Accounting Industry – Past to Present
The Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants (CICA) in 1968 published a handbook on the Canadian version of generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP). The Canadian accounting industry – past to present – has adhered to these globally accepted principles as they have evolved through the years of major changes in worldwide business operations.
All across Canada, accounting firms are using these accepted principles in our modern era. In today’s Canada there are more than 20,000 different accounting offices from which to choose. These businesses employ over 200,000 highly trained accountants and financial auditors.
Since its official beginning in 1902, the CICA has watched over the Canadian accounting industry – past to present – as it has grown. Now that industry is a multi-billion dollar segment of the economy, producing revenues of over 14 billion dollars per year.
In modern times, the Canadian accounting industry has found most of its revenue in the same traditional accounting services that have characterized the profession through the decades, such as auditing, assurance, taxation, bookkeeping, and payroll.
The recent growth rate of the Canadian accounting industry has been most spectacular in New Brunswick, Alberta, and British Columbia, although nearly half the revenue earned by accounting firms in Canada still takes place in Ontario.
This present scenario of incredible growth and size is a far cry from the humble beginnings of the accounting profession. Back in the mid 1800′s not many people earned a living from being accountants. In fact, jobs only seemed to come up when businesses became insolvent and required some accountancy to figure out whom should get how much of what was left of a former company’s assets.
But as corporations began to form, shareholders started to demand accurate accounting for their investments. Soon accountants became respected auditors and advisers for the top business executives in the community as Canada grew to become one of the world’s most important trading nations.
As international business activities flourished, the need for standards that would be accepted everywhere became apparent in order to bring some uniformity to the world of trade.
Like their corporate clients, many accounting firms in our modern era have evolved to unify their efforts and merge into giant professional services organizations having branch offices all across Canada. Thousands of accountants have found employment in these offices, where their skills are in great demand by all sorts of businesses, governmental entities, and nonprofit organizations.
Today, Canadian accounting firms are recognized for their adherence to high standards that yield meaningful and accurate results. Decision makers are seeking the advice of accountants in matters vital to business success, as accountants prove to be amongst the finest consultants available.
In this current recession, Canadian accounting firms have shown a leveling off of revenue gains, but the industry has responded by utilizing this current era to spend more time educating its professionals and looking for new ways to make the accounting industry useful to Canadians.
An accountant from over a century ago, who had to moonlight in order to make ends meet, never would have imagined the importance and affluence of today’s Canadian accounting industry.
Throughout the world, a strict adherence to standards by Canadian accountants, and their keen abilities to perceive business issues and clarify complexities, have made Canada a leading nation in the field of accounting.