pitalize C A r

CApitalize
SPRING 2012
INTRODUCING ALBERTA STUDENTS TO THE CA PROFESSION
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www.pwcbrilliantfutures.ca
Brilliant
futures
Explore a career as unique and
individual as you are.
Work with a team focused on
building relationships that create
lasting value.
Discover an employer that sees
corporate responsibility as a
business imperative.
We believe in brilliant futures for our people,
our clients, our business and the community.
To find out how you can start creating your own
brilliant future, visit www.pwcbrilliantfutures.ca
© 2012 PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP. All rights reserved. “PwC” refers to PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, an Ontario limited liability partnership, which is a member firm of PricewaterhouseCoopers
International Limited, each member firm of which is a separate legal entity.
SPRING 2012
EDITOR
Oscar Barzilay-Lamers
[email protected]
CONTRIBUTORS
Natasha Constantin
[email protected]
Carly Roemer
[email protected]
Katie Starratt
[email protected]
Jamie White
[email protected]
PRINCIPAL PHOTOGRAPHY
Laughing Dog
GRAPHIC DESIGN
Nathan Webb
Published by the Institute
of Chartered Accountants
of Alberta
CEO & EXECUTIVE
DIRECTOR
Jane Halford ca
CONTENTS
2
Calendar of Events
5
On Campus
PROFILE:
6
On a roll
PROFILE:
8
Switching it up
FEATURE:
10 Rounding off
14
Suggestions for reading week
15
CAEF Corner
COVER PROFILE:
16
A recipe for success
FEATURE:
18
A profitable career choice: not-for-profit sector opportunities
PROFILE:
22 A triple threat
FEATURE:
24 The specialists: CA-designated specialties
31
CA career path
GUEST COLUMN:
32 The Money Motto
CApitalize is a semi-annual magazine
designed to introduce students to the
Chartered Accounting profession in
Alberta. Published by the Institute of
Chartered Accountants of Alberta, the
magazine is distributed to more than
4,000 readers, including university,
college, and high school students, as
well as career counselling and other
student-oriented centres.
580 Manulife Place
10180 – 101 Street
Edmonton AB T5J 4R2
T: 780-424-7391
1-800-232-9406
F: 780-425-8766
[email protected]
www.albertaCAs.ca
16
Cover Story
Opportunities
Finding their
in the not- niche
for-profit
sector
ISSN# 1703-0749
Canadian Publication Mail
Agreement #40064884
24
18
The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Alberta (ICAA) is the self-governing body which regulates more than 12,000 Alberta
CAs and CA students. The ICAA protects the public by setting the most rigorous qualification criteria, and establishing
and enforcing the highest professional, ethical and practice standards. CAs play key roles within diverse segments of the
economy, including public accounting, business, not-for-profit organizations, and government. Recognized internationally, the
CA designation denotes superior financial expertise, strategic thinking, business insight and leadership.
Spring 2012
CApitalize
1
events
CALENDAR
From career fairs to conferences to information and networking
sessions, included below is a comprehensive list of ICAA sponsored and
attended activities for post-secondary business students across Alberta.
February
1
“The Commerce Club Investment Competition”
presented by the Chartered Accountants
of Alberta (Grant MacEwan University)
7
University of Calgary Career Fair & Job Expo
15 SAIT Career Fair
20–24 Rocky Mountain Business Seminar (U of A)
21 Concordia Career Fair
March
6
Grant MacEwan Student Business Conference
10 Annual Alberta Accounting Student
Conference (U of A)
28 Get Connected! (Calgary)
30 Commerce Undergrad Society Corporate
Street Hockey Tournament (U of C)
31 Business Student’s Association Street
Hockey Tournament (U of A)
April
4
2
Spring 2012 CApitalize
Get Connected! (Edmonton)
If your
student
gr
has an
event it oup
w
ould
like to f
eature,
let us
know b
y email
ing
careerin
[email protected]
.ab.ca.
HIGHLIGHTS
Get Connected! Information and Networking Sessions
(Calgary and Edmonton)
The third annual Get Connected! events will be taking place in
Calgary and Edmonton this spring. The evenings include a panel
discussion with several CAs sharing their experiences of the path
to a CA designation. This event leaves students with a clearer
picture of what a career as a CA could mean for them. Following
the panel discussion, students can interact with the panelists,
ICAA staff, CAs, CA students and HR representatives from various training offices. The 2012 Get Connected! events are scheduled for March 28 at the BMO Centre in Calgary, and April 4 at
Northlands in Edmonton.
Rocky Mountain Business Seminar
Canada’s longest-running and most prestigious student-organized business conference, the Rocky Mountain Business Seminar has a 46-year history of connecting speakers and business
representatives from across North America with students pursuing a future in commerce. RMBS allows for education outside
the classroom, giving students the chance to learn not only from
today’s experienced business leaders, but also through networking with peers from across North America. This year’s theme is:
“Your Vision, Your Future”. As a lead sponsor, the ICAA is proud
to present Franco Lombardo, featured on page 29, as one of the
event’s keynote speakers.
Grant MacEwan University Student Business Conference
The Student Business Conference (SBC) is the premier event for
the MacEwan School of Business and is designed to effectively
connect students with business leaders and innovators. The
theme for this year’s event, taking place March 6 at Edmonton’s
Shaw Conference Centre, is “Think. Innovate. Connect.” The ICAA
is thrilled to be the lead sponsor of this year’s event, and the
ICAA’s CEO and Executive Director, Jane Halford ca, will also be
participating in the afternoon’s panel session.
2012 Fall Recruitment Dates
The 2012 fall recruitment dates and deadlines will be established
shortly. When finalized, the dates will be available on the ICAA’s
website, www.albertaCAs.ca, in the “Become a CA” section.
Spring 2012
CApitalize
3
ON CAMPUS
1
2
3
4
5
6
profession to the stutings from the Alberta CA
h Bradley ca, brought gree
ember 2011.
Sept
in
er,
Dinn
CA
’s
1. ICAA Council Member, Bart
unting Club
University of Alberta Acco
dents in attendance at the
onton, Calgary and
Training Office events in Edm
ed its annual Meet the CA
2, 3, 4 and 5. The ICAA host
cted over 800 students.
attra
ts
even
the
d,
bine
of 2011. Com
Lethbridge during the fall
Officer), and Faizal
(ICAA Career Information
October 1.
ell ca, Natasha Constantin
Russ
ica
Mon
,
ca
ad Society’s Hunt for Hunger,
ergr
6. Holly Tomte
Und
e
merc
Com
ary’s
University of Calg
Valli ca, participated in the
Spring 2012
CApitalize
5
e
r
g
e
r
no
On a roll
Kelly Schmitt recently became the first Alberta CA student trained outside
of public practice to earn a spot on the National and Dzurko Honour Rolls
By Oscar Barzilay-Lamers
Kelly Schmitt had always regretted not pursuing her CA designation after graduating from the University of Calgary in 2000. Luckily, in a roundabout way, the CA profession wound up pursuing her.
“In 1999, between my third and fourth years of university, I was a
summer intern at a big four public accounting firm, and I decided
that the audit path was not for me. I dropped my fourth-year
accounting courses and moved into finance,” says Kelly. Kelly
went on to obtain her CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst)
designation in 2004.
Four years ago, after several years of experience in the oil and
gas industry, Kelly became the Treasurer of SMART Technologies,
where she now also leads the company’s investor relations
activities.
“Shortly after joining SMART, I was told that I could now earn
my CA designation while working in industry. I still remember
the conversation, and I was so ecstatic I think I just about fell
out of my chair. I had always regretted not pursuing my CA
designation, so I started to look into it immediately.”
In 2007, the opportunity to become a CA Training Office was
extended to approved employers outside of public practice. Since
roughly half of all Chartered Accountants work in industry—just
like Kelly—a training path in this sector was a natural progression.
“I had only been working at SMART for three months before
I approached our former CFO about becoming a CA Training
Office. In the end, the company did it to support me. The fact
that the CA profession has opened up their training program in
this direction is a great thing. In my opinion, not everyone needs
to take the same work experience path, because all students still
write the same exam.”
This exam, the Uniform Final Evaluation (UFE), is Kelly’s latest
achievement. Not only did she pass the three-day evaluation,
but she did so with flying colours, being named to the National
Honour Roll and the provincial Dzurko Honour Roll.
“I was surprised to hear I made the honour roll. During the summer I had aspirations of doing so, but the actual UFE was very
difficult. I went home after the first day and cried,” says Kelly,
who laughs at the memory. “Thankfully it got better with each
day. I left the final day thinking I had definitely passed, but without any thought of making the honour roll.”
Like many CA students, Kelly took three months off leading
up to the UFE, during which she participated in KPMG’s UFE
preparation program. Looking back, Kelly says that the way
she’s gone about earning her designation was the perfect fit
for her.
“Having 10 years of industry work experience certainly helped
a lot. On top of that, I had the support of a big four firm. I definitely got the best of both worlds.”
Now that the stress of the UFE is a thing of the past, Kelly can
once again put all her focus back on her employment at SMART
Technologies.
“I am happy driving into the parkade at SMART every morning.
The culture here is fun, but hardworking. There is still a strong
entrepreneurial spirit. It is hard not to feel good about what the
company does and the impact we have on our customers, especially in the education sector.”
But, with an eye on the future, she has high expectations for her
career. “My goal is to become the CFO of a large public company, maybe even SMART Technologies. In my view, most companies and their boards of directors prefer their CFO’s to have a
CA designation. Even though I have more work experience than
most graduates, I feel that in the long run my CA designation will
open up more doors.” CA
“I was told that I could now earn my CA designation while
working in industry. I still remember the conversation, and
I was so ecstatic I think I just about fell out of my chair.”
6
Spring 2012 CApitalize
s
t
e
PROFILE
Spring 2012
CApitalize
7
Switching
8
Spring 2012 CApitalize
PROFILE
On a Friday each December, writers of the
Uniform Evaluation (UFE) wait anxiously
to find out if they’ve passed the three-day,
13-hour evaluation. This evaluation tests the
skills of hopefuls who wish to have the CA
designation behind their name. On December 1, 2011, a day earlier than expected, Jon
Gallo received the news that he was not
only a successful graduate, but that he was
also being named a member of the 2011
UFE Honour Roll.
it up
By Natasha Constantin
‘Twas the night before results, when all through the house,
Not a moment’s sleep was had, not even for a spouse.
The UFE nerves were tense, it didn’t seem fair,
One more day before finding out if the CA would be theirs.
UFE
ults
resa
d y!
But, for Jon, the journey to writing the UFE
was not a typical path. Jon was working
with the Canadian Armed Forces when he
decided to switch his career to accounting
in 2008.
“I had served overseas a fair bit and was a
veteran of the Afghanistan war. I had done
most of the things I wanted to achieve in
the Forces, so with much emotion tied to
my comrades and the institution itself, I
decided it was time to focus on raising a
family with my wife.”
While Jon was in the Forces he completed
his MBA, so there were different options for
him to pursue, but over the years Jon met
several CAs who worked in public practice.
“I really liked what they had to say about
the profession and the special position that
CAs have in protecting and upholding the
public trust and faith with the business
community. When I completed my research
I realized that the CA designation was top
of mind and the premier designation for
this important role.”
Jon felt a natural transition from serving his
country to serving the public trust. “As an
Infantry Officer for most of my career, I was
involved in leading a complex organization
in ambiguous environments. This ability to
think on my feet, assimilating knowledge
while making decisions has assisted me
with dealing with complex client issues
while working in public practice.”
In light of his recent career milestone, Jon
has some advice for future UFE writers.
“Remain focused and keep your eye on the
prize. Remember the big picture and in the
end it is only an exam that you can master
with a little hard work, it has nothing to do
with luck, just determination.”
Now that Jon has officially started his
career as a CA he would like to make
partner at MNP, promote the CA profession through strong leadership and be a
respected CA amongst his peers.
“Passing the UFE is not the goal, but it is
the start to a very rewarding career.” CA
Spring 2012
CApitalize
9
2017
2012
Rounding off
By Natasha Constantin
Enhancing interpersonal skills and volunteer
experience can enhance your résumé
10
Spring 2012 CApitalize
FEATURE
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Having experience on your résumé is
just as important as demonstrating your
academic excellence. Employers want to
hire individuals with a balance between
good grades and practical experience.
You can learn how to mingle with people
in the business community by attending
networking events, you can tackle major
projects and gain experience as a leader
by volunteering with student clubs and
associations, and you can be proactive
in gaining practical experience that will
make you and your résumé stand out.
ety (CUS) at the University of Calgary, has
shown employers that she is committed
to her career and her personal development. Over the last three years Stefani
has taken on many different roles within
the CUS. She’s had the opportunity to
delve into event planning, time management and leadership—things she would
have never learned in a classroom setting.
In the first year of university, Stefani didn’t
understand the value in being part of a
student club, but by the end of the year
her opinion changed.
Beyond academics, you can develop your
skills by:
• Networking (volunteering,
associations, school clubs, events, etc.)
• Learning through the guidance of
others (mentorship, conferences, etc.)
• Building practical experience
(volunteering, projects,
school clubs, etc.)
“I had friends involved in CUS and I felt
left out. My friends were meeting so many
people within Haskayne and the Calgary
corporate community. They were gaining a lot of experiences that classes just
couldn’t offer.”
If you have experience to reference during
an interview, you will be a stronger candidate for any job that you apply for—it’s one
thing to tell someone that you are a good
candidate; it’s another to show how you’d
be a good employee through the things
you’ve done and accomplished. If your
résumé shows that you have been committed to your own development, to building
your connections, and to learning under the
guidance of others, it will let future employers know that you are serious about your
career and your personal development.
Stefani Narfarson, Vice President of Events
with the Commerce Undergraduate Soci-
Each year, the Commerce Undergraduate
Society has many events that students
can either volunteer at or attend in order
to gain experience. A few of Stefani’s
favorite events include the Business Day
Conference, Corporate Street Hockey and
Speed Networking.
The Business Day Conference is held at
the Fairmont Palliser hotel in downtown
Calgary in early February. Students are
able to attend breakout sessions, listen to
keynote speakers and sit with members
of Calgary’s corporate community during
lunch and dinner. This event is a great way
to experience a professional setting and
obtain a scope for the immense amount
of opportunities available to students
upon graduation.
Spring 2012
CApitalize
11
Stefani Narfarson
Junior Chamber International
Another organization connecting students
with experiences relevant to the business
world is Junior Chamber International
(JCI) Edmonton. JCI is a membershipbased nonprofit organization that has
over 80 years of history in Edmonton with
over 130 active members from ages 18
to 40 who work in the Edmonton community. JCI is a worldwide federation of
young leaders and entrepreneurs in over
115 countries.
When Shawn McMillan ca, Past Chairman
and President of Junior Chamber International Edmonton, became involved with
JCI he was looking for a group of younger
individuals that were looking to network.
He was pleasantly surprised to find a
group of people who were all about creating positive changes in society.
Shawn encourages students to become
part of JCI.
“Students would have the opportunity
to better themselves and make positive changes to their community. JCI is
empowering young leaders to create
positive change.”
The Corporate Street Hockey event is
held at the end of March. This event is a
fantastic way to make business contacts
in an informal and fun setting. “The 12
teams in the tournament are made up of
five students and five corporate volunteers who compete together in a round
robin format throughout the day. Students definitely enjoy the chance to make
contacts in a fun setting,” says Stefani.
“At Speed Networking, students are
paired with corporate attendees in a
‘speed dating’ format. It’s a great way for
students to work on their elevator pitch.
Because students only have about five
minutes with each attendee, it allows
them to get to their point across and
learn a lot in a short amount of time.”
Stefani now believes that the importance
of networking and gaining experience
throughout one’s university career is
invaluable. Stefani is pursuing her CA designation and went through recruitment
in the fall of 2011. “I take a look back and
realize if it weren’t for the networking and
personable experiences I gained, I probably wouldn’t have been offered a job at
PwC. Because of CUS, I had actual experiences relevant to the business world.”
12
Spring 2012 CApitalize
Members of JCI:
• Build high quality relationships through
networking events (for example,
monthly networking training nights and
social evenings, such as barbecues).
• Meet some of the city’s biggest leaders.
• Are part of history in Edmonton that
goes back 83 years.
• Help out in the community.
• Attend conferences in different
countries.
• Propose and present projects to JCI
that interest you. (Christmas Hamper
program, helping out at local shelters,
supporting Youth Emergency Shelter
Society, etc.)
Shawn believes that JCI helps accounting
students and accountants meet likeminded people. “It gives them the opportunity to improve their skills in a friendly
environment amongst peers and supportive mentors, and JCI allows people to
create positive change in themselves and
in their community.”
The Commerce Undergraduate Society
and Junior Chamber International are
just two examples of the many clubs and
associations that can help business students build interpersonal skills. Whether
you want to become actively involved in
these clubs, or just attend these events,
you can reap the benefits of becoming
involved with compatible individuals who
want to gain experience that will benefit
you for the rest of your career. CA
“Students would have the opportunity to better
themselves and make positive changes to their
community. JCI is empowering young leaders to
create positive change.”
—Shawn McMillan ca
Shawn McMillan ca
AU BComm student Teang
Success.
Being successful includes overcoming
obstacles. If your schedule is getting in the
way of completing your business degree,
don’t let it stop you. Athabasca University’s
Faculty of Business has the courses you
need - online, without the obstacles.
Success begins at
www.business.athabascau.ca.
Athabasca University
Faculty of Business
Reading Week
Let’s face it—winter bites. Hard. And while it’s the dream of every student to fly south
during their Reading Week or Spring Break, for many, it’s just not in the cards.
But it’s not all bad. Even at the most frigid of times, Alberta provides plenty of entertaining options to fill your classroom-free days.
• If you’re looking for a trip to the beach, all you’ll need to use a bit of imagination. If
you’re sticking to the provincial boundaries, you can head to your local waterpark, or
try and organize a polar bear dip. Otherwise, you’re out of luck.
• Deep sea fishing is a popular tropical activity—and for good reason. The sound of the
ocean; the wind in your hair; the feeling of pride when you finally conquer a beast
from the mysterious depths. You can (almost) recreate the same experience here. Two
words: Ice. Fishing.
• So, it’s exotic wildlife you’re after. Unlike other Reading Week destinations, you’ll be
hard pressed to find much around here, save for an occasional deer or rabbit… with
one exception. Try Drumheller on for size, because if a dinosaur isn’t exotic, what is?
If none of these suggestions suit your fancy, why not take some time and do what the
week is actually meant for: READING!
Spring
Break
2012
14
Spring 2012 CApitalize
CAEF CORNER
CAEF invites students to apply for awards
The Chartered Accountants Education Foundation of Alberta
(CAEF) is committed to helping students at all levels succeed
in their goal to become CAs. The CAEF strives to continually
increase student support and, currently, more than 50 recipients
benefit from such awards on an annual basis.
The CAEF currently is accepting applications for the following
awards:
James C. Miller FCA Bursary in Accounting
Awarded annually to two students enrolled in any recognized
university or university transfer program intending to enter the
CA program and residency (or former residency) in Medicine
Hat, AB (preferred). Selection is based on academic excellence
and community involvement. The application deadline is March
31, 2012.
Don Wilson CA Memorial Scholarship
Awarded annually to a fourth-year university student in Alberta
or Saskatchewan who is registered in a CA School of Business
accredited degree program. The student must have satisfactory
academic standing and demonstrated leadership within the
community or on campus. The student must have secured a
CA training position with an expanded experience opportunity
employer. A letter of support from an employer, mentor or community leader should accompany each application. The application deadline is April 30, 2012.
To nominate yourself or someone else for the above awards,
please submit a letter of application, indicating which award is
being sought and how you, or your nominee, would be a deserving recipient. Award selection made by the Chartered Accountants Education Foundation of Alberta.
Send nominations to the attention of Susan Rockwood via
email to [email protected] (in the subject heading, please
include the term “CAEF”), via fax (780-420-6815) or mail at:
Chartered Accountants Education Foundation of Alberta
580 Manulife Place
10180-101 Street
Edmonton, AB T5J 4R2
Nominate an outstanding accounting
professor for a CAEF Teaching Prize
The CAEF Teaching Prize is designed to
reward professors from various Alberta
post-secondary institutions and the
University of Saskatchewan who have
contributed significantly to the teaching
and learning development of accounting
students. As a student-selected honour, the Teaching Prize offers a unique
opportunity for professors to receive
recognition from those who are the direct
beneficiaries of their dedication in the
classroom.
Does your professor make the grade?
Contact your accounting department or
student accounting club today to find out
how you can get involved in recognizing
an outstanding professor at your university. Recipients will be announced in the
summer of 2012.
The 2010 Teaching Prize Recipients were recognized at the 2011 CAEF Academic Conference. From left to
right: Mike Shaikh fca (CAEF Board of Governors), Loretta Amerongen fca (University of Alberta), Stuart
Jones ca (University of Calgary), Carole Middleton ca (NAIT), Joan Barlow ca (Mount Royal University), Valerie
Kinnear ca (Mount Royal University), and Jane Halford ca (CAEF Executive Director). Not pictured: Alison
Gerhardt ca (University of Saskatchewan), Douglas Kalesnikoff ca•ifa (University of Saskatchewan), and Lynn
Sugden fcma (Grant MacEwan University).
Spring 2012
CApitalize
15
A recipe for success
By Natasha Constantin
Holly Mah ca already had some of the key ingredients—a dollop of enthusiasm, a dash of entrepreneurship, and a bowlful of business knowledge—but
she was missing one key component of any recipe.
She didn’t know what she wanted the final product
to be.
Having earned her CA designation in 2008, Holly
wanted to open her own business, but was unsure
of what kind of venture she wanted to pursue. She
found her answer by going back to her roots. Her
parents owned a local restaurant in Edmonton for 15
years, so she found herself drawn to the local food
industry.
“At first I was testing out various recipes of things
I’ve enjoyed during my travels, but couldn’t find in
Edmonton. Then it dawned on me that maybe the
best thing wasn’t to create something from scratch,
but to make something that I regularly purchased
and knew I could improve.”
Bubble Buzz was born.
Holly, along with her husband, sister and brother-inlaw, decided to create a high quality bubble tea, hoping they would quickly pave a path into the stomachs
of Edmonton foodies. Bubble Buzz tries to set itself
apart from the blossoming bubble tea market by
offering a product that uses only real fruit, not syrups
and powders. The combination of Holly’s experience
and knowledge for business, along with her passion
for food has been the contributing factor to Bubble
Buzz’s success since opening on Edmonton’s rejuvenated 104 Street during the summer of 2011.
“As a business owner, I wouldn’t provide a customer
with a product I wouldn’t consume myself. Using
real fruit definitely increases labor and food costs;
however, knowing we are providing a product that
tastes better and is healthier for the customer is very
satisfying and worth the extra effort and costs. We
often get comments from customers who can really
taste the difference in our product compared to others and appreciate this about our product.”
Holly spends many of her evenings at the shop, and
16
Spring 2012 CApitalize
is involved in all aspects of the business, from taking and filling orders behind the counter, to other
tasks behind the scenes. The work that may be
complicated for small business owners without an
accounting background—such as bookkeeping, preparing financial statements and forecasts, and filing
returns—comes naturally to Holly because of the
training and experience it took for her to get her CA
designation. She is responsible for the accounting,
for the development of new products, and for making important business decisions.
Holly studied at the University of Alberta, earning her
bachelor of commerce with a major in accounting,
before working towards her CA designation. Even
though Bubble Buzz has opened its doors, Holly
maintains her career in public practice, working at
Kingston Ross Pasnak (KRP) in the firm’s Internal
Audit & Consulting department. Working as a consultant at KRP has given Holly the opportunity to apply
to her own business what she has learned through
providing advisory services to clients as a CA on
many different issues.
“My CA designation definitely gave me an upper
hand when I became an entrepreneur,” says
Holly. “The CA School of Business program trained
me to see the big picture. When making any business
decision, I not only analyze the financial information
but consider the overall impact on Bubble Buzz.”
In all areas of her life, whether she is providing
advisory services, or selling bubble tea, she values
providing her customers and clients with high quality
services or products. “To some people, it may seem like I spend a lot of
time working because I work full-time at KRP and
own a business, but I don’t consider being at Bubble
Buzz ‘work’. I enjoy the time I spend at Bubble Buzz
and you’ll often see me there doing what I like to
do the most, interacting with customers. I understand that the manner in which I carry myself not
only reflects on me as a person, but also on the CA
profession as a whole and on Bubble Buzz, both of
which I think highly of.”CA
PROFILE
“My CA designation
definitely gave me
an upper hand
when I became an
entrepreneur.”
Spring 2012
CApitalize
17
A
profitable
career
choice
The not-for-profit sector
provides valuable, fulfilling
opportunities for Chartered
Accountants
By Oscar Barzilay-Lamers
The CA profession prides itself on community involvement.
Chartered Accountants across the province dedicate countless hours to organizations with causes they deeply believe in.
But some CAs—including Janelle Dyck and Malcolm Gowie—
have taken this passion further, with societal issues having
become the focal point of their careers through employment
at not-for-profit organizations.
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Spring 2012 CApitalize
FEATURE
“Not-for-profits, such as the CHF, are entrusted with
government and donor money, which leads to a very
high level of financial accountability.”
—Janelle Dyck ca
Settling in
Since 1998, the Calgary Homeless Foundation (CHF) has worked to reduce homelessness in the Southern Alberta city. And,
since 2009, it’s also been where Janelle
hangs her briefcase. Janelle, who earned
her CA designation in 2008, had experience working with not-for-profit clients
during her time in public practice, and was
instantly drawn to the vacant Controller
position at CHF.
“Calgary was the first city in Canada to
have a 10-year-plan to end homelessness.
I loved how bold this was. And I loved
that there’s an end in sight, that a specific
goal of 2018 had been set,” she says.
The goal is officially stated as follows: “By
January 29, 2018, an individual or family
will stay in an emergency shelter or sleep
outside for no longer than one week
before moving into a safe, decent, affordable home with the support needed to
sustain it.” It was set by the Calgary Committee to End Homelessness, and the CHF
was selected to implement the plan.
While some business professionals may
hold the opinion that working in a notfor-profit organization isn’t challenging,
Janelle has more than two years of evidence to refute such a claim.
“Not-for-profits, such as the CHF, are
entrusted with government and donor
money, which leads to a very high level
of financial accountability. There’s a lot
of variety in what I do. For example, one
of my first deliverables upon joining the
CHF was to find our employees a benefits
package. The variety in what I do makes
every day feels a bit like a UFE case.”
And while the nature of the organization’s
activities played a role in bringing Janelle
to the CHF, it’s the office culture that has
kept her there.
“The most unbelievable part of the job
is the people I work with. They are full
of positive, creative energy and their
Todd Korol Photography
Janelle Dyck ca
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CApitalize
19
generosity is second-to-none,” she says.
“There’s certainly no shortage of work,
but the work-life balance is incredible.”
Janelle owns her own horse and rides
dressage four-to-six times per week,
weather permitting.
“I’m currently training my mare, and enjoy
having the flexibility to ride as much as
I do. That’s a real privilege, and it makes
me a better employee being excited to
come to work because I do have the balance.”
That balance has also allowed her to see
almost every corner of the globe. After
graduating from the University of Calgary
with a Bachelor of Commerce in 2004,
she spent a month travelling in Western
Europe before returning to Calgary to
article with Ernst & Young. Since then,
Janelle has taken numerous globetrotting
trips, highlighted by a three-week tour of
East Africa in 2008.
“I went to Rwanda and was able to do a
gorilla trek. It was such an incredible privilege. There is really limited tourism there,
so I was able to see the country as it is,”
she says. “This is exactly what I love about
the profession – the opportunities that I
have had both professionally and personally. The profession has really opened
doors for me.”
Luckily, Janelle gets just as much satisfaction out of her employment as her spare
time, satisfaction that’s derived from making a real difference.
“In any job, you have to believe in what
you do, to know you’re adding value to
society. I’m not a social worker, or locating
the real estate for acquisition to provide
affordable housing, but what I’m doing
is part of the bigger picture. Because of
the training we receive, the contribution a
Chartered Accountant can make to a notfor-profit organization is huge.”
Finding his calling
Malcolm Gowie ca had never truly set his
sights on a position at a not-for-profit
organization until a position became
available as Chief Financial Officer of
United Way of Calgary and Area in 2004.
“It was really just an opportunity that
came up. I had limited previous experience in the non-profit sector, having previously acted in a contracted CFO position,” says Malcolm. “In my own ignorance,
I had been thinking that the not-for-profit
sector was a quiet back stream in relation
to commerce. It was a pretty quick transition to reality.”
Like Janelle, Malcolm says one reason his
role remains so interesting is the variety
of challenging issues he faces on a regular
basis.
“It’s definitely a complex job. In my position, I deal with human resources, information technology, facilities, legal issues,
virtually all of the different company
processes,” says Malcolm. “But …It’s really
made me realize there’s a world beyond
the commercial model.”
While, like in the corporate world, a level
of entrepreneurial spirit is required in the
not-for-profit sector, Malcolm sees that in
an organization like his, the issues often
run deeper.
“The competitiveness for donations has
ramped up significantly over the past
five years. The amount of money being
donated is under pressure nationally, but
the number of charities has been increasing—some sophisticated, some not as
much. In the corporate world, you have a
better understanding of where your competition comes from. Here at United Way,
competition for donations can come from
completely different sectors, like educational initiatives or medical causes.”
Both corporate and not-for-profit entities
focus on obtaining funds, but Malcolm
says not-for-profit organizations deal with
additional intricacies.
“The world of not-for-profits goes well
beyond the bottom line. It’s not solely
about raising funds, it’s also about the
impact of spending those dollars. A customer always has expectations of quality,
and, in our world, the donation is just the
start. When dealing with contributing
donors, there’s a whole new level of fiduciary responsibility.”
Malcolm Gowie
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Spring 2012 CApitalize
ca
“The not-for-profit sector, as
an industry, is as big as oil
and gas and manufacturing
combined...I enjoy the sense
of how I’m helping fellow
human beings who are less
advantaged than I am.”
—Malcolm Gowie ca
You and KPMG.
A Perfect Fit.
For more information visit:
www.kpmgfit.ca
This responsibility, along with the structure of a not-for-profit organization, has
also meant that Malcolm has to exercise
skills outside of the financial realm.
“The CFO job demands interpersonal
skills. It requires I deal with people at a
governance level, at an operational level,
and at a public relations level. Along with
my fellow executives, I have to be able to
communicate our message and mission
appropriately to different audiences.”
But it’s this message, this cause, which
keeps Malcolm’s engine running. “You’ve
got to believe in the cause. It’s an environment where you have limited resources,
so I’m passionate about what we do, as
employees and volunteers. Could I go
work for another organization? Sure, but
this is a fabulous organization to work for.”
He hopes that young and future CAs
can find their way to the not-for-profit
sector to experience the same sense of
fulfillment. “Yes, the salary is generally
higher in the commercial world, but, as
time goes by, you start to realize there’s
more than just salary to consider. If you’re
mature enough early in life, you can find
a cause or organization you relate to, it
could be the environment or a sports
or recreation organization or human
services. It’s a question of ‘passion of life’
instead of ‘passion of career’. There came
a point where I became more interested
in life than full-time career advancement.”
Malcolm is quick to point out, however,
that this doesn’t mean career opportunities don’t exist in the charitable universe.
“The not-for-profit sector, as an industry,
is as big as oil and gas and manufacturing
combined. There is something like 84,000
charities out there. For me, at the end
of the day, I enjoy the sense of how I’m
helping fellow human beings who are less
advantaged than I am.” CA
© 2012 KPMG LLP, a Canadian limited liability partnership
and a member firm of the KPMG network of independent
member firms affiliated with KPMG International Cooperative
(“KPMG International”), a Swiss entity. All rights reserved.
Spring 2012
CApitalize
21
A triple threat:
Ambassador. Mentor. Student.
By Jamie White
The mentorship that Chennae Lapatak
received in high school is now making its
way back to the classroom—a benefit not
only to her, but many other students still
looking for career direction.
Chennae, originally from Saddle Lake First
Nations Reserve (located about 350 km
northeast of Edmonton), is currently a
third-year accounting student in NAIT’s
Business Administration program, but she
didn’t always imagine her career following
this path.
“My high school math teacher, who was
also my career counselor and role model,
introduced the idea to me because he
knew I would be successful in pursuing
accounting,” says Chennae, who currently
balances her studies with raising her
daughter, Kylie Rose. “I initially wanted to
go into the army and become a medic, but
once I got pregnant I wanted to pursue
a career that would allow me to have a
well-balanced family and work life. In high
school I took a financial management
course and, since math was my strongest
subject, my second choice was a job that
involved working with numbers.”
Through her own experience, Chennae
has recognized the importance of having
a role model. For this reason, she places a
priority on assisting others in finding their
own way. In September 2011, Chennae was
asked to attend the Exploring College and
Career Options (ECCO) Conference as an
ambassador for NAIT and a role model
for the attendees. The conference targets
Aboriginal Metis, First Nations and Inuit
youth to help students focus on career
and educational opportunities. “I believe
these types of conferences are crucial for
students,” says Chennae. “Students are
encouraged to start thinking about the different career options available and to start
preparing a course of action.”
Furthermore, for the past three years
Chennae has been an executive member of
NAIT’s Aboriginal Student Club, serving as
president for the last two years. She also is
an ambassador for NAIT’s Aboriginal Student Centre in their Prospective Aboriginal
22
Spring 2012 CApitalize
Youth Program, where her role is to assist
Aboriginal high school students in gaining
a better understanding of what life as a
post-secondary student is all about. These
volunteer opportunities have also extended
past her educational life, as Chennae is a
mentor to high school students in the Martin Aboriginal Education Initiative, an opportunity that was presented to her through
her summer employment position at Ernst &
Young LLP.
This employment has given Chennae
further insight into what her future may
hold. In addition to the flexibility, Chennae is excited about the opportunities for
CAs to travel and work around the globe.
“Through my position at E&Y, I travelled
to Disney Land to attend an international
intern leadership conference to meet and
learn from top executives, such as Jim Turley (Chairman and CEO of Ernst & Young)
and Rick Alden (founder of Skullcandy). I’m
really excited to see where this designation
will take me.”
When Chennae isn’t on campus, she somehow finds the time to indulge in one of
her favourite pastimes. “My main hobby is
running. I partake in many races throughout
Edmonton. I took first place last year in my
age category for the Edmonton Women’s
Run and have participated in the Canadian
Derby Half-Marathon for the past two years.”
Her achievements on the running track
earned her a Canadian Collegiate Athletic
Association (CCAA) Scholar Athletic
Award and a spot on NAIT’s cross country
running team. In addition, Chennae also
plays on a women’s basketball team in her
hometown.
And while the story of her career is yet to
be written, Chennae wouldn’t be surprised
she ends up going full circle—with a few
possible detours along the way.
“I would like to move back to my reserve and
work for my band or another organization
so I can give back to the Aboriginal community through my expertise and knowledge. I
believe that the world will be my oyster once
I’ve obtained my designation.” CA
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Our program is designed and taught by business professionals,
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Graduates also have the ability to earn a CA, CGA, or CMA
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S2011-11-01032-SAIT-SOB-BBA-CAPITALIZEMag-4.875x10-JAN13.indd 1
Spring 2012
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11-12-09 10:10 AM
THE
SPECIALI
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Spring 2012
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By Oscar Barzilay-Lamers
FEATURE
Chartered Accountants in Canada have access
to six profession-endorsed specialist designations, some offered directly through the CICA
(Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants),
and others through organizations that have
been accredited by the CICA. They include:
Six CA-designated specialties can
help Chartered Accountants find
the niche they’re looking for.
What does a typical Sylvester Stallone movie have in common
with the work of Chartered Accountant Justin Thoman? They
both include court room testimonials, drug busts and money
laundering, to name a few.
Admittedly, Justin’s daily duties don’t include diving through
plate glass windows or ridding the nation of heavily accented
international spies, but his career has taken him into situations
not normally associated with an accountant.
The main reasons for Justin’s involvement in such salacious
events are the three additional letters attached to his CA designation. Justin is a CA•IFA, which identifies him as an Investigative and Forensic Accountant—one of only seven in Edmonton
and 24 in the province.
It wasn’t until after Justin earned his CA designation that he
became interested in this particular field. “I articled with Grant
Thornton and, while I had heard about forensics, I didn’t have
a huge interest. Then I took a job with the Alberta Securities
Commission (ASC), where I had to dig into what companies
were saying in their disclosure documents. This led to working
with investigators about their work, insider trading, and other
aspects of forensic accounting. That ended up getting me interested in this field.”
• Investigative and Forensic
Accountant (CA•IFA)
• Information Technology (CA•IT)
• Business Valuation (CA•CBV)
• Internal Auditing (CA•CIA)
• Information Systems Auditing
(CA•CISA), and
• Insolvency and Restructuring (CA•CIRP)
A CA•designated specialty involves a rigorous
and objective designation process that attests
to the individual’s skills and experience, combining: the well-recognized and respected attributes of the CA—in particular, integrity, understanding of business, and financial acumen—
and an in-depth understanding and experience
of a specific technical area assessed through a
process-endorsed certification process.
These attributes provide a competitive advantage by identifying the designation holder as
the individual with the knowledge that counts to
resolve complex matters in the particular field.
In all, six CA•designated specialties exist so
Chartered Accountants can hone their skills in a
specific area of interest.
More information on each of the
CA•designated specialties can be found at:
www.albertacas.ca/Libraries/Registrations_
PDF/Another_Great_Leap.pdf.
After working with the ASC for three years, Justin moved to the
RCMP where he worked in their Proceeds of Crime Section—this
is where some of his most interesting work took place. Here, he
worked with the RCMP on several takedowns. After the seizing
of firearms, drugs or money, officers would work with Justin to
size up assets and freeze bank accounts.
Spring 2012
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25
A
F
I
•
CA
“As a CA, I never would
have envisioned doing
some of the things that
I do. I regularly have to
interview people under
investigation.”
Justin Thoman ca•ifa
Justin spent about two years with the RCMP before returning to
Grant Thornton and continuing to work in this field.
“In one case, while doing an investigation, we needed access to
records of an organization. Working with others at Grant Thornton, we got a court order, went to the organization’s offices, and
removed 41 boxes of documents,” he recalls.
“As a CA, I never would have envisioned doing some of the
things that I do. I regularly have to interview people under
investigation. I’ve been interviewing people when they’ve broken
down and cried.”
After his second stint with Grant Thornton, Justin opened up his
own practice, Thoman Forensic Accounting.
“When I decided to work toward my CA designation, I thought
I’d get exposed to business and then go out and start my own
enterprise, but not a CA practice. As it happened, I ultimately did
exactly that; however, I don’t do anything people consider regular accounting. There are no financial statements, no audits or
reviews and I don’t do taxes. What I do is split my time, roughly
50/50, between fraud investigation and litigation support.”
Fraud investigation includes working with organizations or
government agencies looking for answers to certain financial
suspicions—for example, an organization may realize that funds
are unaccounted for and preliminary work is necessary to determine whether or not fraud occurred. The litigation support can
occur when one person or organization is suing another, and one
of the parties needs an expert to pinpoint the amount of money
that’s in dispute.
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Spring 2012 CApitalize
And while Justin readily admits that this sort of work is different
than most CAs, the knowledge and experience his designation
provided him are essential to everything he does.
“A lot of people ask me if they can become a forensic accountant right off the start, but it’s really important that once you
earn your CA you gain a base knowledge. You really need to go
through the articling process, spend time with audits and financial statements, understand how accounting processes work,
know about the procedures.” After gaining this knowledge, you
can drill down into the specifics.
“Audit is an inch deep and a mile wide, forensics is an inch wide
and a mile deep.”
Getting into this level of detail takes time—Justin took a two-year
program at the University of Toronto to earn his IFA designation.
The coursework was mostly online, but did include a week of residence at both the start and end of the program, as well.
It has all paid off in the end, as Justin’s current business allows
him to live the lifestyle he desires.
Justin typically takes two weeks off around Christmas and
spends time sailing with friends every summer. In addition, his
schedule still allows flexibility at other times of the year.
“I recently adopted a dog, a husky-shepherd cross. If I put in
enough work, I’ll occasionally be able to go home and play with
my dog in the afternoon. I’m doing exactly what I want to do,
nothing else. I choose the work. I see great value in being able to
focus on fewer projects, do them well, and enjoy my free time.”
CA•CIA
FEATURE
Expanding horizons
For Byron Ofner, earning his CA designation was far from the
end of the line—it was a launching pad for further education.
Byron holds the CA•CIA designation, among other titles, which
fits perfectly into his current role as Senior Internal Auditor with
the Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission (AGLC). Byron has
also attained his Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE) designation,
and CAMS credentials (Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialist), and is working towards his CGAP (Certified Government
Auditing Professional) designation.
In the case of the CIA designation, Byron saw the opportunities it
would provide as a natural progression from his CA designation.
“The skills of auditing in public practice naturally flow into internal audit, where the role is balanced between assurance and
consulting to add value to an organization. The key difference as
an internal auditor is that your work will have a direct impact on
your place of employment. Both the auditor and auditee have a
vested interest in improving operations by making sound recommendations and implementing proven solutions.”
“CIAs act as a corporate conscience and
advisor for operational efficiency, internal
control and risk management. Our
activities are designed to add value and
improve an organization.”
This specialization provides the opportunity to bring a unique
point of view to an organization.
“CIAs act as a corporate conscience and advisor for operational
efficiency, internal control and risk management. Our activities
are designed to add value and improve an organization. The CIA
program provides training to bring a systematic and disciplined
approach to review everything from procurement to implementing technology. The CIA skill set allows me to develop a diverse
evaluation of operations, policies and programs.”
Byron is now applying these skills with the AGLC.
“At the AGLC, our role is to regulate liquor and gaming industries
for the benefit of Albertans. It’s important that our core services
operate with integrity and accountability. Internal audit provides
an objective evaluation of operations via: performance audits,
value for money, audits of compliance and consulting and integrity services,” Byron explains. “We plan to update 6,000 video
lottery terminals (VLTs) across Alberta over the next couple of
years. Our role as internal auditors is diverse; we have evaluated
the project management practices being used for the strategy
and provided advice to strengthen the organization against
emerging risks. ”
Prior to Byron’s employment at the Alberta Gaming and Liquor
Commission—and to earning the CIA designation—he was
employed at Deloitte as a fraud examiner. It was here that he had
one of the more memorable experiences of his career.
“I spent about five months in Mississippi, Alabama and New
Orleans providing litigation support after the BP Oil Spill (in
2010). As a CA, we have the ability to evaluate and formulate
solutions during a time of crisis, which can prove to be invaluable. Seeing the environmental cleanup firsthand gives you an
appreciation of the coordination and management efforts of
volunteers, government agencies, and corporations on a grand
scale. Even in such a trying time, controls and monitoring need
to be in place to evaluate and report progress.”
All-in-all, Byron’s work to this point of his career confirms why
he wanted to become a Chartered Accountant in the first place.
Byron Ofner ca•cia
Spring 2012
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27
“For me, there were two reasons to pursue my CA designation.
The first was credibility. I may not be 45-years-old with salt-andpepper hair, but, having a CA, I’m instantly respected. The second reason is opportunity. I’ve travelled through North America,
and there is no other profession that would allow that diversity
and flexibility.”
It’s unclear exactly how the remainder of Byron’s career will unfold,
but what is certain is that his lifelong learning won’t end here.
“I’ll admit, I’m a bit of a designation hog,” he chuckles.” I’ve
always been keen on learning, plus I believe that the best way
to signal your experience and knowledge to the marketplace is
through specialization.”
Finding your niche
Holly Tomte CA, CBV decided to change the trajectory of her
young career when she discovered a passion for a specific line
of work.
“I had originally started in financial advisory with Deloitte in
Edmonton. Here, I found that what I enjoyed doing the most was
business acquisition and transaction work. That’s the reason I
decided to pursue the CBV,” says Holly, currently employed with
Enbridge in Calgary as an advisor in the company’s Investment
Review department.
In all, there are over 1,000 CBVs in Canada, who apply their skills
in a wide variety of areas, including business securities valuation,
financial litigation support, mergers and acquisitions, and corporate financial advisory services.
Holly, who also has a CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst) designation, got a taste for business valuation while in public practice,
but in July 2011 she made the transition to industry.
“I wanted to see things from the other side of the fence. The
position at Enbridge was a great opportunity, with a diverse
company, to learn about the oil and gas industry and the corporate side of business valuation and acquisition.”
Holly being hired into this position was a direct result of earning
the CBV specialty designation.
“Having a CA and a CBV moves your résumé closer to the top
of the pile, it shows you have spent time to better yourself,”
she says.
In order to enter the CBV program, an individual needs a university degree or an accounting designation. The curriculum
includes six self-study courses, several assignments, concluding
with an examination and a membership exam held each September, not unlike the UFE.
Holly says her time as an articling and practicing CA helped lead
her down this path.
“It was always my plan to get a CA designation and build a solid
foundation. The CA exposes you to different opportunities and
facets of the business world, something you might not even
know exists. The knowledge is a really good base, and it gives
you the opportunity to branch out from that.” CA
“Having a CA and a CBV moves your résumé closer to the top of
the pile, it shows you have spent time to better yourself.”
Holly Tomte
V
B
C
,
A
C
28
Spring 2012 CApitalize
ca, cbv
Exclusive coverage for
CAs and CA firms.
• Term Life Insurance • Long Term Disability
• Medical and Dental • Office Contents
Visit caipw.ca or call 1.800.661.6430
Rise above the bottom line.
Working with the Auditor General
of Alberta prepares you for more
than crunching numbers.
www.oag.ab.ca
CA Bridging
Your bridge to
an accounting
career.
CA Bridging enables you to complete all the business and accounting courses needed
for admission to the CA School of Business (CASB) while continuing to work full-time.
Designed specifically for those with a 4-year degree in any field to transition into a career as a CA.
Available exclusively on the University of Lethbridge Calgary and Edmonton campuses:
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Suite 1100, Rocky Mountain Plaza
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403-571-3360
[email protected]
www.uleth.ca/calgary
CA
Bridging
CA Br full-page colour Jan 2012.indd 1
Edmonton
Suite 1100, University of Lethbridge Tower
10707 - 100 Ave.
780-424-0455
[email protected]
www.uleth.ca/edmonton
A partnership between the Chartered Accountants Education Foundation
of Alberta and the University of Lethbridge Faculty Of Management.
11/01/2012 11:17:19 AM
CA CAREER PATH
There’s no question that the education and training to becoming
a Chartered Accountant is rigorous and intense. But after earning your CA designation, you’ll have the confidence to navigate
the business world knowing that your contribution is critical to
the success of each and every organization you deal with.
Start with a degree
The first step to becoming a chartered accountant is completing
a baccalaureate degree in any discipline, along with a number
of prerequisite business and accounting courses. Earning a
Business, Management, or Commerce degree with an accounting
major is your fastest route to becoming a CA, as this enables you
to complete the degree requirement and prerequisite courses
at the same time. However, many CAs have degrees in other
disciplines, including Arts and Science.
Get the prerequisites
In addition to your degree, you’ll need an overall 65% or higher
average in the following prerequisite courses:
General Business
• Three courses required
Assurance
•One introductory course required
Finance
•One introductory course required
•One intermediate course required
Information Systems and Technology
•One introductory course required
•An intermediate or advanced MIS course is
highly recommended
Learn through CASB
In Western Canada, you earn your CA through the CA School of
Business (CASB). You’ll find that it offers a whole new learning
experience, completely different from your undergraduate
program. When you enroll in CASB, you’re signing on to build
professional skills that will kick-start your career.
What’s more, CASB offers you the flexibility to schedule your
learning modules to fit your work and personal schedule. And,
CASB accepts graduates of both the Master of Professional
Accounting (MPAcc) program through the University of
Saskatchewan and the Masters in Accounting (MAcc) program
through the University of Waterloo. You then enter CASB for
Module 6, the UFE prep course.
The CASB program will take you out of the classroom and into
the professional world. When you graduate, you’ll be a businessready CA, prepared to apply your practical skills to an everevolving business environment. For more information on the CA
School of Business, visit www.casb.com.
Reap the rewards
Follow these steps and then watch as your career thrives, and
your income follows suit. How far can a CA go? How much can
a CA earn? There are no limits. It’s up to you to decide.
OPPORTUNITY
GLOBAL
Performance Measurement
•Two intermediate financial accounting courses required
•One intermediate managerial/cost accounting
course required
Find Your Perfect
Fit at KBH.
•One course required in your choice of accounting theory,
advanced financial accounting, advanced financial
statement analysis, advanced management/cost
accounting, or international accounting
Taxation
•One introductory course covering both personal and
corporate tax required
BALANCE
*For a list of the required courses, names and numbers, go to
www.becomea.ca
EXPERIENCE
Find a training office
One of the requirements for getting a CA designation is getting
a CA articling position in an authorized training office. Students
typically go through recruitment for CA articling positions
in the fall of their last year of study. Recruitment takes place
on-campus through the career centres. Only authorized CA
Training Offices have the ability to train CA students.
Perks of KBH:
•
•
•
•
GLOBAL – Member of PKF (international reach)
OPPORTUNITY – Access to partners
BALANCE – Every Friday off in the summer
EXPERIENCE – Teamwork, career support
Call us at 780-463-8101 or visit kbh.ca
Spring 2012
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31
GUEST COLUMN
The Money Motto
by Franco Lombardo
Franco Lombardo is the Co-founder and Managing Director of Veritage, an organization that
provides consultative and advisory services to
business families. Through Veritage’s Authentic
Family Wealthcare process, which provides powerful tools to guide explorations of how values and
one’s feelings about money and business shape
their family’s evolving story, clients are coached to
understand the psychology of money as it relates
to their family and business. The goal is to create
effective family governance and long-term prosperity and success.
Franco has over twenty years of experience in advising and consulting on
the psychology of money and assisting families on how it relates to their
circumstances. He is the author of two books: Life after Wealth®: When
is Enough, Enough? and Money Motto®: The Path to Authentic Wealth®.
Franco is a highly energetic wealth coach and inspirational speaker, and
is considered to be a leading expert on the issues of the psychology of
money, and how it affects family interaction and wealth legacy.
Below is an excerpt from his book, Money Motto®, which has been
re-printed with permission. As a business student, it is important to
understand the relationship you have with money and how that impacts
the personal and professional decisions you make in your life.
Who is really running your life?
All of us have tapes we play in our head and, for better or worse,
these tapes affect our lives in ways more significant than most
of us would care to admit. Many of us live each day listening
to tapes such as: “I’m too fat”, or “I’m too skinny”, or “I’m too
dumb”. For many of us, we recite this message to ourselves
so frequently; we no long recognize what we are doing.
Unfortunately, these tapes are more negative than positive in
effect and, without realizing it, many of us have allowed the
scripts to dictate our behavior—to the extent that they serve as
powerful motivators in our lives.
Just as we have tapes about ourselves, we have tapes about
money. Although we may have a variety of tapes about money,
we usually have one that stands out as a central belief. I call this
tape our “Money Motto”. The following are examples of common
Money Motto’s.
•
•
•
•
More money, more control.
Money allows me to fit in.
Money makes me lovable.
Money is a measure of my worth.
Determining the origin of our primary Money Motto can be
complex and challenging, because our subconscious beliefs
about money evolve and are likely a composite from both our
childhood and more recent adult experiences. Your Money Motto
32
Spring 2012 CApitalize
“It is our beliefs about money and wealth
which dictate our financial decisions –
from how we earn our money, to how
we spend it, negotiate for it, invest it,
transition it, inherit it, and gift it.”
can be empowering or destructive, regardless of your conscious
awareness of its existence. If we are conscious of our Money
Motto, and are aware that it is basically empowering, we may
not know how to exploit it constructively to maximum positive
effect. Similarly, if we are consciously aware of our Money Motto,
and it is unhealthy and potentially destructive, we may need
support and assistance in creating a new and more positive
Money Motto.
My experience has led me to believe that most people are not
consciously aware of their Money Motto. If we cannot name our
Money Motto, nor recognize whether its influence is empowering
or destructive, or even if it has any validity, then we run the
risk of allowing it to motivate or dictate our behavior and the
relationship we have with money and wealth. If we remain
unconscious of our Money Motto then it will continue to operate
in ways that are not necessarily congruent with our values or in
alignment with what matters most—our goals and dreams. It is
our beliefs about money and wealth which dictate our financial
decisions—from how we earn our money, to how we spend it,
negotiate for it, invest it, transition it, inherit it, and gift it. In
order to achieve clarity around our current beliefs about money,
it is helpful to make our best effort and return to our earliest
awareness of money. For most of us, this occurred within the
family home, with our family of origin. CA
If you are interested in learning more, or if you are interested in
purchasing a copy of Money Motto®, visit www.veritage.ca.
Like Franco, the ICAA and Chartered Accountants
Education Foundation of Alberta (CAEF) recognize
the importance of financial literacy in the lives of
Alberta’s youth. The CAEF is currently working towards
a fundraising goal of $250,000 to fund projects that
give Alberta youth the tools they need to be financially
responsible as adults. For updates on the project, stay
tuned to www.albertacas.ca.
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