A successful career as an accountant requires education, training, certification and experience. Individuals, families and businesses trust you as an accountant to keep track of their finances, offer advice and execute important financial transactions. These clients are more inclined to hire you as their accountant when you provide them with a professional accounting portfolio that displays thorough evidence of your abilities and experience.
Cover Letter and Table of Contents
The beginning of your portfolio should contain a cover page with your full name and licensing information, typically "C.P.A." if you're a Certified Public Accountant. Following the cover letter is the table of contents. List each section of the portfolio in order by section title. Include your master resume, and if applying for a new job or position, a cover letter at the beginning of your portfolio.
The first section of your portfolio is the "Summary" or "Accounting" section and includes general information about who you are as an accountant. Discuss your style of work ethic, types of accounting environments you feel comfortable in (e.g., personal, small business, etc.) and areas of expertise, such as auditing, bookkeeping or forensic accounting. Leave specific details about your services or job history for later sections, but feel free to include your career goals and objectives.
The second section is your "Services" or "Qualifications" list. This section includes point by point descriptions of specific tasks that you carry out as an accountant, such as preparation of quarterly budgets, document processing, reimbursement calculation and savings planning.
The third and most likely largest section of your portfolio is titled "Experiences" or "Accounting History." Include detailed information about your current and previous employment as an accountant. Include not only employer information, but also specific responsibilities, career highlights and awards or achievements you brought to the company, client or yourself as an accountant. Also write about management positions obtained and any coworker training and mentoring you've performed throughout your career.
The "Samples" section contains physical copies of documentation that correlates to the experience and qualifications previously mentioned. Include quarterly reports, audit review letters, spending and savings account estimate data, inventory reports, or any other relevant media you have created in the past. You may also include testimonial letters from clients or performance evaluations from previous employers.
Education and Certification
List all of your relevant education history in the final "Education and Certification" section. Include the institution name, degree title, location and date of completion for each entry. Describe the coursework and school-related achievements in the areas of finance and accounting, as well. When listing certification information, include a physical copy of your C.P.A. and/or each equivalent certificate.
Kara Page has been a freelance writer and editor since 2007. She maintains several blogs on travel, music, food and more. She is also a contributing writer for Suite101 and has articles published on eHow and Answerbag. Page holds a Bachelor of Music Education degree from the University of North Texas.