Accounts officers arrange the payment of bills and accounts for their organisation.
Accounts officers usually earn
$39K-$90K per year
Source: Hays, 'Hays 2014 Salary Guide', 2014
Pay rates for accounts officers vary depending on the type of work they do.
- Accounts officers/assistants earn between minimum wage and $55,000 a year.
- Bookkeepers earn between $40,000 and $70,000.
- Accounts receivable officers earn between $40,000 and $75,000.
- Accounts payable officers earn between $38,000 and $75,000.
- Payroll officers earn between $45,000 and $90,000.
Source: Hays, 'Hays 2014 Salary Guide', 2014.
- PAYE.net.nz website – use this calculator to convert pay and salary information
- Employment New Zealand website – information about minimum wage rates
(This information is a guide only. Find out more about the sources of our pay information)
What you will do
Accounts officers may do some or all of the following:
- handle general accounts queries
- arrange payment of bills and accounts
- check and bank payments received each day
- keep records of financial transactions
- check credit ratings of new customers
- keep records of costs such as labour and materials
- compare costs with budgets.
Skills and knowledge
Accounts officers need to have:
- basic accounting and maths skills
- an understanding of how goods and services tax (GST) works
- knowledge of computer and accounting software.
- usually work regular hours, but may work weekends or evenings to meet deadlines
- work in offices, but may travel to visit clients within their local area.
What's the job really like?
Peni Niwa thinks anyone worried about getting back into the workforce after a long break should consider becoming an accounts payable officer.
"If someone has been out of the workforce for a long time, and if they're good with numbers and have a good eye for detail, I would definitely recommend they do something in accounts payable or receivable."
Peni has three children and says this role fits in with her busy family life.
"It's full-on working full time and being a mother, so I've got to be organised at home and in my work. The good thing about accounts payable is that it's a structured job. I work my hours and then I can go home at 5pm, so I've got that work-life balance."
Getting a qualification opens doors in accounts
"I did a Certificate in Business when I left school and have found it pretty easy since then to get work in accounting departments. There's always a demand for accounts people in every business. It's been a great option for me as far as my career and family life goes."
There are no specific entry requirements to become an accounts officer as skills and qualifications are gained on the job.
At least three years of secondary education is preferred. Useful subjects include English, maths, computer studies and accounting.
Accounts officers need to be:
- good record-keepers
- good communicators.
There's some pressure in this job. It can be stressful when there are slow responses internally and externally about payments.
Peni Niwa - Accounts Officer
Useful experience for accounts officers includes:
- clerical work
Experience in buying and selling may also be useful.
Find out more about training
- Chartered Accountants Australia New Zealand (CA)
- 0800 469 422 - firstname.lastname@example.org - www.charteredaccounantsanz.com
What are the chances of getting a job?
The number of people employed as accounts officers has decreased due to:
- many organisations absorbing accounts officer functions into existing administration roles
- increased use of accounting software.
According to the Census, 19,359 accounts officers worked in New Zealand in 2018.
Accounts officers in demand for processing roles
Opportunities are best for:
- accounts payable/accounts receivable officers with processing experience
- payroll contractors and assistant accountants.
Types of employers varied
Most accounts officers work for:
- accounting firms
- large and small businesses
- government organisations
- payroll companies
- external accounts payable businesses.
- Hays, 'Hays Salary Guide 2014', (www.hays.net.nz).
- Robert Half, 'Salary Guide 2014', (www.roberthalf.com.au).
- Stats NZ, '2018 Census Data', 2019.
(This information is a guide only. Find out more about the sources of our job opportunities information)
Progression and specialisations
Accounts officers can progress into payroll work or managerial positions. Many study with Chartered Accountants Australia New Zealand to become accounting technicians or accountants.
At larger companies, accounts officers may specialise in a particular area, such as:
- accounts payable – organising the payment of invoices for an organisation
- accounts receivable – collecting and recording payments that come in to an organisation
- credit control – ensuring that money owed to the organisation by outside companies and contractors gets paid.
Last updated 20 April 2020