GGFL’s Director of Standards
Last week, we shared an article on the New Canadian Standards for Review Engagements and Auditor Reporting Standards. In response to changing standards, accounting firms need to keep pace and have internal structures in place to ensure that staff fully understand what is changing and when. This is where a Director of Standards plays a major role in the dissemination of knowledge to an accounting firm’s team.
Enter Sarah Tremblay, GGFL’s Director of Standards.
Sarah has a dual role at GGFL. She is an accountant with her own clients; however, an increasing part of her work is focused on monitoring and understanding changing standards and communicating the information to colleagues.
“Standards are updated often,” says Sarah. “Some are just annual improvements, but every few years, they lob us a big change. It’s my job to make sure I understand upcoming changes and ensure that we, as a firm, are complying.”
Once she has researched, absorbed, and understood the changes, Sarah leads internal training to bring GGFL’s staff accountants up to speed.
“I provide service to our clients;” she says, “although, another big part of my role is supporting the firm and my co-workers.”
Whether a review engagement or full-fledged audit report, clients will notice a difference both in the type of questions they are asked and the paperwork they are required to sign.
Monitoring and understanding the minutiae of incoming accounting standards might not be everybody’s cup of tea, but Sarah says it suits her just fine.
“I really enjoy it,” she says. “I have found my place at the firm. It’s a good balance between feeling challenged and getting to play to my strengths. I enjoy research and working more with my colleagues and peers and having them throw brain puzzles at me.”
“It’s also good for my clients,” she adds. “Clients look to us for expert advice. They want proactive communication that breaks down the changes and answers the basic questions, ‘What does it mean to me and my business, and what is the value to the change in service you are providing?’”
“Good communication means clients are not surprised,” she says, “and that makes all the difference.”