I grew up in an accounting household. I remember doing my first tax return at 13, and when I was 18, fresh out of high school, the only saleable skill I had was bookkeeping courses I taken in high school. I segued into the natural thing, doing the CGA program, taking courses through the Data Processing Management Association (which I don’t think even exists anymore), being a lowly student at an accounting firm and running my own bookkeeping business. Yes, I am an overachiever. By the time I was 27, I dropped the bookkeeping business and the IT courses. The two children I had at the time made parenting dominate my time.
In 1991, my daycare fell through so I did the logical thing: quit my job and became self-employed in public accounting. And raised two kids. And volunteered with the PAC and Girl Guides.
First, self-employment is a scary thing; when you have a young family even more so. It’s like a line from a song “…falling feels like flying until you hit the ground”.
Second, in the almost 3 decades, I have made every mistake you can make. When I was a teenager, one of my teachers had a sign over his desk. “Learn from the mistakes of others, you can’t possibly make them all yourself” (which turns out to be a misquote of Eleanor Roosevelt). I do not know everything. But I have found that a lot of times, I know where to look.
When I was 58, I sold my partner equity that took almost 30 years to build up. Now I am consulting with that firm and others, but I am also looking to help people get started with their own passion.
I am a winner of the Harold Clarke award, and in a 1999 North Shore News readers poll, I was named 3rd most favourite accountant on the North Shore (under my then-married name).
I aspire to share my experience, strength and hope with you so you won’t have to go through as much pain as I have.
That saying “when one door closes, another one opens” may be true, but it’s hell in the hallway. So if you’re stuck in the hallway and that mountain seems insurmountable, call me. Maybe I can turn that brick wall into a speed bump.
A cautionary note: it is true, I don’t know everything but after all these decades I have a lot of resources. And my blog stories are all true, but they are composites, putting several similar stories together. Any story that may appear to be one individual real person is just coincidental. Except the ones about CRA (Revenue Canada, Canada Customs & Revenue, CCRA – however you want to label them). Sadly, as it speaks to the quality of service from our federal government, they are all factual.
and beyond the undergrad and CPA, stuff I’ve done which may or may not matter: