What is your role at RLB?
Manager at the Kitchener Office. I manage our personal tax practice in Kitchener as well as the compilation of financial statements and tax returns for owner-managed small businesses. I do training for our junior staff and co-op students as well.
What does a typical day look like for you right now?
Most days are focused on making sure client needs are met. Most commonly this means checking in with staff and keeping engagements on track, reviewing compilation engagements, and replying to client questions and concerns. During tax season focus shifts to T3s, T4s, T5s, and personal tax returns. I’ve been working on some firm projects lately as well, including working on the teams that introduced our new internal recognition program, as well as refining our Notice to Reader process.
Tell us about yourself.
I didn’t set out to be an accountant but kind of found my way here. I went to school for chemistry but wasn’t enjoying it, so I stopped! I took a year off to wash cars and then went back to school for accounting. By the time I graduated we’d had the first of our two daughters, so I got a bit of a late start! We love to play games and travel and take our doodle Peggy for a swim whenever possible.
Can you tell us about your decision to apply to work at RLB?
Fortunately for me I didn’t need to apply – the firm that I was working at merged with RLB in 2011. It’s probably a good thing – the merger and subsequent years opened up additional opportunities for me. The new responsibilities really helped me find what I liked to do and let me grow as an accountant. If I were somewhere else, the biggest thing that would encourage me to apply is the flexibility – we have the potential for remote work and flex-time arrangements, and in my experience as long as the work gets done well and on time, there is less of an emphasis on being at your desk from 9-5 every day.
How would you describe your path to your current role at RLB?
I think my path is pretty atypical. When I joined RLB there wasn’t really a career path for non-designated professional staff. But in the past ten years, I think the firm has opened its eyes to the value of professional staff that aren’t on the CPA track. There are now several managers and a principal(!), and a defined and accepted path to leadership that might not be available at other firms. For me personally, the small team atmosphere of the Kitchener office allowed me to take a leadership role on personal taxes several years ago. This gave me valuable experience in refining processes and creating a strong team atmosphere, which I think is a big part of my path to manager.
What inspires you to come in every day?
The biggest thing for me is being able to work with great people. Service teams allow a smaller firm feeling with bigger firm resources. In Kitchener, we’ve been lucky to have a team that has been able to stay together for a long time and build strong relationships. As a result, we work well together and have a lot of fun, and that makes it a nice place to work! My goal is to make RLB that kind of place for everyone.
What’s one thing you wish you could go back and tell yourself before applying?
I didn’t apply but I’d encourage past new RLB employees to get to know a variety of people! Having good relationships with different people in the firm is great for getting an understanding of different roles in the firm as well as the awesome people! Internal networking is cool and will help you and allow you to help others.
Do you have any tips you’d like to share with aspiring RLB Team Members?
I talked about it a bit before but I think a big reason for success is getting to know a lot of people. I try to visit all of our offices from time to time to check in with team members I haven’t seen in a while and meet new team members! Building those internal relationships improves overall firm teamwork. It will allow you to better understand who to ask for help when you need it, and where you can refer clients on specific issues to better serve them.
Did you know RLB is hiring? Check out the full list of career opportunities here.