Top 10 Accountant Skills to Include in Your Resume

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated 7 November 2022

Published 12 June 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Accountants organise, manage and analyse the financial information of a company. Accounting positions vary by specific job titles, such as management accountant, auditor, government accountant and bookkeeper. Each job entails a specialised set of skills. However, the core skills of an accountant are similar and applicable to various kinds of accounting positions. In this article, we discuss what are accounting skills, the top 10 accountant skills and how to showcase them in your resume.

What are accounting skills?

Accounting skills are the basic skills that any accountant will have to possess. These skills allow you to manage financial transactions, analyse financial data and organise financial reports of a company in an ethical manner. Accounting skills consist of hard skills, such as general accounting principles, regulatory and policy knowledge and software knowledge. However, it also requires soft skills, such as being detail-oriented, thinking critically and problem-solving.

Top 10 accountant skills

Here are the top 10 essential accounting skills that a hiring manager is looking for in an accounting position:

1. Standards of accounting

Accountants need to have extensive knowledge on financial statements: preparing, analysing and managing them. The skills in standard accounting, such as Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP), International Financial Reporting Standards or The Securities and Exchanges Commission reporting ensure that an accountant is able to maintain a minimum level of consistency when reporting the company's finances. Often, companies provide additional training in different competency areas depending on the specific job titles.

2. Regulatory and policy knowledge

Accounting positions include managing a company's finances, so it is important for an accountant to be fully aware of regulatory standards in corporate and public finance. This is especially true for the role of an auditor, who works around taxes, to possess extensive knowledge of government regulations and policies. Understanding regulatory standards are important to ensure that financial reports comply with the requirements of standard accounting practices.

3. Business knowledge

Accounting positions also often collaborate with other departments. Thus, general business knowledge is necessary to allow an accountant to successfully work with others, whether it is in finance or other industries. With a basic understanding of general business, an accountant will be able to communicate and negotiate with the stakeholders better. Eventually, it allows you to assess and report the financial needs of the clients better.

4. Analytical skills

Data analysis involves the ability to extract information from raw data. Analytical skills allow accountants to create financial reports based on financial data such as account budgets, revenue and expenses. Accounting professionals need to read, compare and interpret figures and data. In fact, the best accountants are able to quickly tell whether the figures in an analysis report make sense, before conducting a more in-depth analysis.

Related: What Are Analytical Skills and Why Are They Important for Employment?

5. Adaptability

Accounting requires the use of a variety of software and applications to make jobs easier and more efficient. Thus, proficiency in various software such as word processing, spreadsheet applications and specialised accounting software is very important. On top of that, software and applications constantly change and develop, and an accountant will need to quickly adapt to the newest technologies in the industry. Staying updated with the latest technologies may also help accountants to remain competitive, especially with many businesses moving into accounting automation. Other than technologies, accountants should also be readily available to adapt to the changing regulations and government policies.

Related: Adaptability Skills: Definition, Examples and Tips

6. Attention to detail

Attention to detail is very important in accounting. When dealing with a large amount of data and numbers, a consultant must be able to identify inconsistencies. This will ensure the accuracy of financial reports, minimising any errors. Accounting work requires an eye for detail and being in this field demands someone who is meticulous and detail-oriented. This is mainly because accountants need to go through a lot of financial records consisting of a bunch of numbers and ensure that every single piece of information is accurate.

Related: How to Improve Attention To Detail Skills

7. Interpersonal skills

Interpersonal skills include organisation, collaboration and effective communication skills. Accountants often work in a team, so the ability to collaborate and work together is essential for an accountant. On top of that, an accounting role also requires good communication such as written and verbal communication with others. This is necessary while presenting budget proposals and creating financial reports so that the information is delivered effectively to the audience.

Related: Interpersonal Skills Definition and Examples

8. Critical thinking

Critical thinking is the ability to think critically about a problem from several perspectives. Good critical thinking skills allow an accountant to thoroughly conceptualise, analyse and evaluate information. Critical thinking is necessary to understand a problem completely, prior to evaluating the problem and coming up with possible solutions. Additionally, critical thinking skills are also used to evaluate reports and apply accounting practices to any financial problems in the company. These complex problems must be approached critically, considering all the variables and potential risks.

Related: 9 Essential Critical Thinking Skills and How To Develop Them

9. Problem-solving

A part of an accounting job is to assess a situation, identify problems, find solutions to the problems and eventually evaluate the best possible options to solve the problems. Examples of problem-solving in accounting may include identifying transactional errors that may cause accounts to be out of balance and resolving bank reconciliation errors. It is important for an accountant to possess this skill in order to ensure the reports are error-free and serve their functions well.

Related: Problem-Solving Skills Examples (With Steps to Develop Them)

10. Time management

Effective time management skills and the ability to multitask ensure an accountant can meet deadlines and deliver good results to clients. By having good time management, an accountant can manage their assigned tasks, so they can be submitted on time. It is also important that an accountant knows how to prioritise work. While dealing with many tasks, it is necessary that you are able to structure your time and efforts to ensure you complete tasks efficiently and within the stipulated deadlines. Accounting requires regularly maintaining financial accounts, such as monthly, quarterly and annual reports. Thus, good time management allows you to complete all these tasks on time and deliver satisfactory results.

Related: Time Management Skills: Examples and Improvement Strategies

Accounting skills in resume

In order to show hiring managers your skills, you have to present them in your resume. This way, hiring managers can see if you are the perfect candidate that they are looking for. Here are some tips on how you can add your accounting skills to your resume:

  • Match your skills to the qualifications of the job: The hiring manager usually posts a thorough job description under the job responsibilities section of the job posting. Be sure to read the job description carefully and structure your resume in a way that the related skills can be easily seen by the hiring manager. You can add these skills under your working experience section or a separate skills section.

  • Include the software programs you can use: Most accounting tasks include the use of sophisticated software, so you should list down the software that you are familiar with. Specific job titles usually require the use of specific proficiencies, such as AP/AR administration, auditing and tax accounting.

  • Showcase your education, certification and training: Having a CPA certification or taking any other training and courses will give you an advantage over other candidates. Thus, it is important to list down any related education, certification and training in your resume. In the case that you are still undergoing study or training, you can include the relevant information under the education section of your resume.

  • Mention soft skills: Aside from technical knowledge, soft skills are also needed to be a good accountant. Soft skills such as problem-solving, attention to detail, adaptability and communication are worth mentioning in your resume. These skills help to convince the hiring manager that you are a dependable individual who is able to work effectively and efficiently for the company.

Accounting skills in the resume's skills section

Technical Skills: GAAP, Data Analysis, Audits, CPA, Debt Management, Tax Reporting

Additional Skills: Communication, Leadership, Attention to detail, Teamwork, Adaptability, Problem-Solving

Also Read: Skills to Feature in Your Resume

Accounting skills in resume's work experience section

ABC Financial Services

Accountant | December 2018-January 2021

  • Recorded financial transactions and reconciled accounts in accounting software to generate financial statements in accordance with GAAP

  • Analysed and visualised financial data to create and deliver presentations reporting financial performance for senior leadership

  • Collaborated with clients to address questions, obtain complete documentation and ensure the accuracy of accounts, which improved client relationships by 15%

Related: How to Format your Resume

Please note that none of the companies, institutions or organisations mentioned in this article are affiliated with Indeed. The model shown is for illustration purposes only, and may require additional formatting to meet accepted standards.

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