Steps to Becoming an Accountant in Saskatchewan
The Saskatchewan Ministry of Advanced Education, Employment and Immigration has named financial auditing and accounting among the professions that have a strong occupational outlook through the year 2019. The Ministry’s industry classification for company management, administration and support services, which most accounting positions fall into, is expected to experience an average annual growth rate of 3.4 percent through 2014, which is more than what is expected in all other industry sectors in the province. This is an encouraging outlook for Saskatchewan residents looking at what it takes to become an accountant in the province.
Certified general accountants (CGAs), chartered accountants (CAs), and certified management accountants (CMAs) work throughout private industry and government. Leading private employers of accountants providing tax, attestation, auditing, and business consultation services include “Big Four” international accounting firm Deloitte, and local firms such as Miller Thomson, both of which have offices in Regina. Government accountants are found throughout provincial agencies including the Saskatchewan Public Services Commission in North Battleford and Saskatoon, the Financial Services Branch of the Ministry of Health in Regina, and the Saskatchewan Liquor and Gaming Authority.
According to the Government of Saskatchewan, the corporate or commercial headquarters of businesses are concentrated in two main areas within the province. In 2003, Saskatoon was home to the head offices of 35 businesses, while Regina housed the corporate headquarters of 31 commercial businesses and 11 Crown corporations owned by Canada’s federal government. Crown corporations in Saskatchewan that are recognized as leading employers of accountants in the province include the Information Services Corporation of Saskatchewan; natural gas provider SaskEnergy; and venture capital company, Investment Saskatchewan, all of which are based in Regina.
Agriculture, primarily grain production, is a major industry in Saskatchewan. The province is home to the corporate headquarters of the Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan, producer of 20 percent of the world’s supply of potash and the world’s largest fertilizer producer. Big industry is big business where financial controllers, internal auditors, cost and capital accountants are all employed. The oil industry is another major contributor to Saskatchewan’s economy and companies like Weatherford Canada in Weyburn are recognized as leading industry employers of managerial and other corporate accounting professionals.
Saskatchewan Accountants: Salary and Employment Facts
Certified Management Accountants of Saskatchewan conducted a salary survey of its members in 2010. They found that CMAs in the province earned an average of $92,500 annually. Additionally, the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants conducted a salary survey in 2009. They found that the mean compensation for a Chartered Accountant working in the province in 2009 was $106,250. CAs working in Saskatoon earned an average of $136,645, while those employed in Regina made about $128,507 annually.
When looking at Saskatchewan’s accountants without CMA or CA credentials, Statistics Canada found the average salary in 2010 to be $61,984 in Saskatoon, with top earners averaging $101,920.
Salary information compiled from CA Professional Compensation Survey: Saskatchewan: 2009
Saskatchewan Tax Laws in the News
On July 1, 2011, Saskatchewan residents were treated to a reduction in provincial income taxes. An additional $1,000 is now allowed for basic and personal income tax exemptions, as well as an additional $500 in exemptions is allowed for dependent children. The government says that with these new tax breaks, a family of four will pay no income tax on their first $45,550 of annual earnings.
In addition, Statistics Canada recently released a report noting that Saskatchewan residents are earning more than they did last year. Average weekly earnings climbed by 5.2 percent over last year’s figures, making salaries in Saskatchewan the third highest in Canada.