Accountant Resume Sample

The accounting field covers a large area of careers. From in-house accountants that specialize in one area, such as accounts receivable, to those working for a firm that manages the finances for multiple businesses, the key to writing a quality accounting resume is to use numbers to show you will be an asset to the company you are applying to.

Let’s take a look at a what a CPA’s resume might look like and why.

What this writing guide will cover:

  • A realistic detailed example
  • Writing tips and strategies
  • Summary and final thoughts
accountant at work

Example of an Accountant Resume

Quick Facts

  • the applicant uses a Career Objective
  • the applicant uses a reverse-chronological format due to his experience
  • the applicant makes sure to mention he graduated with honors
  • the applicant uses a template with easily recognizable sections

Text Version

William Harris
423 Broad Street, Valrico, FL 33594 (813) 894-6220
Small business Certified Public Account for 6+ years. Advanced from a junior accounting associate to lead account for 10-person firm specializing in managing small business’s accounting needs. Extremely organized, diligent, and detail oriented. Seeking to help improve workflow efficiency of [COMPANY NAME] with my experience.
Lead Accountant August 2009 – Current Kline & Wilkes
Developed and implemented procedures to streamline monthly closings, eliminating overtime and saving firm an excess of $30,000 in compensation annually
Ensure compliance with Management Services Agreements for each client Prepare, review, and report to the firm founders bank reconciliations, trial balances, general ledgers, and other balance sheet reconciliations
Train all new junior accountants
Accounting Intern January 2009 – June 2009 Bonder & Sons LLC
Prepared book values and journal entries under the watch of the training manager
Assisted in maintaining client files
Assisted in filing, copying, and other general office duties as assigned
Verified client invoices for quantity, unit pricing, extensions and applicable discounts
B.S. Accounting August 2005 – June 2009 Franklin University
Graduated magna cum laude
2-year member of Franklin University Math Club

Accountant Resume Writing Tips

As stated before there are many types of accountants. For the sake of this resume, our accountant is a CPA. He has a good amount of experience working for a firm that manages the books for businesses in the private sector.

The Opening

Due to his experience, our applicant could have opted to open his resume with a professional profile, but instead he went with a simpler career objective. He chose this approach because he wanted to isolate the length of his experience right away.

Later, in the work experience section, he can get into more detail about what he has done. But as the position he is applying to specified several time that the successful candidate will have over 5 years of related experience, it was important to make sure a hiring manager can quickly see that requirement is filled.

Use Hard Numbers

The accounting field is a numbers based business. Don’t be afraid to take the same approach to your accountant resume that you do with your job.

In the work experience section, use quantifiable numbers to show what you have done for your previous employers.

Our applicant does this in one very noticeable way:

Developed and implemented procedures to streamline monthly closings, eliminating overtime and saving firm an excess of $30,000 in compensation annually

Mr. Harris did not use many more numbers, which most people should. But, because this number is very important, he wants it to stand out.

Like in the career objective, this one number is isolated so it really speaks volumes. Anyone that can save a small business the equivalent of one person’s salary while not negatively effecting the business is worth a closer look.

If you don’t have one really impressive statistic like this, then make sure to use more hard numbers to show the scope of your duties and abilities.

Round it Out

Sometimes your resume will need to get through an automated screening program that larger businesses and firms might use called an applicant tracking system. To be on the safe side, you’ll want to include a lot of industry specific lingo.

In the rest of his work experience section you can see Mr. Harris uses words like:

  • reconciliations
  • balances
  • ledgers
  • book values
  • invoices

If you are applying to a specific department, spend a few extra minutes to make sure your resume contains the most common job related words for that department. If you don’t, your resume might never land in front of human eyes.

Our applicant also included one bullet point that while not containing any numbers, it shows both his expertise and his current employer’s trust.

Train all new junior accountants

Mr. Harris has earned the task of training new hires in how the company operates. That is a huge responsibility and something you absolutely want to include.

Furthermore, the applicant was an excellent student.

If you graduated with a high GPA (>3.5) or were awarded any type of honors, include it. While it’s generally not as important as the experience you can show in your work history, it won’t hurt.

And, don’t hold back on your other accomplishments. Here are a few extras you should consider including if they fit your background:

  • business, accounting, or math clubs you are or were a member of
  • any industry related awards you have won or been nominated for
  • any industry recognized certifications you hold

You want to sell yourself, so include anything relevant that makes you look like a valuable employee. Just remember, a little boasting is okay, just never ever lie.

In Summary

In the day of advanced computing and software, when you apply to any business-related job you need to write your resume for both automating screening programs and human eyes.

Include all the typical industry jargon, paying special attention to mimic the vocabulary in any online job postings you have seen for the position. But, also make sure you include important details about specific accomplishments that will catch the eye of a human viewer.

Lastly, accounting is a numbers-based career, so use hard numbers in your accounting resume where applicable. A few well-placed numerical details go a long way in showing what you’re capable of.

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