Transferable Skills in Accounting

by Steven Symes; Updated September 26, 2017

Accountants work with tax returns, financial statements, databases and other financial information within an organization. As with any position, accountants acquire a certain set of transferable skills they can use as they migrate to other, non-accounting positions in an organization. An accountant's resume should stress these transferable skills, especially as they pertain to the position the accountant is seeking.


Accountants do not only deal with numbers and spreadsheets all day long, but also must take that information and communicate it to others. Accountants in an organization, or those who have been hired to do work for an organization, must present their work to various groups within the organization. Not all of the people accountants present to have accounting experience, meaning an accountant must know how to communicate accounting principles using common language. This ability to communicate with people from the top of an organization down is useful in other occupations.

Information Processing

The old saying is that accounting is the language of business. An accountant must analyze large amounts of business information and then assimilate the information into a format that is organized and uniform. Sometimes accountants must review the work done by others, or they must redesign an accounting system that is not serving its needed purposes. The ability to deal with large quantities of information and extract the needed facts will help an accountant in other positions.

Computer Technology

Accountants work on computers, analyzing spreadsheets or databases and using specialized software, among other tasks. To perform their work well, accountants must be well-versed in computer usage. Computers impact other positions as well. An accountant who knows how to use a computer and various software programs will be able to learn new tasks more readily.

Working with Others

Many positions require an employee to work with other people both inside and outside the organization. Accountants must work with other accountants, as well as workers in other positions in the organization. The ability to work well with others from a variety of backgrounds facilitates professional success in a variety of positions, not just accounting. Accountants may also become supervisors, overseeing and approving the work of more junior accountants. Management skills are needed in any supervisory or management position.

Accounting Knowledge

The ability to read financial statements and apply the information contained within, as well as prepare tax returns, has value for those working in other positions. Management in an organization must make decisions based on financial information, giving an advantage to those who have an accounting background.