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Get to Know Robbie Weitzman, Regional Leader for ease in Quebec

14/10/2020


Robbie

Meet Robbie, the Regional Leader for ease in Quebec. He’s dedicated to helping clients like you take advantage of new accounting technologies and unlock the potential of their business. Get to know him better in this Q&A.

1. Did you always want to be an accountant? 

The short answer is no. I was very interested in sciences, I had a passion for physics so I was going to be an engineer. I was accepted for the Engineering program at McGill and after really looking into what an engineering career would be like, I decided to go into business. I always had a knack for it. When I started, I focused on international business, thinking we live in a global economy so it would be a good place to start. 

The courses I took in the first year were intro to accounting or corporate finance - courses that came very easy to me because I had a solid math background. Where some people would simply see a balance sheet, I saw a business and the story behind their numbers. After acing those courses, I said "that's it. This is what I want to do." I switched into accounting and as they say, the rest is history. 

2. What’s your role at MNP? 

I'm the Quebec leader for ease - MNP's cloud accounting and bookkeeping service. I'm also a Partner in our Assurance and Accounting group. My work ranges from helping organizations outsource their accounting departments and setting them up with the right software to doing financial statements and providing business, tax and structuring advice.

3. Ease is a new service line for MNP. What drives you to take on the challenge of creating this new product? 

I find it really rewarding to show people what technology can do for their business and how it can help them. In many cases, the way accounting happens now and how people operate their businesses based off the accounting is the same way they were doing it in the 1950s. But new technology is changing the way we do accounting and the way we think about financials.  

What drives me is seeing a company that has a good business and enabling them to do even better by providing better financial information. Timely information is huge for companies and clients tell us how ease has changed their operations and the speed with which they make business decisions. It really does drive me.

4. What changes have you seen in clients from the COVID-19 pandemic?

The pandemic forced a lot of organizations into the paperless accounting environment. In the years leading up to this, it was easy for businesses to resist changing. But this has really pushed people to look at how technologies can help them in the new environment. They're opening their eyes to new opportunities and paperless accounting is one that helps the organization overall and addresses issues brought on by COVID-19. 

It's also changed how we all think about work. For some organizations, working from home was not on the table prior to COVID-19. But now, companies have seen that their team can be as productive working from home -- and some can be even more so. Learning that there's other ways to work is opening up new opportunities for some of our clients.

5. You’ve helped many entrepreneurs grow their businesses. What do you think makes a successful entrepreneur?

The number one thing I see is determination. Successful entrepreneurs are adamant and relentless in pushing themselves and their company forward. They don't wait for opportunities to come to them. They set goals for themselves and they create a plan for how they're going to get it done, no matter what it takes. That's what I see in good entrepreneurs.

The other common trait is knowing to surround themselves with the right people. Successful entrepreneurs are self-aware of their limitations and build a team, internally or externally, to complement their abilities.

One of the examples that comes to mind is an entrepreneur who owns a furniture company. It's a young guy who started it from the ground up. He has drive -- he flew to Vietnam and China so he could find the right suppliers. He knew the limits of his tax knowledge and he relied on MNP and our tax team to set up the right tax structure. He also knew that technology and design were not strengths for him but that they would be critical for success, so he brought in the right people with that knowledge. They are now partners with him in the company. 

This entrepreneur could have tried to save money in those areas and if he did, he would probably be five years behind where he is now. But he was determined to reach his goals and he surrounded himself with people who could help him get there. And now, the company has grown rapidly with a significant volume of sales. It's an inspirational story and it's a common one for entrepreneurs with the right mindset.