Best Buy’s Finance Manager Laura Thomas redefines accounting

Dec 20 2017, 4:09 am

It’s easy to round up the success rates for Chartered Professional Accountants. Statistics from a recent study indicate that CPAs across the country earned an average annual compensation of $151,000 in 2014.

But as it turns out, working as a CPA is more than cashing in on a paycheck or working the regular nine to five grind. At least that’s what Laura Thomas, Finance Manager with Best Buy Canada, has to say about her career. She’s showing that naysayers have the wrong idea about accounting, and that creativity is a must in Vancouver’s industry.

Vancity Buzz sat down with Thomas to get her two cents on what makes accounting a rewarding job.

Image: CPA Laura Thomas

Image: CPA Laura Thomas

What do you think about the stereotypes of accountants?

Long gone are the days of pocket protectors and calculator tape in dark basements. The profession, and any stereotypes, have evolved more than your cell phone.

What advice would you give someone considering a career in accounting?

“Accounting” is too narrow of a description for what we do. Consider the career that you ultimately want, are there numbers involved? Perhaps sales, analysis, customers, negotiations? Reporting? Decision-Making? You’ll want to understand your business, whatever it is, and the CPA can help.

What do you love about your job the most?

The daily evolution of my role and this business. In my particular role, the work is never the same, the days are never the same, I never really know what’s going to be around the next corner, and I love it. My input is valued by the senior leaders both within finance and in the business operations because I can speak both languages (that is, the languages of finance and business), and it brings people together for better understanding and better decision-making.

Where do you see the future of accounting going?

It’s already happening, businesses have realized the importance of understanding the “numbers”, the competitive advantage they can realize through analysis, and the efficiency they can gain in strategic decision-making. CPAs are, and will continue to be, key business partners.

What kind of traits do you need to become a CPA?

I’m an outdoor enthusiast with a love of skiing, camping, and dog training, bringing my enthusiasm for the outdoors into the office with a relentless passion for driving the business forward in a creative and constructive way. From an outdoor enthusiast to armchair quarterback, the diversity in this profession is what makes it so much fun.

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