What is Administrative Accounting?

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  • Written By: Mona D. Rigdon
  • Edited By: A. Joseph
  • Last Modified Date: 25 September 2019
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Administrative accounting is a type of accounting that helps management departments plan and attain objectives through a formal system of the accumulation and reporting of data. Internal audits help focus the decision-making process in regard to prorations, valuations and reporting. Planning and operational control are integral parts of successful administrative accounting. In short, administrative accountants manage the incoming and outgoing funds and keep the company on track to reach related goals, and they abide by applicable laws and company procedures.

Most businesses employ at least one administrative accountant. These people practice bookkeeping and accounting for the business and often act as debt collectors, payroll clerks, credit authorities and procurement specialists. Some of these jobs are internal corporate jobs, and others who work in this industry work as contractors, subcontractors, freelancers or independent small businesses. Accounting jobs are expected to increase as the economy increases, with government serving as the largest employer of administrative accountants.

Court systems are one area of government that employs administrative accountants. The administrative accounting department of the court system plays an important role in handling both incoming and outgoing funds. The court's administrative accounting department is responsible for maintaining the integrity of all financial activity through organization and detailed tracking. Along with payroll duties, the staff also remits payments, reviews incoming funds and reviews financial statements.


Certain skills are necessary in administrative accounting positions. It is important to be detail-oriented, because there is little room for error when handling someone else's finances. Equally important is the ability to work under strict deadlines, as there often are legal deadlines that have to be met in administrative accounting. In a contemporary office, efficient computer and office equipment — such as a 10-key — skills are necessary. Basic accounting and math skills also are a necessity.

Laws in different jurisdictions vary according to what degrees are necessary to practice as an administrative accountant. In most jurisdictions, the equivalent of an associate's degree in accounting, finance or business will garner the most attention with employers. Often, little or no certification is necessary, and administrative accounting professionals use the position as a stepping stone toward a more supervisory or managerial career. Many administrative accounting professionals work by day and go to school by night to work on schooling to become a certified bookkeeper or certified public accountant (CPA).


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