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Steps to Becoming an Accountant in Manitoba

By Susan Maphis, Accountingedu contributing writer
Updated April 2013

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Manitoba Job Futures reports that occupations in accounting have good employment prospects in the province through the year 2015. According to Moody’s Investors Service, Standard and Poor’s, Dominion Bond Rating Service, and CIBC, Manitoba’s economy is one of the most diverse in all of Canada. Not dependent upon any single industry or sector, Manitoba’s economy is driven by industries as diverse as manufacturing and finance.

The most ambitious and career-minded individuals become Certified General Accountants (CGA), Certified Management Accountants (CMA), and Chartered Accountants (CA), by committing to years of schooling and practical experience before being awarded with these designations. Many go on to work for “Big Four” international accounting firms such as Ernst & Young, which has offices in Winnipeg, or for local public accountants’ offices like Krahn & Friesen Chartered Accountants in Morden.

Manitoba is also home to the corporate offices of two of Canada’s largest financial entities recognized as leading employers of CAs, CMAs, and CGAs who serve as financial analysts and management consultants: Great-West Lifeco, Inc.; and IGM Financial, Inc., both located in Winnipeg.

Within the manufacturing industry, Manitoba houses some of the largest furniture factories in all of Canada, including Westnofa of Canada and Pulse Furniture, both in Winnipeg. Manitoba is also the largest producer of urban and inter-city buses in North America. New Flyer Corporation, a major producer of buses, has its corporate headquarters in Winnipeg, as does Motor Coach Industries. These manufacturing giants employ accountants in various capacities throughout their organizations.

One of Canada’s largest media companies, CanWest Global Communications Corporation, also makes its home in Winnipeg where it employs a significant number of corporate managerial accountants, budget analysts, and financial controllers.

Manitoba Accountants: Salary and Employment Facts

Manitoba Job Futures lists the average accountant’s salary in the province at $58,600 per year, with the top earners averaging $95,700 annually. According to the 2007 Chartered Accountant Profession Compensation Survey in Manitoba, new Chartered Accountants (CAs) in the province average $52,197 yearly, and make more with each year of experience. For example, CAs with five years of experience average $75,064 annually. Those with 25 to 30 years of experience make up to $190,246 per year.

The majority of accountants in Manitoba (75 percent) work in the Winnipeg area. All other areas of the province employ about the same number of accountants (from 2 to 6 percent), including the Southeast, Interlake, Southwest, North Central and Parklands areas. Northern Manitoba, including the cities of Churchill, Flin Flon, Norway House, Swan River and Thompson, is where accountants are paid the highest average salaries in the province ($66,560) according to the Government of Canada’s Working in Canada website.

Manitoba Tax Laws in the News

Recently, Manitoba’s government announced tax deferrals for livestock producers in parts of the province who are struggling to make money as a result of the excess rain this year. This program will allow livestock producers near Lake Manitoba and Shoal Lake to defer income tax on the sale of breeding livestock for up to one year. This measure is designed to help producers replenish their number of breeding livestock for the next year.

In other news, Manitoba Beef Producers are calling for an end to the $2 per head fee charged to cattle farmers by Manitoba Cattle Enhancement Council (MCEC) since 2006. Every time the Manitoba Beef Producers sell an animal, this fee is charged with the intention of creating an investment fund to finance Manitoba’s slaughter facilities. However, beef producers in the province say that since its inception in 2006, the tax has not expanded the province’s slaughterhouses to the extent promised. They claim that leaving the $2 in beef producers’ pockets would be far more beneficial to the industry.

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