate communication methods to deliver accurate and timely results
  • Avoids jargon and uses the correct technical terms where appropriate
  • Demonstrates good listening and speaking skills to be able to communicate effectively in the right manner.
Uses systems and processes
  • Utilises relevant office and accounting software packages to input and manage data accurately
  • Ability to maintain the security of accounting information using passwords and other appropriate security measures.
Personal effectiveness
  • Ability to organise self, prioritise workload and activity to meet deadlines.
  • Actively identifies team workload problems and offers to support peers where appropriate
  • Ability to understand issues beyond own remit
BehaviourWhat is required for occupational competence?
Team work
  • Supports colleagues and collaborates to achieve results
  • Builds working relationships within own team and other parts of the organisation
  • Be aware of their impact on others.
 Personal development
  • Successfully implements changes that are required, as directed.
  • Displays an ongoing commitment to learning and self-improvement.
  • Seeks feedback and acts on it to improve their performance.
 Professionalism
  • Looks to behave professionally by adhering to the organisational code of conduct
  • Has a ‘right first time’ approach.
  • Shows integrity in their approach
  • Demonstrates personal pride in the job through appropriate dress and positive and confident language.
 Customer focus
  • Builds and maintains customer satisfaction with the products and services offered by the organisation in line with company policy, regulation and practice.
  • Delivers excellent service, identifying and meeting or exceeding customer expectations.
Information for Applicants

Entry requirements

There are no formal entry requirements for this apprenticeship. Previous knowledge of accounting or a Level 1 Bookkeeping qualification would be advantageous but not essential. Apprentices will need to be employed in a relevant finance, bookkeeping or accounting role.

English and mathematics

Apprentices without Level 1 English and maths will need to achieve this level and taken the test for level 2 prior to taking their end point assessment. For those with an education, health and care plan or a legacy statement, the apprenticeships English and maths minimum requirement is entry Level 3.  British Sign Language qualifications are an alternative to English qualifications for whom this is their primary language.

What can I do next?

Progression

On successful completion of this course, you can progress to higher levels of the AAT Accounting Qualifications via apprenticeship training or through part-time courses (Level 3 and then on to Level 4).

Career opportunities

The skills and knowledge you will gain throughout this qualification will qualify you for roles including Accounts Assistant, Finance Assistant, Credit Control Assistant or Purchase Ledger Clerk.

Qualifications

Apprentices will be required to take one of the professional qualifications listed below, as chosen by the employer to be most relevant to the job role:

  • AAT Foundation certificate in accounting (Level 2)
  • ACCA Certificate in financial and management accounting (level 2)
  • IAB Level 2 certificate in bookkeeping
  • ICB Level 2 certificate in bookkeeping
Link to professional registration

On completion, the apprentice will be able to apply for the appropriate level of professional membership aligned with this apprenticeship, dependent on the qualification chosen. Professional body memberships that are relevant to the options for this apprenticeship are:

  • IAB – Associate Level Membership
  • ICB – Associate Level Membership

Neither AAT nor ACCA offer professional registration upon completion of this apprenticeship.

Assessment

How will I be assessed?

To complete the Accounts/Finance Assistant Apprenticeship, apprentices will be expected to complete:

● A synoptic end-test covering the knowledge and skills gained throughout the on- programme stage and detailed in the standard.

● A portfolio and reflective discussion which will comprise a range of evidence produced in the work-place to show that the Apprentice has met the knowledge, skills and behaviours detailed in the standard. The reflective discussion will be a structured interview to examine this evidence and the learner journey in more detail.

Information for Employers

How is my business going to benefit from an Apprentice?

Fill your skills gaps: an Apprentice’s training is tailored to your organisation’s needs, resulting in a loyal, motivated work force Increase productivity by developing staff skills and expertise Value for money: a cost effective way to attract new talent and fresh eyes into your organisation Cost saving: we can advertise your vacancies and recruit the best candidates for your needs.

An industry recognised professional qualification  can be built into the course which your apprentice will bring back to the business, providing value for money and a return on investment in their career as well as bringing back up to date knowledge from college.

What will this cost my business?

Levy paying employers can access levy funds to pay for this programme, and our blended learning model can contribute to the 20% off- the-job training requirement.

The introduction of the Apprenticeship Levy in April 2017 has changed the way that government funds apprenticeships in England. All businesses operating within the UK with a wage bill of over £3million are required to contribute to the Apprenticeship Levy.

  • If the levy applies to your business you will be required to pay 0.5% of your entire wage bill into the levy. This will be offset against a levy allowance worth £15,000 for each tax year.
  • You will only be able to use your levy payment for government backed apprenticeships.
  • Levy payments will expire after 18 months.

Speak to an advisor at CI Business Solutions on 01206 712727 to make your levy payments work for you.

Non-levy paying employers will need to contribute 5% of the maximum funding band as published by the Skills Funding Agency for the delivery of training and assessment for their apprenticeship.

Levy paying employers will pay the full cost of the agreed funding band using their Digital Apprenticeship account.

Employers with less than 50 employees who are recruiting an apprentice aged 16-18 years old will not be required to pay the contribution fee.

Any associated cost to the individual will be made clear at the interview.

Speak to an Advisor at CI Business Solutions on 01206 712727 to make your levy payments work for you.

What about support in the workplace?

Skilled and knowledgeable staff must be available to support the apprentice as they complete work- based tasks and build a portfolio.

Why should I choose Colchester Institute to support my recruitment and retention?

Colchester Institute is the largest college provider of apprenticeships in Greater Essex. We are experts at connecting the right people, to the right training, to the right business – and when it comes to Apprenticeships, our Apprenticeship Advisors can support your business every step of the way.

As part of our service we can support your business with:

  • Advertising the Apprenticeship vacancy
  • Manage the applications received in line with your individual requirements
  • Match prospective candidates already known to us
  • Conduct initial pre-screening for candidates
  • Carry out visits to your premises alongside regular reviews to support you, your staff and your apprentice
  • Advice on any grants or funding where available

Our team will provide:

  • A fee free recruitment service.
  • Personal 1:1 Apprenticeship Levy advice and guidance.
  • A dedicated Account Manager.
  • Industry experienced, professional, technical trainers.
  • Bespoke programmes available upon request.
  • An Essex priority skills focus.
  • Free employer events.

Looking for a new career, job or maybe a qualification to take your current role to the next level?

Previously apprenticeships were primarily aimed towards 16-18 year olds but government reforms introduced in March 2017 mean that there is no longer an upper age limit for commencing an apprenticeship, even if you already possess a degree or higher level qualification (all applicants must be eligible for funding).

To apply for an apprenticeship please read through the information below and then select the correct application button from the menu located further down the page.

Aged between 15 and 18

The application window for joint applications for full-time courses and apprenticeships starting in September 2023 opened on Monday 3rd October at 12pm.

In order to study an apprenticeship you must have an employer willing to take you on as an apprentice and have an offer of employment in place by September, ready for enrolment.

The information below applies to those:

  • currently in year 11 and looking to study on an apprenticeship upon finishing school
  • currently in year 11 and looking to make a joint full-time and apprenticeship application, so that both options are available to be pursued upon finishing school (although you can apply for both options you will eventually need to choose between a full-time programme or apprenticeship, you cannot do both at the same time)
  • currently in year 12* on a full-time course and looking to find an apprenticeship to start after the end of the summer term

If you are interested in an Apprenticeship but do not yet have a contract of employment from an employer, we strongly advise you to apply for a full-time programme as well so you have a back-up. We will process both your full-time application and apprenticeship application until you inform us that you have secured an employer and have an Apprenticeship contract in place, at which point your apprenticeship application will take priority.

If you do have an employer with an Apprenticeship contract of employment in place, we still strongly advise that you apply for a full-time programme as well so you that you have a back-up in case this falls through.

Once you have read the above please click the button ’15 – 18 Years – Apply Online’ in the menu underneath this section and you will be taken to the next stage of the application process.

*If you are currently in year 12 and 13, but looking to find an apprenticeship and switch mid-year then please contact our Apprenticeship Admissions Team where they will advise you on suitable vacancies.

01206 712043 – Apprenticeship Admissions or email:

ci.apprenticeships@colchester.ac.uk

Aged 19+

In order to study an apprenticeship you must have an employer willing to take you on as an apprentice and with an offer of employment in place.

Please read through the information below and follow the information that applies to your current status.

If you do have an employer with an Apprenticeship contract of employment in place then please click the button ’19+ Years – How to Apply’ located in the menu underneath this section, where you will be taken to the next stage of the application process.

I am already in employment and my employer would like to put me through an apprenticeship

If you are already in employment then please contact our Apprenticeship Admissions Team where they will work with you and your employer to complete the sign-up and enrolment onto the programme.

01206 712043 – Apprenticeship Admissions or email:

ci.apprenticeships@colchester.ac.uk

I don’t have an employer

If you do not have a contract offer of employment from an employer in place then there are other options available to you:

Apply for a vacancy

Employers can recruit for apprentice positions all year round. We have apprenticeship vacancies listed on our website throughout the year in a variety of industries and with employers small, medium and large.

View our live vacancies

Join Our Talent Pool

All you have to do is complete and submit our Talent Pool application form, attend a pre-screening assessment/interview and be available when contacted. We will then send your details along with your profile to employers looking for an apprentice, inform you if you are selected for interview, and send you guidance to prepare you for interview.

Join our Talent Pool

If you are unsure about any of the above and would like to speak to our apprenticeships team directly then please contact us using the below:

01206 712043 – Applicant Enquiries or email:

ci.apprenticeships@colchester.ac.uk

Employer Enquiries

If you would be interested to find out more about how this apprenticeship can work for your business or already have a member of staff who this apprenticeship would be perfect for please contact us using the ‘Hire an Apprentice: Enquire Here’ button in the menu below.

Accounts or Finance Assistant Level 2 Apprenticeship
Course Outline: Maintaining an efficient and accurate finance function within a business.

Starting employment as an apprentice can occur throughout the year. However, the start date for attending college for training, where required, or if delivered online, when sessions begin, will vary depending on the type of apprenticeship and will be communicated post-employment and sign-up.

LevelLevel 2
LocationColchester
DurationTypically, 12 to 14 months
Campus / Adult Skills CentreColchester Campus
Apprenticeship Funding Band (Levy paying employers)£6,000
Employer Contribution Fee (Non-levy paying employers)£300

What will this cost my Business?

Non-levy paying employers will need to contribute 5% of the maximum funding band as published by the Skills Funding Agency for the delivery of training and assessment for their apprenticeship. Levy paying employers will pay the full cost of the agreed funding band using their Digital Apprenticeship account.

Apprenticeship Funding Bands

Apprenticeship Funding Bands
Employers with less than 50 employees who are recruiting an apprentice aged 16-18 years old will not be required to pay the contribution fee. Any associated cost to the individual will be made clear at the interview.

Disclaimer

All fees, prices and funding information shown on this page are for courses starting in the 2022-23 academic year unless stated otherwise, and are correct at the time of entering/printing information, however these may be subject to change due to factors outside of our control. The College cannot accept legal or financial liability as a result of any such changes.

Courses fees are generally not confirmed for September until June / July due to the above factors.

The course information describes programmes offered by Colchester Institute. The College takes all reasonable steps to provide courses as described, but cannot guarantee provision. The information is for guidance and does not form any part of a contract.

The College reserves the right to update and amend information as and when necessary. Colchester Institute will do its best to provide the courses shown, but may have to modify or withdraw a course depending on customer demand and other factors.