Maintaining or increasing soil organic carbonÂ (C) is vital for securing food production and for mitigating greenhouse gasÂ (GHG) emissions, climate change, and land degradation. Some land management practices in cropping, grazing, horticultural, and mixed farming systems can be used to increase organicÂ C in soil, but to assess their effectiveness, we need accurate and cost-efficient methods for measuring and monitoring the change. To determine the stock of organicÂ C in soil, one requires measurements of soil organicÂ C concentration, bulk density, and gravel content, but using conventional laboratory-based analytical methods is expensive. Our aim here is to review the current state of proximal sensing for the development of new soilÂ C accounting methods for emissions reporting and in emissions reduction schemes. We evaluated sensing techniques in terms of their rapidity, cost, accuracy, safety, readiness, and their state of development. The most suitable method for measuring soil organicÂ C concentrations appears to be visible-near-infrared (vis-NIR) spectroscopy and, for bulk density, active gamma-ray attenuation. Sensors for measuring gravel have not been developed, but an interim solution with rapid wet sieving and automated measurement appears useful. Field-deployable, multi-sensor systems are needed for cost-efficient soilÂ C accounting. Proximal sensing can be used for soil organicÂ C accounting, but the methods need to be standardized and procedural guidelines need to be developed to ensure proficient measurement and accurate reporting and verification. These are particularly important if the schemes use financial incentives for landholders to adopt management practices to sequester soil organicÂ C. We list and discuss requirements for developing new soilÂ C accounting methods based on proximal sensing, including requirements for recording, verification, and auditing.