Bookkeeper reviewing finances on her calculator.

Winners of the top ten Canadian bookkeeping influencers of 2018, part 3

On behalf of proud sponsors K2E Canada Inc. and Intuit® Canada, I was honored to recently share with you the winners of the 2018 Top 10 Influencers in the Canadian Bookkeeping World. This program recognizes the key thought leaders who have elevated the bookkeeping profession, enhanced the professionals within it and contributed to the prosperity of small business in Canada. The winners have been showcased in alphabetical order by last name in this blog series.

Today is part 3 of a three-part series about the Top 10 winners. I hope you’ve enjoyed getting to know these remarkable people who are so passionate about their field and the folks in it. Please join me in congratulating them on their many achievements. 

Marge Wegren-Debre, P51 Computing Strategies

Eventually becoming one of the most famous planes of World War II, the P-51 Mustang was overlooked at first. P51computing may be patterned after the plane (with its airline motif), but its self-titled “traffic controller” could never be looked over.

Marge’s experience in the operations and management of small businesses spans a broad range of industries. Besides being in business as an owner, bookkeeper, consultant and trainer, she is also a teacher, author, mentor and the holder of numerous positions in the bookkeeping community.

Chief among her roles are teacher and mentor. She developed the original Certified Professional Bookkeeper certification exam and preparation guide. For the past three years, she has been IPBC’s national education coordinator, creating practice certification exams and spearheading the creation of tiered certifications. She also monitors the annual conference’s education content. Marge also has been involved with post-secondary institutions for over 20 years; she’s developed eight courses and a two-day graduate course for starting a bookkeeping business.

She doesn’t leave her customers out of her educational efforts, either. She helps them streamline their business operations via training staff, developing procedures and finding the right person when they are ready to have a bookkeeper on staff.

Andrew Wall, WallCPA Professional Corp.

The WallCPA company tagline, “The Silver Lining for Your Cloud Accounting,” reflects the positivity that exudes from its founder, who believes that bookkeepers who have the courage to modernize will find benefits for themselves and their clients.

Andrew started out in his father’s accounting practice, a business he is now transitioning into his own born-in-the-cloud firm. Besides creating new revenue streams and saving money, Andrew sees what he calls “future-proofing” one’s practice as a major benefit of modernizing. 

First, millennial customers want their bookkeepers and accountants to be online, accessible and available for networking via social media, with the ability to service their customers with the latest and greatest technology. Second, the best team members want to join and remain at a modern firm. Andrew says attracting great people “comes down to where you’re going and the vision you’re outlining – helping them believe you’re going to be one of the leaders in this industry.” 

Social media is part of modernization, too, and Andrew is a pro. By offering advice, links to informative articles and quotes from history’s great minds, Andrew has built up two of the largest Twitter followings of any Canadian accountant or bookkeeper (@wallcpa, @cpa4it_ca).

The future in the cloud looks sunny, Andrew says, as long as bookkeepers and accountants are leading the way. Companies are already moving to the cloud and, unfortunately, some are having to push their bookkeepers to do the same. Bookkeeping professionals who are helping to lead clients into modernization will be seen as valuable members of the team.

Bob Wang, Legacy Advantage CPA

“To be known as a man who helped others succeed.”

That line is part of the mission statement Bob created for himself while still in college. Since then, he has made it his life’s work to connect with, and help, hundreds of small business owners, whether as clients or other bookkeepers, to make a difference.

“Never settle.”

That’s one of Bob’s personal values, and he never has. In less than three years, he built a $1.5 million business, Legacy Advantage. This success has given him a platform from which to support and influence bookkeepers across Canada. His goal is to help others be the most successful they can be.

One way he approaches his goal is by being open about his own experiences. He decided to build a large bookkeeping business himself first so he could be a real-life example in teaching others. He and his wife, Anne, have a short vlog called Car Conversations, in which they candidly discuss their own business challenges and lessons learned.       

Bob shares his knowledge widely through articles, podcasts, meetups, webinars, training sessions and conference appearances, too. He also encourages knowledge acquisition by his employees – Legacy Advantage has an unlimited non-fiction book budget for employees, as well as leadership seminars and education benefits.

Bob works just as hard to teach clients, too, and to make sure entrepreneurs know how to get access to the financials they need to run their businesses effectively.

Don’t miss Part 1 and Part 2 of this series to learn about the other seven industry leaders. I hope you are inspired as you pursue your own path to becoming a bookkeeping influencer.

Visit Canadian Accountant to see the original announcement of winners.

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