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What does an
Accountant do?

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Other common names for this position: Accountant, Accounting Controller, Auditor, Certified General Accountant, Certified Management Accountant, Cost Accountant, Financial Auditor, General Accountant, Public Accountant, Tax Accountant


Accountants work in the public and private sectors. Their role is to analyze, examine, and audit the financial records of an individual or an establishment. Their goal is to ensure that their customers meet the provincial and national regulations, that all procedures are followed, and that all incomes and expenses are accounted for.

Another role an Accountant can undertake is that of a Financial Advisor and Auditor, always staying focused on their ultimate goal, which is to maximize profits for their clients by reducing expenses as much as possible. Accountants can specialize in Taxation, Corporate Accounting, Forensic Accounting, and Insurance Accounting. Accountants work in quite different areas ranging from public firms, tending to individuals or commercial organizations, to non-profit associations and government offices where they may work in treasury management, financial management, or procurement. Accountants are also known to be self-employed.

In Canada, Chartered Professional Accountants (CPA) are Accountants that have undertaken a specialized course in order to obtain a certification and become CPAs. A certified Accountant can apply for higher ranking jobs within a firm and get higher wages, among other benefits.

Primary Responsibilities

Here’s a non-exhaustive list of common tasks Accountants are required to complete.

  • Documenting financial reports for clients:
  • Reviewing clients’ financial books;
  • analyzing profits and expenses;
  • balancing financial books; and
  • writing reports on the financial status of their clients.
  • Managing financial records, systems, and budgets.
  • Running financial audits for clients.
  • Advising clients on financial matters (e.g. business improvement, cost reductions, and insolvency):
  • Offering financial and tax advice; and
  • reporting irregularities.
  • Preparing new financial and tax reports for clients and analyzing existing ones, ensuring they comply with current standards and legislations:
  • Examining financial accounts and records;
  • advising clients on tax returns and planning; and
  • calculating tax return amounts.
  • Supervising and training aspiring Accountants and interns.

Daily Tasks

  • Collecting data and auditing individual or business clients.
  • Analyzing accounting records.
  • Balancing incomes and expenses on record books.
  • Ensuring all costs and incomes are accurate.
  • Ensuring accounting books follow provincial and national regulations and laws.
  • Writing financial reports and making cost-reducing recommendations to clients.
  • Preparing tax return reports and identifying possible tax reductions and deductibles.
  • Preparing budgets.
  • Managing companies’ payrolls.

The average Accountant salary is $58,601 per year or $30 per hour. This is around 1.8 times more than the Median wage of the country. Entry level positions start at $41,000 while most experienced workers make up to $82,000. These results are based on 1,655 salaries extracted from job descriptions.

Gross Salary59,090.89 $
CPP- 2,479.95 $
EI- 930.60 $
Federal Tax- 7,488.51 $
Provincial Tax- 3,658.54 $
Total Tax- 14,557.60 $
Net Pay*44,533.28 $
In Ontario, Canada, if you make 59,090.89 $ a year, you will be taxed 14,557.60 $. That means that your take home pay will be 44,533.28 $ per year, or 3,711.11 $ per month. Your average tax rate is 24.64% and your marginal tax rate is 31.15%.
* Deductions are calculated based on the tables of Ontario, Canada income tax.
Job Offers
There are currently 2326 available job offers for the Accountant position on Below is a list of available jobs, based on Canada's most populated metropolitan areas.
Education is key ! Over [number] graduates attended one or more of these schools prior to becoming a Accountant. These Schools usually offer specialized courses and programs that impart the necessary knowledge and skills required by most employers.
Top 5 Schools in Canada
to become Accountant
  • 1
    Montreal, Quebec
  • 2
    Montreal, Quebec
Required Skills and Qualifications
  • Excellent communication skills:
  • Communicating clearly, both in writing and verbally, in order to effectively advise and interact with clients or employers;
  • explaining accounting procedures to clients or employer, simplifying often complex and lengthy matters and using a non-technical language;
  • writing detailed and accurate accounting reports and being able to explain the results to clients or employers; and
  • being able to work as part of a team.
  • Highly detail-oriented:
  • Analyzing financial receipts and detailed information regarding finances;
  • carefully and accurately entering data into accounting books; and
  • balancing long and complex financial books.
  • Outstanding numeric and mathematical skills:
  • Performing simple and complex calculations; and
  • rounding off zeros to designate numbers as thousands or millions.
  • Excellent organizational and time management skills:
  • Working with several clients and balancing different books at the same time;
  • writing reports for different clients; and
  • meeting deadlines.
  • Good analytical skills:
  • Analyzing incomes and expenses to find possible reductions;
  • having a methodical approach to analysis;
  • analyzing budgets; and
  • finding ways to increase efficiency.
  • Strong computer skills:
  • Using automated computer software for balance sheets and income statements; and
  • being knowledgeable in all available specialized programs.
  • High levels of integrity and honesty.

Entry-level jobs in Accounting are available for all applicants with degrees in all disciplines, although the vast majority of candidates possess degrees in Accounting, Business, Management, or Mathematics. It is possible to work in this field without a college or university degree, but the competition is often quite intense and candidates with a degree are frequently chosen.

In Canada, it is strongly advised for Accountants to join the Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada (CPA Canada)[1] , an organization that governs and regulates all Accounting activities in the country. The purpose of CPA Canada is to unify and standardize Accountants and the qualifications required to become one all throughout the country.

Accountants who wish to become CPAs are required to complete a specialized course designed to provide students with all the necessary knowledge of the field. Courses can be taken in specialized schools or institutes throughout the country or by special training programs offered by some Accounting firms. This process is known as the CPA Certification Program and can last from 28 to 36 months. The final stage of either the courses or the internship programs is taking a three-day Uniform Evaluation[2]. This exam is administered by CPA Canada itself and is conducted regionally at specific locations. [3]

Previous experience in areas like Finance or Customer Service can be an asset for applicants. Many firms look for people that know their way with numbers and clients. Such experience can be obtained by working in Retail or through volunteer work in specialized organizations or foundations.

Job opportunities can be found all over the country, although most Accounting firms are located in big cities where the pay rates are usually higher. The regular amount of hours an Accountant works in a week can vary between 35 to 40 hours. Nevertheless, it is not uncommon for Accountants to find themselves working extra hours when deadlines are close or at times when there is a lot of work to be done (e.g. the end of a fiscal year). Travelling is also to be expected for Accountants as they will often have to visit a customer’s office to perform audits or check their books in situ. Most firms have their customers within the same city they are located in, so travelling distance is often within city limits.