Download PDF


Working as a Chartered Professional Account (CPA) (NOC 1111)

Job Description

Chartered Professional Accountants organize and analyze the financial records and transactions kept by businesses and individuals.

You perform the following duties:

  • plan, set up and maintain accounting systems
  • provide financial, business and tax advice
  • prepare financial statements, reports and income tax returns
  • ensure accuracy and compliance with established accounting standards and procedures
  • project future earnings and cash requirements
  • assist with financing initiatives to secure bank or equity funding
  • act as trustees in bankruptcy proceedings

Source: WorkBC, Career Profile for Accountants

Industry Overview

In Canada all three accounting designations, CA / CMA / CGA have merged under the Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA) designation. Intermediate level accounting professionals who don’t meet the requirements to register as a CPA may choose to obtain the Advanced Certificate in Accounting and Finance (ACAF) designation.

CPAs and ACAFs have a variety of employment opportunities and are in high demand in BC.

Demand for tax, financial instrument, forensic accounting, bankruptcy and information experts is increasing, and demand for accountants specializing in a specific industrial sector may also be on the rise.

With the rise of international trade, job opportunities are opening for accountants who speak additional languages.

Sources: CPA, BC and Work BC

Job Outlook in BC – Accountants

forecasted average employment growth rate, job openings, and composition of job openings in BC for 2017-2027

Source: Work BC

WorkBC provides job openings in BC regions from 2017-2027:

Region Employment in 2017 Average Annual Employment
Number of Job Openings
Vancouver Island 3,290 0.1% 1,030
Lower Mainland/Southwest 22,950 1.3% 9,140
Thompson-Okanagan 2,230 1.1% 870
Kootenay 400 0.7% 140
Cariboo 550 0.5% 200
North Coast & Nechako 230 0.2% 70
Northeast 140 0.6^ 50

You can learn more about the accounting sector from:

  • Career Cruising [profile for Accountant]
    Available from the VPL Digital Library | Explore our Digital Library page

Types of Employers

Accountants work for:

  • businesses of all kinds
  • government
  • educational and health care organizations
  • non-profit organizations

You may also be self employed.


The median annual salary for accountants and financial auditors in BC is $57,750. You usually receive benefits, such as dental plans, pension plans and sick days. You may also receive performance bonuses or profit-sharing plans.

Sources: WorkBC & Career Cruising

In BC regions you can expect to make:

regional hourly salaries

Source: Job Bank Canada, Wage Report [Search 1111]

 Total Compensation for CPAs in BC Cities ($ in 000’s)

total compensation for CPAs in BC Cities ($ in 000;s)

Source: 2015 CPA member compensation report

Also see this salary survey:

Working Hours

You generally work between 8 and 10 hours a day, 40 to 50 hours a week.

You may have to work nights and weekends if an important deadline is approaching.

Skills, Education, and Experience


  • Strong verbal and written communication skills
  • Ability to share financial results, explain projections, report the impact of financial decisions and prepare detailed reports on audit findings
  • Work well independently and as part of a team

Education and Experience


  • Canadian post-secondary degree or equivalent is required
  • successful completion of the CPA Professional Education Program (PEP)
  • successful completion of the Common Final Examination (CFE)

For information on how to become a CPA, attend an information session.

Advanced Certificate in Accounting & Finance (ACAF)

  • Individuals without a Canadian post-secondary degree may choose to qualify as an ACAF, which is an intermediate level accounting professional. The ACAF qualification may be ideal for internationally trained accountants wanting to work in Canada.
  • a minimum of one year study at a recognized post-secondary institution or ability to meet the entry requirements through prior work experience is required
  • completion of the Advanced Certificate in Accounting and Finance program
  • successful completion of the ACAF National Examination

For more information on how to become an ACAF, see Advanced Certificate in Accounting and Finance (ACAF).


This occupation is regulated in British Columbia.

In order to work as a CPA or ACAF you must be registered with Chartered Professional Accountants BC.

Internationally Educated and Trained Accounting Professionals

Finding Jobs

You’ll find job advertisements in local newspapers, trade journals, and Internet websites, as well as through professional associations’ publications.

Local Newspapers

You can look at the Vancouver Sun & The Province at Vancouver Public Library for free. Check the job postings daily and the careers section in the Vancouver Sun on Wednesdays and Saturdays and in The Province on Sundays.

Job White Pages

  • Available online or in print at the Central Library
    NOTE: You can only access this database from the Central Library or VPL branch libraries. Access is NOT available from home or outside the Library.

Online Job Postings

Professional Associations’ Career Resources

Identifying the Right Position

When you browse job advertisements, you’ll find a range of different job titles that are relevant.

Look for these related job titles (NOC 1111):

  • Accountant
  • Financial Auditor
  • Income Tax Expert
  • Industrial Accountant
  • Internal Auditor
  • Controller/Comptroller

Source: NOC

Creating a List of Potential Employers

You can use directories to produce lists of employers in the accounting services industry in Vancouver or the Lower Mainland. Contact them directly to find out if they’re hiring.

  • Financial Services Canada
    Available at the Central Library, 332.1025 F49
  • Reference Canada
    Click on “Start Search” beside Canadian Businesses, then select the “Advanced Search” button.
    Select both “Keyword/SIC/NAICS” under Business Type and “City” under Geography.
    In the top search box enter “
    accountants” and click LOOKUP.
    Select the appropriate headings.
    Lower down, select the Province, choose the cities, and click the “View Results” button.
    NOTE: You can access this database from a Library computer. If you are using a computer from outside the Library, you will need a Vancouver Public Library card to login to this database. After clicking on the database name, you will be asked to enter your library card number and PIN (usually last four digits of your telephone number).

Applying for a Job

In Canada, employers usually expect to receive a resume or curriculum vitae and a cover letter that identifies the position you are applying for and summarizes your relevant experience.

Use the library catalogue to find books on writing resumes and cover letters specific to your industry.

To learn about applying for jobs in Canada, use the following guides:

Getting Help from Industry Sources

Industry Associations

Associations for accounting professionals in BC provide information and assistance. Registration and fees are required for membership.

Industry Journals

Search the Vancouver Public Library catalogue for journals related to your profession. Examples at the Central Library

  • CPA Magazine
    Also available at VPL Central Branch, 657.05 C21