Your accounting accomplishments show potential employers what you can accomplish their accounting departments. These accomplishments may include examples of expertise, ingenuity or collaboration. Accomplishments can help you strengthen your resume and might even be relevant in your cover letter and interview. In this article, we look at how to select your best accounting department achievements, make them sound compelling and list some examples of accomplishment descriptions you might include on a resume.
What are some accounting department accomplishments?
Professional accomplishments are achievements beyond your daily work responsibilities. In an accounting department, this might include ways that you strengthened controls, exceeded schedule or documentation reports or built new systems. Accounting accomplishments can also include professional honors or credentials, like being a CPA or earning your MBA.
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How to describe your professional accounting accomplishments
Try this process to produce strong descriptions of your accounting accomplishments on your resume:
1. List your best accomplishments
Make a list of your accomplishments that are most relevant to the position you're applying for. Accomplishments in similar roles in the financial industry are best. If you're applying for a senior or management position, you might add other leadership accomplishments. Personal achievements like an elected role in a volunteer organization can help show that your skills extend beyond the workplace.
2. Include numbers when possible
Percentages, dollar amounts and dates can show the extent of your abilities because they provide easily quantifiable metrics. As you look over your list of accomplishments, consider these questions:
- How much: Consider how much money or time you saved the organization or by what percent you lowered spending or reduced errors.
- How quickly: If you saved time or finished work ahead of schedule, include how many hours or days you saved.
- How many: Include numbers like the size of any teams you supervised, how many departments participated in your initiatives and how many people attended your trainings.
3. Use action verbs
Emphasize your role by using strong active verbs like "oversaw," "drove" or "accelerated." These are more vivid than phrases like "was responsible for" or "participated in," and they show your role more clearly.
Examples of accounting accomplishments for your resume
Here are some types of accounting accomplishments that you can list in the work experience section of your resume, along with examples:
Efficiency accomplishments can be useful for resumes because they include numbers and show your role in increasing workplace profits. Here are some efficiency accomplishment examples:
- Reduced department paperwork by 33% by implementing new digital memo and report distribution system
- Improved income and expense automated entry form for greater user understanding, leading to 50% faster completion by department heads
- Worked with purchasing department to consolidate monthly steel orders into quarterly bulk orders delivered in monthly installments, decreasing supply costs by $120,000 annually
- Identified redundancies in reporting process, analyzed their effectiveness at identifying errors and eliminated ineffective redundancies, saving 7 staff hours weekly
Operational accountant achievements might include ways that you improved processing operations or accelerated a department schedule, like these:
- Produced year-end summary report before January 10 for three consecutive years
- Accelerated month-end closing process by implementing scheduled error checkpoints, reducing errors found at later stages by 70%
- Located and corrected internal controls flaw that allowed for incorrect categorization of $40,000 in company funds
Innovation accomplishments can show prospective employers that you have a creative approach to your work and can complete projects. Here are some examples:
- Created new control system for acquired company, which successfully scaled as they doubled their operations over 8 years
- Introduced new digital reporting system for international branches, which reduced reporting schedule by 13 days
- Developed three-day error catching seminar attended by 130 company accountants from all branches, which contributed to 15% fewer errors on individual department monthly reports
- Directed analysis of markets, budgets and spending over 11 years to improve budget projection system accuracy by 30%
Accomplishments in personal relations can show employers what you can contribute to their team ethic and camaraderie. These might include items like:
- Improved relationships with international accounting teams, increasing our response speeds to emails and messages by 33%
- Built relationships with three new audit clients, negotiated meetings, scheduled staff for audits and responded to all questions or concerns within 24 hours
- Served as accounting liaison with sales department and collected information to provide 20% more detail on quarterly reports and reduce discrepancies
- Developed virtual mid-month checkpoints for department heads and accounting representatives, leading to a 65% increase in departments staying within budget each month
- Collaborated with marketing and advertising to adjust monthly budgets for first quarter in order to launch new campaign that generated $5 million in revenue within a year
Leadership accomplishments like these can be great to include on your resume, especially if you're applying for a senior or director position:
- Mentored new team member, teaching company policies and work practices that increased their productivity by 50% over two weeks
- Led 12-member accounting team for 3 years, producing a 10% increase in team productivity
- Took voluntary education director role, directed training and continuing education process for 17 employees and 3 new hires
- Mentored 3 employees in the CPA process, helping each to earn 97% or higher on both exams
- Managed accounting team during 6 month merger process with Other Corp, creating new 6-member audit specialist team and coordinating software overhaul
You might mention professional certifications, educational accomplishments or graduate degrees on your resume in their own designated sections. Certifications might fit best under their own skills and certifications heading, while specific degree information goes in your education history. Here's what that information might look like within the certification or education sections of your resume:
- MBA in Finance, Sera University, 2010
- Certified Financial Services Auditor and Certified Internal Auditor, Domestic Auditing Institute
- MS in Finance, University of West Bay, 2017
Where to discuss accounting accomplishments
You can discuss your accomplishments in several places through the job application process. Here are a few places to mention them:
You can include relevant accomplishments on your resume in several places besides the work experience, education and certifications sections. If you have a remarkable accomplishment that translates directly into your next role, you might include that in your professional summary at the top. If you have several recent accomplishments or would like to list some volunteer or personal achievements as well, you might consider creating an accomplishments section below the work experience section.
Related: Accountant Resume Samples
It's common to elaborate on relevant accomplishments in your cover letter. You can include them in a summary of your duties at your most recent or most relevant position. If your accomplishments relate to specific duties in the job description for the role you're applying to, you might include a mention of your achievements in a paragraph about how you would perform in the role.
In order to demonstrate how you'll contribute to the organization, it's useful to mention accomplishments in answers to interview questions. You might refer to them as you identify how you'll participate in daily tasks or respond to potential challenges. It's helpful to know exact numbers, titles and dates when you talk about your own accomplishments in an interview so that you provide as much specific and helpful detail as possible.