You rejoined BDO in 2002 in a more senior role and stayed for 20 years, ultimately taking on the role of National Accounting Standards Partner. Throughout this period, what skills did you develop and refine?
As I advanced in my career, I learned that while the fundamentals of accounting were still important, gaining a deep understanding of your clients' business and appreciating the types of transactions that occur within it is equally important.
I began to prioritize understanding the companies and organizations I worked with, their goals, and the nature of their operations before looking at the accounting aspect.
I often tell others that it's impossible to figure out the accounting if you don't have a solid understanding of the transactions and the business itself. As I progressed in my career, this realization became even more vital, and it shaped how I approached my work.
What brought you back to BDO and why did you stay for 20 years?
I can pinpoint two crucial factors. Firstly, the sense of community that BDO fosters and the significant role it plays in the communities it operates in. This sense of community is an integral part of BDO's identity and is something that really resonated with me.
However, equally as important was the opportunity to engage in interesting and impactful work in a flexible and remote capacity. I was able to work remotely from my community in Sault Ste. Marie for the National office. The combination of being able to do the type of work I enjoyed and living where I chose to live was incredibly important to me and was a key reason for my decision to stay with the firm for many years.
I appreciate the sense of community and flexibility that BDO provides its employees, and I believe that these values are fundamental to the organization's culture and will continue to drive its future success.
You've been an active member on numerous boards and organizations, how did you balance that with a full-time job at BDO?
First and foremost, I want to emphasize how supportive BDO is of partners and staff contributing to their communities and to the accounting profession in meaningful ways. BDO actively encouraged and supported these efforts, making it an integral part of my job as a partner.
What was particularly valuable to me was the ability to bring back the knowledge and insights gained from these organizations and apply them to my day-to-day work at BDO. Whether it was serving as a volunteer member of the Accounting Standards Board or engaging in other initiatives, I always saw it as an essential aspect of my role at BDO.
The firm's unwavering support for these endeavors is a clear example of its commitment to the personal and professional development of its people.
What advice do you have for the young accountants out there just starting their careers?
I strongly recommend focusing on understanding the businesses you work with.