What do accountants do?

Accountants play a valuable role in any organization: from making sure that money is coming in, to keeping the doors open and lights on.

They use financial data to help shape businesses and support future growth. Organizations rely on accountants’ expertise to make tough decisions related to:

  • Moving into new markets
  • Starting or ending business ventures
  • Launching new products
  • Avoiding unprofitable business moves
  • Finding creative ways to reduce waste and unnecessary spending

Accounting always needs new people and offers an exciting, secure, and financially rewarding career path.

Even with advancements in artificial intelligence and automation, businesses need accountants to interpret complex tax laws and ever-changing regulations.

Plus, accountants help manage and decode financial information to help organizations make informed business decisions.

Types of accounting practices

According to the “Vault Career Guide to Accounting”, which is available to UBC Sauder students on Firsthand, accountants typically work in one of five areas:

  1. Public practice
  2. Industry practice
  3. Government
  4. Nonprofit accounting
  5. Academia

Skill set required

  • Analytical skills
  • Leadership skills
  • Communication skills (written and verbal)
  • Mathematical skills
  • Attention to detail
  • Ability to work independently and within a team environment
  • Excellent work ethic

Working in Accounting

Check out the Working in Accounting guide on COOL to explore how to become a CPA, salary info, and more!

What can I read to learn more?

How do I find jobs in Accounting?

You can find opportunities in many places, including:

  • COOL job postings
  • Postings on company websites
  • Company Information Sessions
  • Career fairs
  • Connections made through Co-op work terms
  • UBC faculty leads
  • Business Career Centre staff leads
  • Self-networking

Learn about Accounting option requirements

Explore the Accounting option course requirements and the specific courses you'll need to take.

CPA Recruit Program

Program details

The Public Practice Recruit (PPR) is a semi-annual recruitment campaign where international, national, and mid-sized (local) CPA firms hire accounting students for full-time, summer internship, or Co-op positions in the spring and fall each year. These positions generally start in January, May, or September the following year.

The Hari B. Varshney Business Career Centre, Diploma in Accounting Program, UBC DAP Student Club, and UBC Accounting Club work together with Chartered Professional Accountants of British Columbia (CPABC) to coordinate and support students along the way.

CPABC also runs informative events for students throughout the year. Discover upcoming events here.


  • BCom Year 1 - 4 (Please note that BCom Students can go through PPR before they specialize in Accounting)
  • DAP students

How to apply

Firms hire from January – October each year.

Search for firm postings on COOL or on the individual firms' websites. To learn more about Public Practice Recruit and how to apply, go out the CPABC website.

Curious if a climate-focused career is right for you?

You don’t have to be a STEM grad to have a career focused on tackling climate change. Explore the Working in Climate & Environmental Impact guide to learn about different career opportunities in this emerging sector.

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