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5 Public Accounting Resume Examples...

5 Public Accounting Resume Examples & Guide for 2024

Your public accounting resume must highlight your expertise in financial regulations and compliance. Demonstrate a solid track record of managing audits and ensuring accuracy in reporting. Ensure your resume showcases strong analytical skills and the ability to interpret complex financial data. It's critical to convey your proficiency with financial software and your collaborative work with teams across departments.

All resume examples in this guide

Crafting a resume for a public accounting position can be daunting when trying to stand out in a field known for its competitive nature and technical expertise. Our guide provides tailored strategies and examples to help you highlight your unique skills and experiences, ensuring your resume cuts through the noise and catches the eye of top accounting firms.

Prepare to audit, craft, and submit an outstanding public accounting resume with this Enhancv guide. We'll provide you with effective strategies and insights on how to:
  • Incorporate public accounting job advert keywords into key sections of your resume, such as the summary, header, and experience sections;
  • Quantify your experience using achievements, certificates, and more in various public accounting resume sections;
  • Apply practical insights from real-life public accounting resume examples to enhance your own profile;
  • Choose the most effective public accounting resume format to succeed in any evaluation process.
Before delving into our step-by-step guide, we have selected some relevant public accounting resume examples that might be beneficial for you.

Simple guide to your public accounting resume format and layout

Successful public accounting resumes all have one specific characteristic - candidates have invested in a simple resume layout . One that is easy to read, makes a good first impression, and is adapted to their professional experience. There are three distinct resume formats to help you focus on your:

  • professional experience - use the reverse-chronological resume format;
  • skills and achievements - via the functional skill-based resume format;
  • both experience and skills - with a hybrid resume format .

What is more, keep in mind that your resume may be initially assessed by the ATS (Applicant Tracker System) (or the software used by companies in the hiring process). The public accounting resumes that suit the ATS:

  • have a header that includes either a role keyword or the job you're applying for;
  • should be no longer than two pages;
  • be submitted as PDF, unless specified otherwise.

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If the certificate you've obtained is especially vital for the industry or company, include it as part of your name within the resume headline.

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Traditional sections, appreciated by recruiters, for your public accounting resume:

  • Clear and concise header with relevant links and contact details
  • Summary or objective with precise snapshot of our career highlights and why you're a suitable candidate for the public accounting role
  • Experience that goes into the nuts and bolts of your professional qualifications and success
  • Skills section(-s) for more in-depth talent-alignment between job keywords and your own profile
  • Education and certifications sections to further show your commitment for growth in the specific niche
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What recruiters want to see on your resume:

  • CPA Certification or progress towards obtaining it
  • Experience with auditing and assurance services or tax preparation and planning
  • Familiarity with accounting software and systems, such as QuickBooks, SAP, or Oracle Financials
  • Understanding of GAAP (Generally Accepted Accounting Principles), IFRS (International Financial Reporting Standards), and other regulatory compliance standards
  • Demonstrated ability to manage multiple client engagements and adhere to strict deadlines

What is the resume experience section and how to write one for your past roles

The experience section in a public accounting resume is critical for your profile and overall application. It should not only display your work history, but also highlight your achievements in previous roles.

Many candidates either simply list their duties or provide excessive details about past, irrelevant jobs. A more effective approach involves first examining the job advertisement for keywords - specifically, skills essential for the role. Then, demonstrate these key requirements throughout different parts of your resume, using accomplishments from your roles.

Format each bullet point in your experience section by starting with a strong action verb. Follow this with a description of your role and its impact on the team or organization.

Aim to include three to five bullet points for each role.

Finally, gain insights into how professionals have crafted their public accounting resume experience sections by exploring some best practice examples.

Work Experience
Senior Auditor
  • Led a team of 5 in conducting audit engagements for financial services clients, effectively improving audit processes and reducing redundancies by 20%.
  • Specialized in tax compliance for multinational corporations, helping clients identify tax savings of over $1 million through strategic planning and deductions.
  • Managed and executed quarterly reviews and year-end financial audits, ensuring compliance with GAAP and delivering reports to stakeholders that enhanced financial transparency.
Work Experience
Audit Manager
PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC)
  • Conducted detailed risk assessments on a portfolio of over 100 clients, resulting in a more tailored audit approach that increased audit effectiveness.
  • Implemented a streamlined auditing process using new data analytics tools, significantly lowering the time spent on each audit by around 30%.
  • Provided expert testimony on financial matters during legal proceedings, which played a pivotal role in the favorable outcome of two major corporate litigation cases.
Work Experience
Audit Associate
Ernst & Young (EY)
  • Scoped and executed operational audits across diverse industry sectors, identifying key areas for performance improvement and cost savings observed by the client's senior management.
  • Actively participated in contract audits for government entities, ensuring that all financial activities were in accordance with federal regulations and standards.
  • Facilitated financial statement preparation and review which increased the accuracy of financial reporting for SME clients by 35%.
Work Experience
Principal Auditor
  • Directed the successful transition for clients during mergers and acquisitions by providing comprehensive audit and due diligence support, thereby ensuring uninterrupted financial operations.
  • Developed a new audit program that incorporated cybersecurity risk assessments, significantly enhancing our clients' resilience against cyber threats.
  • Championed the adoption of cutting-edge audit software, leading to a 25% increase in team productivity and better data-driven insights for our clients.
Work Experience
Public Accountant
Grant Thornton
  • Orchestrated forensic audits for cases of suspected fraud, identifying fraud schemes that safeguarded assets worth over $500,000.
  • Customized and deployed tax strategies for new business ventures, providing scalability and supporting growth with a financial projection accuracy of within 2%.
  • Leveraged extensive knowledge of tax regulations to serve as the subject matter expert in IRS audits, preserving client interests and maintaining successful compliance records.
Work Experience
Certified Public Accountant
  • Developed and maintained client relationships, which led to a 30% increase in business for our public accounting sector through high-quality service and client referrals.
  • Performed comprehensive tax reviews for large estates and trusts, optimizing beneficiaries' financial positions by proficiently navigating complex tax laws.
  • Successfully managed a diverse client portfolio, consistently delivering tailored financial strategies that aligned with each client's unique business objectives.
Work Experience
Lead Public Accountant
  • Headed a specialized team in implementing sustainable cost-control measures for non-profit organizations, enhancing financial viability and supporting long-term strategic goals.
  • Developed and executed internal control systems that drastically reduced errors in financial reporting and bolstered the trust of investors and regulatory bodies.
  • Initiated a series of workshops and training programs for junior accountants, cultivating a knowledgeable team adept at adapting to new accounting standards and technologies.
Work Experience
Audit and Assurance Associate
  • Played a pivotal role in a project that transitioned the company's accounting systems to a new ERP platform, which streamlined financial processes and improved reporting accuracy.
  • Guided small businesses through tax audits, preventing penalties and ensuring they met compliance requirements, all while diminishing tax liabilities by utilizing thorough tax planning.
  • Analyzed and reviewed complex financial statements for public listing procedures, facilitating clients in raising capital through proper financial representation.

Quantifying impact on your resume

  • Highlight the amount of tax savings identified for clients through strategic financial planning.
  • Mention the number of financial statement audits successfully led or participated in.
  • Include the total value of assets under management or the size of the budgets you've overseen.
  • Specify the percentage by which you increased compliance or reduced errors in financial reporting.
  • Detail the number of clients retained or the rate of client satisfaction achieved.
  • Quantify the efficiency improvements, such as reduced closing time for monthly or annual processes.
  • Present the scale of financial transactions processed or reconciled.
  • Describe the scope of financial policies or control frameworks successfully implemented or improved.

Action verbs for your public accounting resume

Recruiters go through tens of resumes every day. You obviously need to make yours stand out if you want to get that dream job. The easiest way to do this is by using action verbs. They give depth and clarity to your resume, which won’t go unnoticed.
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Remember these four tips when writing your public accounting resume with no experience

You've done the work - auditing the job requirements for keywords and have a pretty good idea of the skill set the ideal candidate must possess.

Yet, your professional experience amounts to a summer internship .

Even if you have limited or no professional expertise that matches the role you're applying for, you can use the resume experience section to:

  • List extracurricular activities that are relevant to the job requirements. Let's say you were editor-in-chief of your college newspaper or part of the engineering society. Both activities have taught you invaluable, transferrable skills (e.g. communication or leadership) that can be crucial for the job;
  • Substitute jobs with volunteer experience. Participating in charity projects has probably helped you develop an array of soft skills (e.g. meeting deadlines and interpersonal communications). On the other hand, volunteering shows potential employers more about you: who you are and what are the causes you care about;
  • Align job applications with your projects. Even your final-year thesis work could be seen as relevant experience, if it's in the same industry as the job you're applying for. Ensure you've listed the key skills your project has taught you, alongside tangible outcomes or your project success;
  • Shift the focus to your transferrable skills. We've said it before, but recruiters will assess your profile upon both job requirements and the skills you possess. Consider what your current experience - both academic and life - has taught you and how you've been able to develop your talents.
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The more trusted the organization you've attained your certificate (or degree) from, the more credible your skill set would be.

Public Accounting resume skills: the essential hard skills and soft skills checklist

Ultimately, your Public Accounting resume should hint to recruiters that you possess an array of talents that are indispensable to the role.

For example, listing the technologies and software you're apt at using (or your hard skills) and how you apply them in your day-to-day responsibilities would ensure you meet the technical requirements of the role.

But is this enough to ensure that you make a good impression on recruiters?

Go a step further by detailing the soft skills or personality traits you've attained thanks to your work and life experience.

The best way to balance hard skills and soft skills on your Public Accounting resume is by:

  • Highlighting up to three of your most noteworthy career accomplishments in a separate section.
  • Listing at least one hard skill and one soft skill you've used to solve a particular challenge or problem.
  • Feature niche skills and technologies that would help you stand out amongst candidates.
  • Think back on the social impact your efforts have had towards improving the work environment - were you able to always maintain a professional ethic, while enhancing the team culture? Write about your contribution to the role, department, or organization itself as a metric of success.

The skills section of your resume provides you with plenty of opportunities to detail your technical and personal traits.

All you have to do is select the talents that best fit your application and expertise. Make note of some of the most prominent hard and soft skills across the industry from our list:

Top skills for your public accounting resume:

Financial Reporting

Tax Preparation


Accounting Software Proficiency

Regulatory Compliance

Financial Analysis


Management Consulting

Risk Assessment



Analytical Thinking


Attention to Detail


Time Management

Client Relations




Ethical Judgment

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List your educational qualifications and certifications in reverse chronological order.

The public accounting resume sections you may underestimate: certifications and education

Your education and certifications provide insight into both your technical capabilities and personal attributes, such as perseverance. When crafting your public accounting resume, consider how you present these elements:

  • For your higher education degrees, prioritize listing those most relevant to the job or indicative of your academic dedication;
  • Include applicable coursework as a stand-in for relevant experience or if it might impress recruiters;
  • Include incomplete higher education only if it's pertinent to meeting job requirements;
  • If your degree is from a renowned university, mention how often you made the Dean's list to underline academic excellence.

Regarding certifications, it's not necessary to list all of them. Instead, match up to three of your most recent or significant certificates with the technical skills required in the job description.

Below, we've selected some of the top industry certifications that could be vital additions to your public accounting resume.

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The top 5 certifications for your public accounting resume:

  1. Certified Public Accountant (CPA) - American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA)
  2. Certified Management Accountant (CMA) - Institute of Management Accountants (IMA)
  3. Certified Internal Auditor (CIA) - Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA)
  4. Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE) - Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE)
  5. Chartered Global Management Accountant (CGMA) - American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) & Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA)
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List your educational qualifications and certifications in reverse chronological order.

Your public accounting resume top one third: choosing between a resume summary or an objective

The top third of your resume is crucial, as recruiters might focus only on this section rather than reading the entire document. Therefore, it's important to carefully decide whether to include a resume summary or an objective.

  • The resume summary encapsulates your most significant experiences, key achievements, and skills in the field. Ideal for candidates with substantial relevant experience, the summary previews what recruiters will find in the rest of your resume.
  • The resume objective outlines your professional aspirations. It describes your career goals for the coming years and how you envision your role evolving in the prospective company. The resume objective is suitable if you have less professional experience and wish to emphasize various soft skills such as motivation, vision, and planning.

Explore some of the best examples of resume summaries and objectives from real-life professional resumes in the industry.

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Resume summaries for a public accounting job

  • Seasoned auditor with over a decade of experience managing financial investigations and compliance audits for Fortune 500 companies. Leverages an in-depth knowledge of GAAP, advanced data analytics, and a successful track record of identifying significant cost-saving opportunities, ultimately resulting in a 15% reduction in waste for a major client.
  • Diligent CPA boasting eight years of experience in providing expert tax advice and financial planning services for a diverse clientele within a high-performing New York firm. Recognized for implementing robust accounting systems that increased efficiency by 30%, I bring a commitment to excellence and a comprehensive understanding of complex financial landscapes.
  • Former financial analyst with six years of experience in the investment sector aiming to bring strong analytical and quantitative skills to the realm of public accounting. With a keen eye for detail and a deep understanding of market trends and financial instruments, eager to apply strategic thinking to tax and auditing services.
  • Accomplished engineer with over seven years steering large-scale infrastructure projects, now seeking to apply rigorous problem-solving skills and adeptness at managing multi-million dollar budgets within public accounting. My precision in data interpretation and budgetary oversight aligns with delivering meticulous and trustworthy financial consultation.
  • As a dedicated newcomer to the field of public accounting, my objective is to leverage my recently acquired Master’s degree in Accounting and CPA certification to assist clients in navigating their financial statements with precision. Eager to apply a fresh perspective and relentless work ethic to deliver exceptional results within a dynamic team.
  • Recent accounting graduate determined to transform academic excellence into tangible outcomes in public accounting. Armed with a strong foundation in accounting principles, the latest tax software proficiencies, and a palpable enthusiasm, I am focused on cultivating comprehensive financial strategies for clients and driving business growth through meticulous financial stewardship.

Beyond your public accounting resume basics - extra sections

Ensure your public accounting resume stands out from the crowd by spicing it up with a couple of supplementary sections that showcase your:

  • Prizes - as a special nod to what matters most in the field;
  • Projects - ones that would really further support your application;
  • Hobbies - include only if you think they'd further your chances at landing the role with personality
  • Community impact - to hint at the causes you care about.

Key takeaways

  • Pay special attention to the tiny details that make up your public accounting resume formatting: the more tailored your application to the role is, the better your chances at success would be;
  • Select the sections you include (summary or objective, etc.) and formatting (reverse-chronological, hybrid, etc.) based on your experience level;
  • Select experience items and, consequently, achievements that showcase you in the best light and are relevant to the job;
  • Your profile will be assessed both based on your technical capabilities and personality skills - curate those through your resume;
  • Certifications and education showcase your dedication to the particular industry.
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