This profile was originally published in the Sept/Oct 2015 issue of CPABC in Focus magazine.
Profile by Michelle McRae
Photo by Antonio La Fauci
This summer, Metrics Chartered Professional Accounting in Victoria became the first firm in Western Canada able to train CPA students in the pre-approved program route (PPR) with no assurance hours, called the Compilation, Tax and Advisory path.
It’s just one example of the Victoria-based accounting firm’s progressive ethos. Another is its entirely cloud-based, paperless environment, which helped garner the firm gold status certification from the Vancouver Island Green Business Certification program in 2014 and 2015.
“I try every day to keep Metrics on the cutting edge,” says founder Regan McGrath, CPA, CA. She goes on to describe how the firm recently entered into a brief “hibernation” to revisit its mission statement:
“We had a lot of discussion about shaking things up—about advancing and improving the accounting experience. We want to challenge and disrupt the accounting model. We are always striving to improve processes and be ahead of the curve—it’s what drives us in our daily work, and it’s a huge part of our culture.”
Regan is also focused on making the firm an exemplary training ground.
“We never considered not being a training office,” she says. “Technical excellence and community represent two of our key values at Metrics. We’re also a growing firm. Becoming a training office allows us to stay current in our practices, support the CPA community, and attract the best talent. We all embrace and enjoy the mentorship role and our firm benefits from it so much. It’s just a natural fit.”
With its various program paths, the new CPA training system gives smaller firms like Metrics the opportunity to train CPA students without providing assurance experience.
“Previously, any small firm that wanted to train pre-approved program CPA students needed to have some assurance work within their practice,” explains Harp Bagri, CPA, CA, director of outreach for the CPA Western School of Business. “With the Compilation, Tax and Advisory path, accounting firms can now train CPA students without needing to perform assurance engagements.”
Regan describes the process of gaining training approval from CPABC as both thorough and informative.
“It was really interesting to examine our client deliverables and create a path for our students,” she says. “In addition to traditional advisory work, we do a lot of contract consulting and industry work, and it was wonderful to see that recognized within the CPA technical competencies. It also made us realize the breadth of our training experience, and solidified our belief that training at Metrics is a unique offering in the marketplace.”
Regan’s own training background is unique in that she trained and articled at KPMG and later worked at her father’s CGA firm. It was with insight from both worlds that she launched Metrics in 2014.
“Branching out on my own was a given,” she says of the career move. “I’ve always challenged the status quo, and I’m always looking for ways to improve.”
Becoming an employer was another given, says Regan, adding: “I know that to lead a strong business, you need a strong team.”
She currently employs a staff of seven that includes three students.
“My team is an amazing group of individuals who all bring something different to the table,” Regan says. “We constantly strive to make things better, faster, and stronger, and we have a lot of fun doing it. I am genuinely grateful for them on a daily basis.”