When preparing your personal income tax return, did you go to see an accounting clerk, an accounting technician or an accountant? Likewise, what professional title does the person employed in the finance department of the company you work for have?

With so many names, titles and functions, it is not always easy to distinguish these three professions, especially when you are not in the financial sector. In order to shed light on this subject, we have decided to discuss the differences between an accounting clerk, an accounting technician and an accountant.

Accounting clerks, accounting technicians and accountants do not have the same training

The difference between the accounting clerk, accounting technician and accountant begins as soon as we compare their respective academic backgrounds. An accounting clerk requires professional training to practice his or her profession. At the end of their studies, students are awarded a Diploma of Vocational Studies (DVS). Accounting technicians, on the other hand, have to attend college to work in their field. So they have to go to CEGEP at the end of high school. Becoming an accountant requires more education than the other two, namely university education. In addition, the accountant must have professional training approved by an accounting association and on-the-job training.

These three professionals perform different tasks

Much like their training, the nature of their work is also different. Accounting clerks are primarily responsible for calculating, preparing and publishing documents pertaining to accounts, including invoices and inventory statements. They are also responsible for compiling budget data and documents, preparing statements and cost reports and performing other clerical duties.

Accounting technicians are considered to be the accountant's right-hand man. In addition, they maintain records, prepare and review year-end entries. They also reconcile bank accounts, prepare payrolls and assist in budget preparation. The accountant, on the other hand, plays a more prominent role in corporate accounting. On a daily basis, he reviews accounts, prepares and adjusts journal entries and performs reconciliation analysis of bank statements. He maintains the general ledger, takes part in internal control assessments and publishes the company's various accounting adjustments.

Choose the right accounting clerk, accounting technician or accountant for you

In light of this article, we hope you understand a little more about the differences between accounting clerks, accounting technicians and accountants. Their respective academic careers and their day-to-day work are both quite different. Naturally, there are other differences between them. Perhaps these will be the subject of a future article? To be continued...

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