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questions for Canadian accountants

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Jeremy Illingworth, Nov 4, 2001.

  1. Jeremy Illingworth

    Jeremy Illingworth Supporting Actor

    Nov 12, 2000
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    I was thinking about accounting for a career but have so many questions.
    How long do you have to go to school?
    How hard is it to get a job?
    What are the different kinds/certification levels of accounting?
    What are the downsides to the job?
    What are entry level salaries like?
  2. Micheal

    Micheal Screenwriter

    Apr 13, 1999
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    It's looks like all the Canadian Accountants are too busy to answer your question, that should tell you something.
    Good, bad...I'm the guy with the gun.
    Check out my Star Wars Mural
  3. PatrickM

    PatrickM Screenwriter

    Aug 10, 2000
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    I'm not an accountant but all my friends are either CA's, CGA's or CMA's. And each one requires a different level of schooling. The highest is CA or Chartered Accountant. Its basically like having a Master's in Finance.
    It'll take 4 years of University with your degree typically in Commerce with a Finance or Accounting major. Then it will take articling with an account firm for a couple of years while taking level exams until you right the UFE which is the Universal Final Exam. If you pass that then you are a CA but the failure rates through the levels and UFE are quite high. But, if you become a CA there's not a lot you can't do.
    Being a CGA (certified general accountant) or CMA (certified management accountant) is a little easier but still tough enough. It requires attending many classes while working in the accounting field and then passing the levels by finishing all the classes in that level. Getting an accounting diploma at community colleges or technical institutes is a good idea and gives you credit for some of the levels.
    Work is much easier to get than anything specific like electrical engineering, health sciences, etc. because you need accountants in basically all fields.
    Downsides of the job are its very numbers oriented and you look at computers and books a lot.
    Entry level salaries vary a lot. While your articling you get paid dick but once you pass your UFE you get a big raise. Most CA's I know make more than $80K a year with an upside 2 to 3 times as high as that just for salary. CGA's and CMA's make that much lower, probably in the range of 20 to 30% less with less upside as well.
    Right now my CA friends are Senior Analysts for the Securities Exchange and CFO for a large not for profit organization.
    So, if you like numbers its not a bad profession.
    Evidence of my obsession.
    [Edited last by PatrickM on November 05, 2001 at 12:29 PM]

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