Accounting managers assume leadership roles in what is undeniably one of the most essential fields of business.
But if you’re pursuing an opportunity for a high-level, lucrative position as an accounting manager, you’re going to need a well-written, compelling resume to show recruiters that you have exactly what it takes.
We’re going to help you write a resume that will make you stand out amongst all the other applicants pursuing the same job as you.
Resume objective for an accounting manager
Accounting managers combine the fundamental competencies that an accountant needs to succeed in the field with the essential leadership skills that make a good manager.
So, when you write an objective that relates to the position you are applying for, you need to show how the combination of these skills will add value to the position you are applying for.
According to The University of Scranton, which offers an online Master of Accountancy degree, you need to keep your objective short. It shouldn’t be more than two sentences.
They also warn that accounting companies wanting to hire professionals for accounting positions will likely ignore generic resumes.
This means that you need to build a resume that will match the needs of the job description you are looking at.
As they say, you need a resume that will persuade recruiters with facts rather than broad ideas or speculation.
Instead of the traditional objective at the top of your resume, the career counselors at Scranton suggest a quick narrative sentence that suggests you have the skills the employer wants as well as a whack of others that will add value to the position.
Dedicated and highly competent accounting manager with proven skills and abilities ready to grow employer success. Comprehensive knowledge of software and computer systems.
Resume skills for an accounting manager
One of the best ways to determine whether the job you want to apply for is a good fit is to compare the skills required with the skills that you have. If you don’t have the required skills, move on.
In an article on its website on how to become an accounting manager, Ohio University outlines the essential skills required to excel in the profession.
They include fundamental math competencies, analytics that ensure maximum financial efficiency, excellent organizational skills, communication at all levels, and leadership to motivate and encourage staff members.
In addition to these essential accounting skills, there are software skills that employers will usually specify. Different companies use different programs, so if they haven’t specified these requirements it’s a good idea to find out their priorities.
If you don’t have experience with specified software, don’t pretend you do. Rather say you have experience with similar software (and name it), and that you are willing to learn the software skills required.
If an advert doesn’t specify software skills, you might want to mention those you have mastered, like Microsoft Excel or QuickBooks. Just remember that different industries sometimes use accountancy programs specific to their industry, like banking, healthcare, or warehouse management.
Analytics, Communication, Critical thinking, Detail-oriented, Leadership, Integrity, Math, Organization, Software
Accounting manager work experience
Good, solid work experience always stands out on a resume, but if possible, make sure you only list positions where you did work that is relevant to the position you are applying for.
If you don’t have much work experience, at least ensure that what you show is related to accounting and finance. If you did one or more internships, you can include these.
It’s advisable to be reasonably detailed and to include bullet points that indicate accomplishments and responsibilities you have had in previous jobs.
Of course, you might not have been employed as an accounting manager before. But you have probably undertaken many of the tasks an accounting manager typically has, like preparing monthly, quarterly, and annual financial statements and helping with budget coordination.
If you add numbers, like reducing credit repayment to under 90 days for 75% of clients, or managing databases for 30 companies, do so. This will show how you could add value to your new job.
Accounting managers are commonly responsible for hiring and training accounting staff and for various personnel issues. Even if your previous positions didn’t involve leadership, you might have mentored and trained staff. All this is valid and should be included in your resume.
Sample Work Experience
Polywin Corporation, CA
Accounting Manager, 2018 – 2020
Handled direct accounting and financial planning, budgeting, procurement, and investment activities of the organization. Established and implemented internal accounting control procedures.
- Provided advice on the control and improvement of the financial health of the company and improved financial performance by 25% in the first year.
- Analyzed accounting and financial performance and management information including financial statements, cash flow projections, working capital management, budgeting and control, forecasting, and operating procedures.
- Coordinated and monitored manufacturing schedules to provide relevant budgeting and cash flow requirement information. Improved cash-flow by 10%.
- Estimated the future financial position of the company which was stable.
Assistant Accounting Manager, 2016 – 2017
Managed daily operation of the cash accounting team and escalated concerns to management as required. Provided regular feedback to the associates on reports and performance.
- Implemented, enhanced, and monitored accounting procedures and internal controls.
- Assigned balance sheet reconciliations and completed them monthly in Oracle Account Reconciliation Cloud Services (ARCS).
- Monitored the workload of the team routinely and made certain they all had level-loaded desk assignments.
- Routinely worked with other departments in HQ including treasury, central accounting, and the financial management office.
Four Seasons, CA
Staff Accountant, 2014 – 2015
Assisted the Director of Finance in maintaining general ledger and balance sheet reconciliations. Assisted with bi-weekly payrolls and ran reports in ADP and process.
- Helped to maintain the effectiveness of internal controls to safeguard the assets and resources of the hotel.
- Actively supported other department managers with issues arising including labor standards and payroll.
- Assisted with the training of Finance Department staff.
- Mentored three junior accountants.
Accounting manager education
If you are applying for a job as an accounting manager, you will already be a qualified public accountant (PA) with at least a bachelor’s degree in accounting, finance, or business.
Courses generally include topics related to accounting, auditing, and tax matters as well as coursework in finance, marketing, and management.
We sampled dozens of job postings for accounting manager jobs and found that a relatively small percentage require a master’s in accounting, finance, or another related field.
But jobs often call for accreditation as a Certified Public Accountant (CPA), see Certifications below. This usually involves an additional year of study after completion of a bachelor’s degree – which equates with the time it will take to get a master’s degree.
The alternative would be to complete a post-baccalaureate CPA preparation program that will also take about a year.
Universities typically specify the subject choices for an accountancy curriculum. For instance, the American University, Washington’s Kogod School of Business specifies its core requirements, major requirements, and course requirements, including the number of credit hours required for each.
AU is one of many universities that offers a combined bachelor’s/master’s business program, including accounting and related topics like finance, analytics, real estate, marketing, sustainable management, and taxation.
Bachelor of Science in Accounting, 2017 – 2020
- Accepted for the master’s accounting program in 2021
All U.S. states require CPAs to be licensed and to take continuing education courses, including ethics.
While the requirements are set by each state, there are certain typical limitations. For instance, continuing professional education (CPE) hours are not permitted for basic introductory accounting courses or courses specifically required for examinations.
According to Lorman Education Services, in New York, all licensed PAs and CPAs who perform accounting and accounting-related functions, including tax and financial advisory functions, must complete 40 hours of training in different subjects, or 24 hours in one subject, every year.
Additionally, they have to undergo four hours of ethics and professional development training.
Some of the Lorman courses, all live webinars, are listed below. Most universities also offer courses, and various associations, including those mentioned in the next section, Certifications, recommend courses.
Additionally, since accountants use all kinds of computer software, including BillQuick, SageOne, Wave, FreshBooks, and Xero, these are also courses you might consider.
- Limited Liability Companies: Common Traps to Avoid
- Understanding IRS Form 1099-NEC and Form 1099-MISC and Best Practices
- Best Practices in Invoice Processing
- Estate Planning Techniques and Considerations for the Snowbird Population
When we sampled job postings for accounting managers and found that a large number require certification as a CPA.
As stated above, you need a bachelor’s degree and 150 total academic credits to qualify to write the CPA exam. Since a bachelor’s degree requires 120-128 credits, you’ll need to study further to get the additional credits.
The options are to take a post-baccalaureate program or to complete a master’s degree. While the latter takes a bit longer and is more difficult and potentially more costly, a master’s degree opens doors to better-paid jobs.
As the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics points out, whichever route accountants take to get a CPA, certification also enhances job prospects, and employers will sometimes pay the associated costs.
A uniform, four-part CPA set by the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) is used in all U.S. states and candidates are usually given a maximum period of 18 months to complete all four.
There are several other certifications that accountants and accounting managers can get if they wish.
The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) has an internationally recognized Chartered Global Management Accountant (CGMA) certification.
The Institute of Management Accountants (IMA) offers the Certified Management Accountant (CMA) credential to accountants with bachelor’s degrees.
Complete accounting manager resume sample
We scoured popular worksites to find a real advert that we could use for a sample resume and chose the one below. We are going to use it to show you how to tailor a resume to meet the needs of a potential employer.
You will see that the job is being advertised by a health system company in Maryland.
They are looking for an accounting manager who has five years of experience in a related position or positions. They want someone with at least a bachelor’s and prefer a CPA.
Ideally, the person they will employ will have experience in a hospital accounting environment and formal training in a not-for-profit hospital dealing with accounting and finance.
Competent accountant with leadership and managerial skills. Six years of experience in the health industry. Certified and proficient with excellent software skills.
Finance & statistics | Meditech & EPSi | Microsoft Office Suite | Independent | Time management | Critical thinker | Good leader | Written and verbal communication
John Hopkins Health System
Senior Accountant, 2019 – 2020
Primarily responsible for financial reporting, financial analysis, account reconciliations, and journal entries for various JHHS affiliates. Reported to the JHHS Directors of Financial Reporting and Accounting.
- Produced timely and accurate monthly GAAP financial reporting packages including budget to actual analysis of the results of the responsible affiliates.
- Presented monthly actual versus budget analysis to affiliate senior management and JHHS management when required.
- Coordinated with staff accountants to ensure that all journal entries were recorded and monthly reconciliations were complete and accurate.
- Accountable for teaching staff and mentorship.
American Nurses Association, Inc., MD
Staff Accountant, 2017 – 2018
Worked under the supervision of the accounting manager and was responsible for the preparation and reconciliation of monthly financial schedules. Maintained records and performed general bookkeeping.
- Accumulated the information required for the schedules and documents needed for year-end audits.
- Prepared 27 special ad-hoc reporting projects.
- Performed monthly balance sheet reconciliations related to payable accrual schedules and vendor accounts payable accounts. Improved cash flow by 15%.
- Coordinated and assisted with month-end and year-end closing tasks.
University of Maryland Medical System, MD
Accountant I, 2015 – 2016
Worked in an entry-level position under the supervision and general direction of senior-level accounting personnel. Performed entry-level professional accounting responsibilities.
- Assisted senior accountants in preparing basic monthly financial statements and maintained various record files.
- Reconciled subsidiary data that was to be interfaced into the general ledger.
- Prepared monthly standard journal entries with supporting documentation.
- Provided assistance to the medical system department regarding monthly accounting reported and explained accounting policies and procedures. Nicknamed the Angel Accountant.
University of Maryland Global Campus
Master’s Degree in Healthcare Administration, Accounting, 2015
University of Maryland, Robert H. Smith School of Business
Bachelor of Science in Accounting, 2011 – 2014
You’ve mastered the fundamental competencies of accountancy and have the leadership skills you need to get a job as an accounting manager. Now pay attention to the specifics required by the company that is advertising the position.
- A resume objective is optional but if you keep it short and sweet, and use it to market your skills and experience, it is likely to catch the eye of recruiters who might otherwise discard your resume without even reading it.
- Compare the skills that you have with the skills required for the job and highlight those that match.
- In the section where you outline your work experience, market yourself by including achievements and goals that you met while working for other companies. This will show how you can add value to the new job.
Tips from Experts
“Your accounting resume is going to be something that people see before they even see your face! It can be that first touch point that determines whether you even get to that second phase. It’s not important that you have a lot of stuff, it’s important that you have the right stuff. Accounting is quite conservative. You don’t necessarily want to be noticed in the beginning for being different!“ – Andrew Argue, CPA
“Accounting certifications should be the first thing you see on your resume. This is what people who are hiring managers want to see. If you have an accounting certification it could be your foot in the door that the other person doesn’t have.“ – Courtenay, CMA, The Accounting Struggle on YouTube
“Your professional accounting resume has to stand out in a pile of papers. Once it is noticed, it also has to demonstrate you know the accounting industry. As an accounting job candidate, you should talk about the company in your objective, making it as specific as possible and linking back to your skills. Use short-term goals first, rather than long-term, generic goals.” – The University of Scranton Career Center
You’re good with numbers and you’re going places, but to get there, you’re going to have to sharpen your pencil and get your resume into shape. The most important issue is that it must be crafted to meet the wants of the employer.
Start with an existing resume by all means, but use the tips we have provided to make it stand out above all the rest so that you get that all-important interview – and one foot in the door.