There’s more than one way to start an accounting career. While many new grads will enter CA training offices to start working on their designation, there are a number of other entry points for students who want to take a slightly different path in accounting.
While it’s hard to plan exactly where you’ll end up in any career path, getting a sense of common jobs near the ground level can help you get the ball rolling.
Here are some common jobs in accounting with starting and average earnings in Canada. Most of these jobs only require a degree in accounting or finance–though experience is always a plus.
Financial Analysts collect and interpret large quantities of financial information, including financial statements, economic forecasts and trends in financial holdings in order to recognize developing patterns and make future predictions or provide advice for their employers.
A Financial Analyst’s advice may determine a decision to buy, sell or hold a particular commodity or investment and inform a company’s understanding of the costs and benefits of mergers and acquisitions. Financial Analysts must be extremely detail-oriented.
Employment as a Financial Analyst usually requires a university degree in commerce, business administration, economics or – of course – accounting. Further education, such as an MBA or master’s degree in finance, or a professional designation, such as the Certified Financial Analyst designation, will help you stand out in the crowd.
Fair job growth is predicted for financial analysts moving forward. A retirement rate below average has resulted in fewer openings – though unemployment in this field is typically quite low – but you can expect additional opportunities to become available as Baby Boomers leave their jobs in larger numbers in the coming years.
Starting salary: $32,428
Average salary: $65,467
A Mortgage Underwriter is responsible for determining whether or not an attempt to secure a mortgage should be approved. This decision involves analyzing an applicant’s past credit history, employment and income, outstanding debts and collateral. Using this information, an underwriter assesses the risk involved in approving a particular mortgage.
An underwriter’s job demands excellent research and decision-making skills, but also requires excellent interpersonal skills in order to manage sensitive situations in a diplomatic manner.
As with a Financial Analyst’s position, mortgage underwriting is traditionally one with above-average job security, and the field is predicted to have good job growth in coming years. However, the emphasis on prior experience in insurance as a necessary asset makes this a competitive field to choose.
A university degree in business, accounting or economics is an absolute necessity in this field, and angling for an internship in the banking industry is undoubtedly the best way to start accruing experience early.
Starting salary: $35,466
Average salary: $60,185
Accounts Payable/Receivable Clerk
These are discrete but closely related positions. An Accounts Payable Clerk oversees record-keeping and verifications of outstanding payments owed by his or her employer to suppliers, while an Accounts Receivable Clerk monitors payments owed to the employer to ensure prompt and timely payment, following up as necessary.
These types of clerks usually work as part of a larger team reporting to a Senior Accountant, Manager or Bookkeeper, and each is responsible for financial reconciliation and diligence as well as basic clerical and administrative duties.
Technological changes in accounting processes have created a wealth of opportunity for Accounting Clerks across the board, as accounting departments have been assigned a broader range of tasks. This trend should continue throughout the coming years.
This position is particularly useful experience for someone looking to establish a background in accounting before pursuing further education in the field.
Starting salary: $25,000
Average salary: $37,000
Similar in some capacities to a Mortgage Underwriter, a credit analyst is responsible for assessing personal or business finances and making recommendations or adjustments to that party’s financial commitments. This can include closing a credit card or extending a line of credit. A Credit Analyst may also work with businesses which offer financing for their clients, such as banks.
Due to the complicated and sensitive type of work a Credit Analyst engages in, you’ll need a degree in economics or commerce in order to work in this field. A graduate degree in either field or a designation such as the Certified Credit Professional (CCP) designation will help you turn heads.
The Credit Analyst job market is projected to experience average growth in the coming years, while noteworthy unemployment in this area is usually rare. Everybody needs to borrow money, right?
Starting salary: $30,000
Average salary: $50,486