Accounting professionals record the company’s accounting data and participate in producing the financial statements. They may be generalists and take care of the complete accounting cycle, such as accounting clerks, bookkeepers and accounting technicians. They can also specialize in one of the branches of accounting, e.g. billing, accounts receivable, collection, credit, accounts payable, payroll, or inventory and purchasing. Accounting professionals usually begin their careers as clerks. They may then become technicians and finally supervisors, according to their experience, aspirations and capabilities.
- Maintain accounting records, inventory files, accounts receivable and accounts payable
- Enter invoices and make deposits
- Prepare payroll cheques and financial statements
- Prepare and fill out income tax returns
- Participate in summary reports
Responsibilities vary depending on company size, sector and practice type: public (accounting firm) or private (accounting department within a company). Generally, the smaller the company, the less specialized and more varied the activities.
Post-secondary training, such as a DEC in accounting, is increasingly requested.
Employers like applicants to have a bachelor’s degree or university-level certificate, for accounting technicians, in particular.
However, it is also possible to combine a specialized high school diploma, a DEP (diploma of professional studies), or an AEC (attestation of college studies), with several years of relevant experience.
For the list of accounting training bodies: Directory
Accounting requires good concentration skills, as well as number-crunching skills, patience and organizational skills. An eye for detail, thoroughness and an ability to meet tight deadlines are also essential.
Being able to communicate readily, good analytical and problem-solving skills are also desirable.
Proficiency with office software, spreadsheets and the main accounting software is increasingly desired by employers.
The job of supervisor requires personnel supervisory skills. Several years of experience are required to hold this type of job.
According to Job Futures of Service Canada, the job market for accounting jobs is rated “fair.” Demand for personnel is increasing because of economic expansion; the unemployment rate is lower than the national average, across the board. Conversely, salaries in this field are generally lower than the Canadian average. Key numbers
The most promising areas of specialization are accounts receivable and accounts payable, accounting technicians, bookkeeping and payroll.
The low ratio of young people in this profession, combined with the retirement of many baby-boomers, are a positive sign for employment growth in the coming years.