As the accounting industry keeps embracing technology and innovation, basic accounting skills, such as proficiency in Excel, are no longer enough to impress the recruiter.
Today, companies of all sizes are looking for well-rounded accounting professionals who possess a variety of hard and soft skills that extend beyond spreadsheets and mathematical calculations.
Well, if you’re wondering which accounting skills you should add to your resume to grab the recruiter’s attention, we’ve got you covered!
In this article, we’ll look into the most sought-after accounting skills, share practical tips to make them stand out on your resume, and more!
Accounting skills are industry-specific technical abilities and interpersonal qualities that help you successfully manage a company’s financial activities.
To effectively showcase your accounting skills on a resume, mention them in the skills section, work experience section, as well as in the resume summary or objective.
Some of the most in-demand accounting skills are knowledge of accounting and regulatory standards, proficiency in accounting software, and data analysis.
You can improve your accounting skills by getting familiar with relevant technological advancements and the latest accounting regulations.
What Are Accounting Skills?
Essentially, accounting skills show that you have the knowledge, technical abilities, and interpersonal attributes needed to effectively manage a company’s financial activities.
In other words, accounting skills are a set of abilities that enable you to effectively and accurately perform your duties as an accountant. These usually include compiling, maintaining, and presenting financial documents (e.g., financial records and reports) according to relevant standards and regulations.
Contrary to popular belief, accounting skills encompass more than the technical knowledge needed to handle financial data. While this is essential, soft skills are no less important—after all, even those accountants who work alone eventually have to present their findings or collaborate with colleagues, external auditors, and other groups and individuals.
For this reason, you should always include both soft and hard skills on your resume. This way, you can show the hiring manager that you’re a well-rounded accounting professional and increase your chances of landing an interview and, hopefully, the job.
How to Add Accounting Skills to Your Resume
Now, you might be thinking that listing your accounting skills in the skills section of your resume is enough to show the recruiter that you’re a viable candidate for the position. While this is important, it makes your resume look exactly the same as that of tens of other candidates.
So, how can you showcase your accounting skills AND make your resume stand out?
The answer is two-fold—first, you should look at the job description and tailor your skills to it.
For example, if the job listing mentions “QuickBooks” and you’re familiar with this software, make sure your resume highlights it. Not only does this help you show that you meet the company’s requirements and expectations, but it can also help you pass the ATS scan.
Then, sprinkle your accounting skills throughout your resume instead of sticking with the skills section only. Ideally, you want to mention them in your resume summary or resume objective and the work experience section.
Speaking of work experience, if possible, focus on quantifiable achievements to give more context to the recruiter and illustrate how your skills helped you contribute to the company’s growth or success.
You have to admit—“Identified and corrected critical accounting errors, saving the department $90,000” sounds way more impressive than “Resolved accounting issues.”
11 Accounting Skills To Include in Your Resume
Now that we’ve covered the basics, let’s look into the most in-demand accounting skills and how to showcase them on your resume.
#1. Accounting Standards
At the very least, hiring managers expect you to be familiar with and comply with the accounting standards applicable to your country, such as the Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) or International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS).
These standards are designed to ensure that the financial statements you make are consistent and standardized. They outline specific rules and procedures all accountants must follow when preparing financial statements to increase transparency and make it easier to accurately compare financial statements across different companies.
Since these standards largely apply to financial reporting, your best bet is to mention them in relation to such reports. Here’s a good example:
Prepared 180+ financial reports annually, ensuring compliance with GAAP.
#2. Regulatory Standards
Besides accounting standards, accountants should also be familiar with relevant corporate and public finance regulatory standards, such as those defined by the Public Company Oversight Board and similar bodies. By following these standards, accountants foster integrity and ensure that their financial statements meet the necessary requirements.
Here’s how to show your knowledge of regulatory standards in your accountant resume:
Periodically prepared Form 10-K, Form 10-Q, and Foreign Investment Disclosures filings, ensuring their compliance with The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) standards.
#3. Accounting Software
Since accounting is becoming increasingly more automated, it’s only natural that one of the most sought-after accounting skills is proficiency in accounting software.
While spreadsheet applications are an accounting staple, keeping up with the latest technological advancements in the field can help you stand out from other candidates. So, don’t hesitate to list any project management, business analytics, specialized accounting, artificial intelligence, or other relevant software on your resume.
Here’s an example of how you can showcase your proficiency in accounting software:
Initiated the adoption of QuickBooks Online Advanced, which increased financial task efficiency by 28%.
#4. General Business Knowledge
As an accounting professional, you will likely work with people from different departments and industries. Because of this, having general business knowledge often comes in handy, as it helps you understand how your work impacts other business areas.
Understanding the basics of business operations also helps you in your day-to-day responsibilities. For example, it can help you better understand what impact specific business decisions have on the company’s financial health. In turn, this enables you to provide valuable insights and suggestions to improve decision-making and boost the company’s financial growth.
With that in mind, let’s see an example of how you could show off this accounting skill on your resume:
Collaborated with sales and marketing teams to optimize the product’s pricing strategy, which helped increase the company’s annual profit by 17%.
#5. Data Analysis
For any business, financial data is a gold mine—not only does it help understand how the company is doing financially, but it also helps make informed decisions.
This makes data analysis one of the most invaluable technical accounting skills. It enables you to handle large sets of data, extract meaningful information, interpret it correctly, provide useful insights into the company’s financial performance, and make informed decisions. It is also closely related to data visualization, which can help you clearly present your findings.
So, here’s a practical example of how you can highlight this accounting skill on your resume:
Analyzed historical financial data to optimize the company’s forecasting model, which increased the accuracy of financial forecasts by 12%.
Effective written and verbal communication is a must-have for any accountant. Besides communicating with other departments, these professionals also regularly present their work to others, including stakeholders that may or may not have a background in finance.
In the latter case especially, you should be able to communicate financial information in a concise, easy-to-understand way instead of relying on jargon.
Here’s how you can emphasize your communication skills on your resume:
Coordinated with external auditors during annual audits, provided them with relevant information, answered their questions, and proactively resolved issues.
#7. Attention to Detail
Essentially, attention to detail refers to the ability to spot mistakes, inconsistencies, discrepancies, and other flaws in data.
It’s no secret that a simple accounting error can cost thousands—if not tens of thousands—of dollars (or more!) for the company. So, when it comes to basic accounting skills, attention to detail is non-negotiable.
A detail-oriented accountant will ensure the accuracy of their financial reports and their compliance with the relevant standards, which is exactly what employers are looking for.
Now, let’s see an example of how you can accentuate this accounting skill in your resume:
Prepared 20+ financial reports monthly, carefully reviewing them to ensure their accuracy, consistency, and compliance with IFRS.
#8. Critical Thinking
Essentially, critical thinking is the ability to conceptualize, assess, synthesize, interpret, and analyze data from different angles to gain a thorough understanding of it.
Accountants often analyze complex financial data and spot trends in it to suggest strategic decisions that benefit the company financially. As such, it goes without saying that critical thinking is one of the most in-demand accounting skills.
If you aren’t sure how to show off your critical thinking skills on your resume, here’s one example you can follow:
Proposed a comprehensive cost reduction plan by thoroughly analyzing market trends, financial statements, and other relevant data to identify cost-saving measures, which reduced the company’s expenses by 8% in 3 months.
Problem-solving is the process of identifying a problem and finding the most effective solution to it. Although many people imagine accountants typing away numbers on their computer screens, accounting involves plenty of problem-solving and often calls for creative thinking.
Most often, accountants investigate and fix accounting inaccuracies. That said, they may need to solve various issues, ranging from transposition errors and control account reconciliation to regulatory non-compliance with financial reports and beyond.
To gain a competitive edge over your competition, stress the benefits your problem-solving skills brought to the company as such:
Identified a critical accounts receivable issue and implemented a new invoice automation software to solve it, which reduced unpaid invoices by 36% within the first month.
Organizational skills encompass a variety of abilities that help you organize your work and deliver it on time. Some examples of these skills include:
Since accountants often provide services for several clients or work with multiple projects at once and have to meet strict deadlines, organizational skills are a must. After all, failure to deliver financial documents on time isn’t a mere inconvenience—it can have negative consequences on the business at large.
So, here’s how to show off your organization skills on an accountant resume:
Developed a system for organizing the company’s financial documents, which improved financial reporting efficiency by 15%.
Accounting is often considered a monotonous job, but this isn’t quite the case. In reality, the accounting field is constantly changing and evolving, be it due to new regulations, internal company changes, or technological advancements.
Needless to say, accountants should always stay on top of industry changes. Not only can this help avoid penalties (e.g., for non-compliance with the latest regulations), but keeping up with the latest trends, such as accounting automation, can also help optimize the workflow and increase productivity.
Let’s see how you can demonstrate your flexibility on your resume:
Successfully adjusted financial planning, forecasting, and other procedures according to the new business strategy and objectives following a change in the company’s business model and direction.
How to Improve Your Accounting Skills
Now that you know which skills and qualities accountants should ideally possess, let’s discuss how to improve your accounting skills.
Here are a few tried-and-tested tips that can help you perfect the skills you need to land an accounting job:
Stay up-to-date with industry-specific regulations. Regularly research any local, state, national, and international accounting regulations to make sure your work is compliant with the latest standards.
Embrace technological advancements. Get familiar with accounting software, accounting automation tools, artificial intelligence, and similar technological innovations. Not only will this help you stand out from your competition and improve your accounting skill set, but it will also make your work much easier!
Focus on data analysis. Besides accurate calculations, most employers will expect you to analyze data and extract valuable information that can drive business growth. So, to increase your chances of landing your dream accounting job, prioritize learning to handle large sets of data.
Congratulations—if you made it to the end of this article, you should now be ready to perfect your resume!
The key to effectively showcasing your accounting skills is to include both hard and soft skills, especially those that are included in the job listing. Most importantly, you should emphasize how your skills have helped you achieve impressive results by focusing on relevant achievements and letting the numbers do the talking.
As long as you follow these tips, it shouldn’t be long before you land that accounting job you’ve been dreaming of!