Drawing the Line Between Secretary and Administrative Assistant Duties
The role of secretary and administrative assistant might be confusing for some even though they have different jobs. This could be because they have overlapping functions sometimes. However, an administrative assistant usually has a bigger responsibility compared to a secretary.
Still, the secretary and administrative assistant play a vital role in keeping the workplace organized. They make sure that they would be able to address every task assigned to them.
What are the Similarities Between Secretary and Administrative Assistant?
Before we tackle what are the differences between a secretary and administrative assistant, let us discuss first what are things they have in common.
Both roles are requiring good business skills, including the following:
- have a keen eye on details
- good communication skills (both oral and written)
- time management skills
- being professional at all times
In terms of technical proficiencies, the secretary and administrative assistant should know how to use different business software so they can do their jobs more efficiently. Among these are Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, QuickBooks and even desktop publishing.
In addition, business owners are looking for secretary and administrative assistant who embody a good work ethic. Workers who have a proper working relationship with other employees are usually performing well, too.
Looking at the Role of a Secretary
A secretary is usually the person positioned near the entrance of an office, making him or her the first individual you encounter. Secretaries, in a way, are serving as receptionist, greeting people upon entrance, and directing them to their designated location. They are managing the written correspondence, answering phone calls, and jotting down messages, among others.
With this, business owners are expecting secretaries to be organized when it comes to business matters. They are scheduling daily, weekly, and monthly meetings, making and confirming appointments with the company clients, and overseeing the schedule of the higher officials.
Mainly, secretaries are doing clerical work, including typing, filing, data entry, and bookkeeping. They are working hard because these duties are seen improving the workflow of a business operation.
Apart from what was mentioned, secretaries are also addressing the following tasks:
- preparation of memorandum and forms
- filing and updating employee data
- monitoring the travels of the company employees
- making sure the office has enough supplies
- handling document expense forms
- summarizing reports
Less Career Requirements for Secretaries
If you are proficient with Microsoft Office, have good organizational skills, and can multitask, you may be qualified right away to become a secretary. Usually, a high school diploma is enough for you to secure the job.
Secretaries are reporting directly to their administrative assistants when they are not required to engage regularly with the top officials.
While it appears to be easier to land a job as a secretary, do not belittle this profession because they can help in keeping everything organized and smooth flowing. They are essential in keeping the business workflow.
Looking at the Role of an Administrative Assistant
Compared to secretaries, administrative assistants have more leadership roles in the company. They are providing administrative support to maintain workplace efficiency, in addition to accomplishing clerical work. These include organizing schedules, crafting agendas for company meetings and agendas, and creating spreadsheets where secretaries input data.
Administrative assistants are also handling the client and vendor billing accurately and in a timely manner should they be given the task. This means that they are responsible for monitoring the accounts payable and receivables in a given budget.
Administrative assistants are also doing the following:
- doing research for the company
- document production
- managing long-term company projects
- data entry
Choosing the Right Administrative Assistant for Your Company
As business owners, you have to select the right administrative assistant to help your company become more efficient. Because of this, you should be able to know what the skills they should have to perform well in your organization.
Your administrative assistant should know how to use basic software to be able to function efficiently. An excellent employee knows that the majority of his or her daily tasks are accomplished via a computer. At some point, administrative assistants should also need to learn quickly specific software to do their other jobs.
Effective written and oral communication
Administrative assistants, for most of the day, are talking with several people, whether physically or via phones. They should have good oral communication so they can convey their thoughts properly. At the same time, their writing skills should be as effective as their oral communication since they are creating meeting agendas and drafting memorandum. They are studying well to have excellent grammar and spelling.
Administrative assistants are completing a lot of tasks in one day. Top officials are expecting their administrative assistants to go about their jobs swimmingly by being organized. This means that they have to know how to prioritize the most important office tasks for the day.
Are the Roles of Secretary and Administrative Assistant Evolving?
The workplace, as time goes by, has been evolving and becoming more modern. Secretaries and administrative assistants are finishing most of their work online. Thus, lessening their paper works and physical filing of documents.
With this, it is only imperative for the secretary and administrative assistant to keep on learning the new trends in the industry.
When looking for a secretary and administrative assistant, you might need the help of a corporate secretary service provider. Reach out to 3E Accounting today and our team will help you in your every need. We offer top-notch accounting and business advisory services.