What Can I do with a Degree in Accounting?

an accounting spread with a folder, coffee, and calculator

Not everyone is familiar with what accounting is, but the role of accountants is important in all aspects. Especially here in Canada, businesses and individuals all have a need for accountants and the need is only growing.

What Accountants Do

You have probably heard of the term ‘accountant’ but are not really familiar with what they do. Accountants, also known as financial auditors, are in charge of budgeting and counting the money that a business or individual person has. They have the knowledge and skills to balance books between income and expenses.

More importantly, accountants deal with taxes. In Canada, every resident and business must file their taxes and you could get in trouble with the government if you don’t do it properly. That’s where accountants come in. Not everyone is capable of doing taxes, so they hire accountants to do it for them. 

For Businesses

Most businesses have their own accountant. They are an essential role to have in any business because they are the ones who will determine what expenses can be written off. For example, accountants will see how much employees were paid in the past tax year and write that off from their overall expenses. These are called deductible expenses. 

For Individuals

Your everyday regular citizen can also make use of hiring an accountant. Here in Canada, the larger your income, the greater your taxes will be. As an individual, you want the government to take as little as what’s legally possible. An accountant will do that calculation for you so you get to keep your money, accountants get paid, and the government will be satisfied that you did your part as a Canadian resident. 

Likewise, if you fall beneath a certain line of income, you will in turn get money from the government. Accountants can help you maximise the amount of money you could receive. 

Where to Study Accounting

Accounting degrees are offered practically in every post-secondary institution. Level of education can vary from school to school. Some students choose to study a diploma program at a college before going further with a Bachelor’s in a university. 

Here are a list of schools that you can take Accounting:

The schools above in particular have great programs for international students. Some of the institutions, like SAIT, are the DLI’s that offer PGWP after graduation. 

Becoming a CPA

In Canada, you can take your education further by becoming a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA). Becoming a CPA allows you to add another credential to your arsenal. It also allows you to take up more responsibility in your workplace. CPAs are trained to analyse information and have good judgement. Since accountants deal with money, their ultimate goal is to protect those finances and have their employer’s best interest at heart. 

Career Prospects with Accounting

Job opportunities in accounting and financial auditing are only growing. In BC, the job market is expected to have over 10,000 positions available between 2019 and 2029. About 3,000 of those jobs are due to economic growth. 

Choosing to become an accountant also allows you to get a job as soon as you graduate from post-secondary. Even though people don’t normally choose to be an accountant, it’s a stable job with a relatively high income. The average salary is $60,000 with potentially higher incomes depending on the company you work for.

Your career also doesn’t stop at being an accountant. If you work with the same company for a few years, you’ll likely be promoted to managerial positions. You will get to work with your own team or working closely with CEO’s and owners. 

Canada Needs Accountants

Tax applies to everyone in Canada regardless of your status. If accountants were not in the picture, businesses could be taking advantage of their employees and people would not be receiving what they are due. With 37 million people in Canada, every single person needs to have an accountant. As the population is growing, so is the need for more accountants.

There is a certain prestige to being an accountant. No one really knows what you do, but they know that if the role were to disappear, a mess would happen. Accountants play a significant role in how a business runs. If you have an eye for detail, great at organising information, and have an affinity for maths, then accounting will allow you to utilise your skills. 

Source: CPA Canada Work BC Accountants

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