What do accountants do?

Posted by Fed Finance Canada in Our employment advice
Posted at 20/10/2023
What do accountants do?
Accounting is essential for all businesses. Regardless of its legal structure, every business has to make sure that accounts payable, receivable or other accounts are well managed to maintain excellent financial stability.

Would you like to become an accountant and participate in the success of countless businesses? Learn more about this accounting job, including the duties and responsibilities.

The role of an accountant

In Quebec, accountants oversee all of a company's finances. They collate and analyze accounting data used to determine a company's financial statements.

Accountants are also responsible for completing federal and provincial income tax returns. To work in accounting in Quebec, candidates need excellent taxation knowledge and skills.

Accountants can be employed directly by a company or work in a firm. Generally speaking, firm accountants will be more specialized in one area, while corporate accountants will have a wide variety of general duties.

Accountant goals examples

An accountant plays a crucial role in ensuring the long-term success of a company.

1. Ensuring financial accuracy

The primary responsibility of an accountant is to guarantee the precision of financial data. They must make certain that all transactions are accurately recorded, categorized, and reported. This level of precision is vital for making well-informed decisions and adhering to legal obligations.

2. Compliance with legal regulations

Another significant task is to ensure compliance with the current tax, accounting, and financial laws. Accountants must adhere to these regulations to avoid costly legal complications and to maximize tax advantages.

3. Optimizing taxation

Accountants also focus on optimizing the company's tax situation. They employ legal strategies to reduce tax liabilities and maximize profits. This can involve managing deductions, tax credits, and tax incentives.

4. Conducting financial analysis

Another important objective is financial analysis. Accountants thoroughly examine financial data to identify trends, irregularities, and opportunities. This analysis helps companies in making informed decisions regarding growth and investments.

What are the main duties of an accountant

As mentioned above, the specific tasks of an accountant may vary depending on the work environment and specialization. However, the following is a detailed list of most accountants’ main duties.


Bookkeeping is the process of recording a company's transactions so that they are well organized. Provincial and federal tax authorities may ask to see certain statements or evidence. It is therefore important to be able to find this data easily.

Bookkeeping is the foundation of an accountant's work. They record all the company's financial transactions, including sales, purchases, expenses and income. This documentation is crucial to accounting.

Preparation and analysis of financial statements

Accountants are also responsible for producing and analyzing clients’ financial statements. They first make sure that the company is in good financial standing. They then help business leaders develop new financial strategies based on their business objectives and financial statements.

Customer relationship management

Customer relationship management is one of the qualities of a good accountant. Accountants need excellent interpersonal skills. This helps them maintain good professional relationships with their clients. Accountants have to understand their client's objectives and explain their accounting strategy. 

Payroll management

Payroll management is an important task for accountants. They ensure that employees are properly remunerated and that tax and social security deductions are made in accordance with current legislation.

Tax planning

Accountants work on tax planning, identifying strategies to minimize the company's tax impact. This can include researching tax credits, managing tax returns and preparing the necessary documents.

Internal auditing

Accountants sometimes carry out internal audits (to a lesser extent than an auditor) to verify financial compliance and data accuracy. This builds stakeholder confidence and can help identify opportunities for improvement.

Other examples of accountants' tasks

Here are a few other daily tasks that accountants may also do:

  • Design, implementation and administration of accounting systems
  • Management of pay slips 
  • Preparation of tax returns
  • Initial internal control assessment
  • Act as liquidator in case of bankruptcy
  • And more

Find a job in accounting with Fed Finance

In short, the tasks of an accountant can vary greatly. They can be more general or more specific, depending on where they work. 

However, most accountants are involved in bookkeeping, producing and analyzing financial statements, and other tasks. They also must maintain excellent relationships with their clients.

Looking for a finance job in Montreal? At Fed Finance, we help finance and accounting professionals find a position that suits them.

Submit a spontaneous application today to find your dream job!