The new social and professional landscape is driving people to broaden their horizons. The regions are gaining in popularity, particularly in eastern Quebec.

Periods of social upheaval are conducive to challenging one’s lifestyle. In June 2020, after a turbulent quarter, 41% of Quebecers said they were ready to change employers (Angus Reid survey). Greater openness to the new teleworking lifestyle also allows professionals to expand their options.

The appeal of wide-open spaces, combined with technological accessibility, are contributing to a resurgence of interest in settling in the regions, particularly in the territory covering the Bas-Saint-Laurent, Gaspésie and Edmundston.

Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton has positioned itself as a major employer that adapts to the needs of its environment and context in order to meet its people’s expectations.

What does it mean to work with us?

The regional experience aligns with the firm’s global vision and is based on the following principles:

Despite the distance, we are together virtually

Long before the pandemic, our teams were connected and equipped with state-of-the-art technology to respond to their clientele’s geographic and strategic context and regional, provincial and international networks.

For us, enjoyment and collaboration are essential

We are a united group. Our employees are known for their ability to listen to their clients, colleagues and collaborators. The team spirit that characterizes us is an important asset that contributes to successfully supporting our clients in the recovery of their business, safely and with agility.

Our successors are involved in the decision-making process

We believe that to see further as a professional also means having the opportunity to contribute to the development of the regional economic fabric, to participate in something greater. Our team makes room for young people, allowing them to get involved in various committees and progress quickly within their team.

We leverage differences

Within our firm, our service diversity and an appreciation for expertise make it possible for our staff to work on a wide range of files and client profiles and even explore career opportunities. The multitude of activity sectors in the territory is certainly reflected in the variety of our projects. Eligibility for subsidies means we have been able to help a significant number of companies from sectors particularly affected by the crisis.

Quality of life on a daily basis is our mantra

Flexible working hours, proximity to home, a long-standing absence of traffic, abundant nature, breathtaking scenery and teleworking are distinctive and valuable assets today.

Our regional signature is now part of a new setting, reflecting a whole new social and professional dimension. Our people convey the employer brand, discover them in our video clip and learn about their Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton experience. This unique moment illustrates the regional closeness that symbolizes the very essence of who we are: a firm with a human dimension.

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The daily life of recruiters is not limited to the analysis of resumes, but is multi-faceted. Let’s see what Julie Villeneuve has to say about her role in our firm.

What do you like about your role as a recruiter?

I have the chance to recruit for different teams, and therefore, to meet a variety of candidates. Each person has his or her own personality, history, background and motivations. That’s what’s enriching for me, because I don’t recruit job titles, I look for people who have a way of being, a vision and a personality that match ours. I love the human side of my job.

Using this approach, I’ve been able to talk to people that would surely not have been considered elsewhere. Here, we understand that new skills can be acquired. It’s attitude that’s important.

Before, our function was primarily administrative. Now we have a true advisory role. Our expertise allows us to hire professionals who will quickly find their place and grow within the firm. There is much more added value in this approach than simply ticking off all the boxes on a skills checklist.

Do you have a favourite question you ask during an interview?

I ask people to forget about the position they’re applying for and describe their ideal position. This lets me get a better idea of their interests, motivation, career objectives. In fact, this question once let me redirect a candidate towards a position that was more suitable.

In your opinion, how do you evaluate a successful interview?

For me, a successful interview is one where each party—the firm and the candidate—leaves with all the information needed to make an informed decision. A job interview is an exchange, a discussion. When each party learns something about the other and comes away with a better understanding, then you can say that the interview is a success, no matter what the final decision is.

 

Because this human side is an integral part of our culture, our consultants want to be in direct contact with candidates at all stages of the recruiting process. We don’t have an automated filtering system, and no one falls into an anonymous inbox. Are you interested in working with us? Contact one of our recruiters!

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When your company offers you the means to achieve your ambitions, take the chance and turn it into an opportunity to move up the ladder.

Senior Tax Manager Olivier Levesque shares his story about how by jumping feet first into what life throws our way, we can move forward successfully.

What makes your career path unique?

The summer I obtained my bachelor’s degree, I did an internship in taxation at the Chicoutimi office. The team must have seen something in me, because I was offered a consultant position before I even started my master’s degree. In my second tax season, I was invited to comment on the federal and provincial budgets on the radio. That was the opportunity that launched my career.

I loved this experience and, the following year, I was offered the chance to participate in the government budget analysis during the lockdown. For two years, in 2018 and 2019, I was there with my team at the lockdown and was invited to discuss it in various media outlets.

I was also invited to co-host the 2019 partners’ meeting and make myself known to the firm’s partners. By saying “yes” to an interview (even though I wasn’t sure I was up to the task), I opened doors to several projects that I am passionate about.

That’s the beauty of working in a team like mine. Regardless of my title, years of experience or age, I had the support of my bosses to go for it.

What do you think is the key to success?

If my story can teach anything to people starting out in an accounting firm, it’s probably that, to be successful, you have to seize every opportunity, internally and externally!

For me, success is far from being measured by my title. If you’re satisfied with being a manager or consultant, you’re confined to one role. To move forward, you have to go beyond responsibilities and expectations. You have to create tasks for yourself, always say “yes” and, most important, make sure you deliver something you can be proud of every time.

Whether the project is big or small, it’s worth the effort because you never know into whose hands it might end up. In my experience, it’s very rare to sow a seed and nothing grows, it’s just some things take time!

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A CPA’s career can take different directions. Business advisors, who are increasingly in demand, is one option to consider.

The business world is rapidly changing and entrepreneurs want to be offered efficient solutions to remain competitive in their market and continue to grow.

In our firm, our Chartered Professional Accountants (CPAs) must be able to provide entrepreneurs with all the support they need to meet today’s and tomorrow’s challenges, for all facets of their development.

This is why, for the past few years, we have been encouraging our accounting professionals to take on a broader role, that of business advisor to our entrepreneurial clients.

To apply this approach in practice, we give our CPAs the tools and training they need to assess a company’s complete situation and identify the client’s needs.

Once the overall picture has been defined, the business advisor can help our clients move forward by involving our specialists in the relevant disciplines, such as tax, financial advisory, strategy or business valuation.

For CPAs, acting as a business advisor opens the door to new challenges and numerous opportunities to develop their talent and expertise. In a context where more and more accounting tasks are automated, mastering this field of expertise adds substantial value to the accountant’s role.

Pilot projects in the Bas-Saint-Laurent region

Several projects and initiatives are planned or already in place to reinforce this strategic direction and equip the firm’s business advisors.

In the Bas-Saint-Laurent, Gaspésie and French New Brunswick, we plan to develop a dozen entrepreneur advisors in the short term. They will serve as strategic advisors to clients and coordinate all of the specialized resources they need.

These entrepreneur advisor positions will be filled by young CPAs who will receive specialized training and be mentored by experienced partners. Similar programs are planned across the Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton network.

Candidates for these positions stand out for their strategic and entrepreneurial vision, emotional intelligence, interpersonal skills and problem-solving ability.

We offer multiple career opportunities across Quebec, so that all young CPAs can choose the path that interests them, be it in a specialty, as a manager or as an entrepreneur advisor.

We value self-reliance and empowerment so that everyone can achieve their full potential.

Our thanks to Richard Chrétien, Partner, Vice-President, who initiated this pilot project in the Bas-Saint-Laurent, for his invaluable contribution to this article.