Despite the changing economic scenarios and conditions, the public accounting sector remains an important sector and public accounting firms play a crucial role in success of a particular business. When it comes to financial decision making in any business, accounting professionals play an important role.
This niche requires an exceptional skill set to understand the needs and demands of the clients to offer both personalized and diversified services. Public accountants demonstrate this unique skillset depending upon the financial overview of the firms and individuals to execute a variety of tasks that are integrated into a functioning business.
On the other hand, there is an increasing competition in this industry with businesses and individuals striving towards changing how they offer their services and their approach towards clients.
However, trust and uniqueness are the key diﬀerentiators with the co-existence of innovative solutions that are going to help business owners in advancing their success. This places the spotlight on Gauvreau & Associates.
Gauvreau & Associates is a public accounting and Tax Law Advisory firm that provides the highest quality of financial reporting and taxation services with a proactive approach to accounting and taxation planning, offering the highest level of client services.
In an exclusive interview, Robert Gauvreau, Founder and Partner sheds light on the company’s journey in public accounting, advisory, and taxation space.
Robert, please brief our audience about your journey as the Founder of Gauvreau & Associates.
When I started my study at ‘University for Business Administration,’ I realized I would be graduating with 2,000 other people who had the same experience and education as me.
Wanting to diﬀerentiate myself, I decided that my strengths in accounting and ﬁnance, my natural ability in helping others, and my energy for entrepreneurship created a unique opportunity to enter, energize, and make a diﬀerence in the ﬁnance industry.
When I started working at a global CPA ﬁrm, I experienced ‘how traditional the accounting industry was,’ which reinvigorated my desire to create something innovative, contribute more to the success of others, and go for extraordinary.
In 2008, when I started my own practice, I could not have imagined the impact we would have. In combining my accounting experience, my passion for helping business owners, and being an entrepreneur myself, we have had the great pleasure of growing something incredible, to now being an industry leader across North America.
There has certainly been some great moments and some challenging moments throughout my journey, but to now be here with a team of more than fifty professionals is an incredible accomplishment.
Enlighten us on how Gauvreau Accounting Tax Law Advisory has made an impact in the public accounting, advisory, and taxation niches through its stronghold in the industry?
The public accounting industry is a largely well-respected, global industry with lots of large and small competitors that are all slightly diﬀerentiated in how they approach their business and the solutions they oﬀer.
Our key diﬀerentiator is that we focus on working exclusively with business owners and we continue to innovate solutions that will help advance their future success. For me, our contribution towards change in the accounting industry comes down to two key areas.
The ﬁrst is our involvement in innovating new creative solutions built on proactivity to help entrepreneurs continue to be successful and build ﬁnancial wealth for their future. This is a key diﬀerentiators versus the other solutions our industry traditionally oﬀers which are more historical based compliance and reporting.
The second is a change in culture and conventions. Traditional public accounting ﬁrms all oﬀer the same thing and work inside a perceived box of calculating numbers, trying to ﬁgure out how to minimize taxes, or uncovering complex problems that happened in the past.
We pride ourselves on being diﬀerent in how we approach our culture, our clients, and our innovative solutions. We are invested in growth through innovation, always focused on producing the next best oﬀering for our clients so that they can be a step ahead of their competitors.
Being an experienced leader, share with us your opinion on how the adoption of modern technologies in the ﬁnance and accounting sector has transformed the industry and what more could be expected in the future?
Technology is essential, as many technological advancements are focused on creating greater eﬃciency which enables us to redeploy our resources more eﬀectively into other areas of our business.
From my perspective as innovation and technological advancements continue at a rapid pace, reporting on business ﬁnances is going to become a more automated process that is less in demand from the public accounting industry.
Rather the experience, advice and knowledge that public accountants have on how businesses operate and how they can maximize their ﬁnancial success will be the focus and more widely sought after.
The Finance industry and accounting ﬁrms especially have been slow to adopt the technology that makes oﬀering these innovative solutions possible. At Gauvreau, we want to redeﬁne and push the boundaries of the ﬁnancial industry by asking,
“How can we use our ﬁnancial expertise to empower entrepreneurs to create something that will make a diﬀerence in the world?”
We invest in the implementation of technology to innovate our services to provide the entrepreneurial community with more insights into their business performance, time-saving automation, and to create more accessible programs for business owners who otherwise would not have access to strategic ﬁnancial advice.
Considering the COVID-19 pandemic, and its impact on global economies, how did you drive your organization to sustain operations while ensuring the safety of your employees?
Our team has seen substantial growth during the pandemic, so much so that we were recognized as one of ‘Canada’s Fastest-Growing Companies’ by The Globe and Mail, Maclean’s, and Financial Times. We knew with the economic shut down our community needed us more than ever.
To ensure the safety of our team and clients we closed our oﬃce to visitors and shifted to online meetings. While this shift to virtual came with its own set of challenges it also came with opportunities. We quickly implemented new project management tools that helped us collaborate on projects more eﬀectively and automation that improved turnaround time.
Another critical factor we saw is that entrepreneurs were no longer using location as a deciding factor when selecting a ﬁrm. We have seen an inﬂuence of clients transitioning to us from across North America as a result.
What is your opinion on inculcating gender egalitarianism within the company culture from a leadership perspective?
Historically, the accounting industry has been predominately male led, although this has begun to shift in recent years. At Gauvreau, we believe that having a diverse team, both in gender and culture, makes us stronger because we collectively learn from each other’s perspectives which fosters greater creativity.
We are proud to have strong female representation at Gauvreau with 56 per cent of the leadership team and 66 per cent are women in our entire team. Additionally, 54 per cent of them are working mothers, which is why we have always made a commitment to our team for work-life balance and ﬂexibility. This has proven even more important during the global pandemic.
What would be your advice to budding entrepreneurs who aspire to venture into the ﬁnance and accounting industry and the related markets?
First, do something meaningful to you and surround yourself with collaborative experts that share your values. Keep things exciting, fun, and build something you cannot imagine not being part of.
Second, if you are in the public accounting industry and you are not focused on providing proactive advice then you are missing a great opportunity to be ahead in implementing what the majority of ﬁrms will oﬀer in the future.
How do you plan on scaling Gauvreau & Associates and its oﬀerings in 2022 and beyond?
Gauvreau Accounting Tax Law Advisory was established in 2008 as a CPA ﬁrm built to help entrepreneurs advance their business through proactive ﬁnancial services. In addition to traditional accounting ﬁrm compliance solutions, we enhanced our oﬀering to encompass the strategic ﬁnancial advisory services and leadership coaching needed to help entrepreneurs take their business to the next level.
The future of our business is limitless, and our growth trajectory continues to evolve. As we continue to strive to be the (#1) ﬁnancial expert that entrepreneurs turn to countless opportunities exist to expand into other disciplines to provide the greatest value possible to our clients.
For instance, we recently expanded our suite of business professional services (specialized tax, wealth management, and business ﬁnancing) to now oﬀer legal services such as corporate restructuring, real estate acquisition, wills, and estates, and more.
We also created an online coaching program, The ‘Ascent Peak Performance Program’ to scale our ability to instil business owners with the knowledge and conﬁdence they need to achieve ﬁnancial success in business and life.
At our virtual event on January 25-27, The Ascent ‘Million Dollar Year’ Summit, we launched our new Financial Mastery group coaching program, ‘Million Dollar Year.’
This program engages entrepreneurs virtually through on-demand training courses, and weekly group coaching with industry experts.