2020 presented the Canadian labour market with the same challenges that affected countries all over the globe. The world stopped, thanks to an unprecedented health crisis, and this resulted in an economic impact that was instant and seemingly impermeable.
“For all businesses looking to navigate the biggest market shock since 2008’s recession, financial professionals will be integral to get businesses up and running smoothly.”-Randstad.ca
Since the initial onset of the pandemic, recovery has been happening, albeit slowly, and as the world continues to pull itself out of the financial wreckage, businesses have been looking for alternative ways to adapt to the subsequent changes that will inevitably become permanent.
COVID-19 inarguably impacted much of Canada’s job market overnight, and the role of employees who work within the accounting sector will find that they will be prioritized by the vast majority of employers. Payroll and Accounting aren’t just about “crunching numbers”. It’s about ensuring the smooth flow of business as accounting and payroll clerks can influence major business decisions based on their reporting and records.
So, what is a Payroll Clerk?
According to Randstad.ca:
“Payroll clerk is an entry-level accounting job, specializing in internal payroll. Payroll clerks administer payroll for employees at their organization, and may also be responsible for other elements of employee compensation such as benefits administration, or answering payroll-related queries from employees.”
A full description of the role may be found on the Statistics Canada website under NOC (National Occupational Classification) 1432. However, there are a wide variety of related job roles in which someone with the same skills can successfully meet the necessary professional requirements. Some of the roles include:
- Accounting Clerk
- Accounts Assistant
- Pay and Benefits Administrator
- Payroll Clerk
- Pay and Benefits Clerk
- Salary Administration Officer
Is there a future in this sort of career?
Before considering whether or not you have the skills set to meet the needs of the job roles listed above, you need to know if this would be a viable career choice. You can have all the knowledge and training, but what good would that be if there weren’t any jobs to go to?
The Industry Outlook and Job Prospects Are Increasing
According to Stoke Economics, the total projected number of job openings for the 2021-2025 period is anywhere from 3,001-4,000 across Canada, with a projected change in employment levels ranging from an increase of 11%-12% in the same period. To go further, the next 5-10 years are expected to be stable in terms of opportunity, employment, and income for accounting and payroll clerk jobs, and job seekers in accounting can also look forward to future growth due to Canada being a hub for many foreign investors.
The rise of e-commerce and digital transactions have also contributed to the need for business accounting professionals, especially with future developments in mobile apps. The truth is that the success of the work-from-home model has made it clear that there is no real reason to return to the previous way of handling business, and employers are on board with offering complete flexibility to their employees, some even offering positions that are 100% remote. The question is, what sort of person is the employer looking to on-board who can meet the needs of the position without requiring in-person support?
The answer is simple: A skilled individual who has taken on the necessary training to successfully meet the qualifications for the field. It takes more than just interest and intention; it also takes knowledge. Thus, the need for qualified and experienced accountants has never been higher especially since the rise of start-up and entrepreneurial businesses.
Will Wages in This Field Be Competitive?
Unsurprisingly, a career which centres on finance is a great source of income. As an accounting and payroll clerk, you may expect comfortable wages and job security that has seen little to no decline in demand. On the higher end, compensation in payroll & accounting careers can reach up to $29.98 or higher per hour, or $50,384.00 median salary (payscale.com)
Industries where these jobs are found:
- 19% Public administration
- 15% Professional, scientific and technical services
- 11% Health care and social assistance
- 9% Construction
- 9% Finance and insurance
- 37% All other industries
Source: Statistics Canada, 2016 Census
What Sort of Training Do I Need and How Can I Get It?
There are a wide variety of programs which be suitable for those looking to obtain employment and develop a solid career in the accounting field. Some of the programs that AOLCC offers are:
- Business Accounting
- Business and Office Accounting Clerk
- Accounting & Payroll Administrator
- Computerized Accounting
- Payroll Administrator
The Accounting Payroll Administrator diploma, in particular, offers extensive training which centres not only on computer skills, but it provides graduates with the necessary skills to maintain complete sets of books, keep records of accounts, verify the procedures used for recording financial transactions, and provide personal bookkeeping services. Students will also learn how to perform payroll administrative responsibilities in the payroll department, and will write the Canadian Payroll Association’s (CPA) Payroll Compliance Practitioner (PCP) exams, a requirement for the PCP certification.
Upon completing a PCP Certification, students would have the opportunity to be a part of the Canadian Payroll Association which can further help their career. Although the certification process may be lengthy, it is definitely a step that will be rewarding.
Increase Your Market Worth
According to Payscale.com, having the necessary skills and training in the areas of general ledger accounting, business financial management, payroll systems, Microsoft Office software applications, can significantly increase your appeal in the eyes of employers. In addition to the required training, you will need to be detail-oriented and have exceptional organizational skills, with the ability to adapt to shifting priorities. The jobs will include such duties as ensuring employee attendance and compensation records are accurate and up to date, putting together earnings and pay statements for employees, and performing administration on benefits, leaves, insurance documentation, and procedures.
In order to perform these tasks competently, you need knowledge. In having this, you are increasing your overall market worth. Graduates of our accounting programs will have the choice of exploring different fields and specializations in the field, including opportunities in government, finance, and business. These skills also travel well, allowing for opportunity within Canada, or for those who have a sense of adventure, the chance to work for international companies which are seeking trained knowledgeable staff.
Are You Feeling Inspired? Let’s Talk About How We Can Get You Started
Before making any decision about how to further your training, you would be best served by speaking with us so we can guide you in making the best decision for you.
You can contact us at the Academy of Learning Career College and we will be happy to discuss all of your options, including timelines, costs, and financial aid options.
Don’t dismiss your aspirations because they may seem out-of-reach. We are confident that they are not, and if we can help you latch on to them, then we’ve done what we set out to do.
Can you afford to make the first step? The real question is, can you afford to wait?