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Raised in Haywood, Lise Deleurme is a powerhouse in our region, sparking economic growth for businesses, farms and local communities – and helping young people return to the towns they grew up in to make a lucrative living. Lise Deleurme Chartered Professional Accountant Inc. has been a fixture in Notre-Dame-de-Lourdes and St. Claude since 2003, when Deleurme, a new mom, hung up her shingle and began a career that showcases what’s possible when you set out to make your dreams come true.
As a young student, Deleurme had a keen interest in mathematics and solving problems. “My family always joked that I was likely born with a calculator in my hand. There was never really any doubt that my first career choice would be that of becoming an accountant,” she says. To that end, she started her post-secondary education in 1991.
But Deleurme didn’t just dream of being an accountant. The entrepreneurial spirit burned bright, and she wanted to build her own firm. Realizing that she’d need hands-on experience to go into business for herself, she took a job with a small accounting firm in 1992, continuing her studies through evening classes and by correspondence.
“By the time I received the chartered accountant designation in 2001, I already had nearly 10 years of practical experience in my field, which is very rare,” says Deleurme. “To me, passing that exam and obtaining my designation was the key I needed to unlock the door to my dreams.”
Deleurme worked for a Winnipeg firm, commuting two hours each day from the home she shared with husband Luc in Haywood. But after daughter Talia was born in 2002, she needed to make a change.
“I made the decision to start my own accounting practice close to home. This would allow me my dream of becoming an entrepreneur in rural Manitoba and the opportunity to spend quality time with my family,” she explains.
Many entrepreneurial accountants get started by buying an existing firm or group of clients or by taking on another firm’s satellite office. Not Deleurme. Starting with a handful of clients, she connected with the local business community, making herself available to committees that needed financial advice and speaking to groups.
By 2011, Lise’s practice had more than 600 clients. That year, she won the Women Entrepreneur of the Year Award – Impact on Local Economy through the Women Business Owners of Manitoba as well as CPA Manitoba’s Early Achievement Award and the Lauriers de la PME, micro-entreprise award.
“My vision was inspired by Simon Sinek’s ‘Start with Why’ concept and I always go back to
why I do what I do, versus
what it is I’m doing,” Deleurme says. “My why is to help businesses and farms succeed, no matter how big or small. In 2019, the year I opened a part time office in Cypress River, I turned it into our slogan when advertising:
Your success, MY goals.”
Deleurme takes a team approach in her business and involves all seven members of staff in decisions through regular staff meetings. Understanding the importance of fun in team building, and before the pandemic, Deleurme ensured the group attended events such as Bomber games, races at the Assiniboia Downs, golf days, and an annual field trip to tour clients’ places of business. “Things are a bit different right now, but we still regularly engage,” she adds.
From the beginning, it was very important to Deleurme to work closely with clients. “Businesses of all sizes need financial advice. In rural Manitoba, 95 percent of the economy is derived from owner-managed enterprises. Smaller enterprises usually do not have the resources to hire a full time CFO to help make financial decisions,” she explains.
In fact, many of Deleurme’s clients refer to her as their personal CFO. Deleurme and her team help them with all aspects of their business, from minimizing taxes and setting up accounting software and payroll management to planning for succession, and they deliver services in both English and French.
Recognizing the challenges facing young entrepreneurs, Deleurme has been a key speaker at the Francophone Manitoba Business Start Program for the Economic Development Council for Bilingual Municipalities in Saint-Boniface, sharing the challenges of the business world. Many attendees have become her clients and she’s watching their businesses thrive.
Preparing youth for success became such a passion that she mentored entrepreneurs who would borrow from the various local Community Development Corporations for their first year of business.
“This is very crucial as these young entrepreneurs are the future of our community,” she says. “I have also been actively involved in work experience programs with local high schools and post-secondary institutions. If I can interest and help one student pursue their career and return to rural Manitoba, I feel I have contributed towards the economy.”
Through Manitoba’s Make Way for Youth Program, she has also provided post-secondary graduates in the accounting sector with employment in their hometown.
Deleurme makes sure to give back to the community by volunteering on committees that can benefit from her financial knowledge. She was the first female president of the Notre Dame Chamber of Commerce and served a two-year term as the western representative on the board of directors of the Société de la francophonie manitobaine. She also serves as a member for the Canadian Association of Farm Advisors since 2018, an organization that helps farm advisors provide better advice to their farm clients.
An accomplished seminar leader and speaker, Deleurme is the first to acknowledge that she couldn’t have done it alone. While she was building her business, she gave birth to son Derick in 2005, and has been a busy mom as well as a businesswoman. She and Luc, who owns a trucking company, also moved to a small grain farm in Notre Dame in 2007.
Deleurme credits her high school math and business teachers for fostering her passion and her husband for providing encouragement and practical support. Her parents, Gerges Dheilly and Irene Jacques, and parents-in-law Edith (nee deRocquigny) and Albert Deleurme played a significant behind-the-scenes role in helping her achieve success. Georges Picton and Ken Grower are accountants from the Haywood area who served as mentors.
The new year starts off with a bang for this shooting star. On January 1, 2021, Lise Deleurme Chartered Professional Accountant Inc. joins forces with MNP, one of Canada’s largest national accounting and business consulting firms. The move gives Deleurme’s team more resources and specialized services, strengthening their ability to help clients achieve their goals, boost the economy, and reach new heights.
“MNP is the next chapter of my story and I am very excited join a firm that is local in focus but national in scope,” she adds. “It started as a small firm in Brandon, Manitoba. What I love about MNP is that I get all the expertise, services and resources of a large national firm, but the culture of a small firm – and that appeals greatly to me.”
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