What is your ideal work environment? For many, working at a growing small business means the opportunity to learn new skills from senior staff and direct contact with clients – and, before long, being able to mentor new staff as well.
When Andrew Payeur was starting out as a junior accountant at Vaive and Associates, he would frequently seek advice from Laurie Beneteau, a 25-year veteran and director at Vaive and Associates.
Now it’s time for Payeur to pay it forward.
This year he was promoted to manager at Vaive and Associates. He is the first
employee in the firm to be promoted internally to a management role.
“We want to help Andrew succeed and advance in
his career,” says J. Rolland Vaive, founder of Vaive and Associates. “Through
his expertise and delivering value to our clients, Andrew has demonstrated that
he’s ready for this position. We value his knowledge and work commitment.”
Finding the right job, especially after
graduating from university, can be difficult. Payeur worked for several firms
after completing his accounting degree at Carleton University in 2012 but was
still looking for an environment where his work would be valued. He came across
Vaive and Associates and was hired as a junior accountant in 2013.
“I appreciate that my coworkers trusted me and
they didn’t micromanage me,” says Payeur. “When you’re a young accountant, you
can have people that are always looking over your shoulder. They trusted me to
do good work.”
Payeur is part of the team that’s helped
propel his firm’s expansion. When he joined Vaive and Associates, there were
only three other accountants on staff. Now the firm has more than 21 employees.
“Through these past six years I got to know
the clients really well,” says Payeur. “I like learning about different
business sectors. For example, I learned about construction companies, how they
work and what they do, and I learned how different they can be from one
another. It really helped me to develop my skills as an accountant.”
Working as a generalist, Payeur’s files are
not only varied in terms of industry but also business size. He says one of the
big draws to working at Vaive and Associates is more exposure to clients.
“At a bigger firm you
might get stuck working on one tiny aspect of a huge client’s year-end audit,”
says Payeur. “Our clients are generally smaller so one person is able to tackle
every aspect of the year-end. Because of this, I was able to quickly gain a big
picture understanding of how the process works as well as learn each individual
aspect of the year-end process. And bonus, I had a more satisfying feeling at
the end of it, knowing that our client is happy because of my work.”
One of the key responsibilities as manager is
overseeing the work of junior accountants. Payeur is using what he learned from
senior staff, giving guidance on a variety of topics ranging from understanding the needs of different clients
to how to approach complex files.
“As a junior accountant, I learned a lot from
review notes when I first started and I’m trying to offer the same learning
opportunities in my review notes to staff,” says Payeur. “I think that’s such a
tangible and satisfying way to tell yourself that you’re learning and