It's hard to imagine an accountant looking for a new position who wouldn't want to boost his or her starting salary. The fact is, there are a number of accounting designations that can broaden both your career skills and salary potential. In fact, you may increase your starting salary by as much as 10 per cent by acquiring in-demand accounting designations in Canada.
Here are two of the most common (and valuable) designations:
Certified Internal Auditor (CIA)
Accounting professionals who earn the CIA designation gain global recognition as an internal auditor. This accounting designation — which is offered by The Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA) — has been available since 1973. It demonstrates your ability to ensure compliance with a company's internal structures, as well as with external regulatory organizations such as Canada’s provincial and territorial securities regulators.
To earn the CIA designation, you will have to complete a computer-based exam. After preparing for the exam, you can visit one of more than 500 testing sites around the world to complete it.
With this accounting designation, you become an even more valuable and marketable employee because most publicly traded companies need internal auditors.
Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA)
The CPA designation is sponsored by the Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada (CPA Canada), which has more than 200,000 members. Globally recognized and respected, you can be sure that you’re trained to meet Canadian and international market needs with the Canadian CPA designation.
If you are looking for a widely applicable accounting designation, this may be the one for you, as there are a range of positions available in the public sector. For this reason, Canadian CPAs remain in great demand.
The CPA designation program consists of education, a period of meeting relevant experience requirements, and the Common Final Examination.
While the three designations discussed here may be the most common, there are a number of other designations to fit your accounting career goals, including the Chartered Global Management Accountant (CGMA), Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) and Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA) designations.
For more information about accounting designations and starting salaries, download the most recent Salary Guide from Robert Half.