Garth’s Story: From “Accountant” to Entrepreneurial Accountant

by | Aug 5, 2022 | Leadership

Accountants and CPAs start their career grinding out financial statements, audits, reviews and tax returns at accounting firms to build their technical expertise. They typically continue to perform these transactional accounting services well into their career with little interaction with the people and decisions behind the numbers they report. 

Are you at that point in your career where you’re looking for more than performing transactional accounting services? Do you want to have more meaning in your work beyond a pay cheque but don’t know if it’s even possible within the construct of an accounting career? 

I felt the exact same way in my early career and decided to take matters into my own hands. 

Today, I’m a partner at Provision CPA – a small-sized firm designed to give every accountant on our team the “more” they seek. How did I get from where I was to where we are now? Here’s my story and how I took the leap at 30. 

I was doing my job well, but I wasn’t content with my level of impact.

My 30th birthday was fast approaching, and, at the time, I was in a pretty good place; I had finished post-secondary, received my accounting designation, and I had a well-paying 9-5 job as a Chief Financial Officer (CFO).

I had paid my dues learning the technical side of accounting and knew exactly how to do my job well. By traditional measures, I should have been content… but I wasn’t. That was hard to admit. 

Even though I was in the C-suite, I worked for a board of directors. I simply had to grind away to keep financials in order and prepare to present financial information to the board twice a year. Even though I had a depth of business knowledge that comes from knowing the company’s financials inside and out and I had the desire to make more of an impact when it came time to discuss strategy, marketing, sales and human resources at the board meetings – all of which are impacted by or can be informed by what the numbers tell us – there was no opportunity for me to speak and provide value outside of my financial silo. I knew I was leaving value on the table, and I wasn’t reaching my potential. 

I realized I was missing a connection with like-minded people. 

When you’re performing isolated tasks, it’s difficult to match the company’s results with your efforts. You go home at the end of the day and wonder what value you created. I wanted to provide real concrete value to clients and be a part of their entrepreneurial journey, both in success and failure. I struggled to be the ‘only’ accountant, ‘tax’ accountant, ‘financial’ accountant or ‘financial controller’ in the company with no one else to discuss problems and solutions with. And, I longed to be part of bigger picture discussions and strategies and to know more about how the business was doing and where it was going.

It was clear I needed to make a career change if I wanted to find more meaning in my accounting career. I wanted to see the results of my efforts and to know I contributed to the success of a company – I was craving more meaning and purpose.

Becoming an entrepreneur to help other entrepreneurs is how I found meaning in my work.

With a young family, twins, and a new puppy on the way, I decided to take the leap. I left my secure job and nice paycheque to make the same entrepreneurial leap my clients had made and became an entrepreneur; an entrepreneurial CPA. Flash forward to 20 successful years under the company’s belt, Provision CPA has become a sought-after trusted advisor and resource for entrepreneurs to lean on when making decisions that matter. 

Your accounting career doesn’t have to be ordinary. Do you have a spark within that is waiting to be reignited?

Maybe you’re asking yourself the same tough questions I asked myself 20 years ago. You’re feeling uninspired, bored, constrained, disconnected – I get it. But you don’t have to go off and start your own firm in order to make a change – not everybody is crazy enough to want to own a business! So why not join a team of people who have been doing things differently as an accounting firm for 20 years?

If you are a CPA…

  • Feeling a desire for more challenging problems, deeper dives into the clients’ businesses, and more opportunities to leverage your creative insights to spark innovative ideas.
  • Find yourself intrigued by the notion of supporting entrepreneurs every day and being a part of making decisions about business and life that matter.
  • Simply wondering if there is more to a successful accounting career than what you’re currently doing.

Let’s chat. Whether it’s to network, mastermind, discuss a career opportunity, or simply make a connection, we want to get to know you.

If you’re interested, read more about me, Garth, and our team.

About Provision CPA, the Entrepreneur’s Accounting Firm.

Provision CPA is an accounting firm where our accountants are also entrepreneurs. We understand where our clients are in their business because we have been there ourselves. If you want to have confidence in your financial numbers and the direction of your business, Provision CPA is here for you. Contact us today to find out more about how we can help you grow your business.