Careers in accounting and financial management

Chief financial officer (CFO), Vice-president finance, Financial manager, Accounting manager, Corporate controller are some of the roles existing within accounting and financial management. 

TYPICAL TASKS:

CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER (CFO):
  • Guide the strategy, policies, processes and accounting and financial controls
  • Guarantee the integrity of financial results
  • Optimize financial resources and see to the control of risk
  • Guide business relations with external associations and stakeholders: external analysts, audit firms, shareholders, investors, investment institutions, etc.
  • Supervise financial systems
  • Lead financing, treasury and merger and acquisitions activities
  • Act as an expert for general management
  • Responsible for recruiting, training and team management for accounting and financial staff
  • May sit on the board of directors
FINANCIAL MANAGER
  • In charge of strategic financial planning (e.g. taxation, financing) and internal control
  • Optimize financial resources and see to the control of risk
  • Prepare budgets
  • Take part in decisions related to corporate financing
  • Develop financial models and analyses
  • Act as an expert for general management
  • Responsible for recruiting, training and team management for financial staff
ACCOUNTING MANAGER
  • In charge of developing and implementing accounting policies and procedures
  • Identify and resolve accounting issues
  • Supervise controls for accounting procedures and systems
  • Manage tax returns, financial statements and period closings
  • Budget for and approve major expenses
  • Act as an expert for general management
  • Responsible for recruiting, training and team management for accounting staff
CONTROLLER
  • Supervise operations accounting activities
  • Produce, collect and analyze management information
  • Prepare verification audits and coordinate auditor activities
  • Prepare financial reports
  • Supervise regulatory operations reports
  • Carry out budget planning
  • Responsible for recruiting, training and team management for accounting staff

EDUCATION AND SKILLS

  • Several years of experience in accounting or finance and personnel management
  • Accounting firm experience is an asset
  • University degree in finance, accounting or in a related field; a Master’s degree may be required
  • Certification from a recognized professional accounting association e.g. CPA, CPA, CA, CPA,CMA or CPA,CGA may be required

QUALITIES

  • Excellent analytical skills and insight
  • Good human resource management skills
  • Planning and organizational skills
  • Initiative
  • Good communicator

TYPICAL CAREER PATH

 Controller / Accounting manager / Financial manager
 => Vice-president finance
 => Chief financial officer (CFO)
A professional designation (e.g. CFA, CPA, CPA,CA, CPA,CMA, CPA,CGA) facilitates moving up the ladder.

SALARY

Consult Accounting – finance salaries section or use the salary calculator

Next 3 years perspectives (source: Statistics Canada – 2013)

Despite significant annual variations, the number of financial managers increased slightly over the past few years and that the trend should continue.

Career opportunities will primarily arise from the need to replace directors of finance, many of whom are about to retire or to be promoted. There will be a few additional opportunities as a result of employment increase.

Visit www.accountingjobs.ca for accounting clerk and technician jobs

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