We surveyed US hiring decision-makers to find out if cover letters are still necessary and if *you* need one to land a job in 2020. Here’s what we found.
That’s not just one of the employment benefit plans you’ll be administering—
It’s also the number of accounting cover letters the finance manager has to go through each day.
How do you make a perfect cover letter accounting employers will pick out over the others?
In this article, you’ll get:
- Two sample accounting cover letters, one for an experienced accountant and the other for an entry-level accounting cover letter.
- A step-by-step guide on writing a bookkeeper or accounts payable cover letter certain to land you more job interviews.
- An accountant cover letter template for you to copy, adjust, and prepare in only 15 minutes.
Looking for other cover letter examples for positions in accounting and finances? See:
- Bank Teller Cover Letter
- Business Analyst Cover Letter
- Financial Analyst Cover Letter
- Investment Banking Cover Letter
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To start things off, we’ll give you the two accountant cover letter examples.
Pay attention to the contents, layout, and structure to understand what gives each one a high market value:
1. Accounting Cover Letter Examples
First, say hello to Jessica.
Jessica’s interest in finance started at age 8, when she successfully sold her first startup, a lemonade stand, to her younger brother Jeffrey for an undisclosed amount.
Jessica is a certified public accountant with several years of experience at a small office, where she handled payroll, balancing budgets, and ensuring accurate cost tracking.
The job to which she’s applying is at United Media Conglomerate, a larger, international company seeking a staff accountant for their finance team. The right candidate should be familiar with modern accounting practices, software, and regulations.
See how Jessica’s accounting cover letter sample shows she’s more than capable:
Example #1: Mid-Level Candidate
Jessica Wallace, CPA
Accountant, Auditor & Compliance Specialist
September 21, 2019
Chief Financial Officer
United Media Conglomerate
4655 Burning Memory Lane
Philadelphia, PA 19104
I’ve been a fan of United Media for years now, and I am a fan of each and every artist you feature on your website. So, I was thrilled to find that you’re looking for a staff accountant to be added to your finance team. With my background in accounting, 3+ years of professional experience, and my CPA designation, I know I’d make a strong candidate to consider for the position.
According to the job listing, you’re looking for a staff accountant able to help the financial team and the company become more fiscally responsible and stable. As an accountant with Jabar Consultants, I helped take over financial matters from the cofounders, streamline payments and expenses, and usher them into their current period of growth. My reorganization allowed me to identify poor accounting practices and better tax credits, reducing expenses by 15%. I’m positive that I’d be able to bring about the same eagle eye and due diligence to the finance team at United Media Conglomerate.
I enjoy following your website, reading your music commentary and “best of” lists, and finding unique new artists to listen to. I would be proud to become a member of the team and help it to succeed in the upcoming years.
Could we meet over a coffee or get on the phone for a chat so I could learn more about the finance department’s upcoming objectives and roadblocks?
There you have it—an accounting cover letter sample certain to win the chief financial officer or finance manager over.
What about a cover letter for an accounting job with no experience?
We’ve got you covered there, too.
Jeffrey is Jessica’s little brother, though there’s nothing “little” about him. His 6’ 5” frame towers over everyone else in the Wallace family and no one knows where he got it.
More importantly, Jeffrey is a senior college student aiming for a bachelor’s degree in business administration. As he specializes in accounting and finance, he has a great academic background for any internship or entry-level accounting job.
Let’s see his sample accounting internship cover letter:
Example #2: Entry-Level Candidate (No Experience)
BBA Student, Accounting Specialty
September 21, 2019
Vice President of Finance
United Media Conglomerate
4655 Burning Memory Lane
Philadelphia, PA 19104
As a final-year college student specializing in accounting and finance and expecting to receive my bachelor’s degree in business administration, I have my mind set on an accounting internship program to help me segue out into the professional world. When I saw United Media’s job advertisement for an accounting intern, it seemed like the perfect position for me. I believe my knowledge in finance and accounting practices gleaned from years of coursework and lectures make me an ideal candidate for your internship program.
In the job ad, it states that you are seeking a college student with an understanding of generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP), financial reporting and auditing, and advanced knowledge of Microsoft Excel, including vlookup, pivot tables, and macros. During my sophomore and junior years at university, I explored all of these topics and more via my studies. Furthermore, I have excellent organizational skills and communication abilities, and I know I can bring all of these talents together to become an excellent accounting intern at United Media’s offices.
I would appreciate the opportunity to talk with you more about how my university coursework in business administration and accounting could be a great fit for your upcoming financial challenges and goals.
You now have two sample accountant cover letters.
Now it’s time to write yours—
Let’s learn how to write a cover letter for accounting jobs of your own.
Is your accounting resume ready to be audited by the hiring manager? See our accountant resume example here: Accounting Resume Example—Samples and 25+ Writing Tips
2. How to Write a Cover Letter for Accounting Jobs Step by Step (Template)
Here’s how to write a cover letter for accountant jobs sure to win their hearts:
1. Format Accounting Cover Letters Like You Would Formal Business Letters
You want your cover letter for finance jobs to wow them as if they were told their stock shares just announced a massive, one-time special dividend.
Before you begin writing, the accounting cover letter template needs to be formatted correctly.
This is how to format a cover letter:
- Select a cover letter font that is easy to read; use the same one on your accountant resume as well.
- Align everything to the left, from the contact details at the top to your signature at the end.
- Use single-line spacing within the general body text and leave a one-inch margin around the edges of your accounting clerk cover letter.
- Write a single-page staff accountant cover letter, and, if it spills onto a second page, trim it down.
Expert Hint: According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, jobs for accountants and auditors will grow by 10% between 2016 and 2026. Those 140,000 new financial job positions mean a lot of competition for you, so don’t slack on your accounting cover letter.
2. Start With a Neatly Organized Accountant Cover Letter Header
Whether you’re applying to become a financial analyst or a compliance controller, the heading of your cover letter stays the same.
It’s your details, followed by a date, and then the company’s details. To be most effective, ensure that it matches the accounting resume template header, as well.
Here’s an easy template to use for yourself:
Sample Cover Letter Accountant Template Header
[ Your Name]
[ Your Job Title ] (Optional)
[ Phone Number ]
[ Email Address ]
[ LinkedIn Profile ]
[ Date of Writing ]
[ CFO or HR Rep’s Name ]
[ CFO or HR Rep’s Job Title ]
[ Company Name ]
[ Company Street Address ]
[ City, State, Zip Code ]
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3. Introduce Yourself and Identify the Accounting Job You’re Applying For
You’ve got the eye to spot an accounting error from a mile away.
The hiring manager has an eye for spotting great candidates and poor ones.
If you want them to consider you as a top accounting contender, come out of the gate strong with a superb first paragraph.
First, address them by name. Go to the company’s website and look on their about page, or search LinkedIn to find it.
Then, open the cover letter by introducing yourself, stating the position you’re applying for, and give them a brief summary of your professional experience and accounting skills to date.
Here’s a template for you to use to get you started:
Accountant Cover Letter Sample: Introduction
Dear [Name of Finance Director or Manager]:
I was quite happy to come across [Company Name]’s job ad seeking a [Accounting Job Title]. Given the fact that I have [###] years of professional experience as a [Previous Position], I have become very talented in [e.g., Financial Management, Managerial Accounting, Managerial Statistics, International Finance, Macroeconomics, Microeconomics, Supply Chain and Operations, etc.]. I’m sure I would be a perfect fit at [Company Name] to help you achieve your upcoming business goals and objectives.
Expert Hint: A recent study supports the idea that there is a direct relationship between organizational commitment and satisfaction with the job and life among accountants and CPAs. Be sure your cover letter exudes your enthusiasm for an extra boost in securing the interview.
4. Highlight Relevant Accounting Skills & Financial Strengths
In the next paragraph of any financial cover letter, you need to show them how you meet and exceed their needs.
Look again at the accounting job description, and make a note of the job responsibilities put forth. Write a paragraph explaining how you are the best match.
Here’s a sample fill-in-the-blank template for the middle paragraph:
Example Cover Letter for Accounting Jobs: Middle Paragraph
In the employment offer you posted on [Job Board], it says that you are looking for a [Accounting Position Job Title] skilled in [e.g., Microsoft Office, Quickbooks, Income Tax Preparation, General Ledgers, Invoicing, Payroll, etc.]. As a [Current or Most Recent Job Title] with [Current or Most Recent Company],I successfully [Give Examples of Responsibilities Which Fulfill Their Job Requirements, Preferably With Numbers]. I know that I could help bring similar results to [Company Name].
Expert Hint: Researchers at Massey University performed a study where they parsed hundreds of accounting job descriptions. They identified 31 skills preferred by most employers, but the most common were collaboration skills and an upbeat attitude. Talk these up on your accounts manager cover letter to gain an advantage!
5. Give Reasons Why You Want to Join
In the third paragraph, show them you’re a financial candidate who’s interested in more than their money.
They want you for your auditing skills and payroll expertise, true. However, they’d also like to hire an accountant who fits in with the culture of the company.
Show your enthusiasm for this company. Give them a compliment or two.
Feel free to copy this template:
Accountant Cover Letter Example: Motivational Statement
I admire [Company Name] and the [e.g., Company Culture, Business Ethics, Financial Support, etc.]. These traits of your company fall perfectly in line with my own personal values and beliefs, and I’d be grateful and honored to join the finance team as the next [Accounting Job Title].
6. End Using an Effective Call-to-Action and Sign-Off
Ending a covering letter is simple—
Simply ask them for a meeting or phone conversation where you can discuss everything further.
Here’s a sample accountant cover letter closing to use as a reference:
Sample Cover Letter for Accounting Jobs: Call-to-Action Statement
Can we schedule a meeting or telephone call to go over how my accounting expertise could benefit [Company Name] and help you to achieve your upcoming objectives & targets?
[Handwritten Signature] (optional)
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Let’s sum it all up—
Here’s how to write a cover letter for accounting jobs:
- Start with a properly formatted cover letter header, including your info, the date, and the company’s details.
- Address the finance manager or HR rep directly in your cover letter salutation.
- In the opening paragraph, introduce yourself, inform them of the accounting position you’re applying for, and give a quick recap of your professional background.
- In the next paragraph, use this area to show how your financial management skills and auditing abilities match the accounting job description.
- Show some enthusiasm about the company.
- End with a solid call-to-action statement.
- Don’t forget to tweak your accounting resume before sending it all off.
Got any questions on writing a cover letter accountant managers love? Need additional accounting cover letters samples or ideas on how to talk up your financial wins? Let’s chat in the comment section below, and thank you for reading!