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Getting to Know You Kerry Smith, CPA, CA, TEP, Private Enterprise Partner, Vancouver

2020-12-07


In the third year of university, Kerry Smith couldn’t understand why anyone would want to be an accountant. Now, he leads our Professional Services team in Vancouver and loves his job. Learn more about Kerry’s career journey below.

Kerry Smith

How would your 10-year-old self react to what you do now?

Maybe we can fast-forward a year and ask my 11-year old self as I’ll never forget an assignment I did back in Grade 6. It asked questions about what you thought your future might look like. Things like: Where will I live? What will I do for work? What would I want to have? I responded Vancouver, Microsoft and a dog. 

My 11-year-old self would be happy to hear that I did end up in Vancouver and currently negotiating, in partnership with my 3-year-old son, with my wife on getting a dog. Although I am not working for Microsoft, I think my younger self would be pretty proud of the career path that I have taken.

Describe what you do.

I am a Partner and leader for our Professional Services group in the Vancouver office. I focus extensively on working with professionals in varying industries. I also work with professional service firms such as law firms, architect firms, and financial advisory firms. I combine my technical skills with my passion for finance and drive to help others to deliver tax, accounting and consulting services. I really enjoy being the trusted advisor to my clients whenever they are looking for guidance. 

In addition to this, I am also part of our national niche leadership team that helps guides our group from coast to coast. In this role I get to provide input on our mission, goals and strategies both at a national and regional level.

Did you always want to be an accountant?

My interest in accounting didn’t actually develop until I started my third year of my business degree. Before then, I thought that advertising and marketing would be my calling. I can recall coming home after my very first university class, accounting 101, and grabbing a snack. My mum asked me how my class went. I looked at her and said “who would want to be an accountant?” She laughed and replied, “I bet you end up being one”. I am not sure why she thought that, but it stuck with me from then on.

As I continued with my degree, I started to realize that accounting was more than just numbers, taxes, and spreadsheets. I started to see that they were the trusted advisors to entrepreneurs and professionals. They had the ability to guide clients in many aspects of their business.

What about MNP’s professionals niche intrigued you?

I’ve always been a people person and had a strong interest in investing and financial planning. During my articling years, I saw that those working in our professionals niche were able to advise their clients in so many different areas — taxation, cash flow management, financial planning, estate planning … the list goes on. That really aligned with my skills and interest. I was approached by the BC leader for the niche group and was asked if I would like to join the Vancouver office and help build out the team. (Check mark for my 11-year old self —move to Vancouver complete.)

After joining our niche group, I gained a deeper understanding of the value of niching and the expertise that you can bring to your clients with such a strong focus. Although we don’t hold a crystal ball, we do have valuable insight as to how a professional’s life cycle can progress and can provide timely advice with each evolving stage.

I also enjoy the relationship that I get to develop with my clients as I become a key part of their professional career. Having a personal connection makes the day-to-day of my job fun and rewarding. 

Want to know more about Kerry Smith? Contact him at 778.374.2189 or [email protected].