Steps to Becoming an Accountant in Ontario
According to the Ontario Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities, average job growth for accountants is predicted in the province from 2009 through 2013. More replacement jobs are expected to become available, however, as the accounting profession is quite large and encompasses a wide variety of job titles. During times of slower than average job growth, this speaks well of the strength of the industry and is encouraging news for those interested in becoming accountants in Ontario.
Chartered Accountants of Ontario certifies public accountants and grants the CA credential to candidates who have met the rigorous education, experience, and examination requirements for this globally recognized designation. Certified General Accountants Ontario also certifies public accountants, granting the CGA credential, and also provides certification for other types of accountants and financial managers. Others opt for certification specific to private corporate managerial accounting granted by Certified Management Accountants (CMA) Ontario.
Job Trends for Accountants in Ontario
Top industries for accountants in Ontario as listed by the Ontario Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities include professional business services, finance, insurance, real estate and leasing, public administration, wholesale trade, and retail trade. Most accountants are being hired in Ontario in both public and private accounting capacities as financial auditors, controllers, income tax experts, internal auditors, and industrial accountants.
Ontario’s top employers of these types of accountants include the retail hardware store TSC Stores, which is headquartered in London; the divisional headquarters of pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline, Inc. in Mississauga; and health care company Johnson & Johnson, which has Canadian corporate headquarters in Markham. Global Fortune 500 Canada companies that have their headquarters in Ontario and that are recognized as major employers of accountants include major financial institutions such as the Royal Bank of Canada, Sun Life Financial, and the Bank of Nova Scotia, all of which have a strong presence in Toronto. Other Global Fortune 500 Canada companies in Ontario include global electronics provider Onex in Toronto and Research in Motion located in Waterloo.
Ontario Accountants: Salary and Employment Facts
According to Employment Ontario, in 2006 there were 68,440 accountants and financial auditors working in Ontario. A slight majority of these (51%) was female, and the vast majority (90%) worked full-time. Data provided by Employment Ontario shows that most accountants in the province worked in Toronto. Other popular areas of employment include Ottawa, the Kitchener-Waterloo-Barrie area, and the Hamilton-Niagara Peninsula area.
In 2005, Employment Ontario reported that the average yearly salary for accountants working in the province was $77,786. This figure is considerably higher than the average salary for all occupations in Toronto, which was $56,033 during that year. The Ontario Public Accounting Salary Survey of May 2010, sponsored by MFA Group, Inc., notes salaries for different types of accountants in both metropolitan and rural areas of Ontario. For example, the average staff accountant who has some experience in the field makes $55,000 in the Toronto-North York-Etobicoke-Mississauga metropolitan areas of Ontario; while the same position earns about $53,750 in the rural areas of Niagara Falls, Hamilton, Oakville, Burlington, Brampton, Kitchener, Waterloo, Newmarket and Aurora. Forensic accountants working in Ontario’s metropolitan areas earn up to $187,000 annually, with an average salary of $153,250. In Ontario’s rural areas, forensic accountants may earn up to $155,000 per year, with an average salary of $143,500.
Ontario Public Accounting Salaries – Rural Areas – including Niagara Falls, Hamilton,
Oakville, Burlington, Brampton, Kitchener, Waterloo, Newmarket, Aurora
Salary data compiled by the MFA Group, Inc.’s Ontario Public Accounting Salary Survey, 2010
Ontario Tax Laws in the News
July 13, 2011 marked the first anniversary of Ontario Premier Dalton McGinty’s harmonized sales tax, otherwise known as HST. This tax combines taxes on federal goods and services and provincial sales taxes into one 13 percent tax. In addition, it added this HSR tax to products and services that were once tax exempt, such as electricity, home heating, and gas. Opposition parties looking to oust McGinty in the next election are pledging to overturn the HST, which they say has hit Ontario residents and businesses hard.
Also in the news is a recent report that the town of Waterloo has the highest property taxes of any town in the province. The BMA Municipal Study also found that Waterloo has the highest debt of any town in Ontario, with interest payments of $5 million annually. Its residents, however, earn more than residents in other areas of the province, bringing home an average annual salary of $100,800.