Interested in a career in the accounting field? Don’t want to spend years in university?
You have more options than you might think.
The truth is that there are a variety of accounting jobs that require neither a bachelor’s degree nor a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA) designation.
In this post, we explore 5 entry-level accounting positions you can land with just a college diploma:
- accounts payable/receivable clerk
- payroll clerk
- tax preparer
- collection clerk
Compare job duties and salaries to see if one of these accounting careers appeals to you.
ACCOUNTING JOB #1: BOOKKEEPER
Bookkeepers collect and organize financial data. Their job is to record financial transactions and track the money flowing in and out of company coffers.
Businesses rely on bookkeepers to stay on top of purchases and payments and provide them with a snapshot of where they stand financially.
This can be a wide-ranging role that touches on a lot of different areas.
Common tasks include:
☑️ Posting journal entries and maintaining the general ledger
☑️ Categorizing transactions
☑️ Reconciling bank accounts
☑️ Paying bills and sending invoices
☑️ Preparing cash flow statements, balance sheets, and profit and loss statements
☑️ Processing payroll☑️ Completing tax remittance forms
Salary: According to the Government of Canada Job Bank, bookkeepers in Ontario earn a median salary of about $48,000.
The highest-paid bookkeepers in the province make more than $78,000.
ACCOUNTING JOB #2: ACCOUNTS PAYABLE/RECEIVABLE CLERK
When a company owes money to its suppliers, that’s accounts payable. When customers owe money to a company, that’s accounts receivable.
Essentially, accounts payable is about managing expenses (outgoing money), while accounts receivable is about managing revenues (incoming money).
Some companies split these functions into two roles. In smaller organizations, one person might be responsible for both.
An accounts payable clerk is typically responsible for:
☑️ Verifying purchase orders and expense reports
☑️ Processing vendor invoices
☑️ Charging expenses to the correct account
☑️ Resolving discrepancies
☑️ Making payments on corporate credit cards
☑️ Disbursing petty cash
An accounts receivable clerk performs tasks like:
☑️ Sending out invoices
☑️ Applying payments against customer accounts
☑️ Preparing statements of accounts
☑️ Contacting customers about outstanding payments
☑️ Preparing bank deposits
☑️ Filing deposit receipts
Salary: Job Bank data shows that accounts payable/receivable clerks in Ontario make about $45,000 as a median salary.
At the high end, salaries can exceed $69,000.
ACCOUNTING JOB #3: PAYROLL CLERK
Payroll clerks are in charge of making sure everyone in an organization gets paid the proper amount at the proper time.
They handle the administrative details of wages and benefits and answer paycheque-related questions from staff members.
Day-to-day duties include:
☑️ Keeping records of employee hours worked
☑️ Calculating earnings (including commissions and bonuses) and deductions (including taxes and Employment Insurance premiums)
☑️ Processing salary adjustments as well as new hires and terminations
☑️ Issuing statements of earnings
☑️ Preparing tax slips☑️ Reconciling payrolls with bank statements
Salary: The median salary for payroll clerks is $52,000 in Ontario, according to Job Bank data.
The most skilled and experienced payroll clerks earn $74,000 or more.
ACCOUNTING JOB #4: TAX PREPARER
Tax preparers focus on assembling and filing tax returns for individuals, families, and businesses.
They collect information from clients and make sure all data is entered accurately.
Some tax preparer positions are short-term contracts, while others are year-round but require more hours in the spring tax season.
The responsibilities of this role can include:
☑️ Interviewing clients and updating files
☑️ Preparing tax returns in accordance with legislation
☑️ Looking for ways to maximize refunds
☑️ Filing GST/HST returns
☑️ Providing support with audits
☑️ Communicating with the Canada Revenue Agency
Salary: We found many job postings for tax preparers in Ontario that paid between $17 and $25 per hour.
That equates to roughly $35,000 to $52,000 for full-time work.
ACCOUNTING JOB #5: COLLECTION CLERK
Collection clerks track down people who have overdue accounts and try to arrange for payment.
They work for collection agencies, loan companies, utility companies, and other businesses.
This role involves:
☑️ Reviewing account payment terms
☑️ Contacting people via mail, email, telephone, or in person
☑️ Negotiating payment schedules
☑️ Processing payments
☑️ Maintaining account records
☑️ Recommending actions such as service disconnections if payment isn’t received
Salary: The Job Bank says the median salary for collection clerks in Ontario is around $48,000.
The top collection clerks earn upwards of $74,000.
KICK-START YOUR ACCOUNTING CAREER
You don’t need a university degree or CPA for any of the careers outlined above. An accounting diploma is enough to get you hired.
Start by finding some quality training.
Check out the accounting program at Herzing College Ottawa.
The program takes just 10 months to complete. A 5-week internship at a local business is included.
Students get a thorough grounding in accounting and payroll principles, procedures, regulations, and software.
Our graduates have been hired by a variety of organizations throughout Ottawa, including Aramark, the Minto Group, and the Canada Revenue Agency.
Click below to get complete program details and chat live with a knowledgeable Admissions Advisor. We’re here to help!