Specialized administrative staff: accounts, insurance, legal, medical

Some administrative jobs require both general administrative skills and knowledge, i.e. education in a specific field of activity. Four main sectors share this need for specialized administrative employees: legal (law firms, notaries’ offices, courts, legal departments); accounting (accounting firms, accounting departments); medical (medical offices, clinics, hospitals); and insurance.

MAIN DUTIES COMMON TO THE FOUR SECTORS:

  • Answer the telephone.
  • Enter, file and update files.
  • Inform clients.
  • Organize appointments and conferences.
  • Coordinate the circulation of information within the departments and with other organizations.
  • Ensure office management.
  • Handle invoicing and accounting for small expenses.
>MAIN DUTIES OF ADMINISTRATIVE PERSONNEL IN ACCOUNTING
  • Update accounts using accounting software.
  • Compile budget documents.
  • Record and control accounts receivable, accounts payable, accounting entries and the inventory master file.
  • Perform bank and account reconciliations.
  • Calculate and prepare various accounting documents (e.g. invoices, statements of account).
  • Contribute to summary reports.
>MAIN DUTIES OF ADMINISTRATIVE PERSONNEL IN INSURANCE
  • Follow up files.
  • Fill out documents.
  • Make sure that transactions match specifications.
  • Study insurance applications.
  • Check coverage and premiums paid.
>MAIN DUTIES OF LEGAL ADMINISTRATIVE PERSONNEL
  • Enter and file information and legal documents.
  • Perform documentation searches for lawyers.
  • Update files.
  • Possibly attend meetings in order to draw up minutes.
  • Check all documents to ensure their legal compliance.
  • Keep files of civil, penal and criminal procedures up to date, taking into account the laws and principles that govern them.
  • Be familiar with current affairs in order to effectively assist the department.
>MAIN DUTIES OF MEDICAL ADMINISTRATIVE PERSONNEL
  • Prepare and update medical documents.
  • Interview patients so as to fill out forms and case histories.
  • Manage appointments.
  • Fill out documents for insurance claims and other indemnities.
  • Type up medical summaries.

EDUCATION

Regardless of the sector in which they work, specialized administrative personnel are required to have a minimum of a high school, vocational or college diploma.

>LEGAL SECTOR:

A college diploma in secretarial studies – legal; paralegal technology; social, educational or legal services; or equivalent training is often required. Almost one third of people in this sector have a certificate of competence or a certificate of vocational education. Being a commissioner for oaths is an asset. 

>MEDICAL SECTOR:

The medical sector is subject to numerous health and safety standards, so specific training is often required. A diploma of professional studies in secretarial studies – medical, an attestation of vocational specialization in secretarial studies – medical (AVS – 450 hours) or an attestation of college studies in medical transcription from a school recognized by the province or Canada is an asset. A certificate in cardiopulmonary resuscitation may be asked for. 

>ACCOUNTING SECTOR:

Employers like training in accounting or bookkeeping. Payroll clerks are required to be bondable. Almost one third of accounting clerks have a bachelor’s degree. 

>INSURANCE SECTOR:

Having a diploma from a business school is an asset for getting ahead in this sector, but you may also have received internal training and short-term training courses. Almost half of administrative employees in this sector have a college degree.

PROFESSIONAL SKILLS

  • Be proficient in the use of office systems software.
  • Have excellent writing skills.
  • Type quickly and accurately.

PROFESSIONAL SKILLS FOR THE LEGAL SECTOR

  • Be proficient in the use of computer software used in the legal field, such as Juris Concept.
  • Know the bases of legal language.  
>PROFESSIONAL SKILLS FOR THE MEDICAL SECTOR
  • Know the coding of medical records.
  • Be familiar with medical terms.  
>PROFESSIONAL SKILLS FOR THE ACCOUNTING SECTOR
 
  • Be proficient in the use of one or more types of accounting software such as Simply Accounting, Fortune, Accpac or Dream.
  • Be familiar with basic accounting principles and accounting documents.  
>PROFESSIONAL SKILLS FOR THE INSURANCE SECTOR
  • Know how insurance products work.
  • Be familiar with software used in the insurance field.

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