Accounting - A Career Overview

It is important to understand that employers hire people, not degrees. The skills and knowledge you develop as a result of your education, as well as in your work and community activities, have the greatest impact on hiring decisions. Listed below are some specific knowledge and transferable skills you will acquire as a result of your university education and your focus on Accounting.

Specific Knowledge Skills

  • Ability to apply accounting, finance and management practices and principles to a variety of situations
  • Ability to synthesize and analyze whole business solutions including financial components, global and local resources, market trends, business requirements and new opportunities
  • Awareness of the key components of and the interconnections among financial statements including how business transactions are processed to produce financial statements
  • Knowledge of strategic financial planning, assessment and decision making and the ability to describe and explain financial information and decisions to the public
  • Skills to verify and assess information and data and determine risk and reward probabilities
  • Ability to make assessments of risk and reward (cost and benefit) for decision making and planning
  • Skills to determine the appropriate allocation and distribution of resources, finances, materials and personnel based on an analysis of resources and calculation of probability
  • Knowledge of the budgeting process and the ability to understand and interpret financial information
  • Skills to conduct quantitative/qualitative analysis of information/data to forecast trends and make plans

Valuable Transferable Skills

Information-gathering and Communication Skills

  • The skills required to identify and access a wide range of relevant information and resources
  • The ability to compile and organize facts and information and to comprehend and apply new and/or unfamiliar information to different situations and settings
  • Skills in preparing interesting, creative and informative presentations which target diverse audiences
  • The ability to develop attractive/effective reports, presentations and materials using current technology

Thinking, Planning and Organizational Skills

  • The ability to learn, understand and interpret information and apply knowledge to new situations
  • The ability to set priorities, meet deadlines and effectively plan/manage time, data and resources
  • Problem-solving skills and the ability to make well-reasoned decisions, think creatively and search for, identify and consider all sides of an issue
  • Skills to effectively analyze and interpret a wide range of information and data to discuss, support and/or reject ideas, opinions, reports, theories and proposals

Teamwork and Management Skills

  • Skills enabling you to work effectively as part of a team by identifying your role and contributing, through leading, teaching, motivating and/or encouraging others, to the success of the team
  • An understanding of how to successfully identify, plan and contribute to the goals of a project
  • The ability to oversee, supervise and/or contribute to a project from beginning to end including determining outcomes, planning details, making decisions, assigning roles and completing task

Career Options (Samples Only. Additional education, training or experience may be required.)

Accounts Payable Manager
Accounts Receivable Manager
Corporate Banker
Cost Accountant
Financial Advisor/Planner
Financial Analyst
Forensic Accountant
Inventory/Operations Manager
Mergers and Acquisitions
Payroll Manager
Portfolio Manager
Public Accountant
Tax Accountant
Treasury Officer


Additional Jobs (also see Business Administration Handout)

Account Manager
Benefits/Compensation Analyst
Branch Manager
Cash Management Officer
Claims Adjuster
Client Representative
Community Agency Director
Consumer Advocate
Consumer Credit Analyst
Convention/Meeting Planner
Credit Analyst
Development Fund Manager
Distribution Manager
Efficiency Expert/Analyst
Estate Planner
Event Planner
Export Manager
Health Administrator
Insurance Agent/Broker
International Analyst
Job/Wage Analyst
Labour Relations Advisor
Loan/Mortgage Officer
Logistics Manager
Management Consultant
Market Research Analyst
Materials Manager
Media Buyer
Media Representative
Opinion Researcher
Pension Fund Manager
Portfolio Strategist
Professional Agent
Project Analyst
Property Developer/Manager
Public Policy Analyst
Purchasing Agent
Quality Assurance
Restaurant/Hotel Manager
Securities Analyst
Seniors Home Administrator
Talent Administrator
Training & Development
Urban Planner Mediator

Chartered Professional Accountants of Ontario
Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada
Canadian Institute of Actuaries
The Canadian Academic Accounting Association (CAAA)
International Actuarial Association
American Institute of Certified Public Accountants
Department of Finance Canada

Are you interested in learning first hand about the careers our alumni have successfully pursued? Connect with Laurier alumni through the Alumni Sharing Knowledge (ASK) program. Participating alumni represent a variety of disciplines, careers and industries.

In addition, the Career Centre has compiled Career Profiles from Laurier alumni. Read about their career paths and how their experiences have led them to their current roles.

This resource is available at the Career Resource Centre.

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