Administrative assistants perform important roles in a range of industries from education and retail to manufacturing and consultancy. Administrators typically support other staff by keeping records, sorting the post and helping to maintain schedules. This allows more specialist workers to fulfil their roles without getting anchored down by other duties.
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Many administrative roles are founded on maintaining information and distributing it to specific workers as required. An administrative role may involve answering the phone and taking messages, collating and distributing memos and ensuring important files are correctly recorded and stored away for easy retrieval. This may involve physically storing files in storage cupboards or accurately updating computer databases. Administrative duties may also include assisting staff members by typing up dictated notes or proofreading documents prior to submission.
Many administrative roles involve an element of finance management. Although corporations typically hire accountants to handle their annual incomings and outgoings, administrators can perform lower-level tasks such as recording company expenses on spreadsheets and submitting monthly expense accounts to managers. These tasks typically require some basic proficiency in using accountancy software.
Keeping accurate schedules for senior staff members is a key characteristic of many administrator roles. Tasks may include booking room times or making travel plans for board meetings with prospective clients to market new products or secure ongoing business agreements. Administrators may also be asked to prepare paperwork for internal company presentations detailing new software plans or prospective new marketing strategies.
Some administrative roles require specific skills that may require specialist training or extensive experience in the field. Legal administrative assistants, for instance, typically need a broad understanding of legal terminology used to create complex legal documents. Similarly, administrators working in medical institutions should be adept at deciphering medical reports and understand how to efficiently process claims with medical insurance companies.
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