Tuesday, July 12, 2016

LESSONS LEARNED, God is a faithful God, I am a Tax Accountant!!!!

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This journey and period of life has been one of the best growth curve I have experienced since learning to crawl. But despite several setbacks, God has been faithful.
I have become a Tax Accountant!!! I have an amazing job at a wonderful firm, and finishing up my masters of accounting and certification in upcoming months. This is what i have to report, if you will not give up despite the opposition you encounter,(racism, sexism, discouragement, lack of support, encouragement, finances, mentors) believe me the list may be very long, but God will certainly intervene and provide the power necessary to achieve your goal. To God be the glory!

Friends stay on and fight your battles to his glory. I know you are on your way winning your own victories for Christ and becoming everything he created you to be. Few lessons to share with you:

1. Success is Learning the word of God and relying on it -
   There is no lasting success without a passionate desire to know God. The word provides hope,    power and wisdom.
2. Take personal Responsibility for your dreams. Even if you have no support
3.Defend your ground- Learn to push your problems backwards.
4.Attack whatever is coming against you. Pay Attention, everything matters- What you believe matters. Address the things God is bringing your way, eliminate the threat.
5. Seek Teachers but Trust God-They could be your neighbor, family friend or in my case, teachers from YouTube or books. He has you on your path for a reason.
6. Be Patient, Persistent, Positive
7.You Must Learn to Embody the Lion and the Lamb. Some situations will call for one over the other.    Don't ask me when to use what, it was hard for me to know when wisdom required one over the     other. For the more gentle people-You Will Be Required to Stand Up for yourself.
8. Winning is done between the Ears. What are you saying to yourself. Examine your inner self talk.
9. Address your fears, apply wisdom.
10. As a christian your win is God's win. It is the way he shows himself to others. You never know who you may be influencing, therefore fight on brothers and sisters.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014



Hello Everyone,

Below is an interview conducted with Andrea Brennan who is campus recruiter for Toronto, Deloitte. She has agreed to answer some questions that many of you out there may have about cpa recruitment. I hope it is as helpful to you as it was for me.

1.      How many student do you recruit for your student positions?
     ·         This number varies each year and is dependent on our business needs.

2.      What are the kinds of experiences you value in the students that you recruit?
·         We are looking for well-rounded individuals who are doing well in school, are involved in extracurricular/volunteer activities and have transferable skills from their work experience.  From a soft skills perspective, we look for individuals: who are strong communicators (both verbal & written), take initiative, critical thinkers, work well in teams and on their own.

3.      How many years of experience do you require for your staff positions?
·         The staff accountant positions are entry level roles, so students are required to have completed their undergraduate degree and related CPA courses, but there is no required number of years of previous experience.

     4.         Do you recruit staff accountant from other industries other than the chartered accounting   industry? For example can someone with experience in internal audit for non-profits get an auditing position at Deloitte or do you recruit solely those with chartered accounting experience.
·         Through campus recruiting, we are only filling CPA positions.  As a candidate it is the individual’s responsibility to show how their previous experience (whether work, extracurricular or volunteer) will help them be successful as a CPA at Deloitte.

     5.        I am currently an independent student meaning that i already completed my degree and I   am now independently taking the 51 credit hours required by Cpa Ontario in order to sit for the cpa-ca exams, since i am not affiliated with any specific program, how would you advise me on securing a position from chartered accounting firms such as yours, that usually recruit from programs.
·         Our next recruitment cycle will take place in September 2014 for positions starting in September 2015.  To apply you will need to include your resume, cover letter and unofficial transcripts.  Our postings will go live towards the end of August and be up until mid-September.  If there are any networking opportunities available through the CPA Ontario Institute or the alumni program at your university, I’d encourage you to attend those events.  Additionally if CPA Ontario offers any resume review sessions you should participate in those activities, you can also reach out to friends you know who work at the various firms to understand their experiences with the recruitment process and see if they are willing to review your application.

6.      What is the work culture at Deloitte?
·         I’ve found Deloitte to have an open/supportive environment and a work hard/play hard attitude.  For new staff accountants their first year is focused on learning: about their clients, the work that they are doing, the Deloitte methodologies and passing their CPA exams.  As staff progress to intermediate and senior roles, they will take on more leadership responsibilities and will be involved in training/leading junior staff.

     7.        How does Deloitte prepare their student to take the Cpa exams, what kind of support do you offer?
·         Deloitte offers in house prep sessions, study days and a buddy system for the exams.  

8.      What sort of work do junior accountant or co-op student get exposed to at your firm?
·         Junior staff will be put on client engagements from when they join the firm.  These engagements will vary by group and time of the year, so it may be that a new hire is staffed on a large engagement that takes several weeks or months to complete while his/her peer could start off staffed on several small engagements.  In addition to working on client work, new hires will complete various mandatory training programs, so of which will take place during down time between engagements.

9.      How big is your downtown firm, how many people work there?
·         There are currently over 2000 staff who work in the Toronto region.  The Toronto region is made up of 8 offices that are located in Vaughan, Mississauga and downtown Toronto.  Our staff work in Audit, Tax, Enterprise Risk Services, Financial Advisory, Consulting and our internal services.

10.       Does Deloitte do any work in their community such as donate to certain causes or   volunteer for certain causes or community?
·         Deloitte is associated with several charities, some of our larger initiatives include United Way and Deloitte Impact Day (an annual event that has all Deloitte staff taking a day to volunteer in their community

11.       What is your firm’s preference between for example; a student who graduate from a non-accounting degree and has completed the 51 credit hours versus, one who has completed a master of accounting program. Is one preferred over the other? Or do they both have the same chance?
·         We consider both candidates and do not value one over the other.  As a candidate, you are responsible for using the application process to show us what skills you will bring to the firm and how you will be successful as a staff accountant.

12.              What would make a cpa student stand out to you? 
·         As I mentioned before we are looking for well-rounded individuals.  Please refer to question two for additional information.

13.              Please find my resume below. What sort of skill or experience do you think i should be pursuing in order to put me more attractive
·         I encourage you to connect with the Career Center at your university and get their feedback on your application.

Friday, July 18, 2014


If you are a chartered accounting student such as myself, who wants to build up more work experience consider increasing your experience through the following ways:

1. Consider complementing your degree with a technical program such advanced excel, great plains, quick books or simply accounting.

2. Volunteer at tax clinics - During tax season in Ontario, various NGO's offer tax services to their patrons. Volunteers that sign up for these clinics are provided tax preparation lessons for free. By volunteering your time , you gain valuable practical experience in personal income tax preparation which is invaluable         experience for an up and coming accountant.

3. Offer your services for free to start up companies or entrepreneur run businesses - Businesses such as an IT start up company where you can use your cost accounting skills for the betterment of a business.

4. You can also consider applying for an administrative position at one of the chartered accounting firms in the city. This way, you are exposed to the business and you can make valuable contacts whilst you finish your accounting program.

5. Firms recruit students who have their resumes in their system during tax season.
However to tell you the truth, your progress will have more to do with your faith and beliefs about what is possible for you. Of course lots of hard work too. Believe in yourself and move forward boldly despite difficulties you face. Keep your hope alive, don't lose focus and you will be victorious.

Friday, March 21, 2014


          For readers without prior accounting education considering a masters program please do not choose a master of accounting program. I would advice you to take a diploma program or certificate program in the courses first. Then later if you still want the masters behind your name you can apply to them. Some of the master of accounting programs even give you an opportunity to skip some of the cpa certification exams. If you insist on a masters, i would advise you to PREPARE before you take the program.
       I would advice that  you take a college program such as Algonquin's cga program then shop for an employer yourself by calling up cpa firms on your own. Initiative is the name of the game and tenacity will get you a long way along. Drop me a line if you have any questions.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014


               Guys you have been on this journey with me from the onset, so I don't even know how to say what  I am about to say... but despite my hard work , I am having a hard time in continuing in the York Master of accounting program. It cost about $15000 a semester and for an immigrant such as myself, that is a lot of money. I have already sunk about $30,000 into this dream, things have become much more difficult than I would have imagined. I am very tempted to throw in the towel. I think this is the hardest thing I have ever done in my life. I have pushed myself out of so many comfort zones I cant help but to be proud of myself.
            I am also finding it very difficult in finding work in a public accounting firm. It is almost impossible to know what is required of applicants.   I am not giving up yet..I will keep you posted.


Monday, September 2, 2013


                     SO i have survived the first few months in York's intense master of accounting program that resembles an Olympic training system. The difficulty in York’s master of accounting comes from how fast the program is. The speed of the program however teaches critical professional skills which you will need when working in accounting firm. It increases your ability to learn in shorter time period and the speed with which you pick up new concepts.  We cover about 12-19 chapter per course which spans three to four weeks. This is a quarter of the time a typical semester takes. I can’t believe how much I have learnt and how such a period I have learnt these things.  Guaranteed once you complete this program, nothing you ever do in your life will be comparatively as difficult....fingers crossed! Just kidding, hopefully this is building muscles to be able to climb higher heights in the accounting profession. I took courses like financial accounting intermediate, corporate finance, management accounting etc. I learnt interesting topics such as business valuation, project evaluation, treatment of financial instrument under ifrs and aspe and countless more interesting things. However, I believe tertiary education is not an end in itself but a means to an end. The end here is landing the job of your dreams.
What is the next leg in my journey to becoming an accountant? Recruitment season!!!! In Canada, recruitment season occurs between the end of august and beginning of September. People from arts and social science background have never dream of getting so much attention from recruiters. Firms like Deloitte, KPMG, Ernst and Young, Price water house Coopers come on campus to tell student about what their firm has to offer. Recently, I went to one such event it was amazing!! You get the opportunity to get an inside perspective of what firms look at when hiring students. You also get to network with professionals in the industry. You can ask them any question you want, and for that few hours, you can pry away at both personal and professional aspects of their life. I got to speak with professionals who had worked in the industry for more than 15 years. I can’t tell you how invaluable that experience was for me. You get to see that the people who have achieved the goals which you have set for yourself are just as human as you are. You get inspired by their accomplishments and it pulls your dreams a little more firmly into the physical realm. Next phase is submitting my applications on their websites and then going into my praying, fasting, hoping pose. Hey whatever works for you!!!

Sunday, April 28, 2013


It is to my greatest delight to report that I attended orientation at Schulich School of business this Friday. I had the pleasure of sitting on the same table as the Dean and program director as well as other prestigious members of the Schulich team. I felt very honoured. This however does not blind me to the amount of work ahead. I know that this year is going to be an interesting ride. A lot of hard work but I have faith that the end will justify the means. I give thanks to my supportive loving husband who has been a great support in allowing me to make it into this program. The Schulich Master of accounting is an innovate program created as a solution to a recent study found on the Canadian broad casting website about the unemployed generation in Canada. You can find this documentary at http://www.cbc.ca/doczone/episode/generation-jobless.html   .  The documentary elaborates about the jobless state of undergraduates from Canadian universities especially those in the arts and social sciences. Thus the Master of accounting at York seeks to retool such individuals to areas of the economy such as accounting that is still a high demand market for graduates. I am fortunate enough to be one among seventeen chosen from seventy applicants. I have my first class tomorrow and looking forward to it with the eager anticipation of a five year old child. I must say I am eager to learn all I can from this program in order to be able to steer my career where I want it to go. I will keep you posted on the first day of class. For Monday’s class I have covered chapters one and two, the accounting environment and financial statement: a window on entity.