Finance Skills List and Examples

List of Finance Skills for Resumes, Cover Letters and Interviews

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Accounting and finance professionals can find career opportunities in many different industries. Whether you're applying for a CFO or financial analyst position or a financial planner or investment counselor, these positions have certain functions and terminology in common.

To get into the field and land any of these positions, you will need at least a bachelor’s degree, although you have few choices of majors that qualify. There are degree programs in finance, accounting, and economics, and some professionals consider coursework in communications to be useful as well for this type of work.

Depending on what branch of the field you want to get into and what kinds of positions you want to apply for, you may need to complete a specialized training program and earn one or more certification or license.

Many of the most sought-after skills for finance jobs are also important in other fields. You may well have more relevant experience than you think.

How to Use Skills Lists

Because many different roles and positions exist within the world of finance, necessary skills can vary a lot. Read the job descriptions carefully so that you know precisely what your prospective employer is looking for and what to highlight in your resume and cover letters. Prepare and rehearse examples of how you embody each skill, as you will likely be asked about this in your job interview.

The following information on finance skills, as well the list of skills by job and type, should help you prepare for your job search. You may find you have more relevant skills than you thought. 

Most-Wanted Finance Skills

When interviewing for any finance or accounting-related position, you will need to demonstrate several skills, both technical and soft, in order to land a job. The following four skills are at the core of most jobs in this field:

Accounting Skills: Accounting skills include the knowledge necessary to handle recording accounting transactions, as well as a strong understanding of applicable accounting regulations. You may or may not be handling financial statement preparation and budgeting directly, depending on your position. You need not be an expert accountant because you might have an expert accountant on your team assisting you. But you will need to be entirely comfortable reading and discussing financial statements in order to give financial advice.

Analytical Thought: Analytical thinking means looking at a situation accurately, understanding how it works and interpreting what it means, and then coming up with a thoughtful, intelligent response. This skill has technical applications, such as data analysis or financial analysis, as well as wider applications, such as generalized problem-solving. You will need both.

Technological Expertise: Modern technology makes it much easier and faster to find, sort, and process the bulk of the information you need to work in finance or accounting. The downside is that you need to understand that technology in order to use it. Because the available tools continue to change and evolve, a detailed list of technical skills in this area would be quickly out of date. But if you ground yourself in modern information technology and then rigorously keep yourself up to date, you’ll be in a good position to succeed.

At a minimum, in-depth experience with a spreadsheet program is a must.

Written and Verbal Communication: Not only do you have to be able to communicate clearly to give financial advice, but you also need to inspire trust and develop a strong rapport, otherwise no one will trust you with their money. This is not a matter of putting on a trustworthy front; while some people clearly misrepresent themselves in order to attract business, such practices are both morally wrong and usually less effective. You must actually have integrity and good judgment. If you can’t communicate well on all levels, other people won't be able to tell that you're a trustworthy person.

The finance industry can be both financially rewarding and personally satisfying because, in certain positions, you get to spend your time helping people. Like many other fields, you will have to apply yourself and work hard to succeed in this kind of demanding career, but the potential for success is worth it.

Finance Skills List

Check the list below and note which skills you already possess, and which ones you can acquire, either through your schooling, current job or by completing training courses. Additionally, use this list when you're assembling your resume, to make sure that you include all of the elevant keywords that dscribe the type of work you've done and the type of position you're pursuing.

A - G

  • Accounting
  • Accounting Principles
  • Accounting Standards
  • Accounting Techniques
  • Analytical
  • Analyzing Data
  • Auditing
  • Averaging
  • Budgeting
  • Business Analytics
  • Calculations
  • Cash Flow Management
  • Communication
  • Compliance
  • Computer
  • Concentration
  • Cost Analysis
  • Cost Reduction
  • Data Analysis
  • Data Processing
  • Dexterity
  • Decision Making
  • Economize
  • Estate Planning
  • Estimation
  • Financial Advising
  • Financial Analysis
  • Financial Concepts
  • Financial Data
  • Financial Engineering
  • Financial Management
  • Financial Modeling
  • Financial Planning
  • Financial Reporting
  • Financial Systems
  • Forecasting
  • GAAP
  • General Ledger

H - M

  • Handling Detailed Work
  • Handling Money
  • Hyperion
  • Interpersonal
  • Investments
  • Investment Principles
  • Journal Entry
  • Leadership
  • Logic
  • Management
  • Marketing
  • Mathematical
  • Mathematics
  • Mergers 
  • MBA
  • Microsoft Office
  • MS Excel

N - S

  • Organizational
  • Performance Management
  • Performance Measuring
  • Portfolio Performance Reports
  • Practice Management
  • Prioritization
  • Problem Solving
  • Profit and Loss
  • Project Management
  • Projecting Fiscal Balances
  • Quantitative Analysis
  • Quantitative Data
  • QuickBooks
  • Ranking
  • Reconciliations
  • Reconciling Balance Statements
  • Recognizing Problems
  • Relationship Management
  • Reporting
  • Restructuring
  • Risk Analysis
  • Risk Management
  • Sales
  • SAP
  • Securities
  • Strategic Planning
  • Software
  • Solving Equations
  • Solving Problems
  • Sorting

T – Z

  • Taxation
  • Tax Filing
  • Tax Planning
  • Tax Reporting
  • Technology
  • Trial Balance
  • Wealth Management
  • Working with Numbers
  • Working under Stress
  • Using Analysis on Financial Scenarios
  • Valuations
  • Value Added Analysis