Awesome article about driving innovation

October 23, 2012

Awesome article about driving innovation: RT @harvardbiz: When Success is Born Out of Serendipity


October 22, 2012

We read about these awesome guys in Vanity Fair. They’re revolutionizing the way computer programming is taught. Check them out@

Hiring Staff with the right “Fit”

October 21, 2012

Whenever we recruit staff, we’re reminded how great the Thomas International Assessments are for getting the “fit” right:

How to get that First Interview for a Job in Public Accounting

October 15, 2012

We love this time of year.  Along with the beautiful, crisp fall weather, we also love visiting Universities and talking to young, enthusiastic students excited to get hired by a public accounting firm so they can start working towards their CA designations.

Unfortunately, the competition for good CA Firm jobs is fierce these days. Our Firm receives 50 – 100 applications for every position we’re looking to fill, whether it be for a co-op work term placement or a permanent entry-level staff accountant position.  

With so many application packages to comb through, firms have to aggressively screen applicants to decide who to interview. At our Firm, we scan covering letters and resumes for certain key pieces of information to help us decide who to interview.  We’re not alone – most firms look for the same things we do.

We’re sharing this with you today to help you stand out from the crowd when you apply to public accounting firms.

Keys to a great application package are:

1.    Let us know why you’ve decided to pursue your CA designation.

We really do want to know. If your parents are both CA’s, and you want to follow in their footsteps, we know that you’ll already have a pretty good idea about the demands of the career path you’ve chosen.

2.    Demonstrate that you have at least a basic understanding of the demands of the profession.

You’ll get a lot more out of your co-op work experience if you spend more than one work term at the same public accounting firm as you’ll be able to take on more challenging work as you get more experience. Most accounting firms aren’t looking for students for just a single work term because the initial learning curve in the CA profession is very steep – it benefits both sides if you stay with the same firm, if possible.

Be sure to mention in your cover letter what the timetable is for your remaining work terms.

3.    Mention in your cover letter if you have a valid driver’s license and access to a car.

This is a requirement for many public accounting jobs, including those with our Firm because even in this day and age; a lot of entry-level public accounting work is still completed at clients’ premises.

4.    Mention in your covering letter when you’re available to start work.

If you’re looking for a co-op placement, what work term are you looking for? If you’re applying for a full-time position, when do you expect to graduate and be able to start work? You would be amazed how many cover letters leave us guessing as to what the applicant is looking for. Guess how many of these get interviews? Not many.

5.    If you took accounting in high school, mention it in your covering letter.

This puts you at an advantage over other applicants who didn’t because it’s much harder to learn basic bookkeeping at the fast pace of a University introductory accounting course. Basic bookkeeping knowledge is still one of the fundamental building blocks of our profession.

6.    If you’re tech-savvy, make sure your application package shows it.

We understand that you likely won’t have experience with industry specific software (such as CaseWare and Taxprep) and we don’t hold that against you.  That said, we are looking for people who have already grasped the fundamentals of operating paperlessly in today’s digital world.

At an introductory level this means you need to have strong skills with MS Office and Adobe Acrobat. You can’t be a dinosaur when it comes to technology these days and have a chance of success in public accounting.

7.    Be sure to include your most recent transcript.

Marks aren’t everything, but they are a strong indication of whether you’ll be able to meet the rigorous demands of the profession.

We wish you all the best in your careers in public accounting. Getting your first job in the profession is definitely one of the hardest steps along the way. By making sure your application addresses the above points, you’ll definitely make it easier for public accounting firms to choose you for an interview, which should definitely help you land that coveted first public accounting job.

Welcome Pierre Turgeon

October 15, 2012

This month we’re pleased to announce that Pierre Turgeon, CA CFP has  joined the tax group of MacGillivray’s Brampton practice. As a seasoned tax advisor with over 25 years of experience advising clients on Canadian tax matters, Pierre is a perfect fit for and a welcome addition to our Firm.

You can obtain the benefit of  Pierre’s expertise by contacting him in our office at 905-696-0707.

Major system upgrade completed

October 9, 2012

This past week we moved our MacGillivray servers to Connected Technologies’ hosted Cloud solution! Thanks to William Shilson and his team for their hard work in making the transition a success. We’re loving the kick ass power of the new configuration!

Nexgen CCH Client Portal

November 12, 2009

Hi Everyone, I got back from the CCH User conference last week and wanted to drop you a quick note about the exciting new software coming down the pipe from CCH.

Readers of this blog know that at MacGillivray we have a great interest in  using technology to make our business more efficient and to make our interactions with our clients as seamless as possible. Our client portal is an integral part of our strategy in this regard and at the user conference we saw the next generation of CCH products being released in the next year.

We saw CCH Portal (known as ProSystem fx Portal in the U.S) and CCH Workstream (known as Prosystem fx Workstream in th U.S.) and they are amazing. The nexgen portal software has addressed ALL the issues we have with the existing interface. We’ll have an improved login mechanism, the ability to handle corporate groups of multiple companies under a single login. As well, it now supports other browsers in addition to Internet Explorer.

I understand the SaaS versions are being released in the US now with non-Saas versions and access in Canada coming in 2o10. I encourage you to check out these products – we’re going to roll them out as soon as we can lay our hands on them!