As a numbers expert, you might find it particularly taxing to write your accountant CV. Just like accuracy and attention to detail are essential for an accountant, the same is true for writing your CV. Your CV is the first impression a hiring manager will get, so it is important to make sure it’s a positive one. The hiring manager should get a good understanding of your expertise with a quick scan of your CV.
At Resume.io we have created the perfect tools for job seekers, including a growing number of occupation-specific CV writing guides and CV examples. We also have a handy CV builder to make the job easier.
With this CV writing guide, and the corresponding accountant CV example, you will find the following information on how to create your masterpiece:
- Taking into account your professional role
- The key elements you need in your CV
- The best format to use
- Hints and tips for a great-looking CV
What does an accountant do?
Accountants are responsible for advising organisations on financial aspects such as taxes and managing money more efficiently. Typical duties include assisting with VAT returns, auditing, and financial forecasting. An accountant may work in a large corporate organisation or a small SME, depending on what is best suited to their expertise and preference.
Membership of accountancy bodies is on the rise, according to statistics from the Financial Reporting Council. The growth rate was 2.2% in the UK from 2015 to 2019, and 3% worldwide.
How much does an accountant earn?
The average annual salary for an accountant in the UK is £29,927, but with significant experience, you could potentially earn £100,000. It may be more or less depending on your location. For instance, you can expect to earn more if you live in London.
According to research data cited by accountancytoday.co.uk , almost three-quarters (74%) of UK businesses are becoming troubled by the lack of skilled workers, while businesses within the accounting industry are understaffed by 22%. There is long-term demand for accountants across the UK, and if this is your chosen field, you can expect to have a choice of roles.
How to write an accountant CV
Before tackling your CV, you need to have a good understanding of what sections need to be included. These are the main components:
- CV header (including contact details)
- CV summary, or profile (a few sentences covering your main areas of expertise)
- Employment history
Make sure you fully understand the company you are applying to and write your CV with this in mind. Tailor the content and wording to the specific job requirements, considering what will be important to the hiring manager. An accountant in a large organisation will typically need more in-depth experience than someone working for an SME.
This is the recommended formula for writing your accountant CV:
- Adapt the style and tone to suit the employer. Take a bit of time to find out more about the organisation, so you understand what recruiters are looking for in job candidates.
- Keep it short and simple; don’t exceed one page or make the layout and design too outlandish.
- Make sure appropriate keywords are used throughout your CV, as the organisation may use an applicant tracking system (ATS).
Choosing the best CV format for accounting
When it comes to choosing the best CV format for an accountant, reverse chronological is generally your best pick. That’s because this format showcases your relevant employment history starting with your most recent position and working backwards through the past 10 years.
Accounting is a job based on know-how and experience so the reverse chronological format gives you the best chance of impressing the hiring manager by highlighting what you’ve learned in related roles.
A striking CV header attracts the right kind of attention at first glance. It can make you look professional, organized and accessible, while everything else on the page looks inviting to read. And it’s what duly impressed hiring managers will come back to when they are ready to contact you for an interview.
So make the most of this opportunity to prominently display your name, occupation, contact information and LinkedIn profile URL. Double the distinctive impact with consistent design elements in your cover letter header.
CV summary example: making it count
The CV summary is featured after your header, and this will be an introduction to who you are and why the hiring manager should be excited to read more about you. What can you offer the company? Why would they be crazy not to shortlist you for an interview?
The summary — sometimes called the profile or personal statement — only needs to be a few statements that reflect your key areas of expertise. Use action verbs, such as 'managed, enhanced’, instead of 'was responsible for initiating, managing, enhancing.'
‘Managed the accountants for a large organisation with 500 employees’ as opposed to ‘I was responsible for managing the accountants for a large organisation with 500 employees.’
Check out the summary of our CV example below for wording you can modify for your situation.
Certified Accountant with 10+ years of experience in account reconciliations, streamlining accounts, and financial planning. Highly motivated professional with a proven track record of delivering accurate reports and high-quality service. A dedicated leader and role model, able to guide effective teams in attaining profit improvement.
Employment history sample: your greatest assets
The next section will usually be your employment history unless you are a recent graduate with little professional experience. In that case, your education may come first. List the positions you have held in reverse chronological order, starting with your most recent employment and working backwards.
Use bullet points to describe what you did in each role. It is easy to just write the job duties, but it is much more enticing for a hiring manager to know the outcomes and impact of your contributions. What difference did you make? If you can support it with stats, so much the better!
Accountants are specialists, and your employment history should be in line with what the employer is looking for. Tailor your CV to suit the specific role and expertise required.
You can find an adaptable CV employment history sample below.
Accountant at Huntington Associates, Birmingham
January 2019 - August 2022
- Managed a team of five accounting assistants, ensuring they were achieving team and organisation goals.
- Managed all company accounts, ensuring accuracy and efficiency in the details.
- Processed payroll for over 50 employees and promptly dealt with pertinent queries
- Mentored and trained new employees, encouraging optimal performance consistent with career goals.
Accountant at Tower Bridge Bank, City of London
June 2016 - January 2019
- Conducted risk assessments on potential projects, ensuring they met with company goals before proceeding.
- Processed payroll for over 100 employees in a varied range of roles.
- Balanced year-end totals to achieve 100% accuracy with all payments.
- Trained new employees as requested by senior management.
Accounts Assistant at BK Contractors, Birmingham
January 2011 - June 2016
- Maintained sales ledgers and prepared payment runs for one of the region’s fastest-growing companies.
- Managed receivables ledgers and completion of supplier reconciliations.
- Meticulously maintained supplier records to reflect frequent updates.
- Consistently diligent and effective in keeping on top of credit control.
- Answered client queries and managed other ad hoc duties as required.
Accountant CV education example
A prospective employer will be more attracted to candidates who are committed to ongoing learning, and there’s no better place to show that than in your CV's education section. For an accountant role, you will need to have a degree and membership in the relevant professional accounting body. Any additional, relevant education should also be featured here. Consider how your education will be a benefit to the role, and highlight the key aspects that might be of interest to the hiring manager.
This is an accountant CV education example you can modify.
BA (Hons) Accounting and Finance, University of Birmingham, Birmingham
June 2012 - August 2015
CV skills example: your present value
An accountant, of course, needs to have strong hard skills, such as managing balance sheets and understanding profits and losses. In addition, though, you should mention some soft skills, such as strong communication and team abilities. Consider what skills will make you an asset to the organisation, and adapt these to suit the employer.
Accountants are often stereotyped as quite serious professionals, who might not excel at communication. However, employers will want someone who can engage with colleagues and other departments to bring success to the organisation. Be clear about the key skills that may set you apart from other candidates.
Check out the skills section from our CV example below.
- Microsoft Office
- Ability to Work Under Pressure
- Computer Skills
- Ability to Work in a Team
- Financial Reporting
- Budgeting & Forecasting
CV layout and design: closing the books
The content of your CV is the most important part of it, but visual impressions also count, so you need to consider the document's layout and design.
Hiring managers expect to be able to read your CV easily, so the layout should be clean and orderly, with each section flowing smoothly and logically into the next. For an accountant CV, there’s no need to go over the top with images, icons or eccentric colors. A professional template with a neutral color scheme can go a long way in helping you present yourself well.
The thought of writing a CV can be daunting, but with careful planning, it can be much easier. If you are not quite sure how to get started or the best design to use, take a look at our CV templates. Using our easy-to-use builder tool, the formatting tasks will be taken care of, so you can just focus on writing the best possible CV content.
- Keep a balance of white space to text so that your CV is easy for the HR manager to read.
- Proofread your application so that it’s error-free when you submit. Nothing less is acceptable for an accountant!
- Use more than two different font styles on one CV.
- Add bright images or colors.
- Label sections with “creative” headings – stick to the basics like education or employment history
Key takeaways for an accountant CV
There is a lot of potential growth for an accountant. You can move from this role into a senior accountant role, and then potentially into management. You might also move from an SME into a role with a large organisation, where the salary will typically be much higher.
- There is a lot of potential career growth for an accountant. You can progress from this job into a senior accountant position, and then potentially into management. You might also move from an SME into a role with a large organisation, where the salary will typically be much higher.
- Understanding your audience is vital. Always tailor your CV to suit the job and employer.
- Use keywords throughout your CV to help ensure it is not rejected by an ATS. You can find suitable keywords from the job description.
- A CV builder can help you quickly create an attractive design that will stand out to the hiring manager.