Top 15 Chief Accountant Skills to Stay Top of Your Career

By | July 18, 2023
Chief Accountant Skills
You can improve your performance as a chief accountant and excel in your career by developing certain skills and qualities.

This post provides detailed information and list of important chief accountant skills and qualities you need to improve your performance on the job and succeed in your career.

Please, read on:

There is always the need for an organization to be departmentalized for the sake of easy administration.

And these departments are based on the various needs of the organization.

One of the most critical departments of every organization is the accounting department.

This department is responsible for the recording, analysis, and presentation of financial reports to the organization.

The leader of this department is the chief accountant.

Who is a Chief Accountant?

A chief accountant is an individual hired to oversee the financial planning of the organization he/she works for.

Top 15 Chief Accountant Skills to Stay Top of Your Career

Here are major skills and qualities you need to have to be a highly effective chief accountant and succeed in your career:

  1. Service oriented
  2. Critical thinking
  3. Evaluative skills
  4. Decision making
  5. Knowledge of current technologies
  6. Excellent mathematical skills
  7. Communication skills
  8. Time management
  9. Organizational skills
  10. Problem solving skills
  11. Leadership skills
  12. Administrative skills
  13. Supervision
  14. Team work
  15. Detail oriented.
  1. Service oriented

A chief accountant has a whole lot of services to render to his/her organization.

This ranges from preparing the overall financial report to offering financial advice to the organization.

This is to say that the mindset of a chief accountant is to render the necessary services to his/her organization.

If you find yourself in this position, then it means that you have to be ready to render the above services to your organization.

That is the reason you were made the chief accountant of your organization.

Though you are paid for it, however, it should be your desire to offer some other services that may be a little related to your job description.

It is not out of place to find other ways to help the organization.

  1. Critical thinking

In some organizations, you can find a general account as the overall head of the accounting department while there are some organizations that accommodate the services of both the general accountant and the chief accountant.

The role of the chief accountant is to make sure that all activities and financial involvements of the organization are in order.

It is important to know that this takes a lot of coordination and administrative skills in addition to your ability to think critically.

Thinking critically is to help you avoid the avoidable mistakes and also reduce the risks associated with some operations.

It is through critical thinking that you are able to spot out issues that may become stumbling blocks to the financial operations of the organization.

  1. Evaluative skills

Evaluating the financial activities of the organization is one of the basic jobs you are expected to do.

Through your ability to prepare and present financial reports from the accounting departments, you should be able to know the direction the organization is moving financially.

Remember that one of the services you are to render to the organization is an advisory service.

The basis of the advice you are to render to the organization is not on emotion or sentiments or assumptions but on careful analysis and evaluation of the system.

If you are not able to carefully evaluate the financial system of the organization, including the budgeting system and other factors that make up the financial system of the organization, then you stand no chance of giving the organization a workable idea on the way forward.

  1. Decision making

Working in the role of a chief accountant brings with it the responsibility of making decisions almost on daily basis.

These decisions can be at the organizational level as one of the leaders of the organization or as a departmental head.

Starting from your department, you are to make basic decisions on how your department works.

It is necessary to know that whatever happens in the accounting department is your business and you are a big part of it.

So, it is your decision that determines what happens in your department.

Secondly, at the organizational level, you should know that you are one of the decision makers of the organization.

This is because you have a say by reason of the financial analysis of the organization, and you can make recommendations that can be enforced in the organization.

  1. Knowledge of current technologies

Accounting can be tedious and frustrating, especially if the financial reports are conflicting with each other due to mistakes that may not be easily detected at the spot.

These mistakes can make a mess of your job and you may be branded incompetent in your job.

So because of some of this career defining mistakes, you should desire to have some peace of mind through the use of modern technologies to help you have more accurate financial reports.

The use of latest technologies makes your work a lot easier than you can imagine.

That is why you should consider it to be worth given a try.

It can make your job more fun and more interesting.

Absence of technology in your job can make your job tedious and rigorous.

  1. Excellent mathematical skills

The use of latest technologies should not replace your mathematical skills.

It is not to say that you should rely on your mathematical ability alone but let it be that you can work with both methods in your job, it is good to have both skills in your job.

Mathematical skills are one of the most important qualities to have in the accounting field regardless of the role you occupy in the accounting department of your organization.

  1. Communication skills

Communication inside and outside the accounting department is necessary for proper coordination of events and activities in the organization.

There is no way you will have a successful career in the accounting field without also bringing excellent communication skills into the equation.

One thing is certain, where there is a good communication there is basic understanding in the team.

Communication is a basic tool for establishing an understanding of daily job description and allocation in the accounting department where you oversee.

Without this communication, there is every tendency that members of your team are left to assume what should be the right thing to do which may not work out at the end of the day.

So, to avoid this, you should do your best to keep in touch with the rest of the team without and outside the department.

  1. Time management

Working with deadlines is one of the most important skills you can have working as a chief accountant.

This is to say that it requires a lot of discipline and focus to be able to beat deadlines and achieve the goal of the job that is set before you.

It is indeed a product of good discipline.

Time management skills should also be inculcated into the team members to ensure that everyone adheres to the timeframe allotted to every job that has to be done in the financial department.

Through your position, don’t entertain procrastination of duties.

One way to manage time is your ability to work with latest technologies.

You can agree with me that it is far easier to do calculations with better accuracy when using your computer as opposed to manual means of calculation, which is time wasting.

  1. Organizational skills

Organization works together with coordination. To save or manage time in whatever you do in the organization, you should be able to organize yourself, your activities and the activities in the accounting department.

If you are unable to do this, then you are making your job more difficult for you.

First, is to organize yourself. By this we mean putting yourself in order.

This means that you should be able to gather your spirit, soul, and body together and produce an excellent job for your organization.

This will help put you in a better position to organize your activities and the activities of your team, which is your department.

Organization of activities is very important for the smooth running of the department.

If you fail in this aspect, it will reflect in the overall output of the team.

  1. Problem solving skills

Your job is quite simple but difficult as well; simple in the sense that you have more hands working with you all the time.

Most of the efforts you put in are supervisory or monitory efforts. This is what makes your job easier as compared to other people in the office.

But on the other hand, your job is also difficult because you have decisions to make and problems to solve almost on daily basis.

This means that almost on daily basis your attention is always drawn to rising issues in the department.

No matter how difficult your job might be, understand that is the reason you were hired and that is your worth to the organization.

So, the deal is simple: remain competent enough to confront any form of problem that is brought to your desk.

  1. Leadership skills

To this end, you are already aware that you are a leader. A leader in the department and one of the leaders at the general leadership set up of the organization.

This means that you should be able to exhibit leadership qualities in the organization.

Leadership skills will help you establish influence in the accounting department as well as the organization at large.

It is not possible to coordinate activities and the people in your department without being a leading figure in the organization.

Though by reason of your position in the organization, you are entitled to a lot of respect and influence but let this not be the only reason you are regarded as a leader.

You should be able to act as a good example to other accountants in the organization and show them what true work ethics are.

  1. Administrative skills

Funny enough though you are the chief accountant of your organization, yet you are the main administrator of the accounting department.

You organize and carry out administrative functions in the department, depending on how you want to run the department.

So, as the administrator of the accounting department, you are in charge of fixing appointments or meetings with other members of the executives of the organization.

You fix up activities within the department and ensure that different times are allotted to different activities in the department.

This does not end with you fixing up activities or meetings; you also make sure you follow up these activities to make sure they are implemented as you have stipulated them to be.

You should be skillful enough to also make those activities lively and not boring.

  1. Supervision

Supervision or monitoring is one of the ways you ensure that activities are followed up the way you have stipulated them to be.

You need to be mentally alert to the happenings in the department and the organization at large.

It is important for you to know that if you leave the members of your department without proper supervision they may end up making mistakes that might cost you your job.

Sometimes, even when you delegate jobs, be sure to monitor and supervise the activities of whomever you delegated the job to, to make sure that your directives are carried out to the letter.

This is not been wicked but strict and disciplined, knowing fully well that your job is at stake.

  1. Team work

The team you have at your disposal is made up of all other accountants in the department.

They are the people that make up the team which you need to excel personally in your job and also meet up with the targets or goals set for you by the organization.

You must manage this team to bring out the best in each of them.

You should be able to make them better every day through your advice and motivation.

You should be seen as a role model to every one of them.

You do not need to be a bad influence on the team; neither do you by yourself contribute to the downfall of the department.

You should be the light bearer and a good example of a professional in the team; be a role model to the team and help it grow.

  1. Detail oriented

Accounting can be a tricky job to do. It is tricky because every detail, no matter how insignificant you might see it to be can make a big difference in the whole accounting process.

This means that as the chief accountant of your organization, you should be careful to note every detail in the financial accounts.

So first, you need to understand why you should be detail oriented. The basic reason why you should pay attention to every detail is to avoid errors due to oversight.

Errors due to oversight can be embarrassing and can cause a whole lot of trouble in the long run.

So, by now you should be convinced that every detail matter in your accounting process.

Even when you delegate a job to any member of the accounting department, you should insist that every detail be taken into account for the purpose of accuracy.

Chief Accountant Skills for Resume

If you are writing a resume or CV for the job of a chief accountant, you can enhance it by adding a compelling Skills section to it.

You can create a powerful Skills section for your resume/CV by applying the chief accountant skills and qualities discussed above.

The recruiter/employer will be more inclined to giving you an interview appointment because you have shown that you have the required skills and qualities for success on the chief accountant position.


The department of accounting is one of the most important departments of every business organization.

To man this department demands a skillful person who has what it takes to control the financial planning of the organization, hence the need for a chief accountant.

So, the office of a chief accountant will require the skills and qualities highlighted on this page for anyone to succeed in performing its function.