How To Hatch A Career In Accounting Without Accounting-Related Education


If you are looking into the accounting career path and don’t have a finance or accounting background or degree, it can be difficult to wade through all the designations.

However, there are many roles in the field that don’t require professional accounting designation. The truth is that accounting encompasses a variety of roles in a variety of workplaces for a variety of educational backgrounds and interests.

The accounting field is attractive to many because of the diversity of the types of jobs available. Working within this industry allows people to work in government, business, banks, tax preparation offices and stock exchange companies just to name a few.

Although many accountants have a professional designation, like the Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA) designation, other careers, such as accounting technician, financial planner and payroll administrator, don’t require an accounting-related university degree.

Accounting technician

Working as an accounting technician will require you to enter information into accounting software (such as Simply Accounting, or Quickbooks), make bank deposits, perform payroll for the company, prepare information for tax season, and be responsible for accounts payable.

Companies’ preferences vary, but no specific certification is required to be an accounting technician. Despite this, taking courses that relate to accounting and finance will always be an asset when looking for a job.

Financial planner

As a Financial planner, you will help clients discover their financial goals and then help them achieve those goals. To do this, you will analyze their financial records and develop a plan that will help the client make the most of their financial situation. Keeping your client’s plans up-to-date and also recruiting new clients will help you to become a successful planner.

To make yourself competitive in the industry, try to achieve CFP Certification. This requires a taking a few courses specifically related to the field and exams to complete your certification.

Payroll administrator

This role is focused on employees in your company or your client’s company. When new employees are hired you will process the necessary information for them to receive their first paycheck. You will be focused on keeping records of employees’ hours, vacation time, benefits and contracts. Once a month you will be preparing employees’ pay statements and calculating their deductions. You will prepare the T4 slips for your employees on a yearly basis. In addition, you must be able to answer questions about pay stubs, deductions, and benefits that employees may ask you.

To be a payroll administrator you will want to eventually gain certification from the Canadian Payroll Association. This will require completing a set of standard courses. Fortunately, many companies will help you complete this certification.

Personality traits

To work in the accounting field, it is important that you have a good understanding of numbers and standard calculation formulas.

You will also want to have solid ethical standards because you will be dealing with confidential information, such as your company’s financial information and the knowledge of your coworkers’ pay cheques.

Being organized will also help you keep you from being confused. The statements, invoices, and spreadsheets professionals in the accounting field use often look very similar. If you are not organized you could end up entering the wrong numbers into your work.

At the end of the day, if you have an interest for working with numbers the numerous fields within accounting will allow you to find a job you love!

Visit the Accounting Career Guide to learn more about careers in the accounting industry, and find student and entry level jobs from top accounting employers!