Accountants and Financial Auditors

(NOC 1111)

in All Business, Finance, and Administration

Accountants plan, organize and administer accounting systems for individuals and organizations. Articling students in accounting firms are included in this group. Financial auditors examine and analyze the accounting and financial records of individuals and organizations to make sure they are accurate and comply with established accounting standards and procedures. Accountants and financial auditors work for auditing and accounting firms throughout the private and public sectors, or they may be self-employed.

Job Outlook

Good

Read more

  • Estimate Stable employment change, 2019-2021
  • Estimate 300 openings due to growth and retirements, 2018-2020
  • Estimate Low rate of unemployment in 2019

Compared to: All Business, Finance, and Administration

  • Estimate -1305 employment change, 2019-2021
  • Estimate 4210 openings due to growth and retirements, 2018-2020
  • Estimate rate of unemployment not available for these occupation.

Overall, this occupation did not experience a large employment decline because of COVID-19. Many workers were able to work from home, allowing them to continue working under physical distancing requirements. In anticipation of declining revenue during the pandemic, some major employers of this occupation sought ways to reduce costs. In some cases, these measures included laying off a small percentage of staff.

Employment for this occupation has been stable in recent years, and opportunities occur regularly given the large employer base. Those with a CPA designation may find jobs more easily than those without and are more likely to advance their career into management roles. Upheaval among clients of financial services firms due to the pandemic may result in a greater demand for the services of this occupation and increase the number of opportunities. Though most employment in this occupation is in Halifax, jobseekers may benefit from being willing to move to other areas of the province should an opportunity open in a rural area.

The median employment income for the 64% of Accountants and Financial Auditors who worked full-time, year-round in 2015 was $46,690. Across all occupations in Nova Scotia, the 59% of those who worked full-time, year-round had a median employment income of $43,600. (Source: 2016 Census)

Hourly Pay

$21.37

Minimum

$35.06

Median

$53.85

Maximum

Annual Pay

$10,340

Minimum

$40,057

Median

$93,890

Maximum

Compared to: All Business, Finance, and Administration

Hourly Pay

$14.00

Minimum

$27.85

Median

$38.46

Maximum

Annual Pay

$6,754

Minimum

$36,515

Median

$70,271

Maximum

About the job

Nature of work

Accountants plan, organize and administer accounting systems for individuals and organizations. Articling students in accounting firms are included in this group. Financial auditors examine and analyze the accounting and financial records of individuals and organizations to make sure they are accurate and comply with established accounting standards and procedures. Accountants and financial auditors work for auditing and accounting firms throughout the private and public sectors, or they may be self-employed.

Job duties

Financial auditors:

  • Analyze accounting and financial records like journal and ledger entries, bank statements, inventories, expenses, and tax returns to confirm accuracy and compliance with accounting standards, procedures and internal controls.
  • Prepare detailed reports on audit findings and make recommendations to improve individual or organization's accounting and management practices.
  • Perform field audits of businesses to make sure they comply with provisions of the Income Tax Act, Canadian Business Corporations Act or other legal requirements.
  • May supervise other auditors or professionals in charge of accounting within client's organization.

Accountants:

  • Oversee accounting systems and prepare financial information for individuals, departments within organizations, businesses and other organizations.
  • Look at accounting records and prepare financial statements and reports.
  • Develop and maintain cost finding, reporting and internal control procedures.
  • Look at financial accounts and records and prepare income tax returns from accounting records.
  • Analyze financial statements and reports and provide financial, business and tax advice.
  • May act as a trustee in bankruptcy proceedings.
  • May supervise and train articling students, other accountants or administrative technicians.

Sample job titles

  • accountant
  • auditor
  • bankruptcy trustee
  • certified general accountant (CGA)
  • certified management accountant (CMA)
  • chartered accountant (CA)
  • chartered professional accountant (CPA)
  • financial control officer
  • income tax specialist
  • public accountant

Skills

You should have excellent organizational, analytical, and spoken and written communication skills. Good judgment, integrity, and persistence are important. You must have an interest in mathematics and be capable of detailed and precise work. Business skills are essential. Knowledge of business and financial software is required.

Job requirements

  • Chartered professional accountants need a university degree and completion of the CPA Professional Education Program.
  • Auditors need a university degree, completion of the CPA Professional Education Program and some experience as an accountant.
  • Auditors may require recognition by the Institute of Internal Auditors.
  • Auditors and accountants must hold a licence as a trustee in bankruptcy to act as a trustee in bankruptcy proceedings.
  • Licensing by the provincial or territorial governing body is usually required for accountants and auditors practicing public accounting.

Other considerations

Movement to auditing or accounting management positions is possible with experience.

By the numbers

Quick look

6,055

employed in 2016

85.2%

employed full-time

10.5%

self employed

69.0%
Icons/female Created with Sketch.
31%
Icons/male Created with Sketch.
44.6

median age

Compared to: All Business, Finance, and Administration

63,775

employed in 2016

78.4%

employed full-time

6.6%

self employed

73.4%
Icons/female Created with Sketch.
26.6%
Icons/male Created with Sketch.
47.9

median age

Where will I likely work?

51.6%

Halifax

16.7%

North Shore

12.3%

Cape Breton

10.3%

Southern

9.2%

Annapolis Valley

Compared to: All NS Occupations

47.0%

Halifax

15.6%

North Shore

12.9%

Annapolis Valley

12.7%

Cape Breton

11.8%

Southern

Top Industries of Employment

35.5%

Health care and social assistance

27.4%

Professional, scientific and technical services

9.1%

Public administration

4.5%

Finance and insurance

4.2%

Retail trade

What is the age of Employment?

25.0%

25-34

24.0%

45-54

22.0%

35-44

19.0%

55-64

5.0%

65+

4.0%

15-24

Compared to: All Business, Finance, and Administration

26.3%

45-54

22.6%

55-64

19.4%

35-44

16.7%

25-34

7.5%

65+

Top levels of education

37.9%

Bachelor

$51,138 median annual income
32.9%

College Diploma

$36,518 median annual income
7.3%

Apprenticeship

$36,214 median annual income
6.4%

Diploma Above Bachelor

$59,292 median annual income
6.2%

High school

$36,812 median annual income

Compared to: All Business, Finance, and Administration

33.8%

College Diploma

$36,304 median annual income
23.8%

High school

$32,903 median annual income
22.8%

Bachelor

$41,755 median annual income
5.8%

Apprenticeship

$34,807 median annual income
4.9%

Less than high school

$23,174 median annual income

Education & training

Accounting

University Program

These programs prepare students to practice the profession of accounting and to perform related business functions. They include courses in accounting principles and theory, financial accounting, managerial accounting, cost accounting, budget control, tax accounting, legal aspects of accounting, auditing, reporting procedures, statement analysis, planning and consulting, business information systems, accounting research methods, professional standards and ethics, and applications to specific for-profit, public, and non-profit organizations.

Institutions providing this program

CPA Atlantic School of Business Association

Halifax, NS

Acadia University

Wolfville, NS

Dalhousie University

Halifax, NS

Mount Saint Vincent University

Halifax, NS

St. Francis Xavier University

Antigonish, NS

Saint Mary's University

Halifax, NS

Cape Breton University

Sydney, NS

Business/Commerce

College, Trades, or University Program

These programs focus on the general study of business, including the processes of interchanging goods and services (buying, selling and producing), business organization, and accounting as used in profit-making and non-profit public and private institutions and agencies. They prepare students to apply business principles and techniques in various occupational settings.

Institutions providing this program

Dalhousie University

Halifax, NS

University of King's College

Halifax, NS

Universite Sainte-Anne

Pointe-de-l'Église, NS

Saint Mary's University

Halifax, NS

Finance

College or University Program

These programs prepare students to plan, manage, and analyse the financial and monetary aspects and performance of business enterprises, banking institutions, or other organizations. They include courses in principles of accounting, financial instruments, capital planning, funds acquisition, asset and debt management, budgeting, financial analysis, and investments and portfolio management.

Institutions providing this program

Acadia University

Wolfville, NS

Dalhousie University

Halifax, NS

Mount Saint Vincent University

Halifax, NS

St. Francis Xavier University

Antigonish, NS

Saint Mary's University

Halifax, NS

Cape Breton University

Sydney, NS

Nova Scotia Community College - Akerley Campus

Dartmouth, NS

Employment requirements & contacts

Regulations

Public Accountants

Right to Title and Practice: This job is regulated. The job title is protected, and you may not use it without a professional licence. A licence shows that the holder has met provincial requirements and is required to legally do this work.

Regulating body:
Public Accountants Board of Nova Scotia
PO Box 8
Tatamagouche, NS B0K 1V0
Chartered Professional Accountant

Right to Title: This job is regulated in Nova Scotia. The job title is protected, and you may not use it without a professional designation. Professional designation shows that the holder has met provincial standards for the job. Employers may require professional designation, but professional designation is not necessary to do this work.

Regulating body:
Chartered Professional Accountants of Nova Scotia
1871 Hollis Street, Suite 300
Halifax, NS B3J 0C3
(902) 425-7273

Contacts

Institute of Internal Auditors Canada - Maritime Chapter
Nova Scotia, Canada
CPA Atlantic School of Business
Halifax, NS