Accountant CV Example & Guide (+Accounting CV Template)

It sometimes seems that most people who get into finance and especially accounting are ‘straight-shooters’: people who prefer short, direct communication without a lot of flowery prose and padding.

 

Do you write unnecessarily long emails with far too much description and too many digressions? It’s unlikely that you do. That’s why accountants especially tend to get so stuck when sitting down to write or overhaul their accounting CV. But there’s a stereotype at play here that’s a little off the mark.

 

Writing a good accountancy CV doesn’t involve any waffling or padding. The way you probably prefer to write—objectively, letting the numbers do the talking—is exactly what’s needed here. Read on to see an accounting CV that’s better than most out there and learn how to make yours at least as good.

 

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Accountant CV example 

 

Imogen Hart

P: 077 5555 5555

E: imogen.hart@lcmail.co.uk

LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/imogenhart

 

Personal statement

 

Highly-motivated and knowledgable Chartered Accountant with 5+ years’ experience working in and with SMEs and larger corporations. In current role, recommended strategies for cutting costs with almost 90% of them being ultimately implemented resulting in net savings of over £2,000,000 over two years without requiring reductions in staff. Looking for opportunity to put analytical and bookkeeping skills to good use in helping Bairn Group Business Services expand onto the European markets.

 

Work experience

 

Management Accountant

Freesia Group Ltd, London

August 2018—present

  • Produced 35+ monthly management accounts for the senior management team and directors.
  • Maintained the control account and ensured that journals were ready for audit, passed 100% of audits with zero issues uncovered.
  • Supported the HR process by onboarding and training three new accounting and administrative workers, getting them fully operational at least a week sooner than anticipated.
  • Improved, developed and wherever possible automated systems and procedures that have led to a bookkeeping function that is at least as effective as before and 20–30% more efficient.
  • Produced short- and long-term cash flow forecasts that were accurate 67% of the time on average and 84% specifically in the short term.

 

Trainee Accountant

Hugh Walmsley Ltd, London

May 2015—July 2018

  • Assisted with the preparation of over 300 VAT returns with an error rate of 0.3% and no errors that were not easily reversed.
  • Maintained accurate client records within Viewpoint and other company systems for over 50 clients with no significant mistakes over three years.
  • Prepared and administered entity bank account payments to a total value of over £2,000,000.
  • Assisted with the preparation of filings for Companies House and other regulatory bodies with 100% of work finished by deadline and 65% at least one day prior.

 

Education

 

BSc (Hons) Accounting (2:1), 2012–2015

University of Westminster, Central London

 

Skills

 

  • Analysis: frequently interpreted and communicated complex financial information effectively to key stakeholders, including non-finance professionals.
  • Spreadsheets: confident using MS Excel, including ODBC queries, Lookups, If statements & Pivot tables, familiar with LibreOffice Calc as well.
  • Communication: often had to communicate the strategic implications of complex financial issues to people with little or no financial background.
  • Sustainability: focused on delivering value for money by ensuring all activities and services deliver added value to the company and/or client.
  • Organisation: frequently had to manage own workload while remaining flexible and continuing to work across various teams, e.g. when preparing for an audit.
  • Project management: adept at planning and driving forward longer-term work whilst managing shorter term demands to deliver to deadlines and deliver high quality outputs under pressure.

 

Qualifications

 

  • CIMA (Chartered Institute of Management Accountants)

 

Software

 

  • LibreOffice Suite
  • MS Office Suite
  • MS Dynamics
  • QuickBooks
  • Viewpoint
  • Xero

 

Now you know what a model CV looks like. Here’s how to write an accounting CV:

 

1. Start your accountant CV with an accounting personal statement

 

Writing a CV personal statement for an accounting job application can be a daunting task—if nothing else, it’s the longest chunk of text in your accounting CV and the most ‘free-form’. Plus, this is where you’ll make your first impression with your CV. You have one short paragraph to do three things:

  • Introduce you as an accounting professional
  • Show what you have to offer in a very concrete way
  • Make it clear that your goals line up eerily perfectly with the company’s.

 

You’ll also have to write a new personal statement for each and every new job application. Luckily, there’s an extremely effective shortcut to generating accounting personal statement after accounting personal statement. Simply answer each of these questions in a total of 3–4 sentences, 50–150 words:

  • What are you like as an accountant, and what’s your experience?
  • In what industries and specialisations have you been working?
  • What’s your most impressive/relevant achievement?
  • What’s your most unique achievement? (Optional)
  • What are you hoping to be able to achieve in this job? (For your employer, not yourself).

 

Your application is very likely to be parsed by an Applicant Tracking System before a human being even lays eyes on it, and there are a couple of things you can do to boost your chances of getting through:

  • Mention the full name of the company to which you’re applying as well as the post as it’s described in the advert
  • Try to mirror the keywords used in the advert, but a light touch is important here—don’t overdo it.

 

Your accounting personal statement clearly goes first in your CV, but it’s best to write it last. It’ll be much easier for you to do a good job once you have your job descriptions written and some practice in writing achievements under your belt (it's basically a CV summary).

 

Accounting personal statement example

 

Highly motivated and knowledgable Chartered Accountant with 5+ years’ experience working in and with SMEs and larger corporations. Recommended methods and strategies for cutting costs in current role as management accountant, with almost 90% of them being ultimately implemented resulting in net savings of over £2,000,000 over two years without requiring reductions in staff. Looking for opportunity to put analytical and bookkeeping skills to good use in helping Bairn Group Business Services expand onto the European markets.

 

A strong CV summary will convince the recruiter you’re the perfect candidate. Save time and choose a ready-made personal statement written by career experts and adjust it to your needs in the LiveCareer CV builder.

 

Create your CV nowcv builder

 

2. Use your accountant CV to showcase your achievements

 

The work experience section is in many ways the crux of your accounting CV. It’s also your best opportunity to put your accounting skills to use in writing your CV. First things first, use a chronological format for your CV, starting from your most recent experience and working your way back from there.

 

This is what hiring managers are expecting to see in an accounting CV and it’s also more easily parsed by an ATS. You’ll then need to create a subheading for each job description. Use this template to help you:

 

[Job Title]

[Company Name, Location]

[Dates of Employment]

 

Now you’ll need to fill each job description with up to six bullet points. These bullet points will not be your duties or responsibilities. Instead, they’ll be your measurable and quantified accounting achievements. You can use accomplishment statements to help you write these achievements out consistently.

 

The main thing to remember is that an achievement is basically a description of an action you took and the benefits that your action brought to the company. So start each achievement with a strong verb (like created, improved, reduced, etc.) and quantify everything you can, even if you have to estimate.

 

If you’re writing something like a trainee accountant CV or accounting assistant CV with no experience, then follow the above guidelines but focus on any internships, placement work, and volunteer work you’ve done. If you have no experience at all, then consider a student CV instead.

 

Accountant CV job description

 

Management Accountant

Freesia Group Ltd, London

August 2018—present

  • Produced 35+ monthly management accounts for the senior management team and directors.
  • Maintained the control account and ensured that journals were ready for audit, passed 100% of audits with zero issues uncovered.
  • Supported the HR process by onboarding and training three new accounting and administrative workers, getting them fully operational at least a week sooner than anticipated.
  • Improved, developed and wherever possible automated systems and procedures that have led to a bookkeeping function that is at least as effective as before and 20–30% more efficient.
  • Produced short- and long-term cash flow forecasts that were accurate 67% of the time on average and 84% specifically in the short term.

 

Trainee Accountant

Hugh Walmsley Ltd, London

May 2015—July 2018

  • Assisted with the preparation of over 300 VAT returns with an error rate of 0.3% and no errors that were not easily reversed.
  • Maintained accurate client records within Viewpoint and other company systems for over 50 clients with no significant mistakes over three years.
  • Prepared and administered entity bank account payments to a total value of over £2,000,000.
  • Assisted with the preparation of filings for Companies House and other regulatory bodies with 100% of work finished by deadline and 65% at least one day prior.

 

3. Include a brief and to-the-point education section in your accountant CV

 

Whether you choose to get into private practice or public finance, university is certainly not the only road into accountancy. Nevertheless, your education, training and qualification level obviously matter, so make your education section as clear and easy to follow as possible.

 

Stick with a reverse-chronological order so that your highest education reached will be first. If you have a university degree, then there’s no need to mention high school. There’s no need to mention grades no matter what—they’ll only add clutter without adding any value.

 

Use the following template for university degrees as well as other tertiary qualifications:

 

[Degree Type] [Degree Name](Degree Class), [Years Attended]

[Institution Name], [Institution Location]

 

If you’re still studying, then include an expected graduation date. If you don’t have a university degree, CFAB or AAT, then use the following templates to describe your high school education:

 

A-levels: [Subject Name 1], [Subject Name 2], [Subject Name 3]

[School Name], [School Location], [Years Attended]

 

[n] GCSEs (including Mathematics and English)

[School Name], [School Location], [Years Attended]

 

where n is the number of GCSEs you completed.

 

If you’re writing a graduate accountant CV or junior accountant CV and don’t have much experience yet, then put this section above your work experience section.

 

Accountant CV education section example

 

BSc (Hons) Accounting (2:1), 2012–2015

University of Westminster, Central London

 

You don’t have to be a CV writing expert. In the LiveCareer CV builder you’ll find ready-made content for every industry and position, which you can then add with a single click.

 

Create your CV nowcv builder

 

4. Put your accounting skills on display in your accountant CV

 

Just as there are many fields in accounting so are there many different skill-sets in accounting. Make it clear to your recruiters exactly what skills you bring to the table. Start by making a master list of accounting skills and backing each skill up with some supporting evidence.

 

To do this, open a separate document and brainstorm as many of your accounting skills as you can (hard and communication skills). Once you’re done, go back and add a sentence to each skill you’ve listed that demonstrates that you’ve actually put this skill into action in your accounting work. If you can’t do this for a skill, then it’s out.

 

This file is your master list for future applications. Go back to your CV and the job advert to which you’re responding. Copy 5–10 accounting skills from your master list into your CV, being sure to at least cover what’s asked for in the advert. Substitute synonyms to mirror keywords from the advert.

 

Accounting skills for a CV

 

  • Analysis: frequently interpreted and communicated complex financial information effectively to key stakeholders, including non-finance professionals.
  • Spreadsheets: confident using MS Excel, including ODBC queries, Lookups, If statements & Pivot tables, familiar with LibreOffice Calc as well.
  • Communication: often had to communicate the strategic implications of complex financial issues to people with little or no financial background.
  • Sustainability: focused on delivering value for money by ensure all activities and services deliver added value to the company and/or client.
  • Organisation: frequently had to manage own workload while remaining flexible and continuing to work across various teams, e.g. when preparing for an audit.
  • Project management: adept at planning and driving forward longer-term work whilst managing shorter term demands to deliver to deadlines and deliver high quality outputs under pressure.

 

5. Add extra sections to your accounting CV

 

It’s easy to get pigeonholed as an accountant. Stretch the mould to fit your professional self by adding extra sections to your accounting CV. You could add sections that list your additional qualifications (e.g. ACCA, CIMA, ACA, CIFPA, ICAS, ICAEW, as well as CFAB and AAT) or software proficiencies, for example.

 

Your additional CV sections needn’t be so directly relevant to your role, though. You could, for example, include any foreign languages you speak (a boon in virtually any industry) or even your hobbies. These sections have to be relevant to your application but that doesn’t mean always sticking to the obvious.

 

Accountant CV additional sections sample

 

Qualifications

 

  • CIMA (Chartered Institute of Management Accountants)

 

Software

 

  • LibreOffice Suite
  • MS Office Suite
  • MS Dynamics
  • QuickBooks
  • Viewpoint
  • Xero

 

6. Include a cover letter with your accounting CV

 

You’re no stranger to forms, applications and reports coming in two or more parts. Your accounting CV is no different—it’s just one part of your job application, and your accountant cover letter is the other part. Always include a cover letter unless you’ve been explicitly asked not to do so.

 

A good accounting cover letter will follow the standard UK business letter format. It, like your accounting CV, will be based around quantified achievements. The structure should end up looking something like this:

  • A header, laid out according to UK convention
  • The right kind of salutation for you
  • A cover letter opening that grabs the reader’s attention
  • An impressive showcase of your accounting achievements
  • A neat wrap-up and compelling call to action
  • A way of signing off that matches your salutation.

 

In terms of cover letter length, your body paragraphs should look something like this:

  • Opening paragraph—between 60 and 80 words
  • Main body paragraph(s)—between 120 and 200 words
  • Closing paragraph(s)—between 40 and 60 words.

 

This should leave your whole accounting cover letter between 250 and 400 words long, which is between half an A4 page and a single A4 page. Daunting at first but much simpler than it seems. You’re easily halfway there once you have the work experience section of your CV written.

 

7. What else should you keep in mind when sending out your accountant CV?

 

Here are a few CV layout rules to remember about when writing your accounting CV.

 

Make sure everything adds up

 

A typo or spelling or grammatical error in your accounting CV or cover letter is like a miscalculation in a statement of financial position—something to be avoided at all costs. Get someone else to look over your work and use any of the apps, web apps, or programmes out there that can help you.

 

Aim for maximum readability

 

You don’t need a lecture on the importance of legible, reader-friendly layout. So just remember to leave your contact details near the top of your CV and don’t skimp on white space throughout. Keep everything as easy to scan through as possible. Use a CV font like Noto, Garamond, Arial, or whatever your default is. Make your sections headings slightly larger. You can also use bold or underline to guide the recruiter’s eyes.

 

Default to PDF

 

Send your documents through as PDF files unless explicitly asked for something else. PDFs will preserve your formatting much better than most other formats.

 

Follow up after a week

 

Haven’t heard back after a week? Follow up with a quick email or phone call. It can’t hurt and may even do a lot of good. At the very least, you’ll know where your application stands.

 

A cover letter alone simply won’t be enough—you need an impactful CV, too. Create your CV in minutes. Just follow our wizard and fill in every CV section with ready-made content. Get started by choosing a professional CV template.

 

cv builder

 

The LiveCareer online CV maker lets you build a professional CV fast and download it as a PDF or DOC.

 

Create your CV now

 

Has this article helped you massage your accountant CV into shape? I hope so—please leave a comment below if there’s anything I touched upon that you’d like me to elaborate on. Leave any other comments, questions, feedback or experiences you’d like to share below as well—we’d love to read them.

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LiveCareer Editorial Team

LiveCareer Editorial Team

About the author

Since 2005, the LiveCareer Team has been helping job seekers advance their careers. In our in-depth guides, we share insider tips and the most effective CV and cover letter writing techniques so that you can beat recruiters in the hiring game and land your next job fast. Also, make sure to check out our state-of-the-art CV and cover letter builder—professional, intuitive, and fully in line with modern HR standards. Trusted by 10 million users worldwide.

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