This profile was originally published in the September/October 2016 issue of CPABC in Focus magazine.
Photo by Christian Kuntz
Is employee loyalty a thing of the past? Not according to Mark Pike, the longest-serving partner at Crowe MacKay LLP in Whitehorse. In fact, Mark has been with the firm, and its predecessors, for his entire career.
“I was born in Ontario, in a small town called Harriston, and got my BBA from Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo,” he says.
“Times were tough in Ontario when I graduated, so I joined MacKay in Whitehorse. I articled with the firm, got my designation in 1982, became a partner in 1985, and stayed!”
Over the past 30 years, Mark has been involved in the firm’s growth and evolution.
“When I first joined, we had an office in Whitehorse and one in Vancouver,” he recounts. “Shortly afterward, we opened new locations in Yellowknife and Edmonton. Since then—assuming the stats are the same post-unification—we’ve grown to become one of the largest professional accounting firms in Canada.”
In return for his dedicated service over the past three decades, Mark has been able to carve out his own path in public practice. In addition to gaining extensive experience assisting clients in a variety of service areas, including audit, accounting, small business taxation issues, and business succession and sales planning, he has had the opportunity to tackle other special consulting engagements.
“Being a CA, and now CPA, CA, has opened so many doors, it’s hard to describe them all,” he says.
One engagement required him to appear in front of the Canadian Transportation Agency, in support of a client’s licence application. Mark is also qualified to serve as an expert witness by the Supreme Court of Yukon, and has testified on behalf of the RCMP on financial matters.
“I received coaching from the RCMP on witness demeanour, conduct, and answers,” he says. “Being on the stand in a courtroom, and being examined and cross-examined, was intense.”
Just as he is dedicated to his professional endeavours, Mark is also dedicated to the work of the accounting profession, both nationally and provincially. He is a past governor of the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants and was involved in the governance of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of the Yukon from 1984 through July 18, 2016, when the Chartered Professional Accountants Act came into force in the Yukon. He currently sits on the interim board of directors of the Chartered Professional Accountants of Yukon.
Throughout the unification process, Mark played a critical role in pushing the new CPA legislation through the Yukon Legislative Assembly, and in getting the approval of the other bodies and members.
“Everything I have professionally, I owe to being a CPA,” he says, “so it’s great to be able to give back.”
Outside of the profession, Mark also dedicates his time to serving the community as chair of the board of directors of the Yukon Workers’ Compensation Health and Safety Board and as vice-president of the Whitehorse Oldtimer Hockey League.
It’s fair to say that he loves his adopted hometown.
“Since Whitehorse is a capital city and home to many governments, the financial resources that pass through the city are significant, and the natural beauty of the Yukon is unparalleled,” Mark says. “Wearing a suit during the day and enjoying the wilderness—where there are more moose than humans—on weekends is cool.
“And of course,” he adds, “an occasional grizzly in your yard keeps your heart rate up!”