Career Profile: Staff Accountant

staff accountant laptop calculator working
Photo by Charles  on Unsplash

Name: James New

Career: Staff Accountant, KPMG

Education: University of Western Ontario (King’s College) – BMOS

Career Path

James New set aside his hockey skates in order to pursue the Bachelor of Management and Organizational Studies degree at Western. He hoped to prepare himself for life as a Certified Accountant (CA). On the King’s College campus, James enjoyed a smaller, more personal academic experience, though he completed the same program as business students at the main school. After graduating, he applied directly to KPMG where he has been working since September 2009.

Key Skills and Qualifications

At KPMG, James performs audits and spends most of his time talking to people about their companies or looking over financial statements. For him, communication is one of the most important skills in his line of work. When you’re able to talk and interact with people, it makes them feel more comfortable about the auditing process. James is also working to obtain his CA qualification, which involves three exams and three years of work experience. It’s not an easy process, but he makes sure to study in moderation.

Advice for Aspiring Accountants

James advises future CAs to be skilled at organizing good study plans and schedules while setting aside specific time for studying. The exams are important, but they’re not be-all-end-all. People must be careful not to burn themselves out. 

Students should also develop their communication and computer skills (especially with Excel), and be prepared to work hard. In the accounting world, you’ll be faced with long hours and times when the work is less than gratifying. As long as you work hard to meet people, make contacts, and improve yourself you’ll be successful in the field.

Future Plans

In ten years, James would love to do something on the financial side of sports management. He loves sports and hopes to apply his skills and experiences to something he’s more passionate about. James is extremely happy with the career path he chose, and his only regret is that he hasn’t been heli-skiing yet.