08 Mar 2018

Senior Manager – Assurance
Sainte-Marie Office

CLEARR Value: AGILITY

 

“Our clients know we’re there to support them as they progress. The diversity of our clients’ requests is what drives me.”

 

At the end of high school, Chantal Gravel’s first intention was to study music at Cégep de Sainte-Foy. “I’d been playing piano since I was very young. I was very nervous at the admissions test and had disappointing results. I had done well in school, so in the end, I chose pure and applied sciences. I then did a Bachelor of Commerce at Université de Sherbrooke, because I liked the work-study coop program, with on-site experience.”

Chantal mentions she greatly admired her parents, both entrepreneurs in Sainte-Marie, in Beauce. “My father took over my grandfather’s wholesale workwear business. He developed and grew the company. My mother studied part-time for seven years to obtain a degree in gemology, while raising my two brothers and me. She studied at the same time as we did. She owned a jewellery store and wanted to perfect her knowledge to better advise her clients. My parents worked hard and with their lifestyle as an example, it seemed normal for me to have a demanding professional life while raising a family.”

Chantal’s parents introduced her to the realities of entrepreneurial life at a young age, but they also passed on their optimistic view of life. “For example, with my father, nothing is ever so bad. His gift to me was developing my confidence in people, in life. I never stay unhappy for a long time, even when something difficult happens.”

Chantal has been with RCGT for 21 years, at the Sainte-Marie office and explains the characteristics of a small regional office. “We don’t specialize, because our clients count on us to address a vast array of needs. We forge close relationships with SME owners. We carry out recurring assurance engagement, such as audits, but our involvement extends much further. Our clients know we’re there to support them as they progress. The diversity of our clients’ requests is what drives me.”

What do her team and clients say about her most often? “That I listen. I find that very gratifying, because I think that’s an important quality to nurture, at work and in our personal lives.”

Developing flexibility and open-mindedness

Chantal has boundless energy that she attributes to her healthy lifestyle. “Eating healthily and exercising are very important to me. I play ringette once a week, and depending on the season, I train a few times a week in the gym or I jog or swim. I’ve always been active. Since I have to be very organized as the mother of three children, I plan my activities in my schedule.”

In December 2016, a friend of Chantal’s suggested they sign up together for the Cap Fémina Aventure. “It’s an off-road rally in the Moroccan desert in teams of two, in a jeep or an ATV. There is also a charitable component to this 10-day adventure. Last year, it consisted in painting a school in El Fida, with the local population.”

“I had to move out of my comfort zone to raise funds! Soliciting funds is intimidating. My colleagues and my employer help me, and we were able to raise close to $22,000.”

She goes on to say, “During the rally, there were numerous opportunities for me to let go. I’m the type of person who likes to be in control, but in this context, that’s just not possible! When my teammate and I disagreed about something, we absolutely had to be flexible. We finished 13th out of 72 teams, and are very proud of our results.”

“You don’t always realize how deep-rooted certain habits can become. By agreeing to push myself beyond my limits, I discovered inner resources I never knew I had. And now, I can apply them every day,” Chantal adds.

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08 Mar 2018

Senior Auditor – Assurance
Val-d’Or office

CLEARR value embodied: COLLABORATION

 

“When several people from my team work on a same project, I reserve a room for us. It’s easier to communicate and help each other when there aren’t any walls between us.”

 

Choosing a career was easy for Andréanne. “In high school, I loved math and I was very good at it. My father was an accountant and my mother, Vice-President of Human Resources, so they both worked in business. I studied business in CEGEP. At HEC Montréal, I enrolled in the Bachelor of Business Administration, Major Accounting program.”

During her internships, which were all done at the same large consulting services firm, she sometimes had doubts as to whether she could see herself in this profession. “Something just wasn’t adding up, but I didn’t have enough experience to pinpoint the problem. But I was too far into my studies to just give up like that. After I obtained my CPA designation, when I started working elsewhere, I was relieved to find that I really liked my work! What I hadn’t liked during my internships was their business culture. There was no recognition. Even when we gave it our all, it was never enough.”

Andréanne (in back) with Émilie, at the family fishing cabin on Parent lake in Senneterre.

Andréanne says, “You don’t have to be a workhorse to be successful. My partners, Sylvain Faucher and Serge Allard, advocate a work/life balance and support us in this regard.”

The young accountant values collaboration and team spirit. “I remember very well just how intimidating it was, at the beginning of our professional journey, to ask for information and advice when we needed it. When several people from my team work on a same project, I reserve a room for us. It’s easier to communicate and help each other when there aren’t any walls between us. We each take a turn being DJ for the day and that person chooses the music we’ll listen to while working!”

Andréanne has always been into sports. She practised weightlifting when she was a teenager and participated in several world weightlifting championships. She would have continued with it but, in 2011, she hurt her back and had to stop. She recognizes that being involved in this sport helped her develop qualities that will serve her all her life, especially discipline and self-control.

“The comment I hear most at work is that I’m not stressed out, that I know how to remain calm even when involved in a complex assignment that isn’t going smoothly. If it’s too easy, I get bored fast. I get more satisfaction when the job is harder and I still manage to find solutions.”

These days, Andréanne does Crossfit six times a week and coaches Crossfit weightlifting to gym members.

Building a life up North in the name of love

Meeting Émilie made Andréanne decide to leave Montréal. “My partner was born in Senneterre, which is less than an hour from Val-d’Or. In the spring of 2016, I joined her there and we bought a house together.”

“Before meeting Émilie, I knew nothing about Abitibi. I thought it was so far from Montréal! I would never have thought that at least once a year I’d be driving for six hours from Val-d’Or on the Baie-James route to go further North to a client in Nemaksa.”

Above all things, Andréanne appreciates the closeness to nature, as well as the inherent solidarity in her adoptive region. “It’s easier to make ties here than back in Montréal. We have a good network of friends and I get along very well with my in-laws. I couldn’t imagine myself living anywhere else. Of course I miss my family, but apart from that, I have everything I need right here.”

The next step for this couple is having a child. Andréanne ends her story on a happy note, “I couldn’t have wished for a better place to grow in my career while enjoying a great family life.”

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05 Mar 2018

Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton is proud to be one of Canada’s Best Employers according to Forbes Magazine’s 2018 ranking!

The firm ranks 152nd in this prestigious “top 300” and boasts being the top accounting firm thus leading the way in the professional services category!

Emilio B. Imbriglio, President and CEO of Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton said: “Our employees are the cornerstone of our firm. Being an employer of choice is very important to us. That’s why we devote the necessary resources to ensure a motivating environment where our employees can achieve their full potential. These results are a testament of their passion and engagement and the positive effect our employer brand has on them. There’s no doubt that we will continue to attract the best talent to support our clients’ growth.”

Over 8,000 employees surveyed

The ranking was compiled in collaboration with online research firm Statista, that surveyed 8,000 + workers in some 1,500 private and public organizations with more than 500 employees. The employees were asked to rank on a scale of 0 to 10 whether they would recommend their employers.

To view the survey results, visit the Forbes website and see the filtered list by professional services where the firm ranks at the top.

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02 Mar 2018

On Sunday, February 11, 2018, some 350 people gathered for a brunch to support Aide-Parents Plus. Chantale Harvey, Assurance Partner in the Alma office was the event’s Honorary Chair.

Our Saguenay-Lac Saint-Jean Women of Talent team contributed to the event by selling tickets and presenting a donation collected internally. A total of $7,500 was raised for this organization that supports parents with children aged 0 to 5.

The purpose of the Women of Talent initiative is to enhance the mobilization of women within Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton in order to promote their role and responsibilities in the firm’s business development and to increase the scope of networking.