Our Commitment to Learning

I have been asked by many people why I chose to become an Accountant, especially one who specializes in taxation.  The obvious answer is the glamour that come with being an Accountant or the excitement of the profession as seen by a new movie coming out, The Accountant starring Ben Affleck.

There are two reasons why I became an Accountant, the first is to help people and the second is that it is a profession where you never stop learning.  This blog post is going to focus on the later, the quest for knowledge and its application in the day to day live as an Accountant.

To put it in perspective, my 8 year old daughter Claire asked me one night: “When did you finish school?”  My response was “I finished high school in 1998, but I went on to University for 4 years, then into the Chartered Accountant program for a year and a half, however I didn’t stop learning at that point.”  She looked surprised and she wondered if she was going to be in “school” that long.  It seemed like a good life lesson teaching opportunity to explain learning and knowledge to her.  I went on to explain to her that a person should never stop learning and all the different methods of learning, it just isn’t about going to school.

I continued in explaining how after obtaining my CA designation, I continued on with In-Depth Tax course, ended up teaching that course and then moving on through the various courses to obtain my Trust and Estate Practitioner designation.  I finished off the conversation about saying that I am learning new things through the conferences and courses I take every year and learning from the experiences I have with my clients.  She seemed impressed, however she still does not want to be an Accountant.  Not enough glamour I guess!

The Commitment to Learning is a pillar of which ANR is built on.  The Partners of ANR from the start, believe that in order to server our clients properly, we must constantly be learning and sharing knowledge.  Tax legislation, accounting regulations, estate planning techniques are changing almost on a daily basis and while we might not know all the changes that are happening, we are engaged to gather the new knowledge and learn in order to be able to help our clients with solving their problems.  The skill set and knowledge used 10 years ago, even 5 years ago is so outdated, it would be a struggle to ensure that a tax return was being completed correctly or that financial statements were prepared in accordance with accounting standards.

So how do we stay ahead of the curve?  We engage in learning on a daily basis.  The ANR team shares information that we find in daily articles, bulletins from our tax knowledge database we subscribe to, the courses and conferences we attend.  In the month of October, the ANR team has already attended courses on Update on HST legislation and application, bookkeeping software changes, Employee Benefit programs, accounting standards and at the end of the month I am attending a two day conference on Taxation and the Owner Managed Business (I can’t wait!).  Besides the courses and conferences, team member Vicki Legacy enrolled in the CPA designation program and has started her studies to become a CPA and Marilyn Lister has begun her certification process with the Canadian Payroll Association (she just scored 96 on her mid term).  That is just this month alone.

So an Accountant’s day just isn’t filled with glamour and excitement, learning is a big part of it! Learning is an important pillar to ANR business model and unlike tax legislation, that is not going to change anytime soon.

Until next time,

Jason