salary trends in finance and accounting

If you work in the finance and accounting sector, you know a thing or two about keeping track of money - it's what you do! But how much do you know about the average salaries for accounting positions in Canada? Even if you're not actively looking for a new role, it's smart to keep up with salary trends in your profession. You should know whether you're being paid a fair market rate for the skills you bring to the table. You'll be able to leverage raises and assess potential job offers. To help you out, we've pulled some general data from our salary guide. We recommend you download the guide for more precise data for your city and level of experience!

Please note: the salaries listed below are median salaries. They represent the 25 to 75 percentile of earners, so it’s possible your salary may fall outside of the listed range. Your personal earning potential will also differ depending on your location and level of experience. If you’d like a more detailed and accurate assessment of your earning potential, our recruiters would be happy to help you assess the value of your skills and help you find suitable job opportunities.    

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finance and accounting salary data salary trends

accountant

Accountants make about $60,000 to $75,000 when they're just starting out. Accountants in large cities will earn more, with accountants in Toronto, Vancouver and Calgary making the most. Accountant salaries in Quebec tend to be the lowest, however cities in Quebec (such as Montreal and Quebec City) also have a much lower cost of living. With 10 years of experience, accountants in Canada can work their way up to salaries as high as the mid $90,000s. Designations such as CPA can increase your income as well.

accounting clerk

Accounting clerks typically make between $35,000 and $40,000 when they're just starting out their careers. As they gain experience, accounting clerks can work their way to salaries in the mid $50,000 range. However accounting clerks often opt to advance their career by moving into other accounting roles with higher earning potential. For instance many accounting clerks obtain their CPA designation and become a full fledged accountant. 

accounting manager

Accounting managers typically accrue a good deal of experience before getting to this point in their career, and that's reflected in their earning potential. Accounting manager salaries typically start in the $80,000 to $100,000 range, with Alberta, Ontario and British Columbia reporting the highest salaries. After gaining 10+ years of experience, accounting manager salaries typically climb well past the $100,000 mark and can reach as high as $138,000 in cities such as Calgary and Toronto.

accounts payable and receivable

Accounts payable and receivable salaries vary based on your job title. Clerks typically make $35,000 to $45,000 when starting out. Clerk salaries can climb into the $50,000+ range with several years of experience. However accounts payable and accounts receivable managers have much higher earning potential. Manager salaries start at about $65,000 to $85,000. Toronto has especially high starting salaries that can reach as high as $90,000. With 10+ years of experience accounts payable managers and accounts receivable managers can earn well into the six-figure range, with salaries as high as $120,000.

financial analyst

Financial analysts typically earn between $63,000 and $80,000 when starting out. In some metropolitan cities such as Toronto, it can be even higher. With 5+ years of experience financial analysts can see their salaries climb into the $75,000 to $95,000 range. With a full decade of experience, financial analyst salaries can reach past the six-figure mark, with some financial analysts in major cities earning as much as $110,000.

payroll 

Payroll clerks typically start at a salary of $40,000 to $50,000. With 5+ years of experience their salaries climb into the $55,000 to $60,000 range. However many payroll clerks go on to other roles in the payroll specialty. Payroll specialists can earn in the $55,000 to $70,000 range with 5-10 years of experience. If you opt to take on a management component in your career, payroll supervisors can earn in the $50,000 to $75,000 range. Finally, payroll managers have the highest earning potential in this specialization. They can earn $65,000 to $80,000 when starting out in the role, but can see their salary climb into the six-figure range with 5-10 years of experience. Payroll manager salaries cap out at around $115,000 on the highest end.

controller

Controller is a more senior accounting role, and the earning potential reflects that. Newly minted controllers with 1 year of experience or less typically start out with a salary in the $80,000 to $110,000 range. Toronto is the most in demand market for controllers, with starting controller salaries sitting at $93,000 to $113,000. With 10 years of experience, controllers will see their salaries sit comfortably in the six-figure range, with salaries ranging from $100,000 on the low end, to as much as $150,000. Demand is highest in large cities, however controller salaries are most often tied to the size of the corporation you work for.  

bookkeeper

Most bookkeepers across Canada can expect to start out their career making in the $35,000 to $45,000 range. Salaries for bookkeepers in Ontario, and Toronto in particular, tend to be a higher than the rest of Canada, and start in the $40,000 to $50,000 range. As bookkeepers gain experience, they can expect their salaries to reach somewhere in the $50,000 to $60,000 range at the height of their career. 

auditors

Internal auditors (working within a company) and external auditors (auditing companies other than their own) both make very comparable salaries. Entry level auditor salaries in Canada typically start in the $53,000 to $70,000 range. With 5-10 years of experience auditors can see their salary reach into the $75,000 to $100,000 range depending on their location in Canada. If you opt to become an audit manager the earning potential climbs a little more, with salaries starting at about $85,000 and reaching as $120,000. 

compliance roles

The two most common roles in this specialty are compliance specialist and compliance officer. Compliance specialists tend to make in the $50,000 to $60,000 range when starting out their careers and can graduate to a salary of $65,000 to $80,000 by the end of their career, however it may be even higher in large cities. Compliance officers, on the other hand, are considered more senior, so their salaries start out in the $80,000 to $100,000 range in major cities such as Toronto, Vancouver and Calgary. In less populated locales their salaries are lower and more comparable to compliance specialists.

finance executives

Finance executives' salaries tend to be more closely tied to the size of the company they work for and its revenue, so it's more challenging to provide salary estimates. Executives with titles such as director can typically expect to make a salary in the $80,000 to $120,000 range. VP salaries are more likely to be in the $115,000 to $235,000 range, and chief financial officers make the highest salaries of all in the $120,000 to $450,000 range. Each of these salary ranges is on a sliding scale depending on company size. The larger the company the higher your earning potential.

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