This profile was originally published in the November/December 2014 issue of CPABC in Focus magazine.
Profile by Michelle McRae
Carol Bellringer, Manitoba’s former auditor general, had barely put her feet up when she got the offer that would pull her out of her fledgling retirement: the chance to serve as auditor general here in BC.
“I couldn’t resist the opportunity to cap off my career in a great office, in a great city like Victoria,” she explains. “So the retirement will have to wait. And to be honest, my husband and I weren’t prepared to face another Winnipeg winter!”
Carol’s new appointment officially began on September 18, with a swearing-in ceremony at the legislature. She brings a total of 12 years of experience as auditor general of Manitoba to her new role, as well as experience gained serving the office in other capacities—including as assistant provincial auditor and director of training and technology. She also brings a passion for the work.
“This has to be the most interesting job there is,” Carol says. “The work covers such a broad spectrum. Public service is one of the most rewarding careers out there—knowing that our work has a direct impact on the provincial budget and on how well the public is served makes it worth the challenges.”
Chief among these challenges? “Answering citizens’ concerns,” she says, “and balancing the information needs of the government in power with the needs of the opposition.”
Carol’s experience in the public sector also includes a brief foray into municipal auditing in 1996, when she joined the City of Winnipeg as city auditor.
“The City was facing a large tax assessment problem at that time, and the mayor was bringing in some innovative administrative reforms,” she recounts. “I was excited to join that office, but it only lasted six months, as my husband was then offered a position with KPMG in Poland.”
The family subsequently packed up and moved to Warsaw, where they lived for six years. While overseas, Carol worked with Media One International and completed an MBA from the Warsaw School of Economics and the University of Quebec at Montreal. Her resume also includes management positions with KPMG and a stint as director of private funding at the University of Manitoba.
Carol also has years of experience serving on the boards of a variety of business, charitable, and arts organizations, including the Manitoba Chapter of the Institute of Corporate Directors, Manitoba Hydro, and the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra. She currently serves on the board of the International Federation of Accountants, a global organization representing approximately 2.5 million accountants, having been appointed by CPA Canada to serve as one of two Canadians on the board.
“This is my first experience on an international board,” Carol says, “and I’ve learned a great deal about how to govern while dealing with cultural diversity.”
Outside of her work and board service, Carol says her greatest passions are her family (she and her husband have three adult children), golf, and music.
“I would have loved to have been a musician, but I didn’t have the talent, so I am an avid listener and a supporter of the performing arts,” she says. “The musicians in the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra taught me about excellence, focus, and feeling passionate about work.”
Carol is applying those same principles to her new role. And she’s also having fun exploring her new surroundings.
“My husband and I have been enjoying discovering the food markets, the local restaurants, and the walkways,” she says. “And, of course, we just love the weather!”