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MNP careers are Different by Design. As an entrepreneurial firm, we truly believe there are no limits to where your career can go.
We all want to do business with people we know and like. That’s why we want you to get to know Blair Traxler, a Partner and Business Advisor with MNP’s Forestry & Forest Products team in Prince George and Vanderhoof. In this Q&A, find out how Blair’s curiosity of the forestry sector led him to this line of work and how he approaches work and life.
Nope. My parents were lawyers, so as a kid I thought I’d become a lawyer. Turned out that wasn’t for me. My brother in Calgary was an accountant, and that seemed like a good job with decent pay, so I followed in his footsteps instead.
Working in the Prince George office, it was natural to specialize in forestry. When I joined MNP, I was curious to thoroughly understand it, so I researched the logging process and created a Forestry 101 course, which we still use internally. After that, I worked on a benchmarking and sustainability project for about six years, and I got to ask questions of pretty much all the loggers in Northern B.C. Forestry has never been boring!
My forte is logging contractors, and specifically benchmarking and sustainability of logging contractors within the industry in the interior and central interior of B.C., from Salmon Arm to Prince George to Fort St. John. We look at those contractors and see where they sit relative to their peers in terms of volume cut and region. Then outside of that, I do everyday accounting, such as financial statements, tax returns, and everything in between.
I am most asked “How do I match up to my peers? Where do we sit in industry? Should I lease or buy equipment?” In benchmarking, we look at how the Return on Sales matches up to others, and the big three: expenses vs. others, percentage of wages, and repairs and fuel compared to others.
I like get out and see my clients. You don’t know what’s going on with your clients unless you get onsite and see them. It’s a huge advantage not to sit in your office. Clients have problems that we can solve, but they don’t necessarily think to ask us, so we have to be there to see what’s happening and ask questions.
On a typical in-office day, I have a plan to do things, and then I do something totally different for the next eight hours. A client phones and asks something, someone else calls with an urgent question, our staff have questions for me. I like that.
I am not your typical “professional” accountant (laughs). I just try to be a regular person…be approachable and explain things in everyday language. I want clients to understand what I’m saying and feel comfortable asking me questions. They don’t need to know accounting terminology to ask intelligent questions.
Yes. MNP is always looking for more contacts, clients and opportunities in the industry. I am happy to chat with anyone about anything forestry related, or accounting, or tax.
To get to know Blair even better and learn how he can help, contact him at 250.596.8313 or [email protected].
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