Accounting, Banking and Finance


Types of Accountancy in Canada

Certified General Accountants
Certified general accountants, or CGAs, are trained to provide hands-on, day-to-day accounting services in either public or corporate settings. They manage companies′ daily operations, prepare taxes for firms, nonprofits and individuals, and offer various financial-planning services. Candidates for certification must hold a degree in finance or accounting and successfully complete four of the Professional Applications and Competence Evaluations, or PACE, training modules offered by CGA-Canada, the certification body. The PACE training can be completed during the candidate′s college education or while accumulating the three years′ professional experience necessary for certification.

Chartered Accountants
Like CGAs, chartered accountants, or CAs, work in all professional settings including government, industry, nonprofits and private practice. Their services include standard accounting duties, such as tax preparation and auditing, as well as strategic planning and management functions. Like CPAs in the United States, CAs can legally certify the accuracy of financial statements. CA candidates begin with a degree in business or finance, which must meet specific prerequisites. Candidates are trained and mentored by experienced CAs, in much the same way doctors complete residencies. CAs must also accumulate three years′ professional experience before they can become certified.

Related Reading: Do Certified Public Accountants Know Tax Laws?

Certified Management Accountants
Certified management accountants, or CMAs, are less focused on the fine details of accounting and concern themselves more with "big picture" issues of management and strategy. They′re primarily found in industry, though other career paths are available. After graduating from college with a business or finance degree, aspiring CMAs must complete a grueling two-day examination process that assesses their knowledge of business management and accounting concepts. Successful candidates are accepted into a two-year training program, which combines professional experience with case studies and mentoring.

Canada and the United States are major trading partners, and companies often operate on both sides of the border. American and Canadian accounting practices are similar enough that accountants from the United States can usually meet some or all of the qualifications for one or more of the Canadian designations. CGA-Canada requires a university degree, completion of a CGA-specific course of study and at least one year of professional experience within Canada. American CPAs can become certified as CMAs within Canada by completing the association′s Strategic Leadership Program. The Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants and the American Institute of CPAs have a formal reciprocity agreement and recognize each other′s credentials.


Professional Accreditation

Sample CVs

Resume Templates 101

Western University

Okagon College


Big Five is the name colloquially given to the five largest banks that dominate the banking industry of Canada. All five banks are operationally based in Toronto. According to Bloomberg, in 2011 the big five dominate the world′s twenty strongest $100-billion-asset banks, with Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, Toronto-Dominion Bank, Royal Bank of Canada and Bank of Nova Scotia at 3rd, 4th, 6th and 18th place, respectively, while non-big five National Bank of Canada sits at 5th place.

The Canadian banking industry is held in high regard due to stability during the recent financial crisis. There has been strong growth with overall profits for Canada’s Big Six banks exceeding CA$30 billion for the first time in history. But new economic, regulatory and competitive challenges have affected the industry and many global banks have improved their position and profitability over the past few years.

Source: PwC

Major Banking Employers

Royal Bank of Canada -
Toronto-Dominion Bank -
Bank of Nova Scotia -
Bank of Montreal -
Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce -
National Bank of Canada -
HSBC Bank Canada -
Laurentian Bank of Canada -
ING Bank of Canada -
Amex Bank of Canada -


The Certified General Accountants Association of Canada -
Canadian Academic Accounting Association -
The Society of Professional Accountants of C
CPA Canada -
Toronto Financial Services Alliance -
Centre of Excellence in Financial Services Education -
Canadian Banking Association -
Institute of Canadian Bankers -