Your resume will stand out from the crowd if you add the right accountant skills.

Writing your resume with a target job in mind requires having a clear understanding of the job's skills and proficiencies.

A well-crafted resume skills section, highlighting your relevant accountant skills, will help your resume beat the applicant tracking system, which is the first step to getting your application noticed. 

But which accountant skills should you add to improve your resume? 

Must-have accountant skills 

It doesn't matter whether you're looking for a job as a CPA or you want to dip your toes in the waters of forensic accounting, there are going to be some essential accountant skills that will help spruce up your resume. You'll find that these particular skill sets have little to do with the actual work of being in an accounting role. 

These must-have accountant skills are considered soft skills. The really great thing about soft skills is that they're often overlooked, but can be the difference between receiving an offer for an interview and getting a rejection notice. 

Let's explore a few must-have accountant skills:

1. Attention to detail

If there is one profession out there that requires you to have the ability to pay attention to details, it would be accounting. Not only do you have to be accurate to the last cent, but there are also regulatory requirements to adhere to, sometimes really strict ones. Also, being able to find discrepancies and correct them is a great achievement you can use on your resume. 

2. Analytical accountant skills

You've probably heard – or seen – the phrase “data-driven decision-making” at some point during your job search. Almost every executive on the planet wants an accounting professional who can come in, examine the way things are, and give suggestions on making things better. 

Adding the ability to conduct thorough analysis to identify trends and provide valuable insight to the company will put you head and shoulders above rival job seekers. 

3. Organizational skills

With so many different documents to analyze, plus the fact that you have to meet deadlines and handle multiple projects at one time, organizational accountant skills are some of the most important you can offer. 

4. Communication skills

Another staple accountant skill centers around communication. You have to be able to clearly articulate complex concepts to finance and non-finance audiences. On top of that, you have to be able to relay that information verbally and in writing – your clients, stakeholders, senior leaders, and colleagues are counting on your ability to give the right information in a way they can understand it. 

5. Adaptability skills

If there is one immutable truth in life and in business, it's that things change. Can you keep up with the ever-changing world of accounting? Sometimes it's updated regulations while other times it's shifting business priorities. Either way, being able to go with the flow is an imperative accountant skill. 

Technical accountant skills

Let's transition into some accountant skills with a little more meat on their bones. These technical accountant skills are directly related to the tasks you'll perform – e.g., finance reporting and risk mitigation – that directly impact the success of your company. By proxy, these are the skills that also impact your ability to enjoy career progression.

Here are some examples of technical accountant skills:

1. Compliance skills

Regulations, integrity, and risks are likely at the forefront of why you perform most of the accounting tasks you do every day. Adding COMPLIANCE as an accountant skill on your resume lets future hiring managers know that you have a range of knowledge about sticking to laws and following preset guidelines. After all, they likely want to hire someone for their accounting role that can prevent fraud and manage risks. 

2. Auditing skills

A lot of ensuring compliance comes from your ability to conduct effective audits to ensure that financial statements are free from material misstatements, errors of omission, or down-right false data. We've also come full-circle to using communication and data-driven data to inform operational decisions. 

The stakeholders at your company are looking for someone to help them maintain confidence in the organization's financial operations because things like solvency and profitability are really important. So, be sure to add AUDITING as one of the accountant skills on your resume.

3. Financial reporting skills

One of the more important aspects of working in the field of accounting is the need for transparency. This is where finance reports come in. They not only help the accounting department stay compliant with regulations, but also ensure the company's financial health is being taken into consideration when new decisions are made. 

Financial reports are also used to secure money from investors and lenders, so accuracy is critical. The great thing about financial reporting accountant skills is that there's a slew of other skills wrapped up in them, including knowledge of Generally Accepted Accounting Principles. 

4. Risk management skills

Mitigating company financial risk is only one of the critical risk management accountant skills to add to your resume. Obviously, accountants need to be able to identify and assess risk to minimize any impact they may have on company operations, but you also have to understand the nature of the risks, too. 

After all, you can't identify something if you don't know exactly what it is. Some risks can negatively impact profits – which is bad. Other risks can involve prison time – which is worse. Being able to talk about effectively managing financial risks is a crucial accountant skill to add to your resume.

5. Computer skills

Bet you were wondering when the “technical accountant skills” would start talking about computer proficiency. A lot of people confuse technical skills with computer skills. But now that we're here, let's talk about accountant skills as they relate to software programs. 

It's fairly important that you know how to use software for things like recording transactions, generating reports, and analyzing financial data. This means that you should be including a couple of software programs in the Core Competencies section of your resume – e.g., SAP, QuickBooks, and Oracle.

6. Industry-specific skills

Since every company on the planet needs accounting people, it's possible that you'll end up in an accountant role that isn't in the finance industry. In fact, you could need to include accountant skills on your resume for roles in healthcare, government, or non-profits. Each one of these will have their own requirements and challenges.

  • Healthcare accountant skills could include things like an understanding of medical billing and compliance with HIPAA.
  • Government accountant skills on your resume need to reflect your understanding of governmental accounting standards and this could be local, state, or federal. 
  • Non-profit accountant skills would include familiarity with fundraising, donor restrictions, and grant reporting.
  • Accountant skillsin other industries may provide you the opportunity to highlight expertise with cost analysis, sales tax regulations, and inventory accounting. 

Ultimately, the world of accounting is vast. This means that you must tailor the accountant skills on your resume to the role you're trying to obtain. 

Why are accountant skills important?

The main goal of your resume is to win an interview. To do that, you have to get it past the computer that's scanning it for keywords – i.e., the applicant tracking system – and you have to write it so that it impresses a human being – the hiring manager. 

The accountant skills that we've been talking about are the keywords the ATS will look for when you submit your application to a company for an open position. You find those keywords in the job description. 

Once the ATS gives your resume a pass, you then have to pique the hiring manager's attention so they will want to email you an interview offer. This means that you not only have to have the right accountant skills listed on your resume, they need to speak to what you can bring to the table for the new company. The only way to do this is by using action-based achievement statements

Meaning, instead of writing:

  • Managed the company's warehouse inventory


  • Reduced excess inventory by 20% and decreased stockouts by 15% after implementing a new inventory management system, saving $50K annually

Which bullet looks better? 

When you use achievement statements on your resume, you prove to the hiring manager that you're going to bring real value to the new company. 

How to add accountant skills to your resume

Since your resume has to do two things for you – get past the ATS and impress a hiring manager – there is a bit of strategy that goes into writing it. The first thing you need to know is something that's already been mentioned – you MUST tailor your resume so that it has the right keywords. It's called having a targeted resume

Here's how you do it:

1. Find the right skills. Read the job description to determine which skills an employer wants and compare those keywords to your skills. Make a master list of skills that incorporates what they're looking for and what you have to offer.

2. Use action verbs. Performing an action at a past job hints at the fact that you'll be able to perform the same action at the new job. So, these power verbs are critical. While we're on this subject, remove the phrases, “Responsible for,” “Charged with,” and “Accountable for” from your resume-writing vocabulary. 

Related reading: Words and Phrases to Remove From Your Resume Right Away

3. Figure out the numbers. You're in an accounting position right? You work with numbers all the time. Your actions make numbers better. Come up with at least five quantifiable achievements from the last 10 years of your career to add to your resume – actually, the more the better. Check out that achievement bullet example in the last section to see what we mean. 

Your resume headline

Now that you have your list of skills, keywords, and quantifiable achievements, it's time to weave them into your resume. The first place to add relevant accountant skills is in your headline. This is a one line phrase that sits just beneath your contact information. It should mirror the title of the job description to let employers know what you want to do next.


Accountant with 12+ Years of Experience Maximizing ROI for Clients

Your profile paragraph

The paragraph that comes just after the headline is the profile paragraph and it's a great place to inject some of those accountant skills. Don't write more than three to five sentences, though. 


Results-oriented Finance and Accounting professional offering a progressive, accomplishments driven, career in designing, managing, implementing, and analyzing financial plans. Proven acuity in mitigating risk, preventing loss, managing capital, and increasing earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization. Ensure business continuity within public accounting, financial services, and manufacturing spaces.

Your skills section

It only makes sense to add some accountant skills to your Core Competencies – or Skills – section. But be sure to add some other skills, too. It's crucial that you have a balanced mix of hard and soft skills in this section because you are more than just someone who does accounting work. 


Finance Operations | Strategic Planning | Profits & Cost Management | Global Business Acumen | Treasury Management | Documentation & Reporting | Contract Pricing | Fixed Asset Management | Enterprise Resource Planning | Budgets & Forecasting | Regulations & Guidelines Compliance (e.g., GAAP)

Your work history

Finally, you'll want to put some of those accountant skills in the Professional Experience section of your resume, using achievement bullets. Each job history listing should include between four and six achievement bullets. 


  • Analyzed and evaluated the financial performance of a $250M operating revenue. 
  • Prepared and analyzed reports and financial statements for offices in 3 different countries, projecting future fiscal obligations and reporting findings to Global Headquarters.
  • Recognized as a specialist with demonstrated integrity for SOX compliance and company protocols. 

You're the ideal candidate for the job

Successfully incorporating relevant accountant skills in your resume will not only increase your chances of passing through the initial computer screening process, but also create a great impression for why you're the best person for the job. Go forth and show how well you can help businesses operate on the side of financial soundness.

Before you send out that stellar resume, TopResume will happily give it a once-over for you to make sure that the right accountant skills show up at the right place. Upload it to us for a free review by an expert resume writer.

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