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June 6, 2024

Why is a Career Path so Important for Accountants?

Are you considering a career in accounting and wondering where to start? We understand that undertaking a new career can feel overwhelming, but we're here to help you navigate the complexities of the accounting career path.

An accounting career path is the sequence of jobs or positions through which an individual progresses in their professional life. It represents the various stages and positions that a person may move through as they advance in their accounting career.

Why does having a career path matter? One of the best ways to prepare for your dream job is to create and follow a career path. A career path is a specific set of jobs that prepare you for upward growth in your industry. 

What is a Career Path?

Career pathing (similar to career mapping) is defined as the series of jobs an individual intends to hold during or over their career as a whole that provide increasing levels of responsibility, skill development, and possibly higher levels of compensation. It’s more than just a list of jobs, though – think of it as a roadmap. It is a long-term plan that includes specific steps or tasks that help you advance to a desirable occupation or new role.

Key Stages of an Accounting Career Path

Key stages or elements of An accounting career path may include:

  • Entry-level positions: These are the initial roles someone takes on when starting their career in the accounting field. They often require less experience and expertise.
  • Mid-level positions: As individuals gain experience and skills, they may move into mid-level positions that involve more responsibility and may require specialized knowledge.
  • Senior-level or management positions: With further experience, individuals may progress to senior or management roles, where they are responsible for decision-making, leadership, and overseeing teams or departments.
  • Executive or leadership roles: At the top of the career path are executive or leadership roles, where individuals have significant responsibility for the overall direction and success of an organization.
  • Specialization or expert roles: Some career paths involve becoming a specialist or expert in a specific area, where individuals focus on developing deep expertise in a particular skill or domain.
  • Entrepreneurship: Some individuals choose to follow a career path that involves starting and running their own businesses.

Why is a Career Path So Important for Accountants?

Career pathing provides individuals with clarity about their next professional steps. It also offers valuable feedback on their work style and guides them toward the most fulfilling route for their future.

Career pathing requires individuals to consider what they want from their career, now and in the future. Creating a career plan for yourself is a strategic move that can have numerous benefits. Here are 10 benefits of creating a personal career plan:

1. Direction and focus:

A career plan helps you set clear goals and objectives, providing you with a sense of direction and focus in your professional life.

2. A Sense of Security:

Changing jobs can be emotionally, professionally, and financially stressful. Employees with a career path may feel more secure working for an employer who wants to keep them interested, challenged, and professionally curious.

3. More targeted decision-making:

When you have a clear career path, it becomes easier to make decisions that align with your long-term career goals.

4. Skill development:

 Identifying your career goals helps you understand the skills and qualifications you need to achieve them. Your career development path can help you to identify the skills you need to work on and choose suitable courses to get there. This guides your professional development and continuous learning.

5. Motivation and confidence:

 Having a career plan boosts your motivation and confidence as you see a clear pathway to your desired career.

6. Increased Trust and Transparency:

Career pathing acknowledges that individuals may form different interests and seek new challenges. A career path inherently allows individuals to grow, expand, and pursue changing interests in a supportive and encouraging environment.

7. A Plan for Progress

Individuals want to know they will gain the experience required to advance in their careers, regardless of how many years they may work for an employer. A career path gives them access to the tools necessary to remain a valuable asset in their accounting profession.

8. Career satisfaction:

A career plan can lead to greater job satisfaction as it allows you to pursue roles that align with your interests and values.

9. Financial planning:

 By planning your accounting career, you can also plan your finances better. You'll know when to expect promotions or job changes that might increase your income.

10. Adaptability:

Career planning makes you more adaptable to changes in the job market. You'll be prepared to acquire new skills or shift your career focus if needed.

11. Work-life balance:

Career planning enables you to consider and strive for a balance between your work and personal life.

12. Long-term success:

 Career planning sets you up for long-term success by helping you strategically build your career over time.

13. Control over your career:

Ultimately, a career plan gives you control over your accounting career rather than leaving it to chance. You become proactive in shaping your professional destiny.

Remember, a career plan is not set in stone. It should be flexible and adaptable, changing as you grow and as the job market evolves.

Types of Career Paths for Accountants

There are four types of career paths—knowledge-based, skill-based, entrepreneur-based, and freelance. Every kind of career path caters to a specific set of qualifications that help you perform your job.


Knowledge-based career paths allow you to use the knowledge you acquired over time to do your job. Employees in accounting follow a knowledge-based career path.


Skill-based professions need an understanding of how a specific job function operates. You may notice that many positions are cross-functional. Your job may need a combination of knowledge-based and skills-based work. This is the case with accountants. Invest in skill development to create a spot for yourself in the cut-throat Canadian job market for accountants. 


An entrepreneur solves a problem or a specific need by selling their own product or service. An entrepreneur can work independently or start an accounting firm and hire employees.


People hire independent contractors (or freelancers) to perform a specific job or project. Freelancers offer many services, including bookkeeping, accounting, tax consultations, and tax filing.

How To Develop a Career Path in Accounting Profession

1. Start with self-assessment

Begin by identifying your strengths, weaknesses, and areas for improvement. This self-evaluation will help you understand your current skill set. Also, clarify what aspects of your work bring you the most satisfaction and align with your personal values.

2. Research the career paths that interest you

Familiarize yourself with the organizational structure and the various departments. If building a personal career plan, research the growth opportunities and levels that exist in this new realm. Seek insights from colleagues and friends who have similarly advanced in their accounting careers to understand potential pathways.

3. Set clear goals

Next, define your short-term and long-term career objectives. It's important to ensure that these goals align with your personal values and aspirations.

4. Identify and develop new skills

Identify the skills required for your desired accounting career path and invest in continuous learning to acquire and enhance these skills.

5. Expand your network

Building relationships with colleagues, mentors, and leaders within and outside your department is crucial. Don't hesitate to inquire with experienced accounting professionals.

6. Speak with your manager or coach

Have open and honest discussions with your supervisor or coach about your career aspirations. Make your interest in career development known to relevant stakeholders.

7. Leverage existing training and development programs

Utilize resources offered by your organization, such as training programs, workshops, and courses. These opportunities can enhance both your technical and soft skills. Additionally, you can explore online or in-person courses to level up your skills and fill any gaps.

8. Identify opportunities

Regularly check for internal or external job postings and volunteer for projects or tasks that align with your career goals.

9. Seek out mentors

Find mentors within or outside of the organization who can provide guidance and share their experiences. Learning from others who have successfully navigated similar accounting career paths can be invaluable.

10. Remain adaptable and flexible

Embrace changes in the organization and industry, and be willing to take on challenging assignments that broaden your skill set.

11. Evaluate and adjust

Periodically evaluate your progress against your career goals and be willing to adjust your goals based on changing circumstances and personal growth.

12. Advocate for yourself

Lastly, communicate your achievements and contributions to relevant stakeholders. When the time is right, be prepared to negotiate for promotions as well as new and advancement opportunities.

Start Working on Your Career Path Today

It’s never too early to start thinking about your accounting career path. It’s never too late either! If you’re excited about growing in your career, creating a career path is the perfect first step.

Start by assessing your current skills, interests, and experience. Then think about your ideal career. The jobs and skills that you need to move from your current position to your ideal role will make up the steps in your career path.

If you’re interested in skills development for your career, consider taking an online course that can help. In Get Trained Get Hired, you’ll find several options for general self-improvement and specific human and technical skills.

Reach out to Get Trained Get Hired to book a free 30-minute career counseling meeting. At Get Trained Get Hired we provide you with the necessary training to learn practical skills to become an accountant. Our training is based on practical real-life cases. After the training, we work on your resume and try to place you in accounting firms through our network. You will also get access to like-minded individuals who are looking for jobs through our WhatsApp group. Please feel free to contact us at [email protected]. Or call us at 647-276-7150.

Disclaimer: The information provided on this page is intended to provide general information. The information does not consider your situation and is not intended to be used without consultation from professionals. Salman Rundhawa and Gettrainedgethired.com will not be held liable for any problems that arise from the usage of the information provided on this page


Salman Rundhawa

Salman has a strong desire to help others succeed and believe in passing on the knowledge. He likes to mentor others and wish to play part in other people success.
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