Are you thinking about a career in accounting? It’s a great career path to consider. And I’m not just saying this because I’m an accounting recruiter. 

Accounting careers have never afforded professionals more opportunities. How people work with accountants is evolving as new forms of technology, software, and accounting tools are introduced. AI is certainly changing how accountants work and their capabilities as strategic partners for organizations.

While jobs, roles, skill requirements, and duties are changing, certification remains as important as it ever was.

When you speak with Accounting and finance recruiters they’ll tell you that you have lots of options.

What Are The Accounting Certifications In Canada?

Accounting professionals in Canada have many accounting certifications to consider. The certification you choose will depend on your career goals and aspirations. You can also choose not to be certified, but the decision you make will have a clear impact on your career path and the types of jobs you qualify for in the future.

Here I outline the common types of accounting certifications:

Chartered Accountant (CA)

This qualification requires an undergraduate degree and three years of training in an accounting firm. This designation is recognized internationally and opens the door to a variety of accounting jobs.

Chartered General Accountant (CGA)

This designation requires an undergraduate degree and three years of training in an accounting firm. Many professionals choose this certification option because they can complete it while they work in accounting.

Chartered Management Accountant (CMA)

This certification requires you have a degree in a related discipline, such as business, economics, or commerce. This designation opens the door to career advancement in management accounting.

Certified Public Accountant (CPA)

A CPA designation will open up a variety of career paths. CPAs are always in demand in Canada and internationally. As a CPA you can expect an average salary of about $140,000. You will also be able to progress your career to top positions such as CEO, CFO, treasurer, and many others.

Advanced Certificate in Accounting and Finance (ACAF)

This certification is ideal for those who have some post-secondary education in accounting and want to improve their current standing in the industry. It will help you advance your skills to an intermediate level. It is ideal for those who don’t aspire to get their CPA but work in the accounting field.

Certified Professional Bookkeeper (CPB)

If you work as a bookkeeper or plan to work in this area, this designation can help differentiate you from others who do not have these credentials.

Certified Financial Planner (CFP)

The Certified Financial Planner (CFP) designation centers on financial planning, making it more specialized compared to other certifications available. Pursuing this certification alongside others can provide you with a diverse skill set. 

Certified Internal Auditor (CIA)

The Certified Internal Auditor (CIA) certification is a globally recognized credential aimed at enhancing your auditing proficiency. You’ll work with both internal and external stakeholders, utilizing information technology, and assessing risks within organizational frameworks. By earning this certification, you’ll be equipped for auditing positions allowing you to conduct internal and external audits on behalf of various organizations. 

Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA)

The Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) certification demonstrates proficiency for individuals seeking roles in financial advisory. Unlike the CPA, the CFA is tailored for professionals aspiring toward finance-centric careers like investment banking, financial advising, consulting, and related fields. 

Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC)

This certification is designed for professionals dedicated to assisting individuals and businesses in strategizing their financial trajectories. It concentrates on insurance, income tax management, and retirement planning. Holders of this certification possess the expertise to guide others in optimizing their financial preparations.

Chartered Certified Accountant (CCA)

This internationally acclaimed certification opens doors to opportunities in different countries and can facilitate securing roles abroad. Consisting of three levels and requiring completion of 13 tests, this certification is comprehensive in its coverage. For individuals aspiring to work internationally or with international organizations in Canada, this certification serves as a valuable asset in securing such roles.

What Accounting Qualification Is Best In Canada?

Determining the best accounting qualification in Canada depends on various factors, including career goals, industry preferences, and personal circumstances. However, some highly regarded accounting qualifications in Canada include CPA, CFA, CMA, and CIA. Ultimately, the best accounting qualification depends on individual career aspirations, industry demand, and the specific skills and knowledge required for success in the chosen field.

What Is the Most Recognized Accounting Certification?

The most recognized accounting certification worldwide is generally considered to be the Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA) designation. This certification is highly esteemed for its comprehensive curriculum, rigorous examination process, and broad recognition across industries and countries. The CPA designation signifies expertise in accounting, finance, taxation, and business strategy, making it highly sought-after by employers and respected within the accounting profession.


More Accounting Career Advice

Get more finance and accounting career advice by checking out these insightful blogs by our accounting recruiters:

Career Advice for Young Accountants

4 Top Accounting Interview Questions and Answers

3 Myths About Public Accounting That Are NOT True

The 10 Highest Paying Jobs in Finance

5 Reasons Why Accounting Careers Are NOT Boring

Riel LaPointe Financial Recruiter

Riel LaPointe

Riel is a VP of Client Services with IQ PARTNERS where he recruits across the full scope of multiple lines of business, with a particular focus in Financial Services & Insurance, Technology, Human Resources, and Real Estate Services.

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