UWASA was very excited to have Nicole Barry as the third speaker of our Seminar Series on November 29th. As the President and Founder of PEG Beer Co., Nicole has an astonishing range of experiences as well as her CPA and CGA.
Nicole spiritedly spoke to us about entrepreneurship in accounting, and how to set yourself up for success. Walking us through her path to the creation of PEG Beer Co., Nicole expressed how a range of experience in many sectors; private, public, small businesses and large firms, gave her an understanding of how she wanted to create her own company. To learn the financial ropes in industry, and apply the knowledge of managing people, and corporate social responsibility to her goals. Asking about the future plans of the students who attended, she was able to give direct advice and eagerly answered all their individual questions.
Questions led into the corporate social responsibility that Nicole implements in her own business, and the servant leadership style she uses. The culture she cultivates is one that every person has a voice, a secure environment, and that staff can rely on the management to have their back by actually proving that in day to day operation. The product they serve is as ethically and locally sourced as possible, so every employee believes in what they provide, and work more effectively together. The decision to use these methods came from her experiences in the workforce, and seeing what worked.
The practical advice and experiences Nicole shared were immense in value, leaving an entrepreneurial spirit to think outside the box with accounting for the students.
UWASA was excited to have Aurel Tess, the Provincial Comptroller, as the second speaker of our Seminar Series, to provide insight about Accounting for the Program Manager.
In his first session on November 14th, Aurel went into great detail of understanding the role of the program manager, and what comptrollership is all about. Management of resources, operational and financial responsibility were the areas Aurel covered. With the aid of a Case Study, Aurel then broke down the Operator and Steward roles, and the Strategist and Catalyst roles. The takeaway being that in today’s world, accounting is not just simple bookkeeping. It is the ability to take a situation, and turn numbers into meaning. To be able to help and provide strategic financial advice.
Information Technology and Innovation in Accounting was the topic of his second lecture on November 23rd. Having an impact on both Accounting and Computer Science areas, Aurel’s focus was on the modern accountant. Looking at the evolution of technology, and back to his first lecture, it was easy to see how the automation of simple processes frees up time for the modern accountant to operate at a more complex level. Data analytics, Excel, and simple accounting software like QuickBooks were some examples. As his last point, Aurel stressed that while technology is essential to improving, “Stop automating s*** processes”. Automation is not a cure, you must first streamline the business processes.
With incredible detail from his years of experience in Executive Management, with titles that include Assistant Deputy Minister, Executive Financial Officer, and now Provincial Comptroller, Aurel brought a wealth of knowledge in high level, strategical management.
UWASA was proud to host Jeffrey Gilbert from OAG, as the first speaker of our Seminar Series, who brought an exciting outside-the-classroom perspective from his work in Forensic Accounting.
In his first session, Jeffrey animatedly expressed what it means to investigate fraud. How can we really tell if an error was a true accident, or if it was caused with malicious intent? What different forms can these errors appear in? As simple as stealing goods from a grocer, to the manipulation of financial records, Jeffery highlighted how a critical thinking approach can be taken to finding the cause. In addition, internal control methods to prevent the likelihood of fraud were discussed.
Ethical dilemmas was the heated topic of his second lecture. Jeffrey presented several small case examples in an open floor discussion, where all sides of fraudulent behavior were analyzed. Eager to answer our questions, Jeffrey explained multiple viewpoints, with the ultimate result being there is no clear right or wrong answer. Real world examples showed that accounting in today’s world is not just crunching numbers, it is looking at facts and turning them into practical advice.
A phenomenal conversationalist, Jeffrey left the students eager to learn more, and recognized Forensic Accounting as an interesting area for students to consider a career.
For more information on our upcoming speakers in the Seminar Series, Click Here!