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Cost Accountant Job Description: Top Duties and Requirements

A Cost Accountant, or Financial Auditor, analyzes the financial records of individuals or companies to verify they are compliant with accounting standards set by federal and provincial governments. Their main duties are tracking expenditures, verifying tax returns, and preparing audit reports to share their findings with the client and the government.

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Cost Accountant duties and responsibilities

A Cost Accountant plays a key role in ensuring their clients are not in breach of Canadian tax laws. Some of the common tasks a Cost Accountant should be able to perform daily include:

  • Analyze ledger entries
  • Verify expense reports and supporting receipts or other documentation
  • Verify and analyze bank statements
  • Prepare income tax returns
  • Examine past income tax returns should discrepancies arise
  • Create reports documenting audit findings
  • Prepare financial statements
  • Implement new financial tracking procedures
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Cost Accountant Job Description Examples:

What does a Cost Accountant do?

A Cost Account completes a financial audit to verify all of the client’s financial records. They ensure the client has been compliant with Canadian tax laws such as the Income Tax Act or the Canadian Business Corporations Act, and are required to report any cases of non-compliance. They examine all of the detailed financial data that are relevant to the client’s tax filings. A Cost Accountant is also responsible for managing a team of junior accountants. They lead the team and work together with them to complete complex financial audits.

Cost Accountant skills and qualifications

A successful Cost Accountant will have certain skills and qualifications to perform this job well. Some of the most common skills include:

  • Excellent analytical skills
  • Strong organizational skills
  • Exceptional knowledge of Canadian tax laws
  • Excellent eye for detail
  • Ability to work under pressure or under tight deadlines
  • Good communication skills
  • Excellent time management skills
  • Strong reporting skills

Cost Accountant experience requirements

A successful Cost Account candidate will have experience working as an auditor under the supervision of an Accountant while earning their designation. They are usually expected to have at least five years of experience, but this may vary depending on the job requirements.

Cost Accountant education and training requirements

A Cost Accountant will hold a university degree in Accounting as well as a designation from the Institute of Chartered Accountants. Once a graduate has received their designation, they must also receive certification from the Society of Certified General Accountants, as well as the Institute of Internal Auditors. This certification is obtained after 24 to 30 months of on-the-job experience, under the supervision of an Accountant. If a Cost Accountant is required to act as a trustee in bankruptcy proceedings, they must also hold a license as a trustee in bankruptcy. A Cost Accountant must be recognized and certified by the regulatory body in their individual province, as well.

Cost Accountant salary expectations

According to Indeed Salaries, the average Cost Accountant salary in Canada is $68,463 per year. Salaries will vary based on geographical location, the type of industry, and the level of experience. A Cost Accountant in the public sector may also make a different salary compared to private sector employees.

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Cost Accountant job description FAQs

What is the difference between a Cost Accountant and a Staff Accountant?

A Staff Accountant may handle some of the same financial records as a Cost Accountant, but they must work under the supervision of a Cost Accountant or Senior Accountant. They may contribute to verifying documents and creating reports, but they are not able to file tax returns on behalf of their clients nor offer tax advice.

What are good qualities to look for in a Cost Accountant?

The job of a Cost Accountant includes some very detail-heavy work. Employers should look for candidates who are natural problem-solvers. A good candidate will also have good critical thinking skills, be very meticulous, and demonstrate reliability and responsibility. A Cost Accountant must be passionate about investigating and reporting, and show a deep interest in mathematics.

How can you make your Cost Accountant job description stand out?

The job descriptions that get the attention of the best candidates include lots of detail, while also remaining short and concise. The candidate should be able to immediately decipher what daily tasks will be expected of them, what specific certifications are required, and what type of industry they will be working with. A mention of a competitive salary and any additional employee benefits or privileges is also helpful.

Job Description Examples

Need help writing a job description for a specific role? Use these job description examples to create your next great job posting. Or if you’re ready to hire, post your job on Indeed.

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