Canada

#AuditorProud 2018: RSM celebrates a manager's journey

INSIGHT ARTICLE  | 

Every year in September, auditors the world over share stories and experiences as part of the #AuditorProud day celebrations. This year, two of RSM Canada’s long-serving audit professionals, Brett Medeiros and Rhonda Klosler, take centre stage. Both Brett and Rhonda began their auditing journey through co-op student placements and both have successfully progressed through the firm to their current roles as audit manager, as well as chief operating officer (COO) and Toronto Office Managing Partner, respectively. In this first interview of two, we learn what drew Brett to the auditing profession and what makes him proud to be an auditor. Also read an interview with our National COO and Toronto Office Managing Partner Rhonda Klosler.

Was there a particular event or program that first drew you to auditing as a profession?

When it was time for me to decide on a career in high school, two teachers shaped my decision – my shop teacher and my accounting teacher. My choices were the corporate world or hands-on cabinetry! Both had similar skill sets, attention to detail, persistence and problem solving. When I learned that my shop teacher was previously an accountant, the pieces fell together, as I realized the skills and interactions of auditing and accounting would set me up for any number of possibilities.

How did the co-op program assist you as an auditor?

My co-op placement set me up for success. It created the optimal environment to learn about auditing and put down roots in a great organization. Coming out of high school, I looked for a great university with a strong co-op program and a high success rate. For me, that was Brock University. A friend of mine had a placement with RSM Canada’s predecessor firm and I interviewed with them in my third-year at university. During the interview process, I was struck by the firm’s culture. Partners were accessible, there were no closed doors and the openness really resonated with me. People mean a lot at RSM. The relationships I was able to cultivate in my co-op program have continued to flourish today.

How have you seen the auditing profession evolve during your career?

Over the years, I have seen the audit profession adopt and acknowledge the value of technology. RSM Canada adopted a paperless approach soon after I joined its predecessor firm. That was a big transition, not just for me; my previous experience with auditing was based on using paper files. As such, it was great to see we were taking a step towards environmentally friendly – and at that time – cutting-edge solutions. Embracing cloud computing was another big shift; that made it possible for the partner to be in the office and still receive real-time updates while the team was in the field.

Can you share some experiences that have helped you progress in your auditing career?

I had a strong onboarding team when I started and that intentionality in the onboarding process is still part of RSM Canada. I gained the opportunity to know the senior auditing staff and I maintained my relationships with them even after some members of my audit peer group moved out of public accounting. The guidance and support of the seniors and managers I worked with when coming through the ranks helped coach me to take ownership of the work I was doing, and act as a leader within my team, in the committees I was supporting, and the firm as a whole.

What advice do you have for new auditors or those just beginning their careers?

My advice is to look inward first and be sensitive to where you thrive. Know why you want to get into the auditing industry, what types of clients and industries you would like to work with and follow that passion. From there, the next step is to find a firm that aligns with those passions. When the firm fits you, it is easy to integrate into the firm culture, and allows you to grow in your career.

Why are you proud to be an auditor?

I take great pride in adding value to my clients in addition to providing an audit opinion. Even though clients can be required to hire auditors, in my experience they want to hire us. I am very proud to serve our clients and become their first-choice advisor by providing them with business insight and fresh ideas.

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