all about an accounting technician career.

Do you have a keen knowledge when it comes to finance and bookkeeping? If so, you might be interested in a career as an accounting technician. Accounting technicians specialize in helping businesses manage their financial records. In this role, you can work directly as an employee of the company or offer your services as an independent freelancer.

From what the daily life of an accounting technician looks like to what type of skills is necessary, going through the pros and cons of this job, we will answer all your questions.


best jobs 2023

Each year, a series of experts consult to develop the list of the 15 best jobs with the best salary projections, job availability and opportunity for career development.

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This accounting technician role is part of the top 15 Best Jobs in Canada in 2023, ranking in 5th position.

Here's why.

why is this job in demand?

Accounting technicians, CPAs, and bookkeepers are in high demand all across Canada. Despite an influx of new workers in the accounting sector, there is still a significant need for accountants. Accounting is so in demand that it is a part of the Canadian immigration Express Entry System, meaning accountants overseas can use that system as an express entry into Canada. 

what are the career prospects?

Accounting is more than a great career in Canada and is one of the most in-demand professions in Canada, taking spot number five on our list. Between now and 2028, there are expected to be over 79,600 job openings for accountants. That means that the labour shortage for accounts will continue with little relief. Immigrants and new students are expected to fill these roles in the future. Yet, there will still be a talent deficit. 

what can you expect in terms of salary?

Bookkeepers: 1 year: 39 k to 58K , 3 years: 42k to 66K, 5 years : 45k to 75k 

Accountant: 1 year: 61 k to 92K, 3 years: 65k to 103K, 5 years : 70k to 114k Where you get the best salary: Calgary - Surrey /Delta - Vancouver

what skills do you need to thrive on the job?

Numbers, numbers, and more numbers. The top skill required is being good with numbers. Accounting requires a  meticulous, detail-oriented eye to analyze material. They must sift through financial records to ensure that every detail is accurate, accounted for, and current. Accountants must be someone who is extremely organized to meet deadlines and follow proper reporting guidelines.

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about the role

what is the job of a bookkeeper? 

Accountants and bookkeepers are often considered the backbone of the financial department. These professionals handle the recording and preparation of financial statements. Bookkeepers usually handle an array of other accounting functions as well, including processing, payroll, maintaining employee records, submitting invoices, paying bills, and reconciling bank statements. 

what do accounting technician career entail?

As an accounting technician, you will offer support to accountants and finance departments for bookkeeping and accounting work. These duties can include recording financial transactions, managing payroll systems and company accounts, and updating financial records with new data. This role does not require you to work in-depth with financial data at the same level as an accountant. However, your role as an accounting technician is still crucial in ensuring the accuracy and reliability of this data.

what is a typical work schedule for accounting technicians

After you meet with the company's accountant or manager and discuss any ongoing goals, your day primarily consists of general bookkeeping duties. These include handling any financial discrepancies such as late payments, updating clients' financial records, and managing payroll systems. If it is tax time, you also need to ensure that the company's taxation records are accurate and up to date. You do much of this work using computerized accounting software packages. Finally, you help prepare financial documents and reports for the accountant or finance department and offer advice to the company. This job can involve part-time or full-time hours and include overtime during busy periods such as the end of the financial year.

what are the pros of accounting technician jobs?

  • Entry level work: While some companies may ask for formal accounting qualifications, many small businesses accept candidates with a high school diploma. After accepting this position, you will likely receive on-the-job training in basic bookkeeping and clerical duties. Therefore, an accounting technician job is a great entry-level position for those planning on a career in finance.
  • Transfers between industries: Your skills as an accounting technician mean you are not limited to just one company or industry. Wherever a company needs someone to help support its bookkeeping and accounting processes, you always have the opportunity to find employment. Therefore, this position means you have ongoing employment opportunities across any industry.
  • Opportunities for advancement: You can use on-the-job training to develop your skills in finance while pursuing formal qualifications in accounting. You could then pursue an accountant position and further advancement opportunities in managerial or executive roles.

what are the cons of accounting technician jobs?

  • Long hours: While your position often falls under normal working hours, there will be times when you are required to work longer. Tax time or holiday sales periods often have strict deadlines that require you to work nights and weekends. Therefore, you need to be prepared to sacrifice your time for this job when needed.
  • Job can be stressful at times: The work of an accounting technician is very detail-oriented and requires complete accuracy at all times. Should you make a mistake with your bookkeeping, you could risk your reputation and the company's reputation. Therefore, you need to remain steady under pressure and ensure complete accuracy at all times.
  • Ongoing training: To succeed as an accounting technician, you need to be prepared to continue developing your skills over the long term. This ongoing development includes in-house training and formal accounting training courses in your own time. Therefore, you must be committed to improving your financial skills to succeed in this role.

what are common accounting technician interview questions?

If you receive an interview for an accounting technician position, keep in mind that each company uses different interview questions. That said, some common interview questions you may receive include:

  • Where do you see yourself in 5 to 10 years? When asking this question, the interviewer wants to know what you expect from this position and whether you plan on staying long-term. Answer this question honestly: five years is a long period to consider. If you plan on using this position as a stepping stone to a more senior role, be upfront and candid in your response.
  • How do you handle criticism? While it's true that no one enjoys criticism, it is an unavoidable part of working life that everybody faces at some point. Remember that you should take criticism constructively, not personally. Try to think of examples where you received criticism in the past and turned it into an opportunity for growth.
  • If you were an animal, what would you be? This question may seem odd for an interview but exists to test your creative thinking skills and quick-wittedness. Give yourself a little time to answer the question, but try not to overthink it. If you can find an answer that ties into the position, all the better, but don't stress too much if you can't.

accounting technician resume and cover letter requirements

Putting together a resume that appeals to hiring managers can be tricky. However, you'll have more success creating an effective resume if you follow these tips:

  • Avoid starting with an objective statement about wanting the position. Instead, include a short professional summary that shows the hiring manager who you are and what you can offer them.
  • Instead of listing references or stating that they are available on request, leave this space for more useful information. When the hiring manager wants to see your references, they will ask you directly.
  • Avoid using trendy buzzwords or cliched phrases such as "strategic," "innovative," or "game-changer." Instead, use action verbs to make an impact, as well as any keywords you find by examining the job description.
  • Don't just list the tasks and duties you carried out in your previous roles. Instead, show what you achieved in those roles using quantifiable data. Also, try only to include the relevant achievements to the position you are applying for.
  • Try to avoid using a generic template for every position you apply for. Instead, customize your resume according to the requirements of the job description.

Once you have an impressive resume, you need to ensure that your cover letter shows your passion for the role. When constructing your cover letter, structure it the following way:

  • Include a greeting and personalize it for the job. Avoid using phrases like "To whom it may concern": instead, look for the job listing and find the hiring manager's name for the letter.
  • In your introduction, briefly explain why you want this position. Remember to mention the company and position title by name to avoid your letter looking generic.
  • When it comes to what to include in the body of the letter, discuss how you are qualified. Mention relevant qualifications, skills, and experience. However, keep the tone conversational, and don't go beyond two paragraphs.
  • Conclude your letter by thanking the hiring manager for their time and mentioning any additional contact details or links to digital portfolios. Mention that you will be following up on the letter and sign off with your name.

what is the job outlook for accounting technicians?

Accounting positions will be in demand across all industries in Canada for the foreseeable future, and accounting technician jobs, in particular, remain popular. This popularity is because accounting technician roles generally require only basic qualifications, making it a great entry-level position for anyone seeking a future financial career. To remain viable, however, accounting technicians need to have good computer skills and financial and accounting skills. Due to how well this position can transfer between different industries, the outlook for this career remains strong.

what are the different types of accounting technician jobs?

  • Accounting clerk: Also known as an accounting assistant or a finance clerk. Accounting clerks are entry-level positions that record the company's financial transactions, including accounts, payroll and billing.
  • Bookkeeper: This is another entry-level financial position that mainly involves maintaining the company's books. The duties of a bookkeeper include monitoring accounts, paying bills on time, and recording all transactions.
  • Accountant: The role of an accountant is to analyze the company's financial records and make informed decisions that improve its position. There are also specialized accountant roles that focus on specific areas. Such roles include cost accountants who analyze a company's manufacturing and production costs, and tax accountants who advise clients on their tax returns.
  • Auditor: A company may employ an auditor internally or hire one from an external agency. In either case, the auditor's role is to examine its financial records and ensure they are accurate and up to date.
  • Financial analyst : Much like auditors, financial analysts can be employed directly by the company or externally. They analyze companies' financial records and offer advice on possible decisions.

what are the duties and responsibilities of accounting technicians?

  • Updates and organizes financial records such as ledgers and journals.
  • Evaluates and reconciles financial transactions by inspecting invoices and expense vouchers.
  • Creates and updates financial statements and reports for the company.
  • Keeps track of source documents and files that form the basis for accounts and transactions.
  • Manages the budget and analyzes related data for reports.
  • Carries out regular maintenance of end-of-year records.
  • Performs duties with accounting software and spreadsheet programs.
  • Offers both financial and clerical support to company departments.
  • Supervises invoices and carries out regular audits.
  • Manages payroll systems and company expenses.
  • Analyzes accounts and reconciles all statements for the given period.
  • Organizes a list of fixed assets for tax remittance and budget preparation purposes.
  • Analyzes accounting systems for any potential flaws and suggests improvements.

where do accounting technicians typically work?

The role of an accounting technician is almost entirely office-based, although you may be able to perform some duties remotely. This position frequently uses accounting software so that you work with computers for much of your day. You also meet with accounting and managerial staff to determine your goals and how to achieve them. Typical work hours apply in this role, although it's possible that you are required to work overtime and at weekends during busy periods. Overall, you can find accounting technicians in almost any industry, and many consider it a good entry point for a financial career.

accounting technicians looking at a file
accounting technicians looking at a file

ready to grow your career in finance or accounting?

Make sure your resume is up-to-date, including information about your technical skills and certifications. Then share it with us to connect with a recruiter and be matched with job opportunities.

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what is the average salary for an accounting technician?

The average salary you can expect to earn as an accounting technician in Canada is around $43,965 per annum. Most entry-level positions start at around $38,171 per annum, while more experienced accounting technicians can earn an average salary of around $55,000 per annum. Factors that influence your average salary include the type of industry you work in and the size of your company. In addition, the state of the local economy also affects your overall annual wage.

average accounting technician salaries in canada

  • annual: $43,965
  • monthly: $3,664
  • weekly: $845
  • hourly: $22.55

Top paying areas for accounting technicians in Canada include: British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Alberta, Ontario and Quebec.

These numbers can vary depending on your location and the type of position you're looking for. Check out our salary guide to get a better idea of the average salary for your job based on your location.

get the salary guide

skills & training

what skills and competencies do accounting technicians need?

  • Sound computer literacy and data entry skills including the ability to use accounting software.
  • A logical and analytical approach to accounting and payroll duties including financial statements.
  • Strong mathematical skills.
  • Attention to detail and the ability to solve problems quickly and efficiently.
  • Excellent organizational and time management skills including the ability to establish procedures.
  • Strong communication skills and the ability to work well in teams.
  • A good knowledge of commercial and business practices in regards to the industry you work for.

what training and certifications do accounting technicians need?

A high school diploma is the highest education level needed to become an accounting technician for most companies. However, some larger companies may prefer a candidate with a bachelor's degree in accounting for the position. Some companies also require you to have experience and knowledge with a specific brand of accounting software such as Quickbooks or Xero to apply. However, you will receive on-the-job training for your role in most cases. This training provides you with the basic skills and knowledge to perform your duties effectively.

In addition to your job training, consider pursuing a related certification to boost your skills and credentials. Some good examples include the Certified Accounting Technician (CAT) and the Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT), both recognized in Canada and worldwide. These certifications require you to study and pass exams upon completion, but you can undertake them part-time or outside of work hours.


ready to grow your career in finance or accounting?

Make sure your resume is up-to-date, including information about your technical skills and certifications. Then share it with us to connect with a recruiter and be matched with job opportunities.

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Below are some of the most commonly asked questions about accounting technician jobs.


meet a recruiter

Make sure your resume is up-to-date, including information about your technical skills and certifications. Then share it with us to connect with a recruiter and be matched with job opportunities.

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