Sometimes Change Is Good

by Tax Guy - Burlington Accountant on June 3, 2010 Print This Post Print This Post

I am always amazed at how many accountants there are in the business world.

The other day, I was in a meeting with a VP at the company I work for and he mentioned in passing that he was a CA. I have worked with him for several years at the company and never put two-and-two together. In fact, of the 12 key divisions, 5 of the VP are accountants and many other accountant hold key positions in non-accounting areas.

I have been toying with the idea of going into public practice for a number of years, but have been held back by the company and industry I work in [Note: as of 2012, I am now in public practice!]. And while I am not involved in sales and do not interact with clients very often in my current role, I am restricted from running an accounting practice by industry regulations.

At this point you are probably asking yourself “where is the Tax Guy going with this?”

Well according to an authoritative source inside the company, I may be restricted from running an accounting practice but I am certainly not restricted from operating a consulting business! As long as I’m not engaged in financial services related activities, preparing financial statements or tax returns, I can keep my job and work part-time as a consultant.

I’m starting a consulting business.

Time To Re-Apply Other Skills

I have been in the financial services industry for over 15 years and have spent the last 10 in a brokerage firm. Most of that time has been in the corporate accounting department, where I had a variety of responsibilities. Much of what I learned and applied was, what I like to call, non-financial accounting: Business planning, developing performance measures, assessing business risk, and managing business continuity.

Sharing The Business Start-Up Process

Over the next several months, I will be starting the business start-up process. I will be refining the mission of my consulting practice, preparing a business plan, marketing plan, operating plan, and implementation plans. I’ll need to make decisions on business structure, insurance, as well as licensing. I will be reporting my progress along the way and looking for input from other business owners.

About The Tax Guy...

Dean Paley CGA CFP is a Burlington accountant and financial planner who services individuals and business owners locally, nationally and internationally. Dean has appeared in the National Post, Toronto Star and Metro News.

To find out more, visit Dean's website Dean Paley CGA CFP or connect via Twitter @DeanPaleyCGACFP.

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Tom @ Canadian Finance Blog June 3, 2010 at 10:29 am

Great idea! Good luck with your new side job, looking forward to seeing posts on your progress.

Tax Guy June 3, 2010 at 3:06 pm

Thank Tom:
I have a new article out tomorrow.

Sam June 3, 2010 at 11:18 pm

Man! I was hoping you would say that you are opening an accounting practice… bummer!
I have been looking for an accountant for my business for years, every year I change to a new one because the last one sucked!
This goes to your point I guess that there are way too many of them, and this could be the result that the majority are incompetent and clueless. Even with my basic tax knowledge (thanks to your blog for contributing to that) I catch many errors every year.

Anyway, that’s it for my rant and best of luck with your new startup… keep in mind if you open an accounting firm I will be your first customer 🙂
Looking forward to read more about the new adventure.


Tax Guy June 4, 2010 at 10:27 am

Hello Sam,

Thanks for the kind words. I wish I could open a practice. However, because of the securities regulations in Canada I am not permitted to engage in any financial related practice. It’s seen as a conflict of interest.

I will say that my longer-term goal is to move out of my current job and the brokerage industry. I hope to build the consulting practice to a point where I can quit my current job and expand my range of services … this would include accounting and tax.

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