It’s been said before that a career in accounting and payroll is only exciting to those who are “good with numbers”. In fact, many typically brush off accounting as a “boring” career.
However, there’s a lot more to accounting than an office worker plugging away at numbers all day. Hidden behind the stacks of files and tax documents lies one of the most important careers and specialties for any business.
After looking at accounting and payroll clerk employment opportunities and industry trends, it’s expected that job openings will continue to meet the demand of job seekers in this field. Never has there been more reason for optimism and opportunity for professionals looking at entering the workforce.
That said, take a moment to keep an open mind to the opportunities an accounting career can grant you with:
6 Truths to Debunk the Accounting and Payroll Industry as “boring”
1. Your wages are stable and competitive
First off, there should be no surprise that a career specializing in money and finance would be a great source of income. As an accounting and payroll clerk, you’ll be treated to comfortable wages and job stability that has seen little to no decline in demand. On the higher end, compensation in payroll & accounting clerk careers can reach up to $28.85 or higher per hour.
In terms of salary, Chartered Accountants can earn up to $40,00 – $100,000 in Canada depending on their experience and training .
Aside from tax season, the hours are also stable and consistent which means fewer overtime hours in dark offices and more time spent with family, a social life or your personal hobbies. Accountants have also been known to request and receive double their salary due to their vital role in a business .
Nonetheless, the competitive wage and job stability of accountants and payroll clerks are only some of the many perks that come with this career path.
2. Your specialties allow for flexibility
If you’re someone who has an acute attention to detail, great organization and loves being flexible then the duties performed as an accounting and payroll clerk are sure to fit your skills.
In accounting and payroll career training programs, graduates are expected to perform a variety of main duties. These include ensuring employee attendance and compensation records are accurate and up to date, putting together earnings and pay statements for employees and performing administration on benefits, leaves, insurance documentation and procedures.
After you’ve completed your training programs, you also have the choice to explore the different fields and specializations in accounting. You’ll be able to choose from accounting careers in government, finance or business sectors with your skills being highly applicable in each one.
You’ll also discover how being flexible makes you a great candidate in several types of industries. For example, you’ll have opportunities to work for companies overseas or easily shift industries if you wanted to transition from a financial corporation to a media and entertainment company.
Whether you’re working as an accountant for a business like TD Canada Trust or a film studio like Warner Bros, you can be sure this flexibility will allow you to find the company and office culture you’ve always wanted.
3. Your skills are in high demand
Business and corporations will always need accountants. Common skills needed between both accounting careers and payroll clerk jobs are thoroughly covered in most training programs which means you’ll always be applying what you’ve learned. For instance, you’ll have to focus on numeracy, communication both verbal and written, as well as a working knowledge of the latest computer software utilized in this field.
For example, payroll clerks have to keep track of several bookkeeping records and multiple clients which is a role all businesses need yet a role few can fulfill. They ensure that the company’s financial records are always available and archived properly whenever its time to perform an audit or to assess business goals. Thus, the need for qualified and experienced accountants has never been higher especially since the rise of startup and entrepreneurial businesses in Vancouver.
As you progress in your career as an accountant, you’ll find that your expertise is one of the most valuable positions regardless if you’re in a small business or large corporation.
4. Your role keeps the business running
As an accountant, one of your biggest roles is keeping track of the money flowing in the company. If human resources or shareholders have questions about the status of their business then you are the gatekeeper for vital information they need. As an accountant or payroll clerk, your work can influence major business decisions based on annual reports and performance records.
You’ll also be the first line of defence for any audits from the government as part of your job is to maintain accurate and up-to-date tax claims ensuring your company receives the highest return possible. In fact, poor financial decisions can lead to businesses crumbling due to owners not consulting tax accountants which leads to them owing a large sum of money to the government.
Furthermore, business owners and CEO’s will turn to your data, spreadsheets or records for what they should be spending or what they should be saving money on. This dictates whether they should be pushing out a new product, expand globally or shut down entire sectors in their company.
When seen from this perspective, you can begin to realize just how influential numbers and data can be. In fact, these numbers may even tell you about a company’s past, present and future more than any single employee ever could.
5. Your industry outlook and prospects are rising
As mentioned above, the next 5 – 10 years are expected to be stable in terms of opportunity, employment, and income for accounting and payroll clerk jobs. Job seekers in accounting can also look forward to future growth as a result of Vancouver being a hub for many foreign investors.
The rise of e-commerce and digital transactions have also contributed to the need for accounting professionals especially with future developments in mobile apps. As these industries in Vancouver continues to rise, so does the need for professionals to help filter, organize and analyze the large amounts of financial data in this current digital era.
For example, accountants have even started to shift to online services such as the company LiveCA LLP owned by Josh Zweig and Chad Davis . As Canada’s first online-only accounting firm, the owners are able to expand their clientele through online meetings while enjoying the freedom of working from home. This type of service also allows them to easily share documents and data with international clients due to cloud-based accounting.
As such, it’s only a matter of time until this trend continues and the industry shifts towards more online and modern practices.
“6,700 Job openings expected from 2014-2024″
According to WorkBC, job openings for the industry are expected to see more than 6000 job openings in the next 10 years.
As several jobs become automated or outsourced to foreign competitors, accountants remain firm in their position in the BC job market. With each passing year as an accounting and payroll clerk, you’ll find that your position is all the more difficult to replace. Essentially, those working in the industry will find a dynamic and engaging career that is far from “boring” as they always have to stay on top of current trends.
With this in mind, you’ll feel confident that a career in accounting and payroll means a career with reward and longevity.
6. You’re part of a highly educated and supportive organization
Finally, one of the biggest steps to becoming an accountant is to pass specific certification and education requirements. For those working towards a career in accounting and payroll, a good education means becoming a part of a community of like-minded and professional individuals.
Upon completing a PCP Certification, you have the opportunity to be a part of the Canadian Payroll Association which can further help your career with professional development through networking events, workshops or conferences. As you develop a good network of professional connections, you’ll start to reap the benefits by learning of new job openings or future industry trends.
Although the certification process may be lengthy, it is definitely a career that will reward you for your perseverance.
For new graduates, finding mentors through networking events is an excellent way to gain first-hand industry knowledge that’s practical and usable. With career colleges offering Payroll and Accounting courses, it’s never been easier to receive the education you need to get started.
If you’re an aspiring or current student learning about the “boring” career in accounting, be sure to remember all of the benefits and opportunities that being “good with numbers” can give you.
Starting Your Accounting Training
If you’re interested in beginning a career in accounting, Brighton College is a registered partner with the CPA (Canadian Payroll Association) which delivers the PCP Certification.
Join a free information session by registering online or call 604-430-5608 for more details.