Freedom, flexibility and family time – this is the career path that allows you to enjoy it all

Chartered Professional Accountants can work in any number of different sectors and businesses

CPA and owner of Custom Car Posters, Jonathan Wong and his son. Photo via Bobo Zhao_Photography.

Jonathan Wong knows value.

That’s part of the gig when you’re a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA)

That intersection of knowing value and having values provides a continual light bulb moment for Wong and his young family.

And it’s through the vast and diverse skillsets imparted on CPAs, that Wong was able to bring to bear what he values most: freedom and flexibility.

Wong is the owner of Custom Car Posters, a successful, family-run automobile print company based in Kerrisdale. He works when he wants, answers to whom he wants and does it on his time - all while being present for every moment of his five-year-old son’s life.

“That’s where the CPA designation has really helped me a lot, because it gave me all these foundational skills: I know how to read financial statements, I know how to keep the records of our business and I understand how businesses work,” Wong said. “I didn’t have to go through a lot of the challenges that a lot of other entrepreneurs go through.”

A recent contestant on Dragon’s Den, Wong successfully pitched his company to the tune of a $250,000 investment offer.

He eventually turned it down. Values, once again, won the day.

“We figured that we couldn’t put a price on this time we have together as a family especially while our son is young,” Wong said. “At this stage, he still wants to play with us and we really value that. We only have a few more years where he thinks we’re cool and wants to hang out with us. Pretty soon he’s going to be doing his own thing.”

Some may think CPAs doing their thing entails accounting, taxes or records keeping exclusively.

Not so.

By hiring or training a CPA, you get a professional who is ethically minded, strategic and responsible, with strong financial and business acumen that can help transform your business. The CPA designation is a respected business credential.CPAs mean business but are also approachable and work with others to ensure positive outcomes.

Think of a CPA like a quarterback on the football field: they’re constantly assessing options, leading the company’s forward growth and are acutely aware of all facets of a business.

While you’re running the day-to-day operation of your business, a CPA keeps a watchful eye on market trends, competitive advantages that can be realized or which stocks to buy. They have the ability to put a round number on what your business is worth and can provide a path out of recessionary pressures.

“The main benefit is that accounting knowledge and expertise,” Wong said. “A CPA is going to be able to help you put together financial statements, analyze them and walk you through the numbers side of your business in order to give you insight into how the business is doing.”