You’re new to Sloan Group. Tell us a little about how you like to work with your clients.
I began working with Sloan Group during this past tax season and joined on as an associate partner in the firm full time in May 2016. I feel that the best way I can help my clients is to listen. Listening to my clients and asking the right questions is key to understanding their goals. I can then provide innovative solutions, and they can make informed decisions that allow them to focus on being more profitable.
What is the most rewarding part of your job?
Without any doubt, the most rewarding part of my job is seeing a client who is happy to get a challenging situation resolved to their satisfaction, and their business is improved because of it. Change often leads to future benefits as well. For example, when I can generate savings in an area that the client wasn’t aware of, those savings will usually bring unexpected future savings.
You have a lot of corporate automotive accounting experience. Tell us about your background in that area of work.
Since I was very young, I have had a love for cars and working with numbers, so when you add those together, the result is an accountant working with car dealerships! I was involved early on in my career with car dealerships and have been fortunate to have worked with a wide variety of dealership sizes – from small to very large – and with many different car makes. I also have experience working with the largest and most successful car dealership groups in Canada. My unique experience allowed me to help dealerships and dealership groups improve their bottom lines.
You describe yourself as a problem solver who is a non-typical accountant. Tell me more about your personal style?
The approach I take with clients is one of open, friendly and welcoming communication. I try to think outside the box about new ways to solve business challenges, and I enjoy finding innovative solutions that can improve a client’s situation. There are typically new and different ways to approach a situation; they just have to be explored.
What is the biggest tax mistakes you see businesses make and how can they be avoided?
Often businesses do not take advantage of savings opportunities. For example, in the car dealership environment, mileage calculations for demo benefits can be improved, the proper log of work/personal mileage can be more accurately tracked, and inventory values can be updated to bring more savings. Also, many businesses do not file tax returns on time which leads to unnecessary interest and penalty payments that if better managed could improve their bottom line.
What made you decide to become an accounting and tax professional?
I knew from the time I was in high school that I wanted to be an accountant. I come from a family of accountants – my father and two of my four siblings are accountants. My first experience with taxes was filling out information on a tax return when I was just 12 years old.
I have never regretted my decision to become an accountant; it is a very rewarding career for me.
What is your favorite thing about your profession?
Engaging with clients at different stages of their business and working with a company from its beginning and watching it grow and prosper is very rewarding for me. My clients can rely on me to properly take care of their accounting and tax situations, which allows them to focus on their businesses. It’s gratifying to help clients fulfill their dreams.
Do you have any hobbies or special interests outside of the office that you’d like to share?
When I am not working, I enjoy swimming. I belong to a master swim team and sometimes participate in swimming competitions. I also appreciate the Toronto food and live arts scene. I enjoy trying out new and different restaurants with my wife and friends.
Tell us a little about your volunteer experience with Habitat for Humanity.
I volunteer with a few different organizations in this cause. It is a rewarding experience helping build a house, but there’s a lot more to it than helping and seeing walls being built and windows going in. Knowing that the house will be a place to call home for a family is what it is all about. Helping to make this a reality is a great feeling.