Steps to Becoming an Accountant in the Northwest Territories
Not only does the Northwest Territories have the highest Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in Canada, it also has shown the fastest real GDP growth, at 8 percent from 1999 to 2007, as compared to the national GDP growth rate of 4 percent during the same time period. The Northwest Territories has no territorial sales tax, which attracts both individuals and businesses to the area. Residents of the Northwest Territories enjoy the highest average income in all of Canada, and the region currently has the lowest unemployment rates in Canada.
As is the case in most of Canada, those who work to become accountants in the Northwest Territories do not need to be licensed, but most employers require a college degree. Auditing and attestation functions require CGA, CA, or CMA credentials from the Certified General Accountants Association, Institute of Chartered Accountants, and Society of Certified Management Accountants of the Northwest Territories.
Local and nationally recognized accounting firms such as Avery Cooper and MacKay, LLP, both located in Yellowknife, have a presence here and are highly sought after employers for credentialed accountants in the region.
Most accountants in the Northwest Territories work in the public administration industry, according to NWT Job Futures. The next most popular industry for accountants is the professional, scientific and technical services sector.
Diamond mining is one of the top industries in the Northwest Territories. Three of the NWT’s diamond mines (Ekati, Diavik and Snap Lake) produce 15 percent of the world’s diamond supply, and diamond production in the NWT in 2007 topped $1.4 billion. With numbers like these, it is clear that accountants are necessary within the industry to track the flow of money. International diamond companies such as BHP Billiton, Rio Tinto, and DeBeers, all in Yellowknife, employ accountants at many levels within their organizations.
The oil and gas industry is also a profitable one for the Northwest Territories. Imperial Oil’s largest single conventional oil field is located at Norman Wells. Companies such as International Frontier Resources Corporation and Forest Oil Corporation operate oil fields in the NWT and are recognized as leading industry employers of accountants in the area.
Financial services remains a viable industry for accountants in the Northwest Territories. Companies such as CIBC in Norman Wells and the Royal Bank of Canada in Hay River also employ accountants in various capacities
Northwest Territories Accountants: Salary and Employment Facts
NWT Job Futures reports an average yearly salary for auditors, accountants, and financial professionals working in the territories as $73,626. This figure is $26,000 higher than the average salary in the territories for all occupations. Interestingly, it is also noted that more than half (55.3 percent) of accountants in the Northwest Territories are female.
The Yellowknife area is reported to have the most accountants in all of the NWT, followed by the regions of Inuvik, Hay River, and Fort Smith.