best finance and accounting jobs in 2019

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where finance and accounting jobs in canada are headed

Financial stability is a key part of Canada's identity on the world stage. Canada's financial industry was a mixed bag last year, with some big ups and downs in the TSX, Canada’s largest stock exchange. That said, Canada's financial sector continues to be well regarded and home to a large range of talent. As is the case in many industries, the biggest trend in finance and accounting is a trend toward using data, AI, machine learning and other emerging technology. In 2019, finance and accounting professionals must be technically savvy, and able to use technology to make data-driven financial decisions.


best finance and accounting jobs in 2019

In 2019, accounting roles feature heavily on the list of top finance and accounting jobs. General accountants take the top spot, however other accounting roles such as staff accountant and tax accountant also made the list. Coming in at number two on the list is financial analyst, which has climbed up a spot since last year. New in the top three is controller, which ranked fourth last year.

best jobs in 2019

  • 1. accountant

    Accountants take the top spot on this year's list. Though when many people think of accountants, taxes instantly come to mind, accountants do a lot more than that! The majority of accountants work in enterprise accounting departments. Accountants are record-keepers and financial experts, helping businesses keep track of their money with detailed records.

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  • 2. financial analyst

    Financial analysts come in the number two spot. Financial analysts do exactly what it sounds like they do. They analyze finances, watching for trends and opportunities in stocks, bonds, investments and other financial transactions. Though most financial analysts work for banks, insurance companies or other finance-oriented sectors, some large enterprises have financial analysts on site to forecast industry trends and potential areas for investment.

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  • 3. controller

    Rounding out the top 3 are controllers. Controllers oversee key accounting functions that keep businesses running smoothly such as the general ledger, general accounting, accounts payable and receivab. are mid-management in most enterprise accounting departments. They typically report to a the CFO, though in some smaller organizations, they may the top financial officer.   

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  • 4. financial advisor

    Financial advisors are professionals who help clients make decisions related to their investments or finances. Financial advisor tends to be a fairly entry-level finance role, and is particularly popular in the banking sector.

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  • 5. business analyst

    Business analysts are the strategists of the finance and accounting world. Their primary function is identify and solve business problems, finding ways to streamline or improve functions, processes or software. Though businesses analysts may not focus solely on finance or accounting functions, many business analysts are employed by banks, insurance companies and other employers in the financial sector.

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  • 6. staff accountant

    Staff accountants are general accounting professionals who work for a large organization in either the public or private sector. They're typically part of a department of accounting professionals. Though skilled accountants, they're typically considered an intermediate level accounting role, and may work under a more experienced accountant or controller.

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  • 7. payroll clerk

    Payroll clerk is an entry-level accounting job, specializing in internal payroll. Payroll clerks administer payroll for employees at their organization. Payroll clerks may also be responsible for other elements of employee compensation such as benefits administration, or answering payroll-related queries from employees. 

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  • 8. tax accountant

    Tax accountants do exactly what people typically think accountants do: they specialize in taxes! Tax accountants can specialize even further and opt to work in corporate or personal taxation.

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finance and accounting salaries in 2019

The finance and accounting sector has median salary of $97,700 in 2019. This is significantly up from $85,000 last year. This high median salary makes finance and accounting the highest paying sector in Canada for 2019. On the ends of the pay spectrum, the lowest 10% of earners make $40,900 or less, while the top 10% of earners make $134,400 or more.

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the best finance skills to have in 2019

The top skills in finance and accounting for 2019 are focused mostly in the accounting sector.  Excel, the software of choice for 'numbers people' tops the list for yet another year. Also big on the list is knowledge of standardized accounting processes and best practices 

best skills in 2019

  • 1. excel

    It's a classic, but if it's not broke, don't fix it. Excel has been a staple in the finance and accounting industry and has gone through many iterations, but it continues to be the most important skill employers look for. Advanced knowledge of Excel and a deep dive into key features such as pivot tables will be in demand into 2019 and beyond.

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  • 2. international financial reporting standards (IFRS)

    The international financial reporting standards are a set of accounting standards used globally, and determined by an independent body. They are the worldwide standard for preparing enterprise financial statements. It goes without saying  if you work in accounting, you should know about IFRS.

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  • 3. anti-money laundering (AML)

    Anti-money laundering is exactly what it sounds like. AML is a set of procedures, laws and regulations intended to prevent income being generated through illegal means. Knowledge of AML will help you in a variety of finance and accounting roles, but most notably analyst roles.

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  • 4. public accounting

    Public accounting involves being an independent third party that examines the financial statements and documentation of a client or company. This is in opposition to private accounting, which is done internally. Public accounting typically requires extensive knowledge of accounting standards, and is highly-sought after by employers in the accounting sector, particularly accounting firms, which serve a variety of external clientele.

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  • 5. generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP)

    Much like international financial reporting standards (IFRS), GAAP is a series of standardized accounting rules to promote financial transparency and consistency. Unlike IFRS, GAAP rules vary by industry, however. Some employers prefer GAAP, others IFRS, and both remain popular and sought-after skills in accounting.

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  • 6. french bilingualism

    In Canada, many companies manage a single head office that handles accounting and finances for the entire country. That makes knowledge of French a huge asset, as companies operating in all of Canada's provinces, including Quebec, will typically need to deal with both French and English language documentation. 

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top finance and accounting certifications

Reflecting the need for skilled accountants, accounting designations top the list of best finance and accounting certifications for 2019. Unsurprisingly the chartered professional accountant (CPA) designation holds onto the top spot, followed by certified management accountant (CMA). Rounding out the top three is a chartered financial analyst (CFA) designation.

best certifications

  • 1. chartered professional accountant (CPA)

    The chartered professional accountant (CPA) designation tops the list for another year. Accepted as the gold-standard in the Canadian accounting sector, if you are a CPA, your skills are instantly in high demand.

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  • 2. certified management accountant (CMA)

    Second on the list of most desired skills in the finance and accounting sector is the CMA designation. Though similar to the highly popular CPA designation, becoming a CMA requires additional strategic and management expertise, in addition to the accounting skills of a CPA. That makes CMAs more suited to business and strategy oriented roles, rather than strictly accounting roles.

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  • 3. chartered financial analyst (CFA)

    Covering a broad range of expertise in the financial and investment sector, a CFA credential is the gold-standard for financial analysts in Canada. Offered by the CFA Institute, this designation is highly regarded in the finance industry and is often a requirement in banking and investment roles.

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  • 4. certified internal auditor (CIA)

    The CIA designation is an important one for auditors in Canada. Not to be confused with the US's central intelligence agency, in Canada, CIAs are certified internal auditors. CIAs are experts in analyzing financial records and minimizing risks and financial losses companies are exposed to.

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  • 4. canadian payroll association certification

    Payroll is a crucial segment of the accounting specialty. The Canadian Payroll Association offers designations including payroll compliance practitioner (PCP) and certified payroll manager (CPM). PCP is the entry level payroll certification, while CPM is the choice for payroll specialists who have their eye on a management role. 

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  • 6. canadian securities course (CSC)

    The Canadian Securities Course is considered an entry-level course for those who want to work in the Canadian securities industry. It can also be a requirement for other financial jobs dealing with mutual funds, stocks and fixed income securities. It's offered by the Canadian Securities Institute.

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