How to Write an Assistant Accountant CV
When applying for work as an Assistant Accountant, you need to show that you offer a strong balance of experience and potential on your CV. As well as having existing accounting qualifications (you might be in the process of working towards completing them), you should be able to offer a solid grounding in accounting procedures, while showing the ability to manage these processes as well as the accounting team.
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It is likely that the employer will be interested in appointing someone who can proceed to Accountant level at some point, either standing in for a superior when required, or being promoted if the Accountant leaves - you need to demonstrate this on your Assistant Account CV.
You need to convince employers in your CV that you are an Assistant Accountant who will be a long-term asset in the assistant accountant jobs that employers need to fill. It is important that you differentiate yourself from the other candidates, many of whom will have a very similar level of skills and qualifications.
This means that you need to communicate your accounting skills and knowledge, together with your attributes as an employee. You need to stand out enough for the employer or recruiter to be interested enough to want to meet you.
What Must You Include on Your Assistant Accountant's CV?
In the UK, the majority of Assistant Accountants are fully or partly qualified, with the ACCA (Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) or CIMA (Chartered Institute of Management Accountants). If you are applying for accounting jobs then you need to list the qualifications you have on your CV, clearly stating exactly which qualifications you have completed and which are ongoing.
An Assistant Accountant CV may include a whole host of duties and responsibilities: production of the monthly management accounts, reconciliation and control of the cash book, general ledger and purchase ledger reconciliations, monthly closing procedures, VAT returns, internal control compliance, preparation of accounting reports and financial statements, cash flow forecasts, database management, etc.
Familiarity with accounting software is required; whether Sage, PeopleSoft, Peachtree or another specialist program - different sized organisations select different packages.
Characteristics That Must Be Demonstrated on Your CV
Of course, there is no single type of character who suits this work. However, it is possible to make generalisations of the personal attributes that are likely to impress an employer on your Assistant Accountant CV.
- Efficient and pays attention to detail.
- Positive and constructive, with strong analytical and problem solving skills
- Excellent communication skills, both written and verbal.
- High level of integrity, being trustworthy and respectful of confidential information.
- Resourceful and able to work alone, but equally at home working under supervision with the wider team.
- Able to multitask, with ability to prioritise workloads in face of deadlines.
- Flexible with ability to cope with changing workloads at peak times.
- Confidence in liaising with financial professionals, both within and outside an organisation.
- Enthusiastic and motivated, but dedicated enough to complete routine tasks.
What Employers Cares About on an Assistant Accountant CV
In accounting staff, the employer wants to see efficiency and reliability combined with the ability to address problems as - or preferably before - they arise, and the analytical mind to draw meaningful conclusions from financial data. The employer's concerns are:
- Can this Assistant Accountant guarantee that organisational decisions are reflected in exemplary accounting procedures?
- Can they assist in maximising profits by supporting the organisation in meeting financial goals?
- How soon can this Assistant Accountant make a difference and will their motivation continue, possibly with future promotions?
- Is this person totally dependable and will this be a risk-free appointment?
All of these questions can be addressed in your Assistant Accountant's CV and you should ensure that they are. What's more, they can be substantiated with evidence of your performance to date, adding weight to the employer's belief that you can help to consolidate the organisation as it moves forward.
No matter how outstanding your background or qualifications, you must think about the employer's requirements at every stage of writing your CV. In this sense, your CV is essentially a selling document.
You also need to target your CV to that particular employer. This means doing your research and understanding their organisational objectives before preparing the document. You need to illustrate how you can help them move forward and grow.
As you apply for different jobs, you will need to angle your CV to different employers, so be prepared to amend it each time you submit an application. The point is to make your CV absolutely relevant to that vacancy and that vacancy alone.
Below, we tell you how to write your Profile, Achievements and Career History. If you need help with your CV, then our CV writing service can produce an interview-winning CV for you that will attract the attention you want.
Highlight Strengths on Your Assistant Accountant CV Profile
The Profile section goes right at the top of your Assistant Accountant's CV and must communicate how you meet the employer's requirements. Given that you have approximately thirty seconds in which to impress an employer with your credentials, it's important that you highlight your greatest strengths right at the top of your CV.
Most important is your sound accounting experience and skills. What are your main skills areas or most solid fields of experience? Your experience areas might be any area in which you have held consistent responsibility and shown your capability over a period of time. Your outstanding skills might include any area of accounting.
In addition, include your best personal attributes from your working life. Think about what you bring to work as an Assistant Accountant and list your main transferable skills and aptitudes on your CV.
The wisest approach is to focus on those areas that are uppermost in the employer's list of required skills, strengths and experience for an Assistant Accountant. You may need to rewrite your Profile for each different employer, so it closely aligns with the differing priorities of each employer.
Stand Out With Your Achievements
To make the greatest possible impact with your Assistant Accountant's CV, include an Achievements section that is packed with compelling figures. The idea is provide evidence of your ability by quantifying the extent to which you made a difference.
The best achievements say what you did and how it changed an existing situation for the better, and by what amount. This helps the employer to envisage what you might be able to do for their organisation, if you are appointed.
Achievements are powerful and do more to sell you than perhaps any other part of your CV. For example, an achievement might read as follows:
- Managed accounts receivable and reduced credit period from 90 to 60 days.
- Reduced the bad debt rate from 1.32% to 0.35% over the last year.
- Established management reporting system and total budgeting system, provided valuable financial information and advised on business strategy and operation. Total loss of over $216k avoided.
- Coordinated monthly payroll functions for 200+ employees.
- Updated procedures to ensure compliance with government accounting requirements.
- Developed administrative systems to support company's growth from payroll of 30 employees to 85 employees over three year period.
The best option is to select five or six achievements. Select them according to the priorities of the employer you are applying to - in other words, change them around for different job openings so that your CV is always targeted to specific jobs.
This is important for, in conjunction with your Profile, the Achievements section on your Assistant Accountant CV can really make you stand out as an individual. Others may have the same experience or qualifications, but your achievements are usually unique.
A Solid Career History on your Assistant Accountant's CV
Your Career History is another opportunity to present your achievements. In the past, everyone used to list their responsibilities and duties, as if they were copying out their job descriptions.
It is now widely recognised that such a list makes a dull and boring read, doing little to sell you to individual employers.
So, the trick here is to present as much information about your skills, abilities and responsibilities as an Assistant Accountant, but written in the same format as your achievements. This way, you communicate all the important information about your selling points in an interesting way that is more likely to motivate the employer.
Remember, you have to consistently address those employer concerns - will they be taking any risk in appointing you as an Assistant Accountant? Will you fit into the accounting team swiftly and with little training? Is your work accurate? Will you grow and progress through the company?
Here is a checklist of the information you should ensure is included for each job that you list. Your bullet points should not be paragraphs, but you can make them around two sentences long without losing impact.
- Name of the employer and your job title (typically Assistant Accountant or Trainee Accountant).
- Your accounting responsibilities, including any financial systems and processes.
- List any specific projects you worked on, especially any major change management projects, such as moving to new accounting software.
- Include specific details of new systems, practices, procedures or processes, detailing your involvement in setting them up.
Within your career history you must be as specific as possible, because this build trust with an employer. Try and be positive and turn any negative into a positive response. In this way, even the most difficult challenges you have faced at work, which may have seemed dreadful at the time, can be presented as achievements.
Education and Training on a CV of an Assistant Accountant
Your education is important, but at this stage of your career your qualifications are more important. If you are fully or partly qualified with the ACCA (Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) or CIMA (Chartered Institute of Management Accountants), list this first. Include the inclusive dates of your study or, if you are already qualified, your certification.
Next, list any relevant accountancy training you have completed on your Assistant Accountant CV. List training courses from educational courses separately - first, group vocational training courses under your ACCA or CIMA qualification. Provide the organisation you trained with and relevant dates.
University or college degrees come next. Include details of any secondments or special projects you undertook that were vocationally relevant. Give your degree result and the date you completed it.
If you attended a further education college to take a different kind of qualification, list that next. As a general rule, you do not need to include every school you have ever attended.
Training in accounting software can also be included here, along with dates you achieved the certification.
Present Yourself Professionally
As an existing or aspiring Assistant Accountant, you will have a certain degree of management or supervisory responsibilities in your role. The overall presentation of your CV will reflect on your standards of management, whether it's managing data, accounts or people.
For instance, you cannot claim to be someone who pays attention to every detail if your CV is peppered with spelling mistakes - the employer would pay great heed to your errors than to your claims. It is important to check and double check your CV for errors, using the spellchecker, your own eye (print a copy out) and a friend's second opinion.
The formatting of your CV should be extremely clear, so that it is easy to read, being well laid out and presented. It should look like a strong selling document.
It is important to write in a confident but cool tone, i.e. with a note of assurance, but not over enthusiastic. An employer may perceive over-enthusiasm as being somewhat risky! They would like to employ someone who is an analytical thinker, but who still adheres to the accounting systems that have already been set up.
Every sentence must support the main message of your Assistant Accountant CV: that you are a candidate that can be trusted to do a great job and an employer should therefore invite you for a job interview, as you are clearly the best applicant.
Finally, consider including some personal details in the form of interests, within a final section called Other Information. This is no longer expected on a CV, but can convey a sense of your personality. Be careful to only include interests that are usually looked on favourably.
Plane spotting may be fascinating to you, but is perceived negatively by many. On the other hand, you can rarely go wrong with team sports and community interests. These will help to convince the employer that you are a well balanced individual who is not just a 'numbers person', but can integrate well with their workforce in general and make a positive contribution on a cultural level.
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