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Working in accounting jobs in Canada

To start working in accounting jobs in Canada, it’s important to understand the job market. And, when you know what’s happening in the job market, you’ll be more prepared to find a job when you arrive. So, to understand the accounting and finance landscape in Canada, we’ll look at four key areas:  

  1. An overview of the accounting and finance industry in Canada

2. Accounting designations that are required

3. The job outlook for accounting and finance jobs in Canada

4. Labour market statistics for accounting jobs in Canada.

1. Overview of the accounting and finance industry 

Financial services are a major contributor to Canada’s economy. And, the number of jobs in financial services continues to grow. So because of this growth accountants are in demand, and are highly paid professionals in Canada. As well, accountants can find jobs in many sectors as all businesses require a strong financial strategy.

And accountants can find jobs based on:   

  • Area of interest (for example, are you interested in working with start-ups, sports and entertainment, healthcare, or technology companies?) 
  • Skills, knowledge, and designations
  • Level of experience 

Here are some examples of the sectors and roles accountants can find jobs:

Accounting Sectors and Roles

Factors that contribute to the job outlook include: 

  • Labour market conditions (shortage, balance, or surplus)
  • Workforce trends (such as the expected retirement rate of the workforce)
  • Job growth is projected within financial services.

And, rapid changes within the industry are also creating the demand for accountants including:

  • Technology changes
  • Regulatory changes, and
  • Globalization.

To learn more about working in accounting in Canada, download our free e-book!

2. Designations required to work in accounting jobs in Canada

Accounting is a regulated profession in Canada. The profession is represented by Chartered Professional Accountants Canada (CPA Canada). And, CPA Canada works with:

  • Provincial and territorial accounting bodies who regulate the profession in Canada
  • International Federation of Accountants
  • Global Accounting Alliance to represent the profession worldwide.

As well as formal education in accounting or a related discipline, Canadian employers usually seek candidates who hold a designation. And, the CPA designation is highly valued by employers. Because with a CPA, you show employers that you have essential skills required for the business environment.

Other important designations include:

  • Chartered Accountant (CA)
  • Certified Management Accountant (CMA)
  • Certified General Accountant (CGA)

Accountants with international experience

If you are a member in good standing of an international accounting body, you may be eligible to become a CPA in Canada.

However, you may have to complete additional exams and have previous experience. As well, you will need to provide your professional documents such as:

  • Official transcripts for your undergraduate and graduate degrees
  • Course outlines
  • Reference letters from current and past employers
  • Letter of good standing from your international accounting body

Tip: It will be faster and more convenient if you collect your documents before you arrive in Canada. 

Get certified to work in accounting and finance jobs 

To learn what you need to work in Canada, it’s best to contact the provincial CPA body where you expect to land. And, this may save you time and money if you start this research before you arrive in Canada.

Provincial CPA Bodies: 


British Columbia   


New Brunswick


Nova Scotia   


Prince Edward Island   



3. Outlook for accounting jobs in Canada

The outlook for accounting and finance jobs varies depending on the labour needs across the country. So, to learn more about the outlook, you can click on the Government of Canada link for information about jobs and wages for Accountant

It’s vital to research the outlook for accounting jobs because the market may be good in one province but limited in another. And, when you know what provinces need accountants, you can explore settling in those provinces. 

Also, know what trends are happening in the industry.  Because these trends will influence the skills and roles that will be in demand. And, this will help you to identify what skills and experience you need to achieve your career goals.

Related Posts: 

Best cities for accounting jobs in Canada

Average salary for accounting jobs in Canada

Working in Canada: A 5-Step Approach

4. Labour market conditions

The Canadian Occupational Projection System (COPS) provides national labour information for different occupations. This 2017 – 2026 labour market assessment identifies if the job market is facing a:  

Shortage:  the number of job seekers is insufficient to fill job openings

Balance: available job openings are fairly even with the number of job seekers

Surplus:  job seekers exceed the number of job openings

Summary of COPS national findings for Accountants: 

Among other findings, the COPS research revealed: 

  • There will likely be a balance between job openings and job seekers for accountants
  • Employment growth for accountants is expected to be higher than the national average for other occupations 
  • The demand for accountants will continue to grow as the financial environment becomes more complex.
  • Immigration will be a key supply of labour to meet the expected demand.

Key takeaway:

To reach your goal to work in accounting jobs in Canada, you need to understand the labour market. Because while there is a demand for accountants, it’s best to research and prepare in advance.

So use the information we’ve covered as a good place to begin your research. And, when you know what’s going on within the industry, you’ll be in a great position to resume your career in Canada.

Visit finding a job in Canada for more tools and resources to help you achieve your career goals!