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Meet Zaida Giron, Business Advisor, Private Enterprise


Zaida Giron

To learn more about our Private Enterprise services and how MNP can help you, contact Zaida Giron, CPA, Business Advisor, Private Enterprise.

Raised in Nanaimo, Zaida came to the Cowichan Valley in 2016 and embraced her new community with gusto. Open and authentic, she loves helping local business owners overcome challenges and achieve their dreams. Read on to get to know Zaida.

Did you always want to become an accountant?

No. Growing up, I loved sports and used to see myself as having a career in the sports industry. When I was in grade 11, my parents opened a small business in Nanaimo. I would help out with the books and I realized it is not just about the numbers. I was also fortunate to have my father’s guidance, as he was an accountant in El Salvador – where I was born. In grade 12 I had a career professional planning class and I started to look into accounting.

What is your role with MNP?

I’m a business advisor and senior manager in our Cowichan office. My area of specialization is Food and Beverage. I like the variety; clients might be involved in beverage processing or growing produce. Another area of specialization is Real Estate and Construction. There’s a lot of development happening on the island. I help my clients in various ways—it’s not just about taxes and numbers. They are always looking for ways to grow and improve the business.

How would you characterize your professional self?

I like to listen to clients. Even though I’m their external advisor, I work for their business and consider myself to be part of their team. I like to meet at their location where they feel comfortable asking questions and where I can see things they might not bring up. For example, I might see a new piece of equipment and I can ask how the equipment is working for them, is it as efficient as it could be, do we need to look at improving efficiency.

What’s the common thread that runs through your clients?

My clients prefer working with someone who is part of their team throughout the year. It’s not the once-a-year meeting where we’re looking at historical figures. Instead, we are going real time and constantly communicating. They contact me before they make the big decisions too. By the time we do their year end, we both know where things are at and what we expect to see.

How do you approach a client conversation?

Aside from listening and observing, I make sure I’m not using the jargon I might use when talking to another accountant. My clients aren’t accountants and need to fully understand potential solutions to their issues. I like to be proactive so there are no surprises, and I really want my clients to feel like there are no silly questions. Thankfully, it’s been a good approach. My clients know they can call or email me with any question at any time.

What’s the number one piece of advice you’re giving clients right now?

That they don’t have to wear all the hats in their business—they don’t have to be the expert at everything. My clients know they can contact me with questions. I don’t know everything and I’m upfront if I don’t have the answer—but I might know someone who does. That’s one of the things I love about working with MNP. For example, I have clients that have questions specifically about human resource processes. I am not a human resource expert but I have a colleague who is, so I can connect them.

How are you involved in the community?

I just started my third year on the board of directors for the Cowichan Chamber of Commerce.

Getting involved with the chamber helped me learn about the people and the community and the businesses here. I get to stay up to date with what’s happening, from municipal changes to what local businesses need. If I’m aware of what’s going on I can better help my clients, who maybe don’t have the time to be involved with the chamber.

What is the best thing about living in the Cowichan Valley?

There are lots of things! It’s beautiful. You can do everything from hiking to shopping downtown. There’s a local milk producer who will deliver to your door and often incorporates other food producers, so for Christmas I was able to get tarts and eggs and milk delivered. I enjoy that small town feel but at the same time there’s also a lot to do.