It Takes a Village

As the 2018 tax season has come to a close, I want to express my gratitude for both the great clients we get to serve and also the amazing team that supports this office, because believe me, it takes a village!


For Jenny McGovern, CPA, CGA, this was her second year as part of the ‘Smart’ team. She has gained even more public practice knowledge within her role as the office’s lead support for Quickbooks Online and other software. 

It was great to have stable staffing this year, but we weren’t as fortunate with software.  None of us are software technician support experts but between TaxCycle, Caseware, BillQuick, Word, Excel, Outlook, Freshbooks, QBO, Hubdoc, and system software glitches and hiccups, reverting back to paper and pencil was starting to look very tempting!  We are very grateful for the patient tech support the software support line offers, as much as going back to paper and pencil may be very tempting it is not realistic!

I must give a huge thank you to Dean Fast and the Protocol/F12 technicians who went above and beyond one night when the automatic Windows update broke the link to the server.  It was 7:30 pm and, after receiving my emergency text, Dean contacted the Protocol/F12 technicians. Thankfully, we were able to get the server connection restored so I could continue working that night and staff were able to start work right away the next day.


I also need to thank the many other connections that support this office. Your support and random acts of kindness always come at just the right time, and they mean so much.

  • Bianca Crane from Bianca’s Hairstyling for the business neighbour random drop in with flowers and food.
  • Kelle Higgins with Floral Therapy Kelowna. Fresh flowers in the office during tax season is a holistic pick up!
  • Brad Steinbart, tax manager, BDO. When the dedicated CRA line can’t give the right answer, it’s good to know I have a local back-up to call
  • Aly Pain and Elaine Shuler, my early morning walking buddies. It’s great to be able to pair exercising with friendship chit chat (as we resolve all the world’s problems in 45 minutes)
  • Paul Philps, investment advisor, RBC Wealth Management Dominion Securities, for the well wishes and pizza he sent to help us celebrate the end of another successful year
  • Bob Shuler, CPA, CA, my mentor and friend who always gives me the best human being advice vs professional robot unachievable advice
  • Danusia Tarr, from Brilliant Digital Marketing, for managing the firm’s social media
  • Natalie Appleton, from Read Head Copywriting, for taking my verbiage and ensuring it is professionally crafted
  • And all the online resources to inspire and uplift me, such as Brené Brown and Mel Robbins

A big thank you to everyone else who has gone above and beyond to show kindness to this office as we work hard to support and serve our clients. 


And, finally, a word to you, our clients.  You are simply the best!  Some of you have moved on due to life circumstances and we sincerely wish you all the best. 

Being in public practice can be a challenge when you are more of an introvert, but with a growth mindset, each and every file is an opportunity to support and empower people in a career that the staff and I really do enjoy.

I am humbled, with the privileged position I am in, to be a part of your life—to see little ones being born and other families needing estate support with the passing of a loved one. I get to hear your stories every year about what is going well in your life and what can use some accountancy advice. 

I have also been on the ‘hot seat,’ as I call it, when our review of your T1 summary reveals something needs to be adjusted before your sign off.  The value of providing quality, professional service is important to me and the Smart team. It is disappointing to us when we miss the mark, but we see how our fabulous clients’ grace gives us the time to correct, refile, adjust or simply reprint to re-sign.

So, now what’s next? 


I’ve realized one of the aspects of my role I find most rewarding is the ability to empower people to gain financial and tax literacy so they can make educated decisions with confidence. So, I’m doing a road show!

I hope you’ll join me for one or all of these free, one-hour tax talks, being held at the Ratio café meeting room.

  1. T2125 Statement of Business Activities: Categorizing to Save Time at Tax Season May 16 at 8am and 11am
  2. Introducing Quickbooks Online May 30th at 11am
  3.  Real Estate Rentals & the New Budgets: What You Need to Know June 6th at 11am
  4. Scams and Fraud: How to Protect Yourself June 20th at 11am

 Learn more or save your seat at one of these talks by visiting Eventbrite and clicking ‘details’ to register. The first talk appears, and then just search for the other three talks to register and get those dates in your calendar! 

In the coming weeks, I will be sending out a Survey Monkey questionnaire.  Your feedback is valuable and we look forward to learning more about how we can improve services.

Finally, a sincere thank you for your business.  Not your business allows me to employ two dedicated, hard-working individuals (as a small business owner we know how fortunate we are to have secured stable, terrific staff!) and it allows me to continue to “Do What I Love and Love What I Do.”


With warm regards,

Charlene H. Smart

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