Why Are so Many Accountants Immigrating to Canada?

February 16, 2024


  • Sinethemba Phongolo

With its stable economy, diverse job market, and welcoming immigration policies, Canada has become an increasingly attractive destination for skilled professionals in the accounting field. As a result, accountants from around the world are drawn to Canada, eager to capitalize on its thriving economy and pursue their professional aspirations in a welcoming and supportive environment.

Canada's attraction to accountants lies in its thriving economy, promising job market, and immigrant-friendly policies, making it a prime destination for those seeking career advancement and a higher standard of living!

Why Are So Many Accountants Immigrating to Canada?

The most prominent reasons many accountants choose to immigrate to Canada include:

Competitive Salaries for Accountants in Canada

One of the primary draws for accountants considering a move to Canada is the competitive salaries offered in the country. Canada's accounting sector is known for providing attractive compensation packages that reflect the high demand for skilled professionals.

Whether working in public accounting firms, corporate finance departments, or government agencies, accountants in Canada can expect to earn salaries that are commensurate with their qualifications, experience, and expertise.

The competitive salaries for accountants in Canada are best reflected, especially for accounting professionals from developing nations, by the average monthly salary after tax figures below from Numbeo.

Countries Average Monthly Salary After Tax (CAD)
Canada 3,922.11
Pakistan 812.62
Ghana 241.28
Nigeria 90.14

Find out more if people working in Canada are paid well.

Accounting is an In-demand Occupation in Canada

The demand for qualified accountants in Canada will continue growing steadily in the coming years. This surge stems from several factors: an aging population requiring retirement planning and wealth management services, a thriving startup ecosystem needing financial guidance, and an increasingly complex regulatory environment. Accountants specializing in the following roles also have a higher demand in Canada:

  • Tax accountants,
  • Auditors,
  • Financial analysts,
  • Management accountants, and
  • Data analysts.

Learn more about the top provinces to find jobs in Canada for Accountants.

Canada’s Accounting Job Opportunities

Beyond competitive salaries, Canada offers diverse job opportunities for accountants across various industries. From public accounting firms serving international clients to private companies seeking in-house financial expertise, the options are plentiful. Industries offering job opportunities for Accountants in Canada include:

  • Public accounting: Traditional firms catering to various clients, including large corporations and startups,
  • Private companies: In-house accounting roles across diverse industries like tech, healthcare, manufacturing, and retail,
  • Not-for-profit organizations: Accounting opportunities in charities, educational institutions, and social enterprises,
  • Government: Roles with federal, provincial, or municipal governments at various levels, and
  • Self-employment: Establishing your practice or offering freelance accounting services.

Quality Accounting Education and Training for Canada

Canada boasts a network of highly regarded universities and colleges offering internationally recognized accounting programs. These institutions equip graduates with the necessary skills and knowledge to succeed in the Canadian market.

Additionally, several professional development opportunities are available for accountants to stay updated with the latest regulations and best practices. Top post-secondary designated learning institutions (DLIs) for accounting in Canada include:
  • University of Toronto,
  • York University,
  • McGill University,
  • McMaster University, and
  • University of Alberta.

Career Growth Opportunities for Accountants in Canada

Here's a closer look at the various career development paths you can take as an accountant in Canada:

Public Accounting

Climb the hierarchy from staff accountant to senior manager, partner, or managing partner in a traditional practice. Specialize in a specific area like audit, tax, or advisory services, focusing on industries like tech, healthcare, or non-profit. Consider starting your accounting practice, catering to niche clientele or specific industry needs.

Private Companies:

Progress from staff accountant to controller, chief financial officer (CFO), or CEO with relevant experience and leadership skills. Specialize in financial reporting, budgeting, forecasting, or cost management. Transition to strategic finance roles, helping drive business decisions and growth within your chosen company.

Government Accounting

Advance within government departments, acquiring leadership positions in financial management or policy development. Pursue specialized roles in public sector accounting, auditing, or taxation. Use your experience to transition to consulting or advisory roles for government clients.

Canada’s Stable and Strong Economy

Canada offers a stable and relatively low-risk economic environment compared to other developed nations. This stability translates to job security and predictability for accountants, attracting professionals seeking long-term career prospects. Factors contributing to Canada’s stable and strong economy include:

Competitive Trade Agreements

Canada actively participates in numerous trade agreements, including NAFTA and CETA, opening access to diverse markets and promoting international trade. This fosters economic growth, job creation, and increased competitiveness on the global stage.

Innovation and Technology

Canada is a hotbed for innovation and technological advancements. This focus on research and development fuels economic growth, attracts skilled talent, and positions Canada as a leader in various fields, further bolstering its economic prowess.

Stable Political Climate

Canada enjoys a strong democratic tradition and a relatively stable political environment. This fosters predictability and investor confidence, which are essential for long-term economic planning and sustainable growth. According to the Global Economy rankings, Canada ranks within the top 50 most politically stable economies globally.

Sound Banking System

Canada's banking system consistently ranks among the world's most stable and secure. Financial institutions' strict regulations and prudent oversight inspire confidence and foster a healthy lending environment, which fuels business growth and individual financial security. Based on information from Trading Economics, Canada’s banking system is the 14th most competitive in the world.

Provinces in Canada Where Accountants Are Most In-demand

Here are the provinces and territories in Canada where accountants are most in demand, with annual average salaries from Canada’s Job Bank:


Focusing on industries such as mining, energy, and government administration, Nunavut relies on skilled accountants to manage finances, ensure compliance with regulations, and support sustainable economic growth.

Annual Average Salary: 178,960.82 CAD.


Home to major cities like Toronto, Ottawa, and Mississauga, Ontario boasts a dynamic business landscape encompassing finance, technology, healthcare, manufacturing, and more. This rich diversity of industries translates into a high demand for accounting professionals with specialized skills and expertise.

Annual Average Salary: 102,968.66 CAD.


With its abundant mineral resources, including gold, silver, and copper, Yukon attracts mining companies worldwide, all requiring diligent financial management and reporting to ensure sustainable operations.

Annual Average Salary: 108,443.50 CAD.

How Can I Immigrate to Canada as an Accountant?

Immigrating to Canada as an accountant offers rewarding possibilities, and you've identified some key pathways to explore:

Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP)

The Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP) is one of Canada's key immigration pathways for skilled professionals, including accountants. Accountants with relevant education and work experience can create an Express Entry profile and enter the pool of candidates.

Candidates with high Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) scores may receive an Invitation to Apply (ITA) for permanent residency during regular draws conducted by Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).

Learn more about the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP).

Provincial Nominee Program (PNPs) for Accountants

Many Canadian provinces and territories operate Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs), allowing them to nominate individuals with specific skills and work experience to immigrate to Canada. Several provinces have streams specifically designed for skilled workers, including accountants. PNPs accountants can use to streamline and expedite their immigration pathway to Canada include:

Provinces PNP Skilled Worker Streams, Programs or Categories
British Columbia British Columbia Skilled Worker Category
Manitoba Manitoba Skilled Worker Overseas Stream
New Brunswick New Brunswick Skilled Workers Stream
Nova Scotia Nova Scotia Skilled Worker Stream
Northwest Territories Northwest Territories Skilled Workers Program
Newfoundland and Labrador Newfoundland and Labrador Skilled Worker Category
Ontario Ontario Employer Job Offer: Foreign Worker stream
Quebec Quebec Skilled Workers Program (QSWP)
Prince Edward Island (PEI) PEI Skilled Workers Outside Canada Stream
Saskatchewan  Saskatchewan Immigrant Nominee Program (SINP)
Yukon Yukon Skilled Worker Program

Find out more about Canada’s provincial nominee pathways to Canadian PR.

The Atlantic Immigration Pilot (AIP)

The Atlantic Immigration Pilot is a unique immigration program aimed at addressing labor market needs in Canada's Atlantic provinces:

The AIP includes specific streams for skilled workers, including accountants, called the Atlantic High Skilled Program, a Canadian immigration initiative aimed at skilled workers with management, professional, or technical/skilled job experience.

Learn more about Canada’s AIP.

What If You’re Ineligible to Apply For Permanent Residency as an Accountant?

If you're ineligible to apply for permanent residency as an accountant through traditional immigration pathways, alternative work permit options are available.

High Wage Worker Stream

Some provinces in Canada offer immigration streams specifically designed for high-wage workers in occupations facing labor shortages. These streams may allow individuals in certain professions, including accounting, to obtain a temporary work permit in Canada.

While this does not lead directly to permanent residency, it can provide an opportunity to gain Canadian work experience and potentially transition to permanent residency through the Canadian Experience Class (CEC).

Intra-Company Transfer Program

Administered under the International Mobility Program (IMP), The Intra-Company Transfer Program allows multinational companies to temporarily transfer qualified employees to their Canadian subsidiaries or affiliates.

If you're currently employed by a multinational accounting company with operations in Canada, you may temporarily be eligible for an intra-company transfer to work in Canada. The work experience gained under this program can be used to apply for Canadian PR using permanent residency pathways such as the CEC.

Find out with the International Mobility Program.


What Are The Job Search Resources For Accountants in Canada?

Job search resources for accountants in Canada include online job boards such as Indeed and LinkedIn, professional networking events and organizations like the Chartered Professional Accountants (CPA) Canada, and career counseling services offered by immigrant settlement agencies to assist with resume writing, interview preparation, and job placement.

What is the Mutual Recognition Agreement (MRA), And How Does it Affect Accountants?

The Mutual Recognition Agreement (MRA) facilitates the recognition of professional credentials between different jurisdictions, allowing qualified accountants from one country to have their qualifications recognized in another.

What Support Services Are Available For Accountants Immigrating to Canada?

Immigrant settlement agencies, professional organizations, career counseling services, language training programs, and online resources provide support to help accountants navigate the immigration process, find employment, and settle into their new lives in Canada.