job postings cost accountant jobs in canada

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cost accountant Jobs

all about cost accountants

Cost accountants are in great demand in Canada as companies strive to monitor product, project, and operating costs, in a search for cost savings in fixed and variable operating costs, materials, and labour. The main role of cost accountants is to track and monitor project or company expenses to ensure efficient and lean operations. You will play a key role in helping companies control costs and remain profitable.

what cost accountant jobs entail

Cost accountants are based in a physical or virtual office where they work on a computer to enter, analyze, and reconcile costs for specific projects or general operations. They are on the lookout for cost variances in materials, processes, and labour that can impact the bottom line. You can expect to work during normal office hours, however, expect to work more than the traditional 40-hour work week to meet deadlines. Cost accountants typically report to a senior accountant or accounting manager.

average cost accountant salaries

Cost accountant positions in Canada pay an average salary of just over $55,000 per year. New professionals to this position can expect a starting salary of about $42,000 annually. With experience, you can expect to make up to $80,000 annually. Cost accountants with extensive cost accounting skills, experience, and education can command a higher salary.

your day to day tasks

Cost accountants enter data about costs into a computer system and reconcile costs with the general ledger. On a periodic basis, they report to their superiors about estimated vs. actual costs, and monthly revenue and cost accruals. Tasks for cost accountants include the following:

  • monitoring financial information
  • updating financial documents
  • analyzing revenue and costs
  • consulting with executives and directors on financial strategy
  • providing detailed reports
  • analyzing internal audit reports
  • estimating project and business strategy costs
  • determining fixed and variable costs
  • identifying and recommending cost effective solutions

where you can work

All companies need to analyze their financials and balance their books, a top reason why cost accountants are in demand by companies of all sizes. While many cost accountants work internally within corporations or government agencies, many also work for accounting firms. Some cost accountants also work as independent consultants. Positions are available across Canada, and specifically in areas with a large business and financial sector.

what you bring to the table

Cost accountants must be able to work independently, yet ne able to communicate their findings to management. They have a deep understanding of accounting principles, and a knowledge of forecasting and budgeting. Some of the in-demand skills that companies are looking for in cost accountant candidates include the following:

  • analytical and detail oriented
  • strong mathematical skills
  • the ability to work with sensitive data
  • the ability to work under pressure
  • strong computer skills (Microsoft Office, accounting software)
  • strong time management skills
  • detailed knowledge of accounting principles

training and certifications

A university degree in accounting, business administration, economics, or commerce is required for most jobs, along with completion of a professional training program, approved by a provincial institute of chartered accountants. There are some opportunities for people with experience in job costing who lack the academic credentials.

Most jobs require 24-30 months of on-the-job training along with membership in a provincial institute of chartered accountants. Candidates are expected to be working on acquiring professional credentials. More experience is needed in senior positions.

where your career is headed

Cost accountants can aspire to positions in auditing or accounting management, while more senior personnel might set their sights on other corporate positions. Common career next steps for cost accountants involve moving up to positions such as senior accountant, financial controller, accounting manager, and senior financial analyst. Job prospects in this area are good for the next 5 years and beyond.

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