At Hockey Canada, CPAs are a part of the team. Johanna Bond CPA, CA explains why working with passion is a rewarding experience.
From the Fall 2017 issue of Capitalize magazine, CPA Alberta’s magazine for post-secondary students and others interested in a CPA career
Written by Quinta Iticka
Family members can have a profound influence on our career choices, even indirectly. This was the case with Johanna Bond CPA, CA, whose father is also a CPA and owns an accounting firm in British Columbia called Markin Childs Chartered Professional Accountants. Although he never pressured her into following his path, his hard work and dedication had an impact on her. “Sometimes people set an example not by what they say, but by what they do,” says Johanna. “My dad was very fulfilled in his work, and this inspired me.”
Johanna also had a natural interest in people and business. “I was interested in finding out how the world turns from an economics and business perspective,” she says. “I knew the CPA designation would open many doors for me and provide a solid foundation of knowledge.”
After articling at KPMG and obtaining her CPA designation in 2007, Johanna pursued a one-year secondment in England, where she worked in the audit department at the Birmingham office. It was both a learning and challenging experience. “I had assumed I’d be doing the same type of work, just in a different office,” she says. “But I quickly realized the people, weather, culture, and clients were different. I had to adapt and learn different ways of serving clients.”
Despite the challenges, Johanna highly recommends an overseas secondment for anyone interested in travel. “It exposes you to different ways of communicating and doing business,” she says. “It is a fantastic opportunity to see different parts of the world.”
Following her experience at KPMG, Johanna made the leap to industry and is now a finance manager at Hockey Canada. The organization is the national governing body for grassroots hockey in Canada. It works closely with 13 provincial and territorial branches, the Canadian Hockey League, and Canadian Interuniversity Sport to grow the game at all levels.
Johanna’s role within Hockey Canada has evolved as she has taken on different projects. Forecasting and budgeting for the organization have enabled her to see the big picture and understand how different departments operate and work together. Recently, she has also done some accounting work for the Hockey Canada Foundation, and describes the experience as “very rewarding.”
The Hockey Canada Foundation provides secure, sustainable, and long-term funding to support the future development and delivery of Hockey Canada programs, projects, and activities. Their mission is to promote and foster accessibility to the game of hockey. Preparing financial statements for the foundation has given Johanna an appreciation of the programs it funds and supports. “When people think of Hockey Canada, the first thing that may come to mind is the National Junior team,” she says. “But working for the foundation has shown me that there is so much more depth to the organization.”
As dedicated as she is to her career, Johanna also believes in work-life balance. This means spending quality time with her family and giving back to the community. She describes the birth of her daughter as a defining moment which put things into perspective for her. “Whatever work you do away from your family better be worth it,” she says.
Some of that work includes being a yoga instructor, which Johanna speaks passionately about. “To me, yoga is a learning tool for personal growth,” she says. “When you are challenged in a yoga class, you can either feel frustrated and give up or enjoy the challenge and learn from it. This also applies to everyday life and work.”
While Johanna has been able to enjoy a successful career as a CPA, she remains realistic when sharing her career story with prospective CPA students. “The road to becoming a CPA is challenging,” she says. “My advice is to break up the big goal of becoming a CPA into smaller goals that are achievable in shorter timeframes. Create a support network with your friends going through the program, and have fun along the way.”
For new CPAs looking to progress faster in their careers, she shares these words of wisdom: “Listen and keep learning, because this will help you grow. And work in an industry you are passionate about.”
This article originally appeared in CPA Alberta’s Capitalize Magazine.