Chartered accountants can be found working in any business in Canada. The chartered accountant (CA) designation is issued and governed by the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants (CICA), of which a chartered accountant must be a member, along with a provincial institute. Chartered accountants average six-figure salaries and can earn several hundred thousand dollars annually, depending on where they work.
According to the "CA Profession Compensation Study" published by the CICA, a newly-designated chartered accountant earns an average of $71,817, as of 2009. The study notes that salaries will rise as experience grows. A chartered accountant who has worked five years earns an average of $126,948. Working as a chartered accountant for 25 to 29 years can earn a chartered accountant an annual salary of $264,037 (all figures are in Canadian dollars).
Apart from earning the CA designation, chartered accountants can also obtain others, such chartered financial analyst (CFA), chartered business valuator (CBV) and Canadian Association of Insolvency and Restructuring (CAIRP). A CA-CFA earns an average salary of $303,562 (median of $201,250). A CA-CIRP average salary is $294,274 (median of $195,500). A CA-CBV earns an average of $261,596 (median of $165,000). A chartered accountant with a Master’s of Business Administration has an average salary of $254,221 (median of $154,000).
A chartered accountant working in industry (such as strategy development and planning, public affairs and communications and new business development) earns the highest average salary, according to the study, at $229,554. Chartered accountants in professional services are second-highest at $160,609. Rounding out the top five are not-for-profit at $138,381, education at $118,908 and government at $117,747. The study notes that figures for public practice accountants are skewed because many new CAs work in this field, lowering the average salary level. It adds that partners of public firms earn the highest level of compensation, though no figures are provided.
Chartered Accountants have different levels of compensation throughout the country. Members of the CICA working outside of Canada earn an average salary of $324,635 (median: $200,000). In Canada, the average salary is highest in Alberta at $213,850 (median: 143,700). In Ontario, Canada’s most populous province, chartered accountants earn an average salary of $192,023 (median: 135,000). Chartered accountants in British Columbia earn an average of $179,255 (median: $125,000).