Top 15 Senior Accountant Skills for Career Success

By | July 16, 2023
Senior Accountant Skills
To succeed in your senior accountant career, you need to have certain skills and qualities like analytical, basic accounting, and reporting skills.

This post provides major senior accountant skills and qualities to have and improve upon to be effective in your job and build a successful career.

Who is a Senior Accountant?

A senior accountant in an organization is one who is hired to declare the margins, expenditures, productivities and reporting costs of the organization.

Top 15 Senior Accountant Skills for Career Success

Here are the important skills and qualities you need to develop to be effective in your senior accountant career:

  1. Analytical skills

Accounting job is not a job that is dependent on your ability to assume or make guesses. It’s a job where certainty and unmistaken reports or analysis are the norms.

This is because whatever is contained in any financial account is for the purpose of future planning.

In this light, it is important that the senior accountant of an organization should be well skilled in analysis.

They should be keen to analyze everything they see in the form of financial reports or other issues that may arise in the accounting department or the organization at large.

Analytical skill is for you to employ every day you find yourself doing that job. Like stated above, in the accounting job, there is no place for guess work. Everything must be well analyzed for the purpose of clarity and accuracy.

2. Basic accounting skills

As it is not possible to find yourself straight into a higher institution without basic primary education, that is how it is impossible for one to do well in the accounting job without a basic understanding of what accounting is all about and the role accounting plays in business growth.

Accounting is concerned with the recording of financial transactions which is important for some financial decisions to be made in the organization.

These decisions could include budgeting, cost control, debt analysis and recovery.

So, you can see how important accounting is to most business organizations.

This should be a green light to you to do better in the area of accounting if you so wish to be relevant in this job.

3. Reporting skills

Accounting job does not start and end with the record of financial transactions done within and outside the organization. The transactions should be reported too.

This is because, it is from the content of the report that some financial decisions can be made.

One thing is also important in this skill and that is clarity in writing reports.

It is important for you to know that the clarity of your report makes your report interesting and easy to read or study.

This is a skill of its own. You don’t have to make a report ambiguous. It can be tiring and disinteresting.

So, whenever you want to write a report of any category, try your possible best to make it as simple as possible so that whoever is interested or expected to read and study the report won’t struggle to understand its structure.

4. IT skills

If there is anyone in an organization that shouldn’t overlook the importance of having some IT skills, then that person is the senior accountant.

You should appreciate the possibilities that come with working with some accounting tools. These tools are meant to help you achieve a lot more in your job.

Microsoft excel is a renowned accounting package which is suitable for basic accounting jobs of all levels. Although there are other like software tools, the Microsoft Excel is surely one of the easiest to use.

This is not to say that you should stop just at the point of learning how to use the Microsoft Excel.

You should be conversant with other accounting software packages out there.

The combination of the knowledge of two or more accounting packages will help give you more advantage in your job.

5. Accuracy and attention to details

Your level of accuracy and detail orientation is very important to your business organization. As stated above, financial reports are very good tools for financial decisions to be made in the business organization, hence the need for high rate of accuracy when working with figures.

To increase your accuracy in report writing starts with your ability to pay attention to little details, especially when dealing with figures.

That is why you should know that no detail is irrelevant when it comes to accounting jobs.

Accuracy is most times achieved from giving high regard for details in the financial reports of transactions carried out within and outside the organization.

So, you should be able to work on your accuracy through paying attention to details of every transaction you are expected to take note of or record.

6. Excellent mathematical skills

Can any employer ever hire an accountant who struggles with mathematics?

The answer is resounding no. Mathematics is both the bedrock and the chief corner stone in the accounting field.

It will be absurd to be deficient in mathematics and still consider yourself a good bet for this job.

This is not to discourage you in any way from pursuing your ambition of excelling in this job but to help you understand the vital role that mathematics plays in your job as the senior accountant of the business organization you work for or intend working for in the future.

In some cases, basic mathematics will do, but in other cases your mathematical skills will have to be upgraded or be topnotch for you to retain this position.

7. Knowledge of business trends

In the business world today, you will need to offer a lot more that your certification.

Meaning that though your job is basically that of an accountant in the organization, yet there are some minor roles you should be able to perform beyond that.

One of the minor roles you can perform in the organization is the advisory role.

That is, advising other members of the organization’s management team on some issues based on the knowledge of market trends that you possess.

But first, if you must grow into this capacity then you must possess some business knowledge.

8. Problem solving skills

There are two types of problems you should consider solving in the organization which are the basic/primary problems and the secondary problems.

We will look into these types of problems and how you can make your skills count.

The basic or primary problems are the problems you help the organization to solve because that is why you were hired, or that is what was at the back of the mind of your employer before you got hired.

That is the financial accounting problems.

The secondary problems you are meant to solve are the other issues that may arise in the organization, which may not be accounting issues but may just require some intellectual input from anybody in the organization.

You could be that person.

9. Necessary certification in accounting

Before you were hired in the position of an accountant, your certification was the first thing that was considered.

This is true because, logically a certified accountant is sure to have an upper hand in the race to fill this vacancy more than anyone from another field.

The difference is because an accountant basically understands the details of the job more than any other person from another field of study.

This is what the accountant was trained to do. Though other skills are important in this job, but your certification is the most important factor.

This therefore implies that for you to remain in this job in the long run, you should get further trainings on some other professional accounting courses.

Upgrading your certificates or certifications will definitely put you on the front foot in this job.

10. Teamwork

What will help you work effortlessly with other people in the accounting department or the organization at large is teamwork.

The reality before us is that succeeding in the modern day business world demands more than your certification and individual brilliance.

Sometimes, you just have to work with the right people to get your job done without much stress.

11. Time management

Time management is one of the best skills you can have as a senior accountant. You should know that for whatever job you have to do, you are expected to deliver so much within the shortest possible time. That brings us to the issue of deadline.

Deadline is a word that almost anyone working in an organization is familiar with. Some people complain that little time is usually given to complete some big tasks.

One way to deal with deadlines is to find more efficient and time saving methods to do your job.

12. Leadership skills

A senior accountant has people like junior accountants to work with. From this you can see that a senior accountant is a senior figure in the accounting department and also in the organization.

This is why leadership skills should be found in you as the senior accountant of the organization.

Leadership skills may include coaching skills and motivation. These two will surely make you a good leader in the accounting department.

It is sure to help you bring out the best in your subordinates in the accounting department.

You ought to coach the entry level accountants, i.e. junior accountants and other accountants down the pecking order. Coach them until you can be sure of their efficiency in accounting matters.

13. Good communication skills

The need for you to communicate well in the organization is for three basic reasons: first is to communicate with other hierarchies in the organization, second is with the members of your team and third for the purpose of coaching the accountants down the pecking order.

We already know that through reporting financial transactions you are able to communicate with other members of the executives of the organization.

However, you will also need to communicate same report with members of your team for them to know how well or average they have performed on the job.

But for the aspect of coaching, you will need communication as the basic tool for training younger accountants in the organization.

This is because training or coaching becomes realistically impossible if you are not able to tell them what they should know about their jobs.

14. Multitasking

Earlier in this article we considered versatility as one of the qualities to have that can help you boost your chances of succeeding and remaining relevant as a senior accountant.

This is entirely true because, one skill alone or your certification may not keep you in the job for long.

Another aspect of versatility is multitasking. This is your ability to engage yourself in more than one activity in the organization.

You should be good enough not just in accounting alone, but in other functions in the organization.

For example, though you can act as an accountant in your organization, it will not be a bad idea if you can also be a supervisor in the organization to monitor the activities of not just the people in your department but the organization at large.

15. Organization

It is through organization that you are able to multitask yourself.

Multitasking can become a problem if you are not adept in organization.

This is one way that people find themselves failing in one aspect of their job because they lack organization.

The most important aspect of this point is your ability to organize your own activities.

If you are able to put yourself together and plan out the way you want your activities to be, you will find yourself in a better position to do a lot more without much stress.

Then for the team you are working with, you should be a good administrator and organizer of the team in the department.

You should be able to ensure that all hands are on deck at all times to get the job done. But it all depends on your organizational skills.

Senior Accountant Skills for Resume

If you have the skills and qualities presented above and are writing a resume/CV for a senior accountant position, you can apply some of them in making the Skills Section of your resume.

Employers/recruiters are more prone to give you an interview if they saw in your resume that you have the skills and qualities to enable you succeed on the senior accountant position.


This post has provided some of the important skills and qualities you need to develop to be successful in your senior accountant career.