How to Launch an Accounting Career

CFOs Advise Accounting Graduates to Look for Jobs in Smaller Companies,
General Accounting

TORONTO, April 9, 2015 /CNW/ - Accounting graduates may want to think small when launching their careers, a new Accountemps survey suggests. Four in five (79 per cent) chief financial officers (CFOs) interviewed said they would steer entry-level professionals toward a career at small to midsize companies. When asked what specialization they would recommend for new graduates, an overwhelming majority (94 per cent) of CFOs said general accounting, up from similar surveys conducted in 2010 (67 per cent) and 2005 (37 per cent).

The survey was developed by Accountemps, the world's first and largest specialized staffing service for temporary accounting, finance and bookkeeping professionals. It was conducted by an independent research firm and is based on interviews with more than 270 CFOs from a stratified random sample of companies in Canada.

CFOs were asked, "In which of the following employment environments would you recommend today's accounting graduates begin their careers?" Their responses:


Small to midsize company


Small to midsize public accounting firm


Large public accounting firm


Large corporation



CFOs also were asked, "Which one of the following areas of specialization would you recommend to someone just beginning his or her career in accounting?" Their responses:


General accounting


Cost accounting


Tax accounting


Internal audit


Credit and collections



*Responses do not total 100 per cent due to rounding.

"Entry-level accountants should make the most of any opportunities early in their careers whether at an accounting firm or in a corporate company," said Dianne Hunnam-Jones, Canadian president of Accountemps. "At smaller companies new hires can benefit from being exposed to a variety of assignments. To make the most of this opportunity to develop practical skills, new accounting professionals need to learn to juggle a variety of duties, fill multiple roles and be comfortable with a fluid job description."

Hunnam-Jones added, "Starting out in general accounting provides new accountants a solid foundation in accounting principles and processes, which can help, even if they may decide to pursue a particular specialty in the future."

Accountemps offers recent grads the following five tips for landing their first job:

  1. Cast a wide networking net. Tell everyone you know that you're looking for employment. Meet new contacts by participating in industry associations, volunteer groups and alumni activities. Work with a specialized staffing firm that has deep networks in the local business community.
  2. Double-check your digital footprint. Review and enhance your social media accounts so they are more professional. Bolster your online presence by commenting on industry blogs and, if you don't already have one, create a LinkedIn profile.
  3. Do your homework. Before applying for an opportunity, research the business and its industry. Annual reports, press releases, and local business or financial publications are excellent sources of information.  
  4. Customize your application materials. Tailor your resume and cover letter to each position for which you apply and address the hiring manager by name, if possible.
  5. Remember to say "thank you." Show your appreciation to everyone who helps you in your job search. Also, promptly send thank-you notes to each person with whom you interview.

About Accountemps

Accountemps, a Robert Half company, is the world's first and largest specialized staffing service for temporary accounting, finance and bookkeeping professionals. The staffing firm has more than 340 offices worldwide. More resources, including online job search services and the Accountemps blog, can be found at Follow @RobertHalf_CAN on Twitter for additional workplace news and hiring trends.

SOURCE Accountemps

Image with caption: "How to Launch an Accounting Career (CNW Group/Accountemps)". Image available at:

For further information: Naz Araghian, 416.865.2140,

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