Professional Public Accounting Cover Letter Examples for 2024

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Your public accounting cover letter needs to immediately emphasize your proficiency in accounting principles. It must reflect an understanding of regulatory standards and a commitment to ethical financial practices. Showcase your ability to analyze financial documents with precision and confidence. Your cover letter should also highlight effective communication skills crucial for client interactions and teamwork in public accounting.

Crafting a public accounting cover letter can often be a stumbling block just when you're ready to apply for the job of your dreams. It's crucial to strike the perfect balance: showcasing a key professional triumph without mimicking your resume, veering away from tired clichés, all while maintaining formality. Remember, this is not a novel; your cover letter should be concise—never spilling over a single page. Let's unlock the secrets to writing a cover letter that stands out, not stretches out.

Read on to find out how to write your public accounting cover letter by:

  • Including all the must-have paragraphs in your structure for an excellent first impression;
  • Learning how to write individual sections from industry-leading cover letter examples;
  • Selecting the best accomplishment to tell an interesting and authority-building professional story;
  • Introducing your profile with personality, while meeting industry standards.

And, if you want to save some time, drag and drop your public accounting resume into Enhancv's AI, which will assess your profile and write your job-winning cover letter for you.

Public Accounting cover letter example

Gabriel Baker

Charlotte, North Carolina


Dear Hiring Manager,

Having contributed to the financial success of well-established financial institutions through a detail-oriented approach and robust analytical skills, I am excited to explore the opportunity to bring my expertise to your valued team.

Throughout my tenure at Wells Fargo, I successfully led a major process improvement initiative that resulted in a 30% reduction in report generation time without compromising GAAP compliance. This not only streamlined operations but also freed up vital resources, enabling my team and me to focus on more strategic financial tasks. Moreover, my efforts in overseeing month-end close processes for portfolios exceeding $500 million underscore my ability to manage substantial financial responsibilities with precision and efficiency.

I am eager to further discuss how my background, skills, and certifications align with the needs of your organization. I am confident that my proactive approach to evolving financial challenges will be an asset to your team. Please feel free to contact me at your earliest convenience to arrange an interview.

Sincerely, Gabriel Baker, Senior Accountant
What makes this cover letter good:

  • Quantifying achievements, such as the "30% reduction in report generation time," can effectively demonstrate the candidate's impact in previous roles.
  • Referencing specific experiences, like "overseeing month-end close processes for portfolios exceeding $500 million," showcases the candidate's ability to handle significant financial tasks and responsibilities.
  • Including a call to action, as seen with "Please feel free to contact me at your earliest convenience to arrange an interview," prompts the employer to take the next step.

Structuring and formatting your public accounting cover letter

Here's what the structure of your public accounting cover letter should include:

  • Header (with your name, the position you're applying for, and the date);
  • Salutation (or greeting);
  • Introductory paragraph (or your opening statement);
  • Body paragraph (or further proof of your experience);
  • Closing paragraph (with a call to action);
  • Signature (that is optional).

Use the same font for your public accounting resume and cover letter - modern fonts like Lato and Rubik would help you stand out.

Your public accounting cover letter should be single-spaced and have a one-inch margins - this format is automatically set up in our cover letter templates and our cover letter builder.

When submitting your cover letter, always ensure it's in PDF, as this format keeps the information intact (and the quality of your document stays the same).

On one final note - the Applicant Tracker System (ATS or the software that is sometimes used to initially assess your application) won't read your public accounting cover letter.

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The top sections on a public accounting cover letter

  • Header: This section should include your contact information, the date, and the recipient's details, establishing a professional layout and providing the necessary information for the recruiter to respond to your application.
  • Greeting: Personalize this with the name of the recruiting manager if you can find it, as it shows attention to detail and research skills, which are valued in public accounting roles.
  • Introductory Paragraph: Highlight your enthusiasm for the firm and the public accounting profession, possibly by mentioning a recent firm achievement or why its values resonate with you, as this demonstrates genuine interest and initiative.
  • Professional Experience and Skills: Use this section to succinctly outline your relevant accounting experience, certifications (like CPA), and technical skills (like proficiency in accounting software), as these are key qualifiers recruiters seek for the role.
  • Closing and Call to Action: Reiterate your interest and readiness to contribute to the team, and invite the recruiter to discuss your application further, showing proactivity and strong interpersonal skills that are crucial for client-facing positions in public accounting.
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Key qualities recruiters search for in a candidate’s cover letter

  • CPA certification or other relevant accounting designations (demonstrates professional knowledge and commitment to the field)
  • Attention to detail (essential for accuracy and thoroughness in financial reporting and auditing)
  • Understanding of current accounting and auditing standards (shows ability to apply current professional standards to client work)
  • Experience with accounting software and systems (demonstrates technical proficiency and adaptability)
  • Strong communication skills (necessary for client interactions, understanding client needs, and explaining complex financial information)
  • Time management and ability to work under pressure (important for meeting tight deadlines during busy seasons like tax time and end-of-year audits)

How to start your public accounting cover letter: with a greeting, of course

Have you ever considered just how powerful a personalized salutation can be?

We sure have news for you! Your public accounting cover letter should start with the right salutation to recruiters, nurturing a sense of respect and individuality.

Greet recruiters by using their first name (e.g. "Dear Tom" or "Dear Patricia") if you've previously established contact with them.

Otherwise, opt out for the less familiar, "Dear Ms. Peaches" or "Dear Ms Kelsey", if you've found the recruiter's name on LinkedIn or a corporate website.

"To whom it may concern" is never a good option, as it creates a sense that you've been sending out your public accounting cover letter to anyone. Instead, use "Dear HR team" or "Dear (company name) recruiter" for a feeling of exclusivity.

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List of salutations you can use

  • Dear Hiring Manager,
  • Dear [Specific Title of the Recipient, e.g., 'Audit Director'],
  • Dear [Full Name of the Recipient],
  • Dear [Mr./Ms. Last Name],
  • Dear Members of the [Specific Team Name, e.g., 'Accounting Team'],
  • Dear [Professional Title, e.g., 'CPA Committee'],

Your public accounting cover letter introduction and the value you bring

Moving on from the "Dear Recruiter" to your professional introduction.

Use those first two sentences of your public accounting cover letter to present the biggest asset you'd bring to the organization.

Don't go into too much detail about your achievement or the skill set, but instead - go straight for the win.

That is - what is your value as a professional?

Would you be able to build stronger, professional relationships in any type of communication? Or, potentially, integrate seamlessly into the team?

Intro Paragraph
Delving into the world of dynamic accounting practices, I am particularly drawn to the innovative spirit of Smith & Associates, where tradition and transformation harmoniously align. The firm's commitment to fostering growth for both clients and professionals resonates deeply with my professional philosophy and aspirations.

What to write in the body of your public accounting cover letter

Now that you've got your intro covered, here comes the heart and soul of your public accounting cover letter.

It's time to write the middle or body paragraphs. This is the space where you talk about your relevant talent in terms of hard skills (or technologies) and soft (or people and communication) skills.

Keep in mind that the cover letter has a different purpose from your public accounting resume.

Yes, you still have to be able to show recruiters what makes your experience unique (and applicable) to the role.

But, instead of just listing skills, aim to tell a story of your one, greatest accomplishment.

Select your achievement that:

  • covers job-crucial skills;
  • can be measured with tangible metrics;
  • shows you in the best light.

Use the next three to six paragraphs to detail what this success has taught you, and also to sell your profile.

Body Paragraph
Spearheading a complex tax restructuring for a multinational client, I applied innovative tax strategies that achieved compliance across four jurisdictions, leading to a 20% tax saving which amounted to $1.5 million. This feat not only demonstrated my deep understanding of international tax law but also showcased my ability to generate substantial fiscal efficiencies under tight deadlines.

Closing remarks to end your public accounting cover letter

Of course, you'll have to show gratitude to the recruiters, who have assessed your profile at the end of your public accounting cover letter .

A "Thank you for the consideration" would work wonders, instead of the standard "Sincerely yours".

Do you want to make an even better impression?

Close off your public accounting cover letter by promising how you see yourself excelling in the role and the positive impact you'd bring about.

A sentence that encourages some further action on the recruiter's end could also be a good way to close off the communication (e.g. provide your availability for an interview).

Closing Paragraph
Eager to discuss how my skills align with the goals of your firm, I welcome the opportunity to interview at your earliest convenience.

Keep this in mind when writing your zero experience public accounting cover letter

Even though you may not have any professional experience, your public accounting cover letter should focus on your value.

As a candidate for the particular role, what sort of skills do you bring about? Perhaps you're an apt leader and communicator, or have the ability to analyze situations from different perspectives.

Select one key achievement from your life, outside work, and narrate a story that sells your abilities in the best light.

If you really can't think of any relevant success, you could also paint the picture of how you see your professional future developing in the next five years, as part of the company.

Key takeaways

Your public accounting cover letter is your best shot at standing out by showing your motivation and the unique skills you'd bring to the job:

  • Chose no more than one achievement, which you'd be talking about in the body of your public accounting cover letter, by focusing on skills and outcomes;
  • Address recruiters with their first or last name, or "Dear Hiring Manager" in your public accounting cover letter greeting;
  • Introduce in no more than two sentences what makes your profile unique (perhaps it's your motivation, enthusiasm, or appreciation of the company you're applying for);
  • Select the same font you have used in your resume (avoid Times New Roman and Arial, as most candidates tend to invest in them);
  • Close your public accounting cover letter with a promise of how you see yourself growing in the company and the benefits you'd bring about.
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Volen Vulkov
Volen Vulkov is a resume expert and the co-founder of Enhancv. He applies his deep knowledge and experience to write about a career change, development, and how to stand out in the job application process.
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