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Launching a Career in Accounting and Payroll? Must Have Skills & Career Outlook

Launching a Career in Accounting and Payroll? Must Have Skills & Career Outlook

Dec 7, 2021 | BizTalk, Business

Launching a Career in Accounting and Payroll? Must Have Skills & Career Outlook

Accounting and payroll professionals are employed in almost all sectors and open doors to self-employment opportunities.   

What does it mean to work in the accounting and payroll profession? What skills must you possess? Finally, and most importantly, what is the career outlook for accounting and payroll?  

This post will answer the burning questions and shed light on what is involved in launching a career in accounting and payroll. Also, a quick peek into the latest news on the job outlook and what to expect in the coming months.   

Accounting and Payroll – Job Duties  

As a new entrant to the profession, you will be trained to handle responsibilities as accounting clerks and payroll clerks. Depending on the organization’s size, two roles may be separated; however, you will perform combined duties in small and medium-sized businesses.   

A quick peek into the job duties for accounting clerk:   

  • Record, check and manage transactions – accounts payable and receivable, cheques, invoices, purchase orders, and bank statements.   
  • Gather budget data and documents – expenses, estimated revenues, and previous budgets.  
  • Answer queries and assists customers and vendors about their accounts as required.  
  • Maintain filing and record systems using computerized and manual systems.  

Apart from regular data entry and answer inquiries from employees and vendors, the following are the additional job duties of payroll clerk:  

  • Processing payroll and distributing paychecks and statements.  
  • Reconciling general payroll ledger.  
  • Preparing monthly, quarterly and yearly reports.  
  • Payroll taxes and governmental reporting as guided by the manager.   

Must-Have Technical Skills for Accounting and Payroll Career  

Working with Excel  

All accounting and related positions require excellent knowledge of Microsoft Excel. For accounting clerks, it is imperative to understand how to:  

  • Manage worksheets and workbooks  
  • Effective use of formulas and functions  
  • Do in-line calculations and summations  
  • Use VBA macros to automate tasks   
  • Create charts and graphics  

Computerized Accounting Software  

Technology is taking over most professions, and accounting and payroll are not untouched. Accounting professionals must understand how to use industry-standard software – QuickBooks or Sage Simply Accounting.   

The diploma program at the BizTech College teaches students manual and computerized accounting and offers a one-year free subscription to the latest software for practice. Students will learn how to:  

  • Create and track invoices  
  • Keep track of expenses and bills  
  • Managing cash inflow and outflow activities  
  • Print financial statements  
  • Create profit and loss report  
  • Track employee hours and run payroll  
  • Track inventory  
  • Accept online payments and scan receipts  

Payroll processing procedure and rules  

Payroll clerks must have a strong understanding of federal and Ontario employment laws related to payroll. Also, they must know the basics of calculating and processing payroll, which includes managing:  

  • Calculating net pay   
  • Deductions  
  • Paid and unpaid leave  
  • Taxable benefits  
  • Employment insurance premiums  
  • Preparing employment records  
  • Preparing T4 statements  
  • Customize payroll software   
  • Answer inquiries related to payroll  
  • Terminations  

Apart from above mentioned technical skills, accounting and payroll clerks are typically responsible for other administrative tasks such as scheduling appointments, maintaining filing systems, and word processing.   

Payroll and accounting professionals also deal with customers, so problem-solving skills combined with excellent communication skills are an asset.   

Job Outlook for Accounting and Payroll Clerks in Greater Toronto Area  

According to Job Bank Canada, employment for accounting and related clerks in the Toronto region will be fair. Both accounting and payroll-related occupations received 2 out of 3-star ratings.   

According to the new special report from the government during COVID-19, workers in accounting occupations experienced a limited impact, and overall employment growth will lead to several new positions.   

What can you expect to earn?  

The median wage for accounting clerks in the Toronto region is $22.00/hr.  

The median wage for payroll clerks in the Toronto region is $26.44/hr.  

BizTech College also offers a 4-weeks internship that allows students to experience practical aspects and hone skills on the job. Apart from gaining experience, it also helps you network with prospective employers and secure opportunities for career advancement.   

Have more questions about pursuing a career in accounting or payroll? Our subject matter experts are available to help you with any burning questions you may have. Book your appointment today.   

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