Accounting Training Schools and Colleges

By Publisher Last Updated March 10, 2022

Accounting training can allow you to play a central role in almost any organization.

You can pave the way to new opportunities that come with good pay, outstanding career security, and work that matters. Going to accounting school is a big reason why many successful Canadians have achieved professional lives that bring true satisfaction and ongoing potential for growth.

Why Accounting Professionals Are Almost Always in Strong Demand

Companies and other organizations—in nearly every industry—rely on the expertise of people who know how to accurately keep track of things like profits, losses, taxes, financial transactions, and payroll. Without good accounting services, a growing business can quickly stall or even fail. As a result, companies of every size look for professionals with good training in this important field.

All it takes to get a sense of the demand is to check out a few interesting stats. For example, look at these numbers:

  • In 2020, Canada had nearly 1.25 million businesses with employees.
  • In 2018, over 2.9 million Canadians were self-employed. Like larger businesses, many self-employed people hire accounting or bookkeeping specialists to keep their ventures on track and in compliance with laws and regulations.
  • In 2020, the operating revenues of Canadian firms that provide accounting services was $21.5 billion.

Career Possibilities in the Accounting Field

This area of business has a lot more variety than you might expect. It's possible to specialize in a particular (yet still broad) category like tax preparation, auditing, finance, or management. And a career in this field can also introduce you to a number of different industries if you decide you want job diversity. With that in mind, here are a few of the most common types of accounting-related positions, which sometimes overlap:

  • Accounting technician or clerk—Often responsible for handling specific financial transactions and records related to an organization's invoices and accounts receivable or bills and accounts payable
  • Payroll administrator—Calculates and processes the wages paid to an organization's employees while accounting for income tax deductions and benefits like vacation time and sick leave
  • Bookkeeper—Maintains accurate records of a company's financial transactions or ensures that the correct procedures are being followed to do so
  • Financial clerks supervisor—Coordinates and oversees the work of accounting clerks, payroll administrators, or bookkeepers, usually after some experience in one or more of those positions
  • Accountant—Provides reports and guidance on financial matters related to things like profits and losses, taxes, and resource allocation while also helping an organization comply with any applicable laws and regulations

Common Salaries for Accounting Specialists

The potential to make a good income in this field is very real. That's because you can do the type of work aligned with an organization's financial self-interest. As with any career, the more experience you have, the more you can earn, especially if you move into a supervisory or management role. Following are some examples of median salaries in Canada from the Government of Canada Job Bank.

  • Bookkeeper: $24.04 per hour
  • Accounting clerk: $22.56 per hour
  • Financial clerks supervisor: $32.21 per hour
  • Accountant: $35.75 per hour

Educational Requirements

Accounting technician, payroll administration, and bookkeeping training usually don't take very long. It's possible to earn a college diploma or certificate in this field in less than one year. Plus, many programs are set up to help you prepare for voluntary certification exams that can add even more value to your resume. For instance, some people with this kind of training earn Payroll Compliance Practitioner (PCP) certification from the National Payroll Institute.

On the other hand, becoming a professional accountant takes a little longer. Generally, you need at least four years of relevant post-secondary education to get started. Then, you can pursue a designation such as Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA) through the accounting profession's national organization—the Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada.