Steps to Becoming an Accountant in Alberta

The Government of Alberta’s Department of Employment and Immigration projects that by the year 2019 demand for accountants will outweigh supply. This is very good news for those interested in becoming accountants in Alberta, as it illustrates the resilience
of the accounting industry even during times of slow economic growth.

Chartered Accountants, who are regulated by Chartered Accountants of Alberta; Certified Management Accountants, regulated by CMA Alberta; and Certified General Accountants, regulated by CGA Alberta are among the most respected and best recognized formal
designations for accounting professionals in the country. These designees are found working throughout Alberta in public accounting, business, nonprofit, and government where they hold various positions. They function as staff accountants, internal
auditors, controllers, financial analysts, and management accountants and are found working everywhere from “Big Four” International public accounting firms such as Deloitte, with offices in Calgary and Edmonton, to government entities and nonprofit
organizations like the McMan Youth, Family & Community Services Association in Innisfail.

Job Trends for Accountants in Alberta

Alberta’s economy, one of the strongest in Canada, continues to thrive. Forest resources, petroleum, and energy are the driving industries in the province, and are the biggest industry employers of corporate accountants. A number of Global Fortune 500
Companies call Alberta home. Among these are Suncor Energy and Profire Energy located in Spruce Grove, Energy Alberta Corporation located in Whitemud, and Wescorp Energy in Calgary.

The headquarters of the Canadian Farm Insurance Corporation located in Edmonton and the Canadian Lawyers Insurance Association housed in Calgary are not only leading employers of managerial accountants, but are also major employers of actuaries whose
unique statistical accounting practices help establish the cost of many of the companies’ insurance products. ATB Financial, also known as Alberta Treasury Branches, is a government-regulated bank headquartered in Edmonton that is also a leading employer
of accounting professionals.

Big four accounting firm KPMG’s publication, Competitive Alternatives, a guide to international business costs, has named Edmonton and Calgary among the most competitive of all North American cities in terms of cost of doing business. This has
helped to make Alberta a prime location for new and expanding businesses and a hub of international commerce.

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Featured Bachelor Programs
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SNHU
SNHU’s undergraduate degrees in accounting are delivered fully online by world-class expert faculty, offering the best in convenience and academic excellence.
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Purdue University Global
Purdue University’s online learning experience is like no other, offering students interactive, live seminars that can be accessed from anywhere in the world. Theory here is complemented with team-building and project-based learning for a well-rounded educational experience.
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Eastern Oregon University
Eastern Oregon University offers diverse bachelor’s options, delivered 100% online. Your own support team will ensure you’re on-time, on-track, and headed toward success. Take an additional 45 credits and you’ll be qualified to sit for the Uniform CPA Exam.
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Lindenwood University
Lindenwood’s fully online BBA in Accounting allows students to take classes wherever and whenever it’s most convenient. Lindenwood students enjoy perks that include an online academic advisor and career center. Also offers a Master of Accountancy and an MBA in Accounting.
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Arizona State University
Featured Program: BS in Accountancy
ASU’s BS in Accountancy is backed by a 15-year track record of offering innovative, online degree programs. Student support is part of the package at ASU, with enrollment coaches, academic advisors, and success coaches focused solely on your success.
Featured Masters Programs
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SNHU
Offering the same tuition rates for ten years running, SNHU’s online master’s in accounting is one of the most affordable high-quality programs in the business. Dedicated advisors and 24/7 tech support provide students with unmatched support and guidance in a fully online program. No GMAT or GRE required.
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Capella University
Capella’s online PsyD in Clinical or School Psychology program is rich in support and engagement, highly interactive, and designed with your unique learning needs in mind. Online learning here is complemented with dynamic, in-person experiences.
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Liberty University
The online MSA program through Liberty University offers an affordable, accessible, high-quality way to develop advanced accounting skills, putting a world-class Christian-centered education within reach. Holds specialty, programmatic accreditation through the ACBSP. 100% online. Military tuition discounts available.
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The University of Scranton
At the University of Scranton, you can earn your master’s in accounting 100% online in as little as 12-months. Custom tailor your program with a wide selection of diverse and contemporary electives. No GMAT or GRE required.
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Utica College
Utica’s online MBA in Finance & Accounting program develops business-focused accounting skills, providing you with real-world financial modeling experience while putting managerial and cost accounting front and center. Holds specialty, programmatic accreditation through the ACBSP. No GMAT or GRE required. 100% online with no on-campus requirements.

Alberta Accountants: Salary and Employment Facts

According to the 2009 Alberta Wage and Salary Survey, the average yearly salary for accountants in Alberta is $66,923, with the 90th percentile earning an average of $106,787 annually. Wage information differs for accountants based on the industry in
which they work. For example, the survey reports that accountants working in the oil and gas extraction industry make the highest average salary, at $86,810. Accountants in the utilities industry can expect an average annual salary of $74,262.

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Accountants working in the Wood Buffalo-Cold Lake region of Alberta make the highest average annual salaries at $79,007. Other areas of Alberta that pay accountants higher than the average annual provincial salary include the Camrose-Drumheller region
at $75,343, and the Calgary area at $73,502.

Salary information compiled by the 2009 Alberta Wage & Salary Survey

Alberta Tax Laws in the News

A recent report stated that small businesses in Alberta are paying a disproportionately large percentage of municipal property tax. The study, produced by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business in 2010, shows that 250 of the 359 municipal governments
in the province charged smaller businesses property tax rates that were higher than those charged to residents living on property assessed at the same value. Officials justify this higher rate by stating that non-residential businesses use more municipal
services than residential property owners do, while opponents see this as a hindrance to the success of smaller businesses in the province.

In other news, some candidates in the election for Alberta Premier are proposing a tuition tax break for students who finish post-secondary studies in Alberta, and who then choose to stay in Alberta to work. Candidate Ted Morton has proposed tax credits
of up to $20,000 for college graduates who choose to work in Alberta for up to seven years after graduation. He says that this tax credit would make Alberta’s education more affordable while also helping to build a skilled workforce in the province.