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Accountant Job Description: Top Duties and Qualifications

An Accountant, or Certified Public Accountant, analyzes financial statements and other documents to ensure companies or individuals are compliant with Canadian accounting standards. Their primary duties are to analyze bank statements, tax returns, and other financial documents, create, use and maintain accounting systems, and to ensure organizations are compliant with the Canadian Tax Act and other laws applicable to a company’s financial reporting.

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What does an Accountant do?

An Accountant organizes accounting systems and develops the accounting plan for an organization or individual. They will perform an audit to ensure the company or individual is not in breach of any of the Canadian accounting standards or requirements. This will include an in-depth revision of all expenses, income, and other financial records.

An Accountant will also prepare detailed reports to log their findings and provide tax consultation services to corporations they are auditing. Various levels of Accountants have varying responsibilities. Accounting certifications include Chartered Accountant (CA), Chartered General Accountant (CGA), Chartered Management Account (CMA), Certified Public Accountant (CPA), and Advanced Certificate in Accounting and Finance (ACAF). An Accountant will also offer financial advice to their clients.

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Accountant duties and responsibilities

An Accountant is responsible for financial audits within an organization, on behalf of a government agency, or on behalf of a private company. Their goal is to ensure all financial transactions are properly recorded and reported. Some of the main day-to-day duties of an Accountant usually include:

  • Verify receipts, income tax returns, financial statements, ledgers, and other documents pertaining to finances within an organization
  • File income tax returns
  • Ensure corporations are complying with the Canadian Tax Act
  • Develop reporting standards for future use within the organization
  • Prepare audit reports
  • Work with or supervise other Auditors or Junior Accountants
  • Prepare financial documents for the government, the organization or other governing bodies
  • Provide tax consultation services to clients

Accountant skills and qualifications

A successful Accountant candidate will have the necessary skills to analyze every last detail within an organization. Some skills that make an excellent candidate include:

  • Strong organizational skills
  • Excellent analytical skills
  • Strong time management skills
  • Good communication skills
  • Being capable of managing a team and demonstrating leadership skills
  • An excellent knowledge of finance and accounting
  • Being adaptable to different working environments and different industries
  • An in-depth knowledge of Canadian financial laws

Accountant experience requirements

Each accounting certification requires different levels of experience. For example, a CA may need more hours of training on specific topics, and individuals must also pass the Chartered Accountant Exams to be certified. Each accounting designation offers its own unique certification exam that must be completed.

Accountant education and training requirements

To be considered for the position of Accountant, candidates must have completed a university degree in accounting. They must then have completed 24 to 30 months of training on the job and successfully passed the Uniform Evaluation (UFE). Upon completion, a candidate must then apply for a designation exam (CA, CPA, CGA, etc.) and pass the required examination to obtain that designation certification. Accounting certification is provided by the Chartered Professional Accounting association or similar organization in their province.

Accountant salary expectations

According to Indeed Salaries, the average annual income for an Accountant in Canada is $53,185 per year. The salary varies widely depending on the candidate’s designation, their years of experience, and the location of the position.

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Accountant job description FAQs

What is the difference between an Accountant and an Accounting Manager?

An Accountant analyzes and verifies all financial data to ensure the organization is compliant with all federal and provincial regulations. An Accounting Manager oversees a team to ensure they have analyzed all the necessary data. They also provide more in-depth accounting advice to their clients, and are responsible for planning the accounting system to be used. Managers provide their team with a larger view of the project, whereas Accountants complete day-to-day tasks of collecting and analyzing data.

What makes a good Accountant job description?

Because there are various types of Accountants with varying responsibilities, it is crucial to provide a detailed list of the type of duties and responsibilities the Accountant will be responsible for at your company. If a specific accounting designation is required or the position, it should be stated in the job description.

What should you look for in an Accountant resume?

A good Accountant candidate will have many important elements on their resume, often including certification by the provincial governing body and a designation. Look for experience in an accounting firm or in a government accounting department. Also look for candidates with experience in auditing.

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