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Did You Know...

60% of taxpayers must hire a professional to get through their own return. Which means accountants are hardly ever out of jobs, people need us. An accountant named Walter E. Dimer was the inventor of bubble gum! Bookkeeper and words derived from it (eg bookkeeping) are the only words in the English language with three consecutive double letters.

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Events For The Semester

Making A Difference Together, PwC

Community Matters, UOAA

CMA Stands For Community Service

Where Are They Now?

DO MORE! CGA Ontario Fall 2012 Events Gallery UOAA 2013 Conference






Dear Readers, I am proud to be addressing UOIT students and faculty, UOAA sponsors and partners, and my peers as the president of the UOIT Accounting Association (UOAA) one last time. It has been a privilege to have served as president for two years; to have worked with such dedicated, motivated, and supportive individuals. In the near future, I guarantee that the UOAA will be led by a group of enthusiastic individuals who will take the association to further heights of achievements and successes. I look forward to assisting the UOAA 2013-2014 executive team in the capacity of an advisor.

The only innovations that interest me are the ones that lead to greater strength and quality. August Horch, Founder Horch/Audi. At first glance, it may seem odd that I have just quoted the founder of a car manufacturer. However, this very quote has stuck with me since the first time I read it at the 2008 Auto Show in Toronto. Every so often I read the quote and I am reminded that every conflict I am confronted with will develop me into someone greater. Each year I have encountered new experiences and new challenges which have ensured that I gain the strengths and qualities necessary to become a better leader. During my first year as president I was adamant to implement strategies, pursue partnerships, and take control. Although I was extremely dedicated and self-motivated; I was also overworked and did not capitalize on the skills that members of my team possessed. In the summer of 2012 I took note of the positive and negative aspects of my year as president and sought to become better. During my second year as president I took on the role of a mentor; driven by the strategies I had implemented and by the mistakes I had made in the year previous. I ensured to delegate and empower my team members who demonstrated their passion to succeed. These two years as president have led to personal strengths and qualities of a leader that I would like to continue to become. This newsletter will demonstrate to readers the innovations that the UOAA has made over the fall semester and will continue to make in the winter semester. With every semester, the UOAA takes yet another step to reach its full potential. The introduction to social events such as Bowling with Professionals and Casino Night displays the UOAAs attempt to bring a social experience to professional events. Additionally, the UOAA mobile application and website increases the exposure of our sponsors and partners. The UOAA has made necessary improvements parallel to the growth of the university. I am grateful to have spent my four years at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology. The university has provided me with the opportunities to network with industry professionals, to initiate new clubs on campus, and develop personal connections with faculty and peers. Students should take advantage of the resources that the university and UOAA provide. Thank you to sponsors and partners of the UOAA who have assisted in the development of the association during my two year tenure. Without the support of these groups, the UOAA would not have reached the successes it has seen. It is time that I pass on the torch to my successor who will demonstrate the passion and enthusiasm necessary to lead an executive team as motivated as that of the UOAA. Good luck to the association for many years to come! Sincerely, Michael Nicolaou UOAA President, 2011-2013

FEB 6TH, 2013 5:10PM-6:30PM G213 DINING HALL

FEB 12TH, 2013 5:10PM-7:30PM G213 DINING HALL

MARCH 5, 2013 5:10PM-7:30PM G213 DINING HALL


FEB 27TH, 2013

5:10PM-6:30PM G213 DINING HALL

MARCH 15-16, 2013





Come out and network with recruiters from various firms and industry companies! Visit www.uoitaccounting.com for details as it becomes available!

You and PwC Making a Difference Together

By Fahad Meer PwC Associate

Fahad Meer, PwC Associate

If everyone lived for themselves, where would this world be? If everyone helped no one but themselves, where would you be? Interesting thought. I know I definitely would not be in the position I am right now. No, I am not talking about my position as an Associate in the Audit and Assurance Group at PwC. I am rather talking about being in the position to help others and making a difference in their lives. Making a difference in your life. The importance of helping others is invaluable and for those of you who know me, or know about me, you would agree that I do my best to help others out as much as possible. Giving back to the community is what differentiates PwC from other firms. That is why I chose PwC. If you light a lamp for somebody, it will also brighten your path. Buddhist saying Many people ask me why? I always answer back saying why not. Why should we not give each other a helping hand? Why should we not help each other succeed? What most people fail to realize is the fact that by giving back to the community, you are not only helping the people around you become stronger, but you are also helping yourself become a stronger and a more respectable person. We have a saying around the office that I have shared with many of you through this recruiting process: Teach, dont tell! Would you enjoy working for a firm where people tell each other what to do? Or would you rather enjoy working for a firm where colleagues share information and teach others what they need to be taught (versus telling them what to do)? The answer is obvious. Teaching leads to empowerment and empowerment leads to knowledge. With that in mind, knowledge leads to success and knowledge can never be told. It can only be taught. That is why we at PwC teach each other not only in the office and at clients, but also teach and share outside the office through volunteer programs to spread knowledge in the community. We are living in a world that is run by the service sector of the economy in which the reputation and respect of businesses and individuals trumps any other trait or characteristic. That is why PwC has always been regarded as one of the most trusted and esteemed firms in the world. That is why I am proud to say that I work for PwC. We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give. Sir Winston Churchill Did you know that charitable work literally makes the heart grow stronger or that those who volunteer have fewer incidents of heart disease? I didnt. But now I understand why PwC invests greatly in programs to engage employees to give back to the community.



You and PwC Making a Difference Together

When I was in your shoes not too long ago, I was seeking answers to two important questions that would eventually decide which firm I would work for. The first question being which firm is the best fit for me and my personality? and the second which firm would foster and further develop my passion to give back to the community? The decision was quite simple once I found the answers to my questions: PwC and the PricewaterhouseCoopers Canada Foundation. PwC strives to make a difference in the community it is embedded in, similar to myself. The PriceawterhouseCoopers Canada Foundation is all about giving. Giving its employees a paid day off every year to volunteer at a local charity of choice. Giving the community the needed financial and leadership support to sustain a healthy and happy lifestyle. Giving a $300 donation to the charity of choice of the employee that volunteers at least fifty hours of his/her time to that specific charity. Giving me the opportunity to pursue my passion for doing what I love doing best: giving back to my community whether it is through my blogs posts, presentations or my commitment for making the community a better place for everyone to live in. For more information about the PriceawterhouseCoopers Canada Foundation, please visit http://www.pwc.com/ca/en/foundation. Those who have nothing to give should be given nothing. Many of you might see your friends in the same boat as you, passionately working hard to land a job at an accounting firm. Some of you might see them as competition whereas others might work alongside your friends to cooperatively achieve your goals collectively. I did the latter with my friends when I was in your shoes last year. I motivated and pushed them every day through the recruiting process and wished for them what I would wish for myself. We collectively scrutinized each others applications and gave each other tips that would help us succeed. What was the result of helping and giving? All of us landed jobs in the firms we wanted to work for. No one was left behind. Everyone has something to give, whether it is money, knowledge or even time to help someone out. It is not a matter of what to give but rather how to give it. Through the PricewaterhouseCoopers Canada Foundation alongside many other unique corporate social responsibility programs at PwC, the question of how becomes a question of when. For me, I found the answer to that question on May 25, 2010 when I joined PwC as a Summer Intern. When will it be for you?

Inside Look of PwCs New Building!





Group Head Finance and Chief Financial O cer TD Bank Group

Colleen Johnston, FCA

Group Head Finance and Chief Financial O cer TD Bank Group

Colleen Johnston, FCA


The UOAA is committed to providing UOIT students with the resources and opportunities they need to become successful in the field of accounting. However, the Oshawa and Durham Region community matters to the executives of the UOAA. Each year, the UOAA does its part to give back to the community which will be proudly discussed below. The UOAA has held an Annual Holiday Food & Toy Drive for two consecutive years now! This is a combined effort by the UOAA, UNICEF on Campus, and the Health Science Council (HSC). Food and toy donations are received by Feed the Need Durham; feeding the less fortunate during the holiday season. Any monetary donations collected are happily received by UNICEF. The UOAA and its partners have had a tremendous amount of success with this annual initiative! In 2011, the groups collected over $700 and 5 full boxes of food and toys. In 2012, the groups successfully collected 7 boxes of food. With the use of an inflatable snowman over 14 feet tall, the groups attracted a lot of attention from UOIT faculty and students. We thank everyone for contributing towards this initiative! Together with the CRA, the UOAA provides the Annual Tax Clinic Service for low income individuals. The UOAA has student volunteers trained by the CRA to complete tax returns free of charge. This is an outstanding initiative for students to be a part of because of the tax experience they gain as well as the ability to assist individuals who cannot necessarily afford tax services. In a secluded, professional environment, individuals of the community come to the tax clinic where they are welcomed warmly and provided with goods provided by our sponsors. More information about the tax clinic can be found on our website. The UOAA continuously strives to provide opportunities for students to build their professional development skills. We understand that our students are the key to the foundation and reputation of UOIT. Although the UOAA is fortunate to have sponsors and partners in the accounting profession, these same groups are gearing their events and presentations towards all students. No matter what field of study students are in, the UOAA ensures that events are tailored towards professional development for all. Additionally, the association provides video tutorials (VBlogs), resume and cover letter tips, and networking sessions! These resources and services are provided in order for students to be one step closer to their professional career. Take advantage of what the UOAA has to offer! These are a few ways that the UOAA gives back to the community and the university; initiatives that will continue in the coming years. Community matters for the UOAA now how much does it matter to you?




Ellen Dong, CA
Consultant FTI Consulting

Neal Mizrahi, CACBV

Managing Director FTI Consulting

Devi Rajani Villegas, CA

Director FTI Consulting


The possibilities are limitless. Discover how with KPMG.



2012 KPMG LLP a Canadian limited liability partnership and a member firm of the KPMG network of independent , member firms affiliated with KPMG International Cooperative (KPMG International), a Swiss entity. All rights reserved.


Stands for Community Service

The letters CMA represent a community of strategic management professionals with accounting expertise who create a foundation for success for businesses and communities alike. Certified Management Accountants are professionals who provide leadership, innovation and an integrating perspective to organizations of all sizes. Many CMAs not only enjoy career success, but often contribute to the communities they are part of, like Balwinder (Bal) Jandu, CMA. In 2012 Bal Jandu, CMA, Commercial Account Manager, Bank of Montreal, received the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal for his exceptional community service. The medal commemorates the 60th anniversary of the Queens accession to the Throne. That year 60,000 Canadians received the medal for their contributions and achievements. It is easy to see why Bal received this award. He has been involved with many charities for more than 15 years and is passionate about making a difference in the community and around the world. I am extremely honoured to receive this award and I will cherish it for a long time, says Bal. I am very fortunate to have almost everything I have always wanted. Because I am so blessed, I want to give back. As President of his local Rotary Club, he was responsible for managing and distributing funds to various youth and seniors programs and International projects. For the last three years, he helped organize the Rotary Valentines Dance fundraiser in support of Credit Valley Hospital and this year the dance raised about $10,000. Since 2008, the Rotary Club has helped the Ekal Vidyalaya Foundation charity build four schools a year in remote parts of India. His club also works with other Rotary Clubs to put clean water reservoirs in Tanzania villages. Bal has also worked at Camp Enterprise, a four-day boot camp for potential young entrepreneurs sponsored by the Rotary Club. Over 100 Grade 12 students participate and Bal judges and provides feedback on the business case competition. Bal has been working at BMO for 11 years and he approaches his job with the same enthusiasm and commitment as he does his charitable work. Last year, he received the Bravo Award for Top Performing Commercial Account Manager. Accounting and finance are the backbones of the business world and Bals CMA designation has provided him a rewarding and diverse business career built on a foundation of accounting, management and strategy.

Bal Jandu, CMA (on the right)

Lori Dalton Regional Marketing Director

Visit www.becomeacma.com for upcoming CMA events on campus or email Lori Dalton, Regional Marketing Director at ldalton@cmaontario.org.




ach academic year, the UOAA Winter Newletter will introduce students to past UOAA presidents to get an idea of where they are now. What better then to begin this tradition with Christina Basanti, the founder and first president of the UOAA! Christina Basanti has over 5 years of experience working in the field of accounting with clients from all over North America. Christina began her career at KPMG in the Enterprise practice which has led to her current role at KPMG as a manager in the Financial Services and Building, Construction and Real Estate practice. She has assisted KPMG in campus recruiting at UOIT and has given students invaluable advice based on her experiences. Christina was fortunate to have been selected for an internship with KPMG in her 3rd year at UOIT which has led the way for many more students. There are many specializations to explore for commerce students. When asked what made her choose accounting, Christina said I wanted to be an accountant ever since grade 11; I loved having accounting classes when I was in high school. Since that time I have been dedicated to becoming an accounting professional and working towards my goal. When I started university, the support I received from professors helped me pursue those goals. At UOIT, students understand how important it is to be involved with the UOAA. Christina stated that her teamwork and leadership skills were developed during her time as president and being an executive helped her land a job with KPMG. One of the most discussed topics as an accounting undergraduate is networking, so we asked Christina what she did to prepare for networking events that helped her distinguish herself. One of the key factors to networking, Christina notes, is that networking is not just about asking questions; it is a process of building your connection. Try to have a conversation with people, it is not necessary for it to be job-related, it can be anything that you are interested in such as community involvement. Knowing the organizations and even doing some research beforehand is a great start to networking. Christina also advices students to talk to all representatives in attendance and to always write a follow up email subsequent to the event. In terms of job search strategies for UOIT students, Christina says, students should apply to as many firms as possible and keep their options open. Do not limit yourself to specific firms. You can even consider firms at different office locations. Once the networking stage is over and an opportunity for employment is evident, the next matter of concern is the dreaded interview!

KPMG LLP Manager, Audit, Financial Services and Building, Construction and Real Estate Toronto Bay Street Location


When asked how she prepared for her interview with KPMG, Christina emphasized the fact that she had to differentiate herself from her competition. Being the president of UOAA and developing key skills helped her stand out. She discussed interview tips with many individuals and was very confident during the interview - she knew that being herself was important. We asked Christina for advice that she can provide to students to prepare themselves for recruitment based on the challenges she faced during her experience. I would suggest students to get involved as much as they can, it does not have to be accounting related or on campus. Recruiters are looking for well-rounded people who have demonstrated great interpersonal and leadership skills, says Christina. When asked about the most interesting aspect of her work, Christina told us about the ongoing learning she experiences through her wide array of clients. She has had the opportunity to work with different kinds of businesses within different industries and gain knowledge into the various business aspects. Christina also shared her thoughts in regards to the specific personal and professional skills needed to succeed as an accountant. Christina points out time management as a major skill due to the fact as a Manager, she is delegating tasks to staff accountants while finishing her workload as well. Working effectively and efficiency are also crucial

elements of time management. Christina says that her next career move (or someone similar in her position) would be to work towards the title of partner at the firm or gain a management position within the industry. Due to her experience in recruitment at KPMG and UOIT, Christina was able to give some advice to current UOIT students. Her advice is for students to be involved as much as possible and build interpersonal and time management skills. She also discusses the value of networking in regards to building professional relationships. Compared to students at other universities, we asked Christina if there were some areas of improvement that UOIT students should be aware of. Christina mentions the fierce competition out there as there are students at other universities with excellent resumes and networking skills. Christina Basanti shared her very valuable experiences with us that will definitely assist students in achieving their goals. We were able to learn from Christina through several perspectives: her time as a student, her position as president on the UOAA, and as an employee with KPMG! Thank you Christina for taking the time to meet with the UOAA and give back to UOIT!

Christina Basanti, CA
Past UOAA VP Communications Currently Attending IVEY

Written By Jesse Yang



Theres no better time than the present to imagine a bigger future.

A CGA designation is more than a piece of paper. Its a game changer. Certied General Accountants command top-tier credibility and maximum earning potential in the worlds most compelling companies. The only question is, are you ready to DO MORE?

Hear CGAs discuss their personal paths to success at CGA-DoMore.org/testimonial

Im a fresh graduate. I feel like the CGA designation will provide a lot of opportunity. Ive already been recognized at work with more respect and increased pay.
MANJIT B T BAG CGA BAGRI, Manager Manager of Finance, The Herjavec Group Inc. e




New grads and young professionals often wonder how they will find the right work-life balance when they enter the workforce. The working world can be busy and fast-paced, but with the right job and a commitment to achieving work-life balance, your time on and off the clock can go a long way. Work-life balance is one of the many reasons why accounting and finance professionals pursue the CGA (certified general accountant) designation.
aving the CGA designation on their resum enables them to get the job they want, one that fits nicely into their idea of work-life balance, leaving them with enough time to pursue their passions both at work and play. For many CGAs, their after-hour activities start in their communities and touch many in ways you wouldnt normally think accounting could. Volunteering their professional skills within their communities gives CGAs the opportunity to practice their professional skill set, network with likeminded professionals and help those in need everybody wins. We caught up with a few CGAs who volunteer their professional expertise with various causes and organizations in their community. Not only did the CGA designation allow them to DO MORE with their career, it set them up to do good in their communities too. Each spring, more than 500 CGAs and students in the CGA program volunteer their time to help with tax preparation services for qualified seniors and low income Ontarians. Collectively, these CGAs are able to help hundreds of low income Ontarians file their taxes and take advantage of the many tax credits available to them. Tax preparation centres are set up across Ontario, sometimes at the local YMCA, community centre, accounting firm or a politicians constituency office. Janice Charko, FCGA, and chair of CGA

To learn more about how the CGA designation can help you DO MORE with your future, visit our website, cga-domore.org.

Ontarios board of directors, is a proud supporter of this initiative, Volunteering at the tax preparation services is a lot of fun, especially if you volunteer at the same location every year. I used to participate in one at a seniors home and it was a bit of a social event for the seniors, they were so happy to see us. It was always such a satisfying experience. Many seniors and lower income families in Ontario fail to receive the tax refunds and benefits to which they are entitled, or cannot fulfil their civic duty to file, or end up paying for tax services, simply because they are unable to complete the returns. In 2012, 573 CGAs and students from across the province teamed up to prepare 6,120 tax returns free of charge for seniors and low income Ontarians. Many CGAs across Ontario offer their professional expertise to various causes and organizations in their community. Not only did their designation help them get the job they desired, it also provided them with the opportunity to give back using the skills they learned studying in the CGA program. CGAs have the luxury of having great jobs and satisfying personal lives. When you hold a designation that employers value, you can arrange your schedule to fit your life not the other way around. As a CGA, there are plenty of opportunities to make time for what drives you. Every day the 21,000 CGAs working and volunteering in Ontario prove that CGAs see more than numbers. They see a need in the community and work to fill it.







A day of fun and professionalism all in one! Students were given the opportunity to network with professionals in a relaxed environment where they were able to bowl and enjoy food and beverages. Networking can take place in any setting and this was one of them!








The first of the UOAA Dinner Series! It was an outstanding evening with enthusiastic professionals from the industry in attendance. Two presentations were conducted, one by CGA Ontario whom discussed the importance of choosing a career youll enjoy. The other, by CMA Ontario focused on building professional confidence. Watch out for the next Dinner Series event, Skills Set presented by the ICAO.









The UOAA Mobile App is a new resource brought to the table this year. Everything you need to know is at the touch of your fingertips. It includes push notifications to make sure you never miss a deadline, sponsor news, or an event ever again!