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2011-2012 Edition $3.95

Real challenges. Unreal support.

ow ork with If you’re you’re a high achiever achiever and want want tto work ss, ssome ome o test minds in the busine off the brigh brightest business, We give give Erns o oung is the plac Ernstt & Y Young place e for for you. you. We you supportt y you y ou the suppor ou need to to put your your skills o into practice grow professional. To in to pr actice and gr ow as a pr ofessional. T learn more, le arn mor e, visit e

© 2011 Ernst & Young LLP. All rights reserved.

Inspiration See More | Inspir ation

Shveta Mohan, CMA Project Accountant Blast Radius

I USE FINANCIAL DATA TO BUILD VIRTUAL WORLDS. As a project accountant, Shveta uses strategic thinking and leadership skills to manage the finance behind some of the world’s coolest websites. At Blast Radius, she has her hands in everything from analyzing financial data to project reporting and tracking for big international brands. When she was in university, Shveta quickly realized she didn’t want to be just a regular accountant. So when she graduated, she went straight into the CMA program. Now, two years later, Shveta is finished her CMA and can concentrate 100% of her time on loving her job. Visit to learn more about becoming a CMA yourself.

Create Possibilities.

TM ®/™ Registered Trade-Marks/Trade-Marks are owned by The Society of Management Accountants of Canada. Used under license.




10 INSIDER REPORT News from the CGA, CMA and CA associations.

24 UPWARDLY MOBILE Five ambitious accountants tell you how they got promoted.


Our feature interview with Deloitte’s chair.



ON A MISSION Read why Canada’s top recruiters are at your school and how you can best connect with them.

WORDS OF WISDOM We asked a dozen top professionals to share with you their personal and professional philosophies.

30 WINNING WAYS Learn how you can enhance your resume by winning competitions being held across Canada.

37 DIRECTORY A quick guide to associations, employers, universities, colleges, student clubs and more.

4 Career Insider Accounting

COVER PAGE: Photo by Ruslan Sarkisian Make-up by Maggie Ng Clockwise from top left: CMA Ontario Marketing & Communications Regional Director Mira Sirotic, Ernst & Young Campus Recruiting Leader Wendy Chau, CGA Ontario Business Development Manager Erin McDonald, PwC National Recruitment Specialist Melanie Ayer and Deloitte Campus Lead Geetika Issar.

Enhance your career in Forensic Accounting Learning Approach... UÊÊ Ó‡Þi>ÀÊ`ˆÃÌ>˜Viʏi>À˜ˆ˜}Ê«Àœ}À>“Ê܈̅ʣäÊVœÕÀÃiÃÊÊ Ê ˆ˜VÕ`ˆ˜}ʘÌÀœ`ÕV̜ÀÞÊ>˜`Ê >«Ã̜˜iÊÀiÈ`i˜VÞÊÃiÃȜ˜Ã UÊ >Ãi‡L>Ãi`ʏi>À˜ˆ˜}ÊvÀœ“Ê>˜Þ܅iÀiʈ˜Ê̅iÊܜÀ` UÊ ˜ÃÌÀÕV̈œ˜ÊLÞʈ˜`ÕÃÌÀÞÊ«À>V̈Viʏi>`iÀà UÊ Ý«iÀÌÊ܈̘iÃÃÊÌÀ>ˆ˜ˆ˜}Ê>˜`Ê>ÃÃiÃÓi˜Ìʈ˜VÕ`i`

Program Coverage... UÊÊ *À>V̈ViÊÃÃÕià UÊ i}>Ê*ÀœViÃà UÊ œÃÃÊ+Õ>˜ÌˆwÊV>̈œ˜ UÊ ˜ÛiÃ̈}>̈Ûi‡,i>Ìi`Ê>ÌÌiÀÃ

Admission Requirements... UÊ 1˜`iÀ}À>`Õ>ÌiÊ`i}Àiiʈ˜ÊLÕȘiÃÃʜÀÊ>VVœÕ˜Ìˆ˜} UÊ ÓÊÞi>ÀÃÊÀiiÛ>˜ÌÊ>VVœÕ˜Ìˆ˜}ÊiÝ«iÀˆi˜Vi



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Career Insider

Accounting 2011-2012 Edition

CAREER INSIDER MAGAZINES 727 Dufferin St., Toronto, ON M6K 2B6 Tel.: 416-534-9572 PUBLISHER Wallie Seto ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER Patrick Petersen NEW MEDIA EDITOR Richard Terry ASSOCIATE EDITORS Susan Oreskovic Peter Sang Judy Simutis STAFF WRITERS Suzanne Bowness Chris Edwards Tsz Wai Derek Lee ART DIRECTOR Mark Tzerelshtein PHOTO EDITOR Ruslan Sarkisian PHOTOGRAPHER Todd Duncan ILLUSTRATOR Andrew Prentice PRODUCTION MANAGER Joe Spilak MAKE-UP ARTISTS Maggie Ng Hilary Freda CONTRIBUTORS Gary Spraakmann Vincent Chan Wei Yang Li Stephen Bragoli Walter Tom Alex Que Michael Wu Jennifer Woo Soo Ling Lee Sid Que ADVISORY BOARD Dominik Loncar Gary Garland Trevor McAlpine Brian Boyer Diana Spagnuolo Tony Chan Honehr Jahangir Irene Kang

SPECIAL THANKS TO: Pat Corkum, Nancy Kwan, Michelle Height, Stephanie Sugamori, Beatrice Ohene-Nyako, Pu Chi, Carol Tom, Carol Kidd, Ruth Lyall, Julya Shore, Barbara Williams, Carla Kendall, Lynne Murchie, Debbie Maitre, Karen Conway, Pierre Orlando Perrault, Padmini Saravanabavan, Lorrie Quigg, Carol Karoutas, Chris Buyers, Michelle Watson, Fatima Seedat, Susan Hawke, Susan Paterson, Heather Sosa, Lorraine Cheng, Anna De Grauwe. © 2011. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited. Printed in Canada. Career Insider Accounting is published annually by Career Insider Magazines. Yearly subscription rate: $3.95 plus HST, shipping and handling. ISSN 1703-6941 (Print) ISSN 1703-695X (Online)

6 Career Insider Accounting

EDITOR’S DESK “How can you squander even one more day not taking advantage of the greatest shifts of our generation? How dare you settle for less when the world has made it so easy for you to be remarkable?” These widely quoted questions from the blog of entrepreneur and marketing guru Seth Godin drive home the advantages of today’s socially connected world, and remind us that our connections can be the keys to our success. While social networks are great for keeping up with friends and family, as you move into the professional world you realize that they are also becoming essential to everyone’s working lives. Godin’s rightthese networks allow us to associate like never before with potential mentors, colleagues, and even potential employers. But the thing to keep in mind is authenticity. Connection is more than just “friending” someone and letting it go at that. Connection is being engaged with the world: not just “linking in” with someone but reaching out and asking for advice. It’s about participating in activities that matter not just for their resume value but for the fact that you’ll meet people and connect with them on a genuine level. In this issue we look at different ways to seek connection within our profession. In our cover story On a Mission, we introduce you to people who you will want to connect with in order to navigate the process of getting a job with your preferred employer. And the great news is that they are eager to meet you too. In this article, recruiters from accounting employers help you gain an edge on the networking game with advice on effective networking to what they’re looking for in social media profiles, to other ways you can come across as a preferred candidate for that all-important first job. In our Words of Wisdom feature, accounting professionals of all stripes reveal the advice that they received from the mentors that they connected with over the years. Our article Winning Ways looks at student competitions, yet another great venue not only to challenge yourself academically but to spend time and connect intellectually with people from your school and other universities. The edition also contains a great feature interview with Glenn Ives, the chair of Deloitte Canada, who discusses everything from his ten years spent in the mining industry to trajectory within the firm to his advice on being a frequent traveller. Further success stories can be found in our Upwardly Mobile profiles which celebrate the career trajectories of accountants recently promoted by their employers. In this issue’s Professor’s Corner, our columnist York University professor Gary Spraakman issues a call to improve our ethical standards as a profession by incorporating awareness and training into our academic programs. As always, our directory provides a handy guide to the accounting profession: associations, employers, universities, colleges, and accounting clubs. Our regular Insider Report feature provides plenty of relevant news on topics from competitions to conferences. If this issue has you fired up about connections, remember that you can also keep in touch with us through our Facebook and LinkedIn pages, or by visiting our website at Keep up with our blog, browse campus news from across Canada, and even download back issues of Career Insider Accounting and find out about our sister publication Career Insider Finance. While you’re there, drop us a note to let us know how we’re doing, or with any suggestions you might have to pass along for upcoming issues. If you’re reading this in PDF, you should know that you can also pick up a hard copy at your nearest career centre or accounting club. Finally, a hearty thanks to our sponsors - your support makes our magazine possible. Enjoy.

Richard Terry

Professor’s Corner with GARY SPRAAKMAN


Gary Spraakman, CMA, is an accounting professor at York University’s Atkinson School of Administrative Studies.

8 Career Insider Accounting



n past years the large number of accounting manipulations and scandals at Enron, Livent, WorldCom, and other organizations prompted public criticism concerning the ethical reasoning of accountants. These lapses in judgment and ethics created significant challenges for the profession. For accountants, the definition of ethical reasoning can include such factors as independence, objectivity, due care, and professional responsibility. It includes integrity and the ability to provide judgment completely free of self-interest. Ethical reasoning comes from moral development, or in other words understanding what is right and what is wrong. Critics have noted that existing business school curricula emphasizes economics and agency theory, which assumed that everyone is motivated by selfinterest. In that way, business schools appear to attract candidates who consider that winning is paramount. In 2006, the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) prepared an ethics education framework to assist accounting students to acquire ethical knowledge and sensitivity. Subsequently, many universities and firms have developed what has come to be known as “ethical toolkits.” Since ethical reasoning is increasingly important in the industry, many of us expect that it will soon become a criterion that recruiters will use in hiring accountants. Students should insist that ethical reasoning be covered in their accounting and auditing courses, and if it is not covered, they need to request this coverage from their professors. At a minimum, students should take the initiative to review what IFAC have prepared. Students need to demonstrate to recruiters that they can reason ethically. There is also evidence that extracurricular experience positively affects ethical reasoning. A recent study found that student volunteerism and internships help students to learn proper ethics, and that these activities were positively related to moral development. Volunteerism as a pro-social activity encourages students to be receptive to acting in the best interests of society, which is crucial for ethical conduct. Internships provide students with opportunities for organizational socialization and to understand the values, abilities, expected behaviours, and

the social knowledge necessary to being a member of an organization. This research also examined student moral development in relation to their participation in student government and student clubs. Although the study’s results did not support a positive experience on moral development, other studies were supportive. Previous research suggests that student leadership at colleges and universities can have a positive impact on ethical reasoning, and result in an increase in moral awareness. Student government and clubs can provide wonderful experiences for students. They can also prove disastrous. If high functioning, student groups provide benefits to all, then there can be some inherent shortcomings. First, the students involved tend to have “type A” or leadership personalities. Everyone wants to be the leader; no one wants to follow. Second, few students have experience working with others. They like to do things their own way, they are easily offended, and they have yet to learn to cooperate and compromise. Third, these students can lack experience in leadership and decision making. Accomplishing anything can often be a challenge to the group. Fourth, they are busy with their courses and their personal lives. Responsibilities and commitments risk being shirked. On the positive side, these groups can provide students with a low-cost experience in working with others. High functioning groups can lead to moral development, even if low functioning groups do not. It is important to choose the right group or to be willing to cut your losses when a group membership does not contribute to your personal development. In summary, to find employment in the accounting field, it is more and more necessary to demonstrate ethical reasoning skills. Those skills can and should be obtained from accounting and auditing courses. Ask your professor to incorporate ethical reasoning topics if they are missing from the curriculum. Barring that, you can still make the effort to educate yourself with IFAC materials. To put that academic knowledge to work, you should also look for opportunities to volunteer, obtain an internship, and selectively get involved with student government or a student club. CIA

INSIDER REPORT  CGA Ontario Donates $2 Million to Schulich

 ICAO to Host Finance Conference

The Certified General Accountants of Ontario announced in June that the association will be giving $2 million to the Schulich School of Business at York University to support the creation of a new, endowed academic chair focusing on global competitiveness for small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).The CGA Ontario Chair in Global Competitiveness for SMEs will research factors that affect the internationalization of small-to-medium-sized enterprises.

Once again, the ICAO is offering a special conference for students who want to learn about opportunities for CAs in the world of finance. The conference will take place on January 13, 2012 and it will be held at the Fairmont Royal York Hotel in Toronto. The event will feature workshops, keynote speakers, and a unique opportunity to network with a variety of chartered accountants who work in areas such as investment banking, private equity, asset and wealth management, and consulting. The deadline to apply is December 1, 2011 at CharteredForFinance.

 CGAs Practice Public Accounting in Ontario CGA Ontario is licensing its members to practice public accounting in the province of Ontario. The change took place last year and means CGAs now have the right to issue audit reports in Ontario. CGA Ontario and the ICAO are the only two accounting bodies in the province authorized to license members to practice public accounting. Learn more by visiting or visit CGA Ontario on Facebook.

 CGA Tax Tips for Post-Secondary Students You may be entitled to more tax credits than you realize. Each year CGA Ontario reaches out to post-secondary students to help them identify the various tax credits available to them throughout the year and at tax time. Be sure to explore the credits available to you so you can spend your money doing more of what’s important to you. For more information, visit: assets/file/TaxTipsforStudents_2011.pdf.

 Enter Two CGA Ontario Contests CGA Ontario is offering scholarships and prizes with two contests starting in September. Both will test skills and knowledge with The MindMaster contest on their Facebook page and the Win More contest located on the DO MORE website. The CGA Ontario DO More website also has new content with videos from successful CGAs.

10 Career Insider Accounting

 Win $4,500 in CA$H The ICAO’s CA$H Competition is another initiative to encourage business skills such as teamwork, negotiation, leadership, strategizing and communication. Teams from each university compete against each other at the Institute in Toronto, where the top team will win $3,000 plus another $1,500 for their accounting/business society. To find out how to apply, visit

 CA Video Competition The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Ontario is hosting a YouTube video competition to spread the word about the benefits of the CA designation. Submit your video on their website by November 4, 2011 for a chance to be selected as a finalist. All finalists will have a two-week period to gather as many votes as they can on YouTube, and the winners will receive $1,500. More information at RuleTheTube.

 CMA Ontario Hosts Connections 2011 The 20th edition of CMA Ontario’s annual career and networking fair takes place on Thursday, September 22 from 1:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m. at the CMA Ontario Professional Development Insti-

By Susan Oreskovic

tute in downtown Toronto at 25 York St., Ste 1100. This is a great chance for students to network with top employers such as Manulife, State Street, Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat and the Office of the Auditor General of Ontario. For more information, visit Students interested in attending this event should become a CMA Student Member. Annual membership benefits include access to CMA Ontario’s student employment program, the annual CMA Case Competition (which offers a chance to win $5,000), personalized business cards, career services, networking events and more. To sign up, visit studentmembership.

 New Faces at CMA Ontario CMA Ontario recently welcomed several new additions to its marketing team. New faces include new regional marketing manager Dana Gies, CMA, in mid-west Ontario and Niagara, marketing information officer Garfield Cummings in Ottawa and marketing information officers Raj Balasubramanian and Alex MacPherson, both in Toronto. To meet the whole CMA Ontario team, please visit to find a campus event near you.

 See Malcolm Gladwell at BIGiDEAS 2011: Access to Innovation Learn the latest big ideas in innovation from Malcolm Gladwell, author of Outliers  and  The Tipping Point, and other thought leaders at BIGiDEAS 2011: Access to Innovation. You’ll have the opportunity to hear from Arlene Dickinson of CBC’s  Dragons’  Den,  Steve Paikin of TVO’s The Agenda, Roger Martin, dean of the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management, and more Canadian thought leaders. The event will take place at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre on October 19-20. To learn more and register, visit CMAbigideas.  CIA




nce upon a time, campus recruiting was as predictable as the seasons. Recruitment specialists appeared at campus career fairs and were greeted by a flock of senior students who then progressed through a series of interviews. Then after a flurry of offers and hiring, the whole scene would settle down until the cycle started again the next September. But while the old rules—good grades, a polished resume—still apply, recruiters are also moving in new directions to find those perfect candidates, into social media and even reaching out to younger demographics. Here’s what you need to know about the new rules and the old tricks. First, the good news. The economy may be uncertain, but employers are hiring. Some like Canada Revenue Agency, Ernst & Young (EY), Deloitte, PwC, and the major banks each hire up to 500 co-op and fulltime staff accountants per year. TD Bank typically recruits 160 to 180 employees both internally and from campuses into its business banking associates program, placing them into a number of streams including agriculture, real estate and commercial. The more daunting news is that the field is still extremely competitive. These days, recruiters are reaching out to students as young as high school, so some students have already been building relationships with recruiters for years. Social media has increased the number of channels where recruiters can find you, but consequently the numbers of spaces where you need to ensure you make a good impression. Finally, while the fall season is still hot, recruiters have expanded

12 Career Insider Accounting

their calendars and are looking to make connections in every season. SO WHAT’S A STUDENT TO DO? First, be aware of the opportunities to get to know recruiters long before the applications are due. Large employers support campus activities by doing everything from providing judges for student competitions to offering skill-building workshops like mock interviews, resume workshops, and even wardrobe seminars. Start attending these events early and often, both to learn job skills and to connect with recruiters along the way. Besides recruiters, employers will also send out managers, returning interns, and even alumni to help communicate the benefits of a particular workplace. For instance, Ernst & Young sends returning interns as ambassadors to attend campus events and speak genuinely to students. “They are usually really excited from a great summer. They all go to our International Intern Leadership Conference, met our CEO and have a great time so they’re happy to share their experience with the firm all on their own,” says Wendy Chau, EY’s campus recruiting leader. Government departments like the Canada Revenue Agency and multinational companies are also eager to get to know students, so career fairs can be a great time to approach employers and let them know you’re interested. Campus visits can also be a good time to find out about a company’s culture directly from employees, says Brad Taylor, vice president of human resources for General Mills Canada. “There’s a lot of

passion and enthusiasm among General Mills employees for going back to their campus and reconnecting and being a part of the recruiting process.” He adds that students also resonate with the high amount of responsibility they are offered at the company. BE A BETTER NETWORKER While showing up is part of the battle, ideally you should approach campus events with something to say. Deloitte’s campus lead Geetika Issar says she’s impressed with students who go the distance to get to know her firm. “Somebody who does their research on the firm as well as the people, who invests their time to get to know us as well as we get to know them, is somebody who will stand out. So if they are asking questions about our position, what to expect, our roles and the people on our team, they are taking a role in finding the right firm and position.” Melanie Ayer, a recruitment specialist from PwC furthermore reminds students not to be intimidated. “I think the most important thing is to be yourself. When you speak with the different representatives from the firms, ask questions that truly interest you instead of questions to which you already know the answers. Speaking to different reps is also your chance to get to know the firms and find where you feel you would fit best.” BE AWARE OF NETWORKING OPPORTUNITIES BEYOND CAMPUS Beyond campus, some employers have also started to reach out via recruitment conferences. The annual Deloitte National Leadership Conference has been taking place for the last five years and hosts 90 students across Canada for three days of networking and workshops at the end of August. Students in first, second and third year can apply for the conference, where they can network with other students and Deloitte staff from all fields. PwC also holds a national recruiting conference at the end of August called Creating Brilliant Futures. This year PwC’s conference was held in Niagara Falls over two days. Ernst & Young holds


1 2

Follow up with networking. Social media can be particularly effective.

Make sure your LinkedIn profile is 100% complete: include your degree, designation, expected graduation year, and career goals.


Don’t use the generic LinkedIn greeting: customize the note to remind the person of who you are and where you met.


Don’t make your resume longer than two pages and customize your cover letter.


Visit your potential employer’s website before your interview. Be aware of the employer’s core business strengths, size, clients/customers.


Be confident during your interview. Ask questions about the specific role and what the workday looks like. Ask when your employer will make a decision. Send a thank-you note after your interview.


Google yourself. If nothing comes up, start working to establish a presence to raise your career profile (think Twitter, blogging, LinkedIn).

14 Career Insider Accounting

a local Emerging Leaders Program as well as an international Emerging Leaders Summit. Besides offering events that move beyond the traditional career days, recruiters are also starting earlier and earlier to educate students about careers in business. Some employers such as the major banks, PwC and Deloitte now reach out to students as early as high school. Actual prospecting for candidates starts in first year university with information sessions on campus; for instance, Ernst & Young reaches out to younger university students by offering one-night Career Premiere events to provide information on the accounting profession and the organization. Other types of recruiters are helping to educate students about other approaches to this career path, for instance on the benefits of various designations. Erin McDonald, a business development manager with CGA Ontario, visits campuses regularly to answer student questions about her program. “A student in the CGA program develops a deep understanding of accounting and finance within the business and builds his or her problem-solving, analytical and management skills within that context.” Mira Sirotic, a regional director of marketing and communications at CMA Ontario educates students about the dynamic nature of the CMA designation.  “Built upon extremely strong  foundations in accounting, management and strategy, the CMA professional program involves learning techniques such as role playing, simulations, cases, group activities and discussions to allow for a much more holistic competency development and coverage of a wide range of business issues and industry segments.” GET ON SOCIAL MEDIA While not all employers are active in every social media, they are headed in that direction. PwC recently launched a new student-oriented site to answer questions and help students stay connected through a blog, a Facebook page, Twitter, and YouTube. Nancy Moulday, a recruitment manager for TD Bank, uses LinkedIn to make connections, where she does searches by keyword, often by designation. “Instead of fishing we’re going hunting,” says Moulday. “I’m proactively seeking passive people who might not be looking for jobs but their profiles are there and so are their resumes.” She notes that many third and fourth year students already have profiles. That may increase even more with the recent launch of a LinkedIn campus site. 

Ameet Sharma is the vice president of finance for Altima Dental Canada, the largest dental group in Canada with 30 clinics in Ontario and Alberta. He says he is also impressed to see a good LinkedIn page, and says that the list of must-haves in this social media space include a list of major accomplishments, professional contacts, links to various organizations where you have volunteered, and memberships in professional clubs. He also advises students to avoid linking to friends who don’t also have a professionallooking page. FINALLY, GET THE APPLICATION RIGHT. Since applications are different for each company-some request applications through their web sites while others have rules and deadlines that differ by region-this is an area where it pays to do your homework. You will also want to make good use of all the hard work you’ve done so far by referring to your connections in your cover letter. Sue Skawinski, recruiting manager for Thales Canada, a company that provides information systems for defence and security, aerospace and transportation, emphasizes the need to be professional at all stages. “Even if you have been referred by a friend, or have been given an opportunity through a networking contact, still take the process seriously.” “Never assume you have the job until an offer is presented. Dressing casually for an interview, bringing along your own coffee - all these actions can give a recruiter the impression that you aren’t serious about the process or that, due to your connections, the job is yours for the taking. This is a serious mistake.” Of course recruiters know that the burning question on the subject of applications is “what makes a candidate stand out?” While most firms confirm academics are important, they’re equally interested in students who are well-rounded. Participation in accounting associations, volunteering, sports coaching are all activities that recruiters want to hear about, as they are evidence of soft skills like flexibility, communication skills, and community involvement. To sum up, putting your best foot forward with recruiters means getting out there, starting early, establishing a professional presence on social media, and perhaps the best news, just being yourself. While “once upon a time” might be a thing of the past, it’s up to you to take advantage of every new opportunity to create your best future. CIA



16 Career Insider Accounting

I became a urses when co ng ni ai tr s of time In one of my d the three D ne ar le I e, at o. Delesenior associ Defer, and D t - Delegate, en others, em ag by an m be performed n ca at th s later, and gate the task be completed n ca at th s e ability defer the task Also, have th of the tasks. st re you are e at th th do r hours, so te af k or w working to “turn off” during nonand recharge st re my time to g le in ab at manag od go as w I mfortable hours. Once I felt more co s, sk ta ng zi use everyand prioriti r hours beca te af k or w ” uld wait till to “turn-off y to-do list co m on ng ni able to man thing remai is that I am lt su re e t Th a grea tomorrow. d maintain effectively an age my time lance. work/life ba

Illustration: ®

Rahim Lallani , PwC CA - Manager

My grandmother taught me at a young age: “Know your worth.” Throughout your career in the business world you may be put in situations that are unethical and compromise your integrity... those will be your defining moments personally and professionally. Never let go of your ideals and always stand up for yourself, even if it’s to the big bad boss. It may sting in the short-term, but in the long run you will always be a winner. Know your worth, never sell out, and others will believe in you and value you accordingly.


Inna Guelfand CMA - Audit Supervisor Office of the Auditor General of Ontario

What has mad e a real impa ct on me whe first started in nI my career was the quote in an e-mail from a marketing man ager celebratin a success: “No g one who achiev es success does so without th e help of othe rs. The wise an conf ident ackn d owledge this help with grat tude.” The peop ile you surround yourself with have just as m uch impact on your career as your work itsel f. Seek others that you admir and can learn e from. If you fin d that you are in an environmen t that doesn’t foster this then it might be wor th looking for an other job. No matter how ha rd you work, you won’t mak those leaps an e d bounds with out a positive vironment. I fo enund that I coul d always hand work load stre le ss. It’s the st re ssful environment that will drain you the most.

Katherine Chan CGA - Manager, Universal Music Canada

When you start your career, it can be overwhelming in that suddenly you’re exposed to many leaders, peers, performance reviews, development plans and other factors that influence how you work and behave in a professional environment. What I’ve learned is that while having role models is important, we should remember that everyone is unique and to achieve our full potential we need to follow our natural style and conduct ourselves in a way we find most comfortable. We can’t automatically accept all advice and guidance from others. We should consider, but balance all of it to enhance our individuality.


Michael Chong CGA - Manager, Johnson & Johnson


Edited by Tsz Wai Derek Lee

r peoadvice fo pieces of e it r u o lways v a fa eer has One of my their car f o s e r says g e ta v s o one e ple at all ath bed, n e d ir ff ice.” e o th e e at th been - “On ough tim n e d thers n o e p t s don’t le – I didn’t choices, e k adea g m in u r not be When yo fo ty il u the opu feel g career. Or, r make yo u o y to mbition ommitted career a t quately c le ’t n o portant oblem, d f other im posite pr o t h ig s work - be u to lose cause yo ts outside s e r te in ere are u need ering - th things. Yo te n lu o v feel that sports, r life and it family, u o y h ic r ys to en . many wa ifference made a d ry you have To

Martha Young er, Ernst & CA - Partn

Career Insider Accounting 17

teachers my greatest of e on as w for him. It Ted Rogers at I worked th s ar ye 0 2 e new techduring the t ideas or th ea gr e th e most exwasn’t just ers one of th og R e ad m leadership nologies that It was Ted’s k. or w to e. Ted’s lesciting places iatives to lif it in e es , th in bringing n with action bine passio m co u e h yo ange! T son: When ake real ch how you m ’s at th mes when co ow n , the value ea id e th in and into the value is not f the paper of s ea id e n. Taking you move th organizatio r u yo of implementoperations and actually s ic yt al an a difference binders of hat’s made w is s ge an to combine ing key ch e you doing ar at h W . er in my care on? ns with acti your passio

Carol Ring ions s Communicat esident, Roger CMA - Vice Pr

As my parents used to tell me when I was young, it’s easy to aim to be average. Some will even tell you that success is only meant for certain people. However, I’ve learned through my experience working towards the Gold Medal for the CA’s Uniform Final Exam that the biggest adversary to your success is yourself. Ultimately, it is your decision whether or not you will aim for the top. If you aren’t willing to try, you’ve already put yourself at a disadvantage. Believing in yourself is the first step to achieving success — however you may define it.

My favourite quote is from Charlie Johnson, the presid ent of Frankl in Templeton Investment, w here I once w or ked. He said “The most im portant quality that drives success in the business world is determination. What dete rmination can do for you a good educatio n or intelligenc e ca nnot do. The world is full of talented pe op le not reaching their full potential.” While you’re at school, find out what you’ re good at, set a goal and go fo r it.

Don’t shy away from taking on Dana Kervorkian CGA - Financial things which scare Analyst, TD Bank you the most. Try those things first. I overcame my fear of not finding a job after graduating university and it drove me to apply for my first role at IBM. I have now built a strong and fulfilling career as a senior finance professional at the company. I also overcame my fear of not having the time, smarts or dedication to obtain a post-graduate education and it drove me to start my path towards earning a CMA designation. Trying new things in the face of your fears, both professional and personal is the best path to breaking your own boundaries, exceeding your limits and succeeding in your biggest accomplishments.

Nisha Kaanan CMA - Senior Pricer, IBM

Vicky Au CA - Analyst, Deloitte

r en I thought my caree There was a time wh the fast enough. It was at wasn’t progressing d to nte wa I en wh r ree beginning of my ca an t as I could. During fas as d an far as climb for, a director  with a informal one-on-one on a ne sat me down and mer employer of mi th. out  his career pa whiteboard plotted en t early on he had tak He pointed out tha anis throughout the org several lateral role g y, some not. Durin zation — some sex rs  building  highly ma that period, he wa perias gaining broad ex ketable skills and w me was to  focus  on ence.    His lesson for ills sary toolbox of sk building  the  neces ke t will continue to ma and experience  tha perrce.  This will drive me a valuable resou due ately promotion in formance and ultim e. a journey, not a rac time. Ultimately, it’s

Rob Irvine CMA - Manager Molson Coors

18 Career Insider Accounting

My first manager told me one of the most effective ways to get to the next level is to find a role model at that level. Understand how and why that person became so successful and learn from their attitudes, behaviours and attributes. The most inspiring attribute to me being: determination — always follow through on a matter, a task or even a question till the end whenever it is brought to my attention. When in doubt, ask, clarify and “close the loop.” This has served me well throughout my career.

A successful and fulfilling professional career depends on many variables, but three that can be controlled include: values, mindset, and openness to consider opportunities. Values such as honesty, integrity, fairness, trustworthiness, predictability, responsibility, and compasCecilia So sion provide a sound basis CGA Senior Financial Analyst for actions and the developManulife Financial ment of a respected reputation. A mindset focussed on diligence, accuracy, fiduciary duty , and the welfare of others provides a professional com pass for activities. An openness to consider opportunities that come up will open up important pathways that cannot be perceived in advance. Hopefully when you look back on your career, you will be pleased with wha t you have done, and how it made a difference to others, as well as to yourself.

Prof. Len Brooks CA - Director, Master of Management & Professional Accounting Program University of Toronto

Want to Create Possibilities for your career? Check out the CMA designation

CMAs… Who are they? Certified Management Accountants™ (CMAs) are strategic and financial management professionals with a holistic business perspective combining accounting, management and strategy. CMAs are big picture thinkers who do more than just measure value, they create it. They take on today’s business challenges, applying creative ideas to position organizations for success. CMAs provide leadership, innovation and an integrating perspective to organizational decision-making in businesses of all sizes and in all industry sectors.

A CMA is your competitive advantage With unlimited advancement and earning potential, the CMA designation offers you limitless growth potential in your career. CMAs hold leadership positions, earn highly competitive salaries and have increasingly diverse careers, while working in the global marketplace. CMAs hold a range of positions, including senior financial executive roles such as Presidents, CEOs, CFOs, Directors, Controllers, Accountants and Partners. As a CMA, you have diverse career options available to you, letting you develop your career as you choose. With positions across all business areas, CMAs work across a wide array of business functions, including accounting and finance, sales and marketing, operations, strategic planning and analysis, information technology and human resources.

Sounds good! So how do I become a CMA? There are three distinct steps to earning the CMA designation: 1. Graduate with a bachelor’s degree (or higher) and complete the CMA prerequisite courses. 2. Pass the CMA Entrance Examination. This examination is a four-hour multiple choice exam focused mainly on management accounting, financial accounting, corporate finance, and corporate tax with some coverage of other related business courses.


3. Complete CMA Canada’s unique management development program, the CMA Strategic Leadership Program, while gaining concurrent practical experience in a management accounting environment. This innovative two-year program focuses on the best of contemporary and emerging strategic management and management accounting practices while developing the communication, interpersonal, leadership and problem-solving skills essential for today’s management professional. Students must also write and pass the four-hour CMA Case Exam after Year 1 of the CMA Strategic Leadership Program. At the end of Year 2, candidates will be assigned to teams in order to complete the program’s final evaluation component, the CMA Board Report and Presentation. This dynamic project is the ultimate test of candidates’ CMA competencies and brings the program’s many facets together for a comprehensive application and a truly memorable learning experience. In addition, 24 months of practical experience in a management accounting environment, concurrent with the Strategic Leadership Program, is an essential component in the process of becoming a CMA. This Practical Experience Requirement provides assurance that candidates have demonstrated their competencies in the profession of management accounting.

Want to know more? Watch out for CMA Representatives who may be visiting your campus or come to a CMA information session near you! Please visit and click on the globe or “Find My Region” tab to locate your local provincial CMA office. Also, click on the TV or “View CMA Films” tab to see videos about CMAs who are adding value in organizations across all industry segments. TM

®/™ Registered Trade-Marks/Trade-Marks are owned by The Society of Management Accountants of Canada. Used under license.

The many lives of

GLENN IVES By Wallie Seto | Photography by Ruslan Sarkisian

lenn Ives may call Vancouver home, but his work has taken him around the world. In the past few months alone he’s travelled to London, New York, Washington, Paris, London, Madrid, and Singapore. He’s also handled many roles, from his start as a financial institution specialist, to working in the mining industry, to several roles at Deloitte. In 2010, Ives became chair of Deloitte Canada after 12 years at the company. Prior to his current position, he built Deloitte’s mining practice to be one of the biggest in the country. Ives recently spoke to Career Insider Accounting about his trajectory at Deloitte, why he returned to public accounting after 10 years in the mining industry, and what he looks for in student hires. He also shares tips on work-life balance, great books that recently inspired him, and the best ways to travel as a frequent flyer.


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You’ve been chair for over a year now. What’s it like? It’s certainly more challenging and rewarding than I ever expected. It’s great to be in a role where you can make a difference. It’s providing leadership, showing people how to make a bigger impact with their clients, some of it by example, others by talking to them and giving them confidence. How is the firm different now than when you took over? 2008 and 2009 were tough years with the credit crisis and the economic downturn. 2010 was all about stabilization. Now, we’re seeing growth. So 2011 has been a year of excellent growth for Deloitte. Our leadership team did a great job in investing in talent through the tough times, which enabled us to take advantage of the recovery. The other thing that’s happening at Deloitte is we are into a genera-

tional change in leadership. We’ve got a great crop of new leaders taking on senior roles. What’s the difference between your job as chair and the CEO? The chair works with a board of elected partners. We are more concerned with the longer term strategy of the firm rather than the dayto-day management which is the job of a CEO. One way to encapsulate it is the board has more of a balance sheet outlook while the leadership team has more of an income statement view, although still keeping an eye on the balance sheet. Describe the process how you became chair of the firm. We have a very robust governance process at Deloitte. Half of the board is elected by our partners every two years. There are 16 board members who serve a maximum of two four year terms.

Our chair and CEO are elected for a fouryear term, renewable once. The previous chair was retiring and so the opportunity arose to appoint a new chair. A leadership nominating committee was formed to get feedback on potential candidates and determine what skills that new chair should possess. My name came up on a short list. The committee asked us to come to Toronto for interviews and out of that process I was selected. Most CEOs of accounting firms begin as staff accountants but you are relatively new to the firm having only been around for 12 years. Did you ever think you would end up as chair of the firm? No. I enjoyed working with clients and our partners and people and had previously turned down opportunities to work in operational management. I certainly never aspired to be the chair. However, when your partners put your name forward for this type of role, you have an obligation to do the best you can. Within Deloitte, I’ve had four distinct careers. During my first three years, I was a client service partner dedicated to my own clients. And then as the clients began to grow, I began to work more with bigger teams of partners to serve our clients, particularly in the mining industry. And so I became a leadservice partner working with a team of partners and that lasted for another three-four years. And then in 2007 I was asked to become a vice-chair. Within Deloitte, vice chair is a management position but it is totally focused on clients and relationships and was a natural step for me. And so what I would say in my career, I started out doing a very deep amount of work on a few clients. As I progressed through my career I broadened the number of clients but decreased the depth. As the chair, one of the particular skills that was wanted was somebody to provide an increased presence in the market place. I’ve continued to decrease the depth of what I do with clients and increase the number of clients I interact with. Overall, I spend almost 50% of my time in the market. You graduated from the University of Waterloo in 1984. What made you choose that school and how would you describe your time there? I chose Waterloo because it had the best program to become a chartered accountant, which was my ambition when I was in high school. It was the math CA co-op program

that I joined. I started articling four months after arriving at Waterloo and I never regretted the decision. Waterloo was the key reason why I got to where I am today. I still use the skills I learned at the University of Waterloo.


What are those skills? I would say systematic thinking. When you do a mathematics degree, you learn a lot about systematic thinking, rationality and you gain strong analytical skills. Waterloo also had excellent accounting and finance professors. Before joining Deloitte, you had extensive experience in the mining industry. What attracted you to that industry? I tell people I didn’t select the mining industry, the mining industry selected me. Earlier in my career, I worked at Coopers & Lybrand (now PwC) where I was a financial institution specialist. I spent just under two years in the UK during the deregulation of the financial market in the late 1980’s. When I came back to Canada, I asked for a change and they put me in the manufacturing group. One of the clients was TVX, a mining company, and they offered me a job that was too good to refuse. So I joined them in 1988. Five years later, I joined another mining company, Vengold, and I moved to Vancouver. You say the mining industry chose you. What do you like about the mining industry? One of the things I acquired when I was in the UK was a global mindset, a real knowledge of and interest in what was happening in the world. The mining industry is a global industry, tailor made for my interests as it has a real impact on the global economy and people’s lives. As you can see in the last couple of years, mining is in the newspaper everyday so I was just a little ahead of my time. I also like the people in the mining industry. It has incredibly friendly people. I can go to a mine anywhere in the world, and I have in places like Papua New Guinea, Kazakhstan, Argentina, and Patagonia, and within hours you’re being treated as a long lost friend. The people keep you in it. You spent more than 10 years in the industry. What brought you back to working in public accounting? There are three things. I felt I was starting to stagnate and I wanted a new challenge, something that was intellectually stimulating. I felt it was potentially easier to get that in public practice than in industry.

Glenn Ives was born in Gravesend, England and raised in Port Elgin, Ontario. He earned a Bachelor of Mathematics at the University of Waterloo in 1984. Afterwards he became Ontario’s UFE gold medalist. In 1985, Ives became a chartered accountant. His first employers were Clarke, Henning & Co. and Coopers & Lybrand (now PwC). Ives then moved into the mining sector. He spent five years with TVX Gold, and then in 1993 he became director and chief financial officer of Vancouver-based Vengold Inc. Joining Deloitte as a partner and audit specialist in 1999, Ives developed the company’s mining practice to become one of Canada’s largest. He started as a clientservice partner and then became leadservice partner working with a team of partners for three to four years. In 2007, Ives became a vice chair. He was then elected chair of Deloitte Canada in 2010. Ives is a member of the Princess Margaret Foundation board of directors, and is on the Canadian advisory board for Catalyst Inc., a non-profit organization dedicated to expanding opportunities for women in business. Ives also serves on the Queen’s Business School Advisory Board. Career Insider Accounting 21

"I enjoy making an impact on people, helping them through difficult times, helping them improve." I also missed the opportunity to mentor and develop people’s careers. I really enjoyed that. I enjoy making an impact on people, helping them through difficult times, helping them improve. In public practice you’re doing it all the time. It’s about helping people get better. The third thing was the collegiality. In an industrial setting, you don’t have that many close friends who have similar backgrounds to you. In a mining company you tend to have people with different backgrounds, a geologist, a technical guy, an operating guy, a finance guy and a legal guy. In a professional services firm you’ve got literally hundreds of partners who have similar backgrounds to you. You have many common characteristics with your partners and great discussions It’s the collegiality with my partners that I enjoy the most in public practice. How would you describe the corporate culture in the places you’ve worked? In industry, the corporate culture is personified by the CEO. I was very lucky to work for 11 years with Ian Telfer who is the chairman of Goldcorp, Uranium One and the World Gold Council. The culture he created was work hard but enjoy life and that has always stuck with me. Ian always challenged me, encouraged me to get out of my comfort zone and gave me opportunities to do so. And that attitude permeated his companies. I’ve seen it and that’s what I admire most about him.

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"We want people with strong minds who can think analytically and are good communicators."

Ian always tried to leave something in every deal for the other party. Anybody who has done a deal with Ian will do another deal. This requires you to always think about things from the other parties’ side — a critical lesson. If there’s one thing I would like to aspire to, it would be that. People you have dealt with are happy to deal with you again. I always try to make it win-win rather than win-lose. What should students know about Deloitte? The first thing is we really do care about the development of students as professionals. It’s not just bringing a student in to do a bunch of work on audits. We actually care about what you do. Sometimes students lose sight of that. However, it is core to what we as a profession and as professionals do. It’s to help student get better and improve. So I think those are the fundamentals. I think we also have a great culture. The big 4 accounting firms have different cultures. I like our culture. It’s a winning team but most importantly, it’s a team that enjoys working together. I hear that from clients. It is something they’ve noticed. Students, once they become professional accountants, have the opportunity to work across Canada and throughout the world. And we help facilitate that. We give people opportunities to do things they would not otherwise do.

Your firm hires about 500 students a year. What kind of students are you looking for and what would they be hired to do? The first thing we’re looking for in students is diversity. We want people who think about things differently. And that means diversity of education and backgrounds. We also want people with strong minds who can think analytically and are good communicators. What are they going to do? If they join us in the CA stream, they would learn about audit, accounting and tax. Things like that. However, we’ve also got a very large advisory business. We’re hiring more and more directly into our consulting practices. There they’re learning about system implementations, strategy and operations, human capital. We’re very much expanding the skill sets we’re looking for. Your job as chair requires that you do a lot of travelling. How much travelling do you do and where do you most often go? I spend around a third of my time in Vancouver, a third in Toronto, about 20% travelling within Canada and the rest globally. So I’m all over the place, but obviously Vancouver and Toronto are the most important hubs. I spend a lot of time travelling and know many of the Air Canada crews. It is part of the job and you have to get out and meet with people whether they be clients or colleagues.

family time together and to make them happen. For example, my wife and I had to be at a retirement dinner in New York City before Victoria Day weekend. All four of our kids who are 15, 19, 21 and 23 years of age came to New York for the weekend and we spent three days together. We did a whole bunch of things that we would not otherwise have done. The benefits of the family time out"I like our culture. It's a winning team but most weigh the financial cost. importantly, it's a team that enjoys working together.” So it’s family first, then hobbies. I love golfing, biking and playing hockey. Within this job, you serve on the global It’s part of my lifestyle. I have a golf bag, a board and so I have a global meeting almost hockey bag and a bike in both Toronto and every month, in every corner of the earth. For Vancouver so I can do those activities wherthe balance of the year I will be going to ever I am. Korea, India and China. So I get around. How do you balance the requirements at work and time to be with your friends and What’s your best tip for frequent travellers? family? Carry on only. (Laughs) I use a NEXUS Card I spend a lot of time working so I try to make to get through customs and security quickly. plans in advance and stick to them. I take advantage of the super elite concierge Each year, five of my best friends from uniservice to get me through airports and I stay versity residence and our families get together at the same hotels. for a weekend. We’ve been doing it since 1988. I also try to be efficient with my time by It goes in the calendar a year in advance and doing a few things while I’m in a city. When I it’s sacrosanct. go to Saskatoon, for example, I’ll see clients at The key is to make plans and keep them. PotashCorp and Cameco but I’ll also meet Take advantage of opportunities that come with partners at the Deloitte office and have your way. Even if you are in town for an hour a town hall meeting with staff. and only have time for a drink, try to get together with a friend you haven’t seen in a You have an office in Toronto and Vancouwhile. Try to make things work within the paver. Which city do you consider home? rameters of your job. Vancouver. I have a condo in downtown Toronto which my wife and I love. Over the weekend, we You’ve been married for 30 years. What’s had one of our children over and we did some the secret to a long marriage? shopping at the St. Lawrence Market. A great spouse! My wife is my best friend. We In Vancouver we’ve got a house in the make key decisions together. You asked earmountains of West Vancouver. It’s right on the lier about being chair. When I realized it was tree line so it’s very different. It’s almost like a a possibility that I would be asked to be chair, cottage. So both places have benefits. my wife and I discussed it. We knew it was earlier than we expected for me to get inWhat do you do when you are not working? volved in an opportunity that required the Family comes first when I’m not at the office. type of travel and time away that this role One of the things I’ve learned is to treasure

does. We decided together that it would make sense for us to do it. Once we made the decision that I was going to pursue the opportunity, we didn’t look back. We have made the most of the opportunity to date and look forward to making it work in the future. What books are you reading and what are you learning from them? I’ve got three books that have had a big impact on me in the last few months. The first is “Decision Points” by George W. Bush. It’s a great book on how he made decisions. He’s very thoughtful and not anything like the public’s perception of him in Canada. Essentially it describes a decision making process that involves research, gathering a lot of facts and then, based on imperfect information, making decisions. Too often, people try to wait until they have “all” the facts before making a decision. And then there’s “Highest Duty” by Chesley Sullenberger. He’s the US Airways pilot who landed a damaged airplane, with 155 passengers, on the Hudson River in 2009. The idea that I got from that book was never just “mail it in”. Always do your best because he said, every landing he did, he tried to do it better than the last one. So, always do your best, you never know when it’ll be important to you. And obviously, he had a critical moment and all that practice made it perfect. It was cool leadership at a time of unbelievable stress. The third book is by our global CEO James H. Quigley. He is the co-author of “As One: Individual Action, Collective Power.” It’s about organizational behaviour and how organizations make decisions. It’s a great book. What advice would you give to students reading this interview? I go back to Chesley Sullenberger’s book. Never mail it in. Our tendency is to overestimate the number of opportunities we have to make an impression and we think if we don’t do well the first time, there’ll always be a second time. But there might never be a second time. Always do the best you can, because you never know how many chances you’ll get. Integrity is the only thing you absolutely control. You’ve got to have core values and you’ve got to stick to them no matter how much opportunity there is to stray. Determine your core values and keep to them. CIA

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UPWARDLY 24 Career Insider Accounting


Edited by Suzanne Bowness and Tsz Wai Derek Lee Photos by Ruslan Sarkisian

Diana Martins CA — SENIOR TAX ACCOUNTANT ERNST & YOUNG ABOUT ME: My interest in the accounting profession was sparked during my first year of studies at Simon Fraser University’s Beedie School of Business. I had originally thought about pursuing a career in finance but changed my mind after taking my first accounting course. The professor was a woman who became my role model. She taught with a sense of passion and it rubbed off on me. I joined Ernst & Young after graduating from SFU in 2007. One of the reasons why I chose the firm was the flexibility to take care of personal tasks during the day. For example, when it’s nice outside, I can leave the office early to walk my dog and continue working from home. 

MY ADVICE: Soft skills are just as important as technical skills in the professional services industry. Skills such as being a good listener, good writing skills, the ability to verbally articulate your ideas and having a professional demeanour will help you build relationships with clients.

Photo: Todd Duncan

WHERE I AM TODAY: After an annual review, I was promoted to senior tax accountant earlier this year. I like the variety that comes with my job. One day I could be working on an assignment for one of our tax clients and the next day I could be assisting our assurance or transaction advisory group on tax related matters. My next career goal is to become manager within three years. This ambition to succeed in life comes from my parents who immigrated to Canada when they were younger. They worked very hard to support me through university and it’s important that I follow their example by working hard and honestly everyday.

Career Insider Accounting 25

Jonathan Willis CA — MANAGER PWC ABOUT ME: I went to Queen’s University where I graduated with a Bachelor of Commerce degree in 2007. One of the best things about the program were the professors. They not only taught from the textbooks but actually wrote them. They had first-hand experience in the business world and passed that knowledge on to us. Another great thing about the program was going on an exchange during my third year. I spent a semester at a university in Belgium and travelled all over Europe during my breaks. My best memories are going to the Olympics in Torino and the World Cup Soccer Championship in Germany. WHERE I AM TODAY: I have been with PwC for four years and was recently promoted to manager. That’s meant a lot to me because it’s considered an early promotion. One of the things that has helped me get to where I am today was my willingness to learn. PwC offers many courses to develop new skills. I also had a coach who gave me lots of advice. I always kept learning, listening to feedback and looking for different opportunities to go above and beyond the expectations of my level. As a manager, my main task is to lead a team of associates on a number of audit engagements. That includes allocating work to them, reviewing their work and coaching them. I began my career auditing clients in a variety of sectors but I am now focusing on the financial services sector. MY ADVICE: Be open minded. Every career path is different and it’s important to not be afraid to take risks and to follow your heart. You’re always more successful in something you want to do than something you don’t. For me, I didn’t always expect to get into accounting, but it turned out to be something I really enjoy. It’s opened up lots of opportunities.

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Stan Zabolotsky CMA — FINANCIAL CONTROLLER SIEMENS CANADA ABOUT ME: I’ve been with Siemens Canada since 2009 after graduating from the University of Toronto’s Rotman Commerce program. I began my career at Siemens as an assistant project controller. At that time, I entered the CMA Strategic Leadership Program. The program covers all areas of business, balancing both quantitative and qualitative analysis, and ensures students look at the pros and cons of every option. The program also develops soft skills such as presentation, teamwork and communication skills.  WHERE I AM TODAY: In 2011, I was promoted to financial controller of a business unit. It’s a fairly large business, with 8-figure annual revenue, offering energy distribution systems to mining and utility companies. I am responsible for everything from managing our financials and reporting to headquarters in Germany, to managing customer relations and working internally with our legal counsel and insurance department. I occasionally travel to other countries to build and maintain relationships with our business partners.  While my work ethic, interpersonal skills and problem-solving skills were factors in my promotion, what made me stand out was my ability to learn and adapt quickly. Because Siemens is such a huge multinational company, there is a lot of room to grow and move between different positions and countries. In the next couple years I may consider moving to the U.S. or Latin America.  MY ADVICE: Really successful people have the courage to do something different. When I researched the CMA designation, I discovered it was exactly what I wanted - to be a strategic thinker, an internal decision maker, a creative and innovative accountant with a focus on management and a holistic business perspective. Do your research…and be brave.

Career Insider Accounting 27

Manjit Bagri CGA — MANAGER HERJAVEC GROUP ABOUT ME: I have wanted to be an accountant since high school when I got 100% on my first test in accounting. I’ve been with the Herjavec Group since 2007 after graduating with a Bachelor of Administrative Studies from York University the previous year. I began my career at the company as a junior accountant and have been promoted twice and recently earned my CGA designation. I chose the program because it allowed me to study on my own schedule. I also liked the career opportunities that came with having the designation. WHERE I AM TODAY: I am now manager of finance and operations at the Herjavec Group. We provide IT security for large companies like Rogers Communications, Research in Motion and TD Bank. Our CEO, Robert Herjavec, is also a panel member on the CBC television show Dragon’s Den. I work with him quite closely and I am responsible for providing him financial statements and reports on how the company is doing. I manage a team of six accountants and we handle everything from accounts receivables, accounts payable to payroll and benefits. I am involved in the detailed operations of the company but because we are growing so quickly I am also making strategic business decisions on a big picture level. My next career goal is to become director of finance at the company. MY ADVICE: Develop a reputation among your senior colleagues as a person who gets things done well and done right away. You will earn their trust and they will reward you when there are openings at higher level positions.

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Blake Langill CA — PARTNER ERNST & YOUNG ABOUT ME: My dad was an accountant. He thought I had an aptitude for the profession and so growing up he always pushed me to become one. That said, like most kids, I completely ignored his advice. It wasn’t until struggling during a recession to find meaningful employment with an economics degree did I realize he was on to something. That’s when I decided to get a degree from the University of Toronto’s Master of Management and Professional Accounting (MMPA) program. The program helped me develop real-life skills in a fastpaced environment which prepared me well for my career and life in general. WHERE I AM TODAY: I’ve been with Ernst & Young since January 1995 and a partner since July 2006. As a new partner, I was asked to lead our Toronto-based mining group, which I have been doing ever since. I’m also an audit partner for several public companies and recently became one of the lead partners in our financial accounting advisory services group. To become a partner, you need to be able to develop and maintain internal and external relationships, be committed to doing the right thing, have strong leadership, interpersonal and technical skills and be able to quickly digest and process large amounts of information to arrive at conclusions. MY ADVICE: Have multiple mentors you can trust and be open to the comments they make. Sometimes hearing a tough message can be disheartening, but the sky is not pink and it is from these that you’ll find a key or two to help you unlock the next door of your career. For me, without the guidance and support I’ve received from my mentors, I would not be where I am today.

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30 Career Insider Accounting


WAYS As a business student, you are one of many. Even if your grades are well-above average, that only really proves you have an aptitude for the books. What gets peoples’ attention-what makes you stand out when it comes to scoring interviews-is your competitive edge.

By Chris Edwards

Career Insider Accounting 31


hroughout the school year, universities and other institutions across Canada hold competitions for students like you. Many are team games, pitting you and your classmates against peers from other schools. In many competitions, each team tries to assess and solve a case study, then presents solutions to a panel of judges. The most convincing, best-thought out case wins the day. Others contests, like online quizzes, are for individuals alone. But what all these events have in common is the opportunities they create for those who win. First place can bring with it a fresh batch of contacts, lucrative prizes, and prestige in the profession well before you’ve even entered it. Are you up for such a challenge? Read on and meet some high-achievers who have blazed the trail. A three-day event, the Ryerson University Accounting Society’s (RUAS’s) ACHIEVE Accounting Conference & Case Competition presents student teams with a case-consisting of a few pages of written description and some financial statements-which they must analyze. Teams represent universities from across Canada, including the University of Waterloo, which produced this year’s winning team, led by Kathleen Li. “Our teamwork won us this competition. We worked on the entire case together, and everyone knew everyone else’s part, so if anyone missed a point when presenting, someone else could step in and make it. You just have to keep a clear head and stay focused. If my team had spent more time being intimidated

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by the talent on other teams, we wouldn’t have done as well.” Li’s experience was a valuable one, and not just because of the $1,500 prize. Her win is a popular topic during job interviews, too. The CMA Case Competition (CMACC) is something quite different. Held earlier this year on the campus of McMaster University, the CMACC challenged 25 student teams to plan and implement strategies to improve a fictional troubled company using an online business simulation that leading organizations from across the globe use to train their own management teams. In one day, the winning team of four was the one that convinced the highest percentage of stakeholders to buy into its plan using the least amount of time and money. Gabriele Iannucci of Ryerson University and his teammates proved most persuasive: winning the CMACC Champion trophy and splitting a cheque for $5,000. “Competitions like this prove your skills outside the classroom. In this case, it also proved that Ryerson’s business school could compete with the top business schools from across Ontario. We saw how much time groups wasted when their members argued about each others’ decisions. There was really no time to do that-you had to trust your teammates and work together to get the tasks accomplished.” But sometimes, the only person you can trust is yourself. That was the case for Simon Couvrette of the University of Ottawa’s Telfer School of Management-simply because the

“MY ADVICE TO ANY OTHER STUDENTS WOULD BE TO ENTER AS MANY OF THESE COMPETITIONS AS POSSIBLE. IT DEMONSTRATES THAT YOU WANT TO GET INVOLVED, THAT YOU’RE PASSIONATE ABOUT BUSINESS AND WILLING TO LEARN NEW SKILLS.” competition he entered, the CGA One Hour Accounting Contest, was not a team event. Rather, it’s a multiple choice, online accounting exam, with 100 questions and over 1,000 participants. After one hour of hard work, Couvrette took home a first-place prize of $5,000 for personal use, plus a $5,000 scholarship towards the CGA program of studies, and $5,000 for his school’s accounting department. Yet his victory shocked him, since he’d struggled with the test once before. “I knew there were many participants and therefore, strong competition. But the win confirmed for me that my knowledge is strong. I prepared for the competition by reviewing accounting concepts a few hours before the exam in order to refresh my memory and headed into it with a positive attitude.” The scholarship will assist Couvrette in obtaining his CGA designation. From 60 minutes to three days and two nights-that’s the period over which this year’s University of Waterloo Accounting Conference

HOT OPPORTUNITIES Here is a partial list of competitions happening this school year. CMA ONTARIO CASE COMPETITION Competition details: • Held at McMaster University • Students form teams of four • In this competition, teams learn the results of their decisions in real time • Six hour competition • Only open to undergraduate students who attend an Ontario university or are registered in applied programs at Conestoga College, Humber College, George Brown College and Seneca College • Must be full time students or be in any of the programs listed at • Can only participate once and must be a CMA student member • Rules can be found at

(UWAC) was held, though the competition itself takes about three hours. UWAC randomly divides student delegates into teams of four, presenting them with a case study. This year’s topic: dealing with risks in the mining industry. Yoomin Yun, a student at Queen’s University, lists good preparation as a factor that set his winning team apart: “Organization was crucial if we were to present a great solution in the time given us. We assigned rough roles to everyone, so each of us could work on a part of the case alone. We ensured our solution was S.M.A.R.T. (specific, measurable, actionable, realistic, and timely). Our group also performed well during the judges’ question and answer period afterward, since we’d anticipated some of the questions and brainstormed the answers beforehand.” The ‘Show Me the Green’ Case Competition, held by the Undergraduate Commerce Society at the University of Toronto Mississauga, is aptly-named for a couple of reasons. It’s a one-day event that sees teams of students from universities across Ontario compete to create the best business proposal for redeveloping Mississauga’s downtown core along greener lines. The prize for first place: $3,000. This year’s green went to a team that included Brandon Gee of the University of Toronto. “My advice to any other students would be to enter as many of these competitions as possible. It demonstrates that you want to get involved, that you’re passionate about business


• $5,000 first prize • $2,500 second prize


January 28, 2012

LIVE CONFERENCE 2011 Competition details: • Held in downtown Toronto • Multidisciplinary business competition revolves around finance, production, marketing, accounting, human resources and strategic management • Teams of five students • Judged by industry professionals • Prize

• $1,000 cash prize • $500 prize package to each member • Executive mentorship


November 10-12, 2011

FAST PACE TO THE CASE (FPC) COMPETITION 2012 Competition details: -Organized by the DeGroote Accounting Association at McMaster University -Each school across Ontario can send up to three teams of four students -Case competition style Prize

$4,000 cash prize


February 12, 2012

SHOW ME THE GREEN Competition details: -Organized by students from the University of Toronto Mississauga -Based on environmental sustainability -First round presentations begin before the date of conference Date:

March 2012

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HOT OPPORTUNITIES Here is a partial list of competitions happening this school year. UNIVERSITY OF WATERLOO ACCOUNTING CONFERENCE 2012 Competition details: • Case competition • eams of four individuals • 10 minute presentations • This year’s theme is financial planning • Conference is happening May 4-6, 2012 • Includes two socials (a banquet and a dance on the Saturday) • Centered more on creativity and innovative solutions with fundamental knowledge of accounting required • All delegates attending UWAC 2012 are eligible to compete Prize

$1,000 for first place team


May 5, 2012

ACHIEVE ACCOUNTING CONFERENCE & COMPETITION Competition Details: • Organized by Ryerson University Accounting Society (RUAS) • Winning in business & in life workshops • Case and speakers that focus on social media, work life balance, international opportunities and social responsibilities • Held at Ted Rogers School of Management in Toronto • Teams of four individuals • 3rd and 4th year accounting students are eligible with one 2nd year student allowed on each team Prize

$1,500 cash for first place winners


Jan 26-28, 2012

BROCK UNIVERSITY ACCOUNTING CONFERENCE – DIGITAL DOMINATION: THE WORLD 2.0 AT YOUR FINGERTIP Competition Details: • Takes place at Fallsview Hilton Hotel in Niagara Falls • Teams of four students • Two divisions (junior/ senior) with case written by Brock University professors • This year’s cases will incorporate the role of technology and its impact on the accounting field • Conference from Friday to Sunday and the competition is held on the Saturday Prizes

• $1,000 for first place in senior division • $500 for first place in junior division


November 18-20, 2011

34 Career Insider Accounting

and willing to learn new skills. They're a great chance to network too. At this event, I got to meet employers from the big four accounting firms, and representatives from the accounting professional bodies as well.” The Fast Pace to the Case (FPC), organized by McMaster University’s Degroote Accounting Association (DAA), is another opportunity for students to make their names and make contacts at the same time. A one-day event, it brings together representatives from university accounting associations across Canada; schools can send up to three teams of four students. Like some of the other contests described here, the FPC presents teams with complex accounting case studies they must evaluate. For Peter Buttigieg, member of the winning team from the University of Toronto, the competition was a welcome challenge-and the $4,000 first prize a welcome reward. “I participated because I have a genuine interest in accounting and finance, and appreciated the opportunity to test my knowledge alongside peers from my university and other universities across Ontario. We were fortunate to have a group of strong individuals on our team whose skills were nevertheless complementary. The fact that we’re friends helped too. The judges were looking for a combination of technical strength, confidence, and clarity, and we had it.” For Audrey Landry of Concordia University’s John Molson School of Business, being strong academically meant little if she could not use her knowledge for other purposes. Case competitions were an opportunity to put her knowledge to practice, and so she and her team entered many, including the 2011 University of Ottawa Accounting Case Competition. Unlike most case competitions, this one had two components: an Academic Case Competition, consisting of a three-hour case in which teams of three are required to analyze, address issues and prepare a presentation lasting no more than 20 minutes; and a Fundamental Knowledge Examination, consisting of 25 multiple choice questions with an onehour time-limit. The student who scores highest on the exam is awarded the ‘Golden Calculator,’ and this year, it went to Landry. “Winning is always important but winning is not everything. I gained new friends too, and my team and coaches became like family. I also gained a lot of self-confidence by presenting my findings in English, which has helped me personally as well as professionally. So, for me, victory was but the culmination of many great experiences.” CIA

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36 Career Insider Accounting







DIRECTORY ASSOCIATIONS American Institute of Certified Public Accountants Association of Chartered Certified Accountants Canada (ACCA) Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants Institute of Chartered Accountants of Alberta Institute of Chartered Accountants of British Columbia Institute of Chartered Accountants of Manitoba New Brunswick Institute of Chartered Accountants Institute of Chartered Accountants of Newfoundland and Labrador Institute of Chartered Accountants of the Northwest Territories and Nunavut Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nova Scotia Institute of Chartered Accountants of Ontario 69 Bloor Street East Toronto, Ontario M4W 1B3 Tel: 416-962-1841 or 800-387-0735 Fax: 416-962-8900 Email: Chartered Accountants of Quebec

Institute of Chartered Accountants of Saskatchewan CGA Canada 4200 North Fraser Way, Suite 100 Burnaby, British Columbia V5J 5K7 Tel: 604-669-3555 or 800-663-1529 Fax: 604-689-5845 CGA Alberta Email: CGA British Columbia Email: CGA Manitoba Email: CGA New Brunswick Email: CGA Newfoundland and Labrador Email: CGA Northwest Territories/Nunavut Email: CGA Ontario 240 Eglinton Avenue East Toronto, Ontario M4P 1K8 Tel: 416-322-6520 or 800-668-1454 Fax: 416-322-5594 Email: CGA Prince Edward Island Email: Ordre des CGA du QuĂŠbec Email: CGA Saskatchewan Email:

CMA Canada Mississauga Executive Centre 1 Robert Speck Parkway, Suite 1400 Mississauga, Ontario L4Z 3M3 Tel: 905-949-4200 or 800-263-7622 Email: Certified Management Accountants of Alberta Email: Certified Management Accountants of British Columbia Email: Certified Management Accountants of Manitoba Email: Certified Management Accountants of New Brunswick Email: Certified Management Accountants of Newfoundland & Labrador Email: Certified Management Accountants of Northwest Territories Certified Management Accountants of Nova Scotia, Bermuda and PEI Email: Certified Management Accountants of Ontario 25 York Street, Suite 1100 Toronto, Ontario M5J 2V5 Tel: 416-977-7741 or 800-387-2991 Fax: 416-977-6079 Email: Certified Management Accountants of Quebec Email:

Career Insider Accounting 37


Certified Management Accountants of Saskatchewan Email:

EMPLOYERS BC Public Service Agency BDO Dunwoody BMO Financial Group Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) CIBC Collins Barrow Deloitte National Office 2 Queen Street East, Suite 1200 P.O. Box 8, Toronto, Ontario M5C 3G7 Tel: 416-874-3874 Fax: 416-874-3888 For a complete listing of all Deloitte offices in Canada, please visit their website at

IBM Canada Imperial Oil KPMG National Office 333 Bay Street, Suite 4600 Bay Adelaide Centre Toronto, Ontario M5H 2S5 Tel: 416-777-8500 Fax: 416-777-8818 For a complete listing of all KPMG offices in Canada, please visit their website at Loblaw Companies Limited 1 President’s Choice Circle Brampton, Ontario L6Y 5S5 Tel: 905-459-2500 Fax: 905-861-2206 Manulife Financial

Grant Thornton Hewlett-Packard (Canada)

38 Career Insider Accounting

Scotiabank State Street Canada TD Bank Financial Group

UNIVERSITIES Acadia University

University of British Columbia Sauder School of Business 2053 Main Mall Vancouver, British Columbia V6T 1Z2 Tel: 604-822-8500 Fax: 604-822-8468 Email:

National Bank of Canada

Porter Hetu International

Government of Alberta Corporate Human Resources

RSM Richter

Microsoft Canada employment

For a complete listing of all Ernst & Young offices in Canada, please visit their website at

General Mills careers/index.aspx

Robert Half International

University of Alberta

Office of the Auditor General of Canada

Fairmont Hotels & Resorts

Research In Motion

Maple Leaf Foods

Ernst & Young National Office Ernst & Young Tower 222 Bay Street, P.O. Box 251 Toronto, Ontario M5K 1J7 Tel: 416-864-1234 Fax: 416-864-1174

Evancic Perrault Robertson

RBC Financial Group RBC Recruitment Services Tel: 888-256-3088

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PwC Head Office 18 York Street Toronto, Ontario M5J 0B2 Tel: 416-863-1133 Fax: 416-365-8178 For a complete listing of all PricewaterhouseCoopers offices in Canada, please visit their website at Public Service Commission of Canada Public Works and Government Services Canada

Diploma in Accounting Program Tel: 604-822-8412 Fax: 604-822-2220 Email: Brock University University of Calgary Carleton University Concordia University John Molson School of Business 1455 de Maisonneuve Blvd. West Montreal, Quebec H3G 1M8 Tel: 514-848-2424 ext. 2668 Dalhousie University Grant MacEwan University Laurentian University

University of Manitoba McGill University Desautels Faculty of Management 1001 Sherbrooke St. West Montreal, Quebec H3A 1G5

Memorial University of Newfoundland Mount Allison University University of New Brunswick

University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT) University of Ottawa Queen’s University Ryerson University

University of Saskatchewan St. Francis Xavier University Simon Fraser University

University of Toronto Mississauga Commerce Programs

Master of Taxation Program Email: Tel: 519-888-4567 ext. 37553

University of British Columbia Accounting Club Sauder School of Business 125F-6138 Student Union Blvd. Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z1 Email:

University of Western Ontario Wilfrid Laurier University University of Windsor York University


Algonquin College Canadore College Centennial College Conestoga College Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning Fanshawe College George Brown College Georgian College Humber College Loyalist College Mohawk College of Applied Arts and Technology Seneca College Sheridan College

Business Students Association

DAP Student Club Email: Brock University Accounting Students’ Association University of Calgary Accounting Students’ Association Carleton University Sprott Accounting Student’s Association Concordia University Commerce & Administration Students’ Association (CASA) John Molson Accounting Society Dalhousie University Commerce Society University of Manitoba Commerce Students’ Association (CSA) McGill University Management Accounting Society McMaster University DeGroote Accounting Association Nipissing University Business Community University of Ontario Institute of Technology UOIT Accounting Association

Career Insider Accounting 39


Master of Management & Professional Accounting Program University of Toronto Mississauga Kaneff Centre, Room 108 3359 Mississauga Road Mississauga, Ontario L5L 1C6 Tel: 905-569-4941 Fax: 905-569-4306 Email:

University of Alberta Accounting Club


University of Toronto Rotman Commerce Email:

University of Waterloo School of Accounting & Finance 200 University Ave. West Waterloo, Ontario N2L 3G1 Tel: 519-888-4567 ext. 36536


Saint Mary’s University

Acadia University Business Society AcadiaBusinessSociety


Nipissing University

University of Victoria



McMaster University

University of Toronto Scarborough Division of Management Email:


University of Lethbridge


Queen’s University Queen’s Accounting Association (QAA) Ryerson University Accounting Society Tel: 416-979-5000 ext. 7557 Email: University of Saskatchewan Edwards Business Students' studentclubs/ebss Simon Fraser University SFU Accounting Student Association 8888 University Drive Burnaby, British Columbia V5A 1S6 Email: University of Toronto Rotman Commerce Accounting Society rcas.htm Rotman Commerce Students’ Association rcsa.htm Rotman Commerce Women in Business (RCWIB) wib.htm Undergraduate Commerce Society Management and Economics Students’ Association University of Victoria UVic Commerce Students’ Society



University of Ottawa Accounting Club 55 Laurier Avenue East, Room 2105 E Ottawa, Ontario K1N 6N5 Tel: 613-562-5800 ext. 4697 Email:

40 Career Insider Accounting

University of Waterloo Accounting and Finance Student Association

Maggie Ng - Makeup + Hair Tel: 647-287-1535 Email:

University of Western Ontario HBA Accounting Association Email:

Markintosh Design Mark Tzerelshtein Graphic and Web Design Tel: 416-562-4639

Honours Business Administration Association (HBAA) Tel: 519-661-3246 Email: Wilfrid Laurier University Accounting Association SBE Students' Society University of Windsor Honorary Accounting Society Email: York University Atkinson Professional Accounting Association Email:

National Association of Asian American Professionals Right To Play Stilllife Photography Ruslan Sarkisian Tel: 416-535-1272 Email: Tom & Associates 5898 Clanranald Montreal, Quebec H3X 2T1 Tel: 514-341-3929 Fax: 514-733-6670 Email:

Schulich Accounting Society Email:

United Way of Canada

York Finance Club

Volunteer Canada


WSPA Canada

BizRelations Inc. P.O. Box 55376 300 Borough Drive Toronto, Ontario M1P 4Z7 Tel: 905-471-0409 Email:

World Wildlife Fund

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Career Insider Acounting 2011-2012  

2011-2012 Edition