Updated February 2023
Every modern business relies on the skills and expertise of accounting and payroll specialists.
These professionals handle crucial functions like tracking the money going in and out of an organization and making sure everyone gets their paycheques on time.
Sound intriguing? Wondering if accounting and payroll is a good career choice for you?
To arrive at an answer, you need to think about factors like:
- What the daily work actually involves
- How much money you could make in this profession
- What the job market is like where you live
This post has those details and more.
Here are five things to consider when deciding if accounting and payroll is the right career for you.
1. WHAT DO ACCOUNTING AND PAYROLL PROFESSIONALS ACTUALLY DO?
Accounting and payroll encompasses a wide range of roles, including accounting clerk, bookkeeper, payroll clerk, and accounts payable and receivable clerk.
Some organizations split accounting and payroll into two separate functions. In smaller companies, it’s common for the roles to be combined.
If you pursue an accounting and payroll career, you can expect to be responsible for:
☑️ Maintaining the general ledger
☑️ Processing invoices, purchase orders, and receipts
☑️ Calculating and verifying employee earnings
☑️ Distributing paycheques and processing direct deposits
☑️ Reconciling bank statements
☑️ Preparing statements of earnings, tax slips, and Records of Employment
☑️ Communicating with clients, vendors, employees, and managers
☑️Producing financial statements☑️ Carrying out general administrative tasks like filing and handling the mail
After earning an accounting and payroll diploma from Herzing College, Michelle Riedner landed her dream job as a financial officer.
“I work daily in QuickBooks and SharePoint. I post bills, invoice service orders and jobs, enter in time sheets for our employees, and do filing and mailing. I love this job.”
2. HOW LONG DOES ACCOUNTING AND PAYROLL TRAINING TAKE?
You don’t need to spend years in university to get started in the accounting and payroll field. Through a college diploma program, you can be job-ready in a much shorter time.
Accounting and payroll training at the college level generally takes less than a year. A quality program also includes an internship so you can connect with local employers and get actual work experience before graduation.
3. HOW MUCH CAN YOU EARN IN ACCOUNTING AND PAYROLL?
Earning potential is a key consideration when you’re deciding on a career path. You want to be sure your work will provide you with a decent income.
According to the Government of Canada Job Bank, national median salaries are as follows:
- Accounting clerks: $48,000
- Bookkeepers: $52,000
- Payroll administrators: $57,000
Keep in mind that those are just the median salaries. With talent and experience, your income can increase significantly.
4. is there demand FOR ACCOUNTING AND PAYROLL CAREERS?
Career outlook is definitely something you should know upfront. How easy will it be to find a job once you complete your accounting and payroll training?
The Job Bank says demand for accounting and payroll professionals should be steady in most regions of Canada over the next couple years. Notably, accounting technicians and bookkeepers get a full five stars for outlook and growth in Manitoba.
So the opportunities in this field should continue to multiply.
5. WHAT ARE THE PROS AND CONS OF WORKING IN ACCOUNTING AND PAYROLL?
Every job has its ups and downs. Before you commit to an accounting and payroll career, you should have a full picture of what working in this field is really like.
First, a few cons:☑️ Being stuck at a desk—You’ll spend many hours sitting in front of a computer, which can lead to eye strain and other health issues.
☑️ Pressure to be accurate and meet tight deadlines—Whether you’re processing payroll or creating financial reports, you need to work quickly and pay attention to details.
☑️ Long hours during tax season or year-end—You might not always stick to a 9-to-5 schedule.
And here are some of the pros:☑️ The ability to work in literally any industry—You could work in finance, healthcare, retail, education, real estate, government, manufacturing, and many other sectors.
☑️ Potentially being able to work from home—The Job Bank says many bookkeepers and accounting technicians in Ontario were working remotely even before the pandemic, and more are doing so now.
☑️ Advancement opportunities—Certifications like the Payroll Compliance Practitioner designation from the Canadian Payroll Association can open more doors.
THINK ACCOUNTING AND PAYROLL IS RIGHT FOR YOU?
If the accounting and payroll field seems like a good fit for your goals, your next move should be to find some quality training.
Begin by checking out Herzing College’s Accounting and Payroll Administration program. It takes less than 12 months to complete and includes an internship for real work experience.
Need more info? Click below to explore the program in greater detail and chat live with an admissions advisor. We’re here to help!