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Accounting Managers are in such a great demand in Canada that the occupation is listed on the Priority Occupation list due to economic growth in construction, energy, manufacturing, and many other fields. Current projections show that nearly 30% of finance administration jobs go unfilled, so the field is ripe for qualified candidates.
Usually based in an office setting, accounting managers manage a team of accounting professionals; however, they spend a good part of the day on their computer preparing accounting documents or evaluating the work of team members. Accounting managers typically work traditional office hours, but may also be required to work overtime, at home or weekends to meet tight deadlines. Accounting managers tend to report to the VP of finance or others in senior accounting roles within the company.
Accounting managers in Canada can expect an average salary of about $65,000 per year. When just starting out in this position, you can expect to make $45,000 or more. With 5 years of experience or more, you can expect to make up $90,000 annually. Bonuses, profit sharing, and other benefits may also be included in your compensation package. Having cost accounting, people management, and financial analysis skills can help you maximize your salary and command a higher wage.
Accounting managers oversee employees and contractors in an accounting department. In addition to hiring and managing staff, they may also prepare tax and other financial reports. They may also interact with departmental managers and corporate officers about budgeting and financial policy, and set and/or evaluate accounting procedures. Other tasks and responsibilities for this role include:
With many finance roles going unfilled, there is ample opportunity for experienced accounting manager candidates. While many work for large finance companies within the finance industry, companies in all industries are in need of accounting professionals. There are opportunities in many cities across the country, including Toronto, Mississauga, Ottawa, Calgary and Edmonton. These cities are also associated with higher average annual salaries for accounting managers.
Accounting manager jobs require the ability to communicate well with employees, senior management, peers, and sometimes even third party clients and vendors about accounting policies and procedures. Successful candidates must have the technical expertise to use accounting software and Microsoft Office. Some skills required include:
A university degree in accounting, business administration, economics, or commerce is required for most accounting management jobs. Some positions require a master's degree in business administration with a specialization in finance. Additionally, most jobs at this level require several years of experience in financial areas such as accounting, auditing, budgeting, financial planning, or financial analysis, plus management experience. A combination of education and experience is ideal for candidates.
Certification as a CPA from a professional accounting organization for Chartered Accountants, General Accountants, and Management Accountants is required for most positions. (Since the three separate organizations were merged in 2012, certification procedures are expected to change.) The ability to speak multiple languages is an asset, given the bilingual nature of Canada and the diverse languages spoken by professionals in all industries.
Accounting managers can aspire to higher-level management positions, often those with financial titles such as financial controller, finance manager, finance director, corporate controller and others. The accounting manager position is the launching point for many future accounting VPs, directors, and CFOs.