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.

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

***Applications for full-time courses and joint apprenticeship applications are now closed.***

What are my options?

There are a number of options available to you at this stage of the application cycle. If you are interested in an Apprenticeship and have a contract offer of employment in place then please choose the option for your age from the below:

15 – 18 years old: Complete Our Late Application Form

19 years or older: Please click the ’19+ Years – How to Apply’ button located further down this course page in the section below, where you will be taken to the application form.

What if I don’t have an employer?

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

Apply for a live Apprenticeship Vacancy: We have apprenticeship vacancies available throughout the year in a variety of industries.

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 and send your guidance to prepare you for interview.

Join our Talent Pool

Attend an Advice Day (15-18 Years old only): Our August Advice Days will take place from GCSE Results Day on Thursday 25th August 2022, at both our Colchester and Braintree campuses. Apprenticeship advisers will be on hand to assist you with your options at this stage.

Advice Day dates and time slots will be published closer to the time and online bookings will open at 08:30am on Thursday 25th August. You can register your interest in attending an advice session using the link below. We will email you once dates are confirmed and bookings are open with sessions available to book.

Register an interest in attending an August Advice Day

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

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 does this apprenticeship cover?

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.

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.

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

Individual employers will determine their own entry requirements. 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

This section sets out the requirements for end-point assessment (EPA) for the Accounts / Finance Assistant apprenticeship standard.

The Accounts / Finance assistant apprenticeship standard details the knowledge, skills and behaviours (KSBs) expected of a competent accounts / finance assistant. Apprentices will typically spend 12-15 months working towards the apprenticeship standard, with a minimum of 20% off-the-job training.

The EPA has two distinct assessment methods that have been designed to be completed only once the apprentice has finished the on-programme learner journey and passed through the Gateway, as set out in the table on the following page.

The two EPA assessment methods are:
1. Structured interview (supported by a portfolio of evidence summary)
2. In-tray test

Both assessment methods will be conducted and graded by an independent EPAO.

The assessment methods can be taken in any order and will need to be passed after a minimum of 12-15 months of on-programme learning (OPL) for the apprentice to be awarded the Apprenticeship certification.

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.

Does the apprentice have to attend college?

College attendance where required and will be communicated post-enrolment and sign-up.

What will this cost my business?

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.
How To Apply

***Applications for full-time courses and joint apprenticeship applications are now closed.***

If you are aged between 15 and 18 and interested in an Apprenticeship and have a contract offer of employment from an employer in place then please contact our apprenticeships team on:

01206 712043 – Applicant Enquiries or email ci.apprenticeships@colchester.ac.uk

If you are aged between 15 and 18 and interested in an Apprenticeship and do not have a contract offer of employment from an employer in place, then we would encourage you to attend our August Advice Days, which will take place from GCSE Results Day on Thursday 25th August 2022, at both our Colchester and Braintree campuses.

If you are aged 19 years or older please click the button ’19+ Years – How to Apply’, where you will be taken to the application options and information relevant to you.

If you are aged 19 and and interested in an Apprenticeship and do not have a contract offer of employment from an employer in place, then please see our guidance here

Advice Day dates and time slots will be published on this page closer to the time and online bookings will open at 08:30am on Thursday 25th August. You can register your interest in attending an advice session using the link below. We will then email you once dates have been confirmed and bookings are open with sessions available to book.

Register an interest in attending an August Advice Day

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, might vary depending on the type of apprenticeship and will be communicated post-employment and sign-up.

LevelLevel 2
LocationColchester
DurationTypically, 12 to 14 months
CampusColchester 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 2021-22 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.