As a newly designated Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA), you face a variety of options for starting your career. You can use your skills to navigate a complex and evolving environment for industry, public accounting, government, education, non-profit and more. To begin your path with a lifelong, rewarding career with unlimited potential, you must decide what your first job should be. Follow these guidelines to start on your CPA career path.

4 Things Every New CPA Should Consider

1. Decide on a Sector

Figure out which sector you want to work in. For instance, if you work in industry, you provide valuable input on key decisions, identify new market opportunities and ensure corporate accountability. You also manage risk and help the company maintain a competitive advantage. Roles may lead up to controller, treasurer, consultant, president, CFO or CEO. If you work in public practice, you may provide start-up counselling, handle business valuations, or offer business planning and financial projections. If working in government, you provide accounting expertise to guide financial planning and maintain fiscal control. Roles may include tax auditor, policy planner or financial analyst. If working in education, you teach future leaders about business, values and ethics. In non-profit, you receive tax dollars, handle tax benefits for grants, and help with strategy development, accounting stewardship and delivering annual reports.

2. Find Your Niche

Decide which area of accounting interests you most. Economic, industrial and technological developments offer a variety of specialized fields in accounting. Specialties include financial accounting, management accounting, auditing and assurance services or tax accounting. You also may choose from public accounting, non-profit accounting, forensic accounting or international accounting.

3. Choose Where to Work

Think about which country you want to work in. Although there’s plenty of demand for CPAs in Canada, you may decide to work in the Caribbean, Asia or Europe. CPA Canada offers a range of Mutual Recognition Agreements that allow you as a CPA member to become designated by other associations. Combined with the Canadian CPA being one of the largest and most respected designations, your opportunities to travel and work around the globe are seemingly endless.

4. Focus on Soft Skills

Your soft skills help you stand out from other CPAs. Communication abilities such as understanding business jargon, engaging in small talk, diffusing conflict and accepting constructive criticism are important. Showing proficiency in such areas will help get you past the interview stage of the job search process.

Find Accounting Jobs in Western Canada

Find accounting jobs in Western Canada with help from Mercer Bradley. We help you determine what type of accounting job may be the best fit for your goals and how you can best approach your search to build a successful career. Connect with us today to explore open roles!


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