13 Accounting Skills To Include in Your Resume

By Indeed Editorial Team

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.

While there are several types of accounting job titles, all accountants examine and interpret financial data and communicate these findings to their clients or colleagues. When writing your accounting resume, a strong skills section, featuring both hard and soft skills, will highlight your qualifications and ability to fulfil the job's specific requirements. In this article, we'll examine the top accounting skills to include in your resume and provide an accounting resume sample.

What are accounting skills?

Accounting skills are the abilities that allow you to accurately and ethically manage financial transactions, interpret data and generate financial reports. They include a combination of hard (technical) and soft skills. Technical skills involve understanding the Generally Accepted Accounting Principles, mathematical comprehension and data analysis. Alternatively, soft skills include communicating with colleagues and clients, critical thinking, time management and problem solving.

It's important for all accountants to have strong hard and soft accounting skills, so they can complete their job proficiently. Listing these accounting skills on your resume shows prospective employers that you meet the job requirements and can successfully manage financial transactions and generate reports while following the applicable regulations and standards of practice.

Related: Hard Skills vs. Soft Skills

Top accounting skills

Here are examples of accounting skills to include in your resume, which show your ability to perform the job's specific duties:

1. Data analysis

One of an accountant's primary job responsibilities is to analyse and interpret financial data, so you must be detail-oriented and have strong data analysis skills to derive important information from raw data and financial records. Data analysis allows accountants to create financial reports based on accurate and current financial data, such as account budgets, business revenue and expenses. It also helps them verify the accuracy of financial information for data integrity and reporting consistency.

2. Critical thinking

Accountants must approach all situations critically by evaluating all variables and potential threats. Critical thinking involves thoroughly analysing and evaluating information gained from observation or communication to comprehend the benefits and consequences of a particular action. An important component of problem solving, critical thinking allows accountants to detect and address errors and inaccuracies before these mistakes affect their employers or clients. Accountants use critical thinking skills daily to assess financial reports, apply accounting practices to fresh data and solve financial problems.

Related: Critical Thinking Skills: Definitions and Examples

3. Communication

While accounting is a data-driven role, most accountants also spend a lot of time daily writing emails and other correspondence, as well as drafting financial statements and tax returns. Therefore, it's important for accountants to have effective verbal, written and interpersonal communication skills. This allows them to explain their findings and ideas to colleagues, other departments and clients in a clear and easy-to-understand format, as many won't comprehend complex financial jargon.

As an accountant, your responsibilities may also include preparing and presenting budget proposals or tax reports. A successful presentation of this information requires proficient written and verbal communication skills. Your interpersonal skills are also important for giving and receiving valuable feedback from colleagues and co-workers.

Related: Communication Skills: Definitions and Examples

4. Adaptability

Similar to the frameworks that guide taxes and financial reporting, an accountant's job is constantly developing. One of the most important accounting skills you can gain and include in your resume is your adaptability and capability to adjust to developing protocols, technological advancements, new workplace dynamics and new client interaction formats. Change is more common in the public accounting sector, so being able to adapt and being comfortable with change is essential.

5. Time management

Accountants often work on multiple projects at once, so it's important they know how to multi-task and have proficient time management skills. This ensures they prioritise their tasks to meet deadlines and provide their company and clients with satisfactory results. Time management is especially important for accountants during tax season, when they're often overloaded with clients and under strict deadlines.

Alternatively, having the ability to prioritise tasks ensures accountants meet deadlines concerning periodic reports, payments and taxes they regularly maintain. Insufficiently meeting these deadlines can lead to penalties from regulatory agencies, which is why time management and prioritising are essential skills needed for accounting.

Related: Time Management Skills: The Importance of Including Them in Your Resume

6. Teamwork

Another important accounting skill to include in your resume is teamwork or collaboration. Many accounting professionals work in a collaborative environment or take part in team projects with colleagues. Collaboration and being a team player often generate positive results in organisations, as colleagues can learn from each other and deliberate on new ideas and regulations.

Related: Teamwork Skills: Definitions and Examples

7. Accounting standards

There are several worldwide standard accounting principles, including the Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) and the International Financial Reporting Standards. These principles include a common set of standards and procedures that accountants should follow when preparing financial statements and reports. This ensures a minimum level of consistency, which is important when recording and reporting your organisation's finances. It's also helpful to maintain consistency for different situations, such as when investors need to compare your company's financial statements to those of their counterparts.

8. Knowledge of regulatory standards

While it's important to know standard accounting principles, since you'll be managing a company's finances, it's also imperative you understand the regulatory standards surrounding private and public finances. The Australian Accounting Standards Board is a federal government organisation responsible for developing, issuing and maintaining Australian accounting standards. Understanding the applicable regulatory standards is an important skill for accounting, as it ensures your integrity and compliance with financial reporting requirements.

9. Software proficiency

One of the most essential technical accounting skills is proficiency in various software, such as word processing and spreadsheet applications and specialised accounting software. Popular accounting software like Xero, QuickBooks and MYOB assists with several daily accounting duties, including maintaining your clients' accounts, managing general ledgers, reconciling accounts and generating financial statements. Staying informed on the latest technology and accounting software innovations will help you remain competitive, as businesses move toward accounting automation.

Related: Technical Skills: Definitions and Examples

10. General business knowledge

General business knowledge allows you to work successfully with employees in other departments and clients in industries outside of the finance sector. A basic understanding of general business practices also helps you more accurately evaluate, record and report their financial needs. This accounting skill will allow you to communicate and negotiate effectively with vendors to address common business operations, such as pricing, procurement and invoicing.

11. Attention to detail

Another one of the most important accounting skills to highlight in your resume is your attention to detail. Combining data analysis and critical thinking, attention to detail involves the ability to review and identify inconsistencies in large quantities of financial data and information. Strong attention to detail is essential to ensure consistency in financial reporting, so you can verify financial data and generate accurate financial statements. It also minimises the potential for accounting errors, which can lead to audits and investigations by regulatory bodies.

12. Service orientation

Because accounting is a support function for most businesses, a service orientation ensures you connect with your customers and clients to help them understand the importance of accurate financial management. This skill shows your integrity in financial reporting, and that you will provide them with quality and ethical financial advice, and make financial decisions that are in their best interests.

13. Problem solving

The ability to find solutions and overcome problems that may result from accounting errors or inaccuracies is another essential skill needed for accounting. Problem solving includes recognising an existing problem, identifying and evaluating appropriate solutions, then implementing the best solution to resolve the problem. This skill is necessary to ensure accurate, consistent and ethical accounting practices.

Related: Problem Solving Skills: Definitions and Examples

Sample accounting skills resume section

When listing accounting skills on your resume, remember to first analyse the job description. Employers will list the skills they're looking for in the description, so ensure you include these specific accountant skills in your resume. It's also important to include software and accounting proficiencies, as well as soft and technical accounting skills. Here's an example of how to include accounting skills in your resume:

Skills section

Technical skills: GAAP | Data analysis | Xero Software

Additional skills: Attention to detail | Communication | Critical thinking

Work experience section

Smith and Associates Accounting

Accountant | April 2017 to March 2021

  • Recorded financial transactions and reconciled accounts in Xero accounting software to generate financial statements according to GAAP.

  • Analysed and visualised financial data to create and deliver presentations reporting my clients' financial performance to my company's senior staff members.

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

Please note that none of the companies mentioned in this article are affiliated with Indeed.

Explore more articles