Business owner, yes - but mother first. My children are my entire world. For me, it's about balance. When I first started in accounting 16 years ago, I had a hard time deciphering between the LIVE TO WORK and WORK TO LIVE mottos. My children have made the work to live mantra hold a much heavier weight. As much as McVeety Accounting Services is also my baby, my living and breathing babies are who I do all of this for. I work hard to provide for my family, and to set an example that allows them to see that throughout life's curveballs, if you remain truthful, honest and hardworking - success is always a possibility.
The most commonly asked questions...
What inspired you to start up your business?
Northern Ontario is rampant with small business owners and entrepreneurs; however many struggle with their accounting requirements. Most don’t know exactly what they need, and simply want it to magically be taken care of. Many are intimidated by the big firms, yet struggle to get a similar quality of service from an individual accountant or small practice. Big city accounting firms can have the large corporations. Taking the stress out of accounting and working side by side with actual business owners is more my cup of tea.
I’m often heard telling clients “Relax, accounting really can be this easy."
Who has influenced you the most professionally?
I’ve been fortunate enough over the years to be surrounded by strong, intelligent individuals and each has had their own impact on my professional life. I possess an incredible arsenol of friends who have achieved success in their own professions, and I am inspired by their collective accomplishments. My mother’s work ethic and steadfast determination push me to work harder and longer every day. My father is a fellow entrepreneur, and through him, I have learned that it’s not all roses, but there is something to be said for perseverance. While my parents are incredible mentors, I’d say the people who influence me the most are those that deliberately set up road blocks on the path to success. For me, having someone tell me I cannot accomplish a goal will only push me to work harder at proving them wrong. Failure is not an option I’ll ever accept.
How would you describe yourself as a business person?
I believe myself to be honest and fair. I think there is significant power in innovation and education. I am constantly upgrading my knowledge base to accommodate an ever changing technological and business world. Customer experience; however is my ultimate driver. I don’t have to have the biggest accounting practice; I just have to be the best.
What do you consider your greatest achievement?
I think often small businesses are overlooked in favour of large corporations. I believe in the power of the little guy. David beat Goliath. Seeing a small business flourish and prosper is a reward all on its own. Knowing that I helped get them there in whatever small way is a greater achievement than any award or bottom line could ever give me. There is no greater satisfaction than watching my clients spread their wings and fly.
With hindsight, what is the one thing you would do differently?
Had I known the immense personal satisfaction I have derived from helping small town and rural clients succeed, I would have started McVeety Accounting Services long ago rather than be a pawn in corporate games. That being said, my experiences have shaped me, and taught me what truly makes me happy, so perhaps I started my practice at precisely the right time.
Who do you find inspirational and why?
If you ever need inspiration to work harder, complain less, or just be a little more grateful for who you are and what you have, I would encourage you to walk into any cancer clinic and talk to a patient or two: listen to a sick child’s story. There is nothing in the world more inspiring than hearing the hopes and dreams of someone who only wants to get better and make those dreams a reality. And if you consider those who don’t survive such a cruel and heartless disease; the inspiration lies in realizing your goals not only for yourself, but in memory of someone who didn’t get the opportunity. (That one is for you, Cory, xo)
What is the most inspirational book you have read recently?
While I practice no religious denomination, I would have to say a truly inspirational book is Conversations with God by Neale Donald Walsch. I’ve read it several times and learned something new about myself with each new read. It’s not about religion or any pre-conceived notion of superior beings. Walsch suggests that all experience is subjective, and is chosen. To me, the underlying message is that we all create our own destiny. If I am to be destined for success, I want it to be achieved through hard work and perseverance.
How has your past accounting experience shaped you?
After college, I spent eight years in a public accounting firm, where I developed and nurtured my love affair with income tax. I pursued my degrees at night during those years, and was inspired by the level of commitment from my fellow classmates. When I went into industry for a few years, I kept a small clientele going, and continued to grow it as I realized that answering to the corporate “man” was just not for me. Having taught at the post secondary level on a part time basis throughout those years, it became a no brainer when the opportunity to teach college students by day presented itself. I spent the next few years convincing said students that income tax need not be either scary or boring, and I’m pretty sure I had a few believers. Teaching easily became my other love, and combining the two loves together was such a natural transition for me. A wise man once told me “I teach for free. I get paid to mark.” At the time I laughed, but I have become a follower of the same mantra. The same analogy applies in public practice. I work with my clients for free. It’s all the crazy paperwork that I have to charge for.
What is the best thing about being in business?
Number one benefit to being in business for myself: using my knowledge, skills and expertise to shake the ivory towers of those who perceive themselves to be at the top of my industry. I meant it when I said I want to be the best. The sky is the limit and there’s no political inner company B.S. holding you back when you’re the boss.