What to expect from a career as an Accountant

Accounting may not seem like an exciting career, but if you have an aptitude for numbers and figures, you’d be surprised by how satisfying it is to help clients manage their businesses and ordinary people stay on top of their finances.

If you see the merit in an accounting career and are interested in accounting programs at Ontario colleges, here’s what you need to know.

Accounting Courses

Most programs introduce accounting basics like simple organization and accounting methods, and then move into specialized training, such as taxation and auditing. You’ll also gain experience working with sophisticated accounting software and other accounting systems. The goal of these fundamental classes is to prepare you to practice accounting in the real world.

Supplementary field courses will give you a deeper understanding of the applications of accounting. These might include business law, statistics, financial planning and ethics, and could potentially include a work placement where you can experience operations in an accounting firm or practice.

General Accounting Program Requirements

Ontario college accounting programs require an Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) or equivalent, with emphasis on mathematics courses. A grade 12 English course and one grade 12 mathematics course are required. For programs offered at the post-graduate level, a post-secondary degree or diploma in accounting or a related field is required.

Accounting Jobs and Salaries

Graduates will find diverse opportunities in the accounting field as cost accountants, General Accountants, payroll administrators, tax auditors, accounting technicians and more. To practice as a General Accountant (GA), Chartered Accountant (CA) or Certified Public Accountant (CPA), you will need to undergo a certification exam.

Graduates may also want to specialize in specific areas of accounting, including (but not limited to):

  • Forensic Accounting. Providing accounting services suitable for legal scrutiny. Forensic accounting is viewed as the "science" of accounting and is considered the highest form of quality assurance.
  • Tax Accounting. Specializing in helping people and businesses prepare their annual tax returns. While this may seem like bare-bones accounting, it is often in high demand come tax time.
  • Financial Auditing. Investigating financial processes of organizations, businesses and people to ensure they are adhering to government standards and are considered to be truthful and accurate.

Salaries for accountants will vary depending on your area of specialization. Graduates of accounting programs at Ontario colleges typically make between $30,000 and $35,000 a year to start. Specialists, such as forensic accountants and auditors, or CPAs and CAs, could receive much higher.

Ontario Colleges Offering Accounting Programs

Use the left-column navigation to refine your search by College, Program Availability, Program Start Date and more, or see the table below for a complete list of accounting programs at Ontario colleges.

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