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Accounting Technician

Accounting technicians maintain systematic records of business transactions and verify and record those transactions. They use computers to calculate, prepare and process invoices, accounts payable and receivable, payroll and budget documents, and other routine financial records.

Also Known As

Administrative Support Personnel, Bookkeeper, Office Personnel

NOC Codes

In Canada, the federal government groups and organizes occupations based on a National Occupational Classification (NOC) system. This alis occupation may not reflect the entire NOC group it is part of. Data for the NOC group can apply across multiple occupations.

The NOC system is updated every 5 years to reflect changes in the labour market. Government forms and labour market data may group and refer to an occupation differently, depending on the system used. Here is how this occupation has been classified over time:

  • 2006 NOC: Bookkeepers (1231) 
  • 2006 NOC-S: Bookkeepers (B111) 
  • 2011 NOC: Accounting technicians and bookkeepers (1311) 
  • 2016 NOC: Accounting technicians and bookkeepers (1311) 
Interests & Abilities

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2006 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups. If there are multiple related NOC groups, select a NOC heading to learn about each one.

Bookkeepers

2006 NOC: 1231

Interest Codes

Interest Codes for This NOC Group
METHODICAL

Interest in compiling information to complete and submit tax remittance forms, workers' compensation forms, pension contribution forms and government documents

DIRECTIVE

Interest in keeping records of accounts and in verifying financial recording procedures by operating manual and computerized bookkeeping systems

innovative

Interest in preparing tax returns and providing other personal bookkeeping services

Your Interest Codes

To identify or change your interest codes, complete the Interests Exercise in CAREERinsite.

Reading Interest Codes
A Quick Guide

The interest code helps you figure out if you’d like to work in a particular occupation. 

It’s based on the Canadian Work Preference Inventory (CWPI), which measures 5 occupational interests: Directive, Innovative, Methodical, Objective, and Social.

Each set of 3 interest codes for this NOC group is listed in order of importance.

A code in capital letters means it’s a strong fit for the occupation.

A code in all lowercase letters means the fit is weaker.

Learn About Interests

Abilities

Typical ability expectations for this NOC group
Your abilities

To fill in or change the values for your abilities, complete the Abilities Exercise in CAREERinsite.

Mental Abilities

General Learning Ability

Verbal Ability

Numerical Ability

Visual Abilities

Spatial Perception

Form Perception

Clerical Perception

Physical Abilities

Motor Coordination

Finger Dexterity

Manual Dexterity

Understanding Abilities

A Quick Guide

You are born with abilities that help you process certain types of information and turn it into action. These abilities influence which skills you can learn more easily.

The abilities or aptitudes shown for this NOC group come from the General Aptitude Test Battery (GATB). The GATB measures 9 aptitudes. It groups them into 3 categories: mental, visual, and physical.

The abilities scores range from 1 to 5, with 5 being stronger.

Learn About Abilities

Duties
Updated Mar 31, 2020

In small organizations, accounting technicians may perform some or all of the following duties:

  • Compute charges, prepaid expenses, and preliminary tax entries
  • Prepare invoices and reports, such as sales tax reports and worker’s compensation reports
  • Take telephone orders
  • Draw up cheques
  • Make bank deposits and reconcile records of bank transactions
  • Perform data entry and analysis
  • Assist with or maintain records of accounts receivable and payable , as well as ledgers and journals
  • Assist with or perform payroll calculations
  • Remit and file T4 slips
  • Analyze and record business transactions and period-end adjustments
  • Prepare basic financial statements
  • Compute and record depreciation for bookkeeping and tax purposes
  • Cost out (calculate cost of) and record inventory
  • Implement internal controls to protect company assets
  • Perform other bookkeeping duties

In large organizations, duties often are divided among several employees with different titles, such as payroll clerk or cost clerk.

Working Conditions
Updated Mar 31, 2020
  • Strength Required Lift up to 5 kg

Accounting technicians usually work regular weekday hours in an office environment. Overtime may happen during peak business periods. Standard hours may be different in the service industry.

Traits & Skills
Updated Mar 31, 2020

Accounting technicians need:

  • Attention to detail
  • Flexibility to switch between tasks
  • Communication skills, in person and on paper
  • Skill with numbers
  • Analysis and proofreading skills
  • Organizing skills
  • The ability to concentrate for long periods
  • The ability to follow verbal and written instructions
  • The ability to maintain confidentiality
  • The ability to work alone

They should enjoy having clear rules and organized methods for their work. They also should enjoy balancing financial records and business transactions. They should be comfortable operating computerized systems and office equipment.

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2011 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups. If there are multiple related NOC groups, select a NOC heading to learn about each one.

Top 10 Skills Employers Are Looking For

Accounting technicians and bookkeepers

2011 NOC: 1311

This chart shows which job skills are currently in highest demand for this occupational group. It was created using this occupation's 100 most recent Alberta job postings, collected between Sep 21, 2022 and Sep 25, 2022.

Review these skills to learn:

  • Whether or not this occupation matches your skill set
  • What training you may need to get these skills
  • What skills to highlight in your resumé, cover letter, and interview.
Tasks: Keep financial records and establish, maintain and balance various accounts using manual and computerized bookkeeping systems
Tasks: Maintain general ledgers and financial statements
Tasks: Post journal entries
Tasks: Prepare trial balance of books
Tasks: Reconcile accounts
Tasks: Calculate and prepare cheques for payroll
Tasks: Prepare tax returns
Tasks: Calculate fixed assets and depreciation
Tasks: Prepare other statistical, financial and accounting reports
Computer and Technology Knowledge: MS Excel
Educational Requirements
Updated Mar 31, 2020
  • Minimum Education High school diploma

Accounting technicians need an understanding of business documents. This could include receipts, till tapes, purchase orders, credit and sales slips, bank statements, financial statements and invoices.

Educational requirements for accounting and bookkeeping positions vary greatly from one employer to another. They also depend on the scope and responsibility of the position. Most companies do electronic bookkeeping and expect their employees to have related training or experience. They may require up to 2 years of on-the-job training or a related post-secondary certificate or diploma. Employers may prefer to hire candidates who are working toward a professional accounting designation (see the Accountant occupational profile).

Most employers prefer to hire candidates who have taken related courses and programs from colleges, technical institutes or private vocational schools.


Related Education

The following schools offer programs or courses that are related to this occupation but are not required to enter the field.

Academy of Learning - Brooks
Academy of Learning - Edmonton Downtown
Academy of Learning - High River
Academy of Learning Airdrie
Alberta Business & Health Institute
Alberta Business and Health Institute
Bredin College of Business and Health Care - Calgary
Bredin College of Business and Health Care - Edmonton
Bredin College of Business and Health Care - Red Deer
Bredin College of Business and Health Care - Spruce Grove
Business IQ Training
Cambrooks College - Downtown Campus
Canadian Health & Business College
Canford Institute of Technology
CDI College of Business, Technology and Health Care - Calgary City Centre
CDI College of Business, Technology and Health Care - Calgary South
CDI College of Business, Technology and Health Care - Edmonton City Centre
CDI College of Business, Technology and Health Care - Edmonton North
CDI College of Business, Technology and Health Care - Edmonton South
City College of Management
East-West College - Edmonton
East-West College of Business & Technology
East-West College of Business & Technology - Calgary City Centre
Global College of Business & Technology
Mount Royal University
Nova Career College
Peerless Training Institute
QCom College of Technology (QCT)
Reeves College - Calgary South
Reeves College - Edmonton
Reeves College Edmonton South
Southern Alberta Institute of Technology

To expand or narrow your search for programs related to this occupation, visit Post-Secondary Programs.

Completing a program does not guarantee entrance into an occupation. Before enrolling in an education program, prospective students should look into various sources for education options and employment possibilities. For example, contact associations and employers in this field.

Certification Requirements
Updated Mar 31, 2020
  • Certification Not Regulated

There is currently no provincial legislation regulating this occupation in Alberta.

Employment & Advancement
Updated Mar 31, 2020

Accounting technicians work in organizations ranging from retail companies and manufacturing firms to agencies that provide health, education or social services. Some positions are part time.

Advancement most often depends on the technician’s willingness to take further education. Some accounting technicians move into related positions in data management.

Industry Concentration

This section shows the industries where the majority of people in this occupation work. The data is based on the 2016 Census.

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2016 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups.

In the 1311: Accounting technicians and bookkeepers occupational group, 75.0% of people work in:

Employment Outlook

Employment outlook is influenced by a wide variety of factors including:

  • Time of year (for seasonal jobs)
  • Location in Alberta
  • Employment turnover (when people leave existing positions)
  • Occupational growth (when new positions are created)
  • Size of the occupation
  • Trends and events that affect overall employment, especially in the industry or industries from the previous list

In Alberta, the 1311: Accounting technicians and bookkeepers occupational group is expected to have a below-average annual growth of 1.8% from 2019 to 2023. In addition to job openings created by employment turnover, 502 new positions are forecasted to be created within this occupational group each year.

Note
NOC groups often include several related occupations. Although there is labour market data for the larger NOC group, this occupation makes up only a part of that group. It means data for this occupation may be different than the data shown. For example, only some of the new positions to be created will be for this occupation. It also applies to other data for the NOC group such as number of people employed.

Source: Alberta Regional Occupational Demand Outlook

Employment turnover is expected to increase as members of the baby boom generation retire over the next few years.

Related Alberta Job Postings
Wage & Salary
Updated Mar 31, 2020

Accounting technicians with little experience may start at salaries not much higher than minimum wage. Starting salaries are higher for graduates of related post-secondary programs.

As of June 26, 2019, the minimum wage in Alberta is $15.00 per hour for most workers. For more information, see Minimum Wage.

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2016 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups. If there are multiple related NOC groups, select a NOC heading to learn about each one.

Accounting technicians and bookkeepers

2016 NOC: 1311
Average Wage
$26.67
Per Hour
Average Salary
$46,755.00
Per Year
Average Hours
33.9
Per Week
Average Months on Payroll
12
Survey Methodology Survey Analysis

Source
2019 Alberta Wage and Salary Survey

NOC 1311 Wage Profile

Unless otherwise noted, the data shown here is for all industries and all regions in Alberta.

All wage estimates are hourly except where otherwise indicated. Wages and salaries do not include overtime hours, tips, benefits, profit shares, bonuses (unrelated to production), and other forms of compensation.

To see the full survey data for this NOC group, visit the wage profile.

Other wage sources
To make an informed wage and salary decision, research other wage sources [pdf] to supplement this data.

A: High Reliability
Data Reliability Code Definition

High Reliability, represents a CV of less than or equal to 6.00% and 30 survey observations and/or represents 50% or more of all estimated employment for the occupation.


Hourly Wage

For full-time and part-time employees
  • Low
  • High
  • Average
  • Median
Starting
Overall
Top

Hourly Wage

For full-time and part-time employees
Wages* Low (5th percentile) High (95th percentile) Average Median
Starting $15.00 $31.87 $22.06 $20.79
Overall $18.00 $39.00 $26.67 $25.52
Top $19.51 $50.00 $31.34 $29.00

Swipe left and right to view all data. Scroll left and right to view all data.

* All wage estimates are hourly except where otherwise indicated. Wages and salaries do not include overtime hours, tips, benefits, profit shares, bonuses (unrelated to production) and other forms of compensation.

Pay brackets for hourly wages

  • Starting pay: average pay offered for entry-level positions
  • Overall pay: average pay across all employees in this occupation
  • Top pay: average pay offered to top-paid employees

Industry Information

Public Administration
Utilities
Manufacturing
Professional, Scientific & Technical Services
Agriculture
Business, Building and Other Support Services
Wholesale Trade
Construction
ALL INDUSTRIES
Finance, Insurance, Real Estate, Leasing
Educational Services
Transportation and Warehousing
Retail Trade
Health Care & Social Assistance
Information, Culture, Recreation
Other Services (Repair, Personal Services and Related)
Accommodation & Food Services

Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years
24%
24%)
Recruiting Employers that Experienced Hiring Difficulties
26%
26%
Employers with Unfilled Vacancies of over 4 Months
2%
2%
Vacancy Rate
1%
Related Post-Secondary Field of Study
  • Business, Management and Administrative Studies
  • Clerical and Administrative Support

Updated Mar 31, 2020. The information contained in this profile is current as of the dates shown. Salary, employment outlook, and educational program information may change without notice. It is advised that you confirm this information before making any career decisions.

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