Both a business administration discipline and an inseparable part of the financial world, accounting is an indispensable management and information tool for businesses. For many years now, and this is still the case today, accounting experts have been vital to small, medium and large companies because they play a central role and strive to steer businesses towards optimum economic development.
Accounting is performed by chartered accountants, certified general accountants and certified management accountants. In Quebec, they are all grouped under one banner called the Ordre des comptables professionnels agréés (CPA) du Québec. In Canada, other provincial and territorial associations govern the profession to ensure that these professionals meet today’s challenges and take advantage of new market opportunities. Being a member of a professional association is not mandatory for those wishing to practice the profession or hold the title of “accountant” but many professional acts are reserved for people who hold these titles.
Accounting professionals can begin their career as clerks or technicians. They can then become controllers and assistants and then eventually aim for a senior executive position, all depending on their experience, skills and career goals. A career in accounting opens the door to all sectors of activity according to a person’s interests and there are excellent employment prospects in all fields. Accountants can work for private practices, different organizations such as multinationals and other major companies, SMEs, non-profit organizations (NPOs), state-owned enterprises, government-sponsored agencies and all government departments and agencies.
Anyone wishing to become an accounting professional must of course enjoy working with numbers, but a strong personality, interpersonal skills, a sense of organization, autonomy and leadership are also required, because these are the key to success in the business world.