To Brian Steeves becoming a Partner at Crowe MacKay means being a mentor and a leader within our firm. He’s demonstrated through hard work and commitment, you can achieve your goals.
An accounting career at Crowe MacKay
I started practicing in 2007 with Crowe MacKay. I’ve been with the firm for roughly 12 years and chose to develop my career with Crowe MacKay because of the great people. I’ve had some very supportive mentors during my career here and have developed friendships that I know will last forever. Not only is it the people that made me choose Crowe MacKay, but the challenging work. Every assignment I receive is motivating and enhances my skillset.
As I continue on my journey with the firm, I think in the next five to ten years we will be competing with the Big Four in a multitude of ways. Crowe MacKay has so much knowledge and when we collaborate across all of our regions, our skills and expertise are elevated. I think in the coming years there is the potential for us to expand across the country.
A passion for building his practice
My journey in accounting didn’t have many bumps or turns. I grew up in Southwestern Ontario, went to university in Nova Scotia, and got my first job with Crowe MacKay as a student with the Yellowknife office in 2007. However, I left the firm in November 2008 to try my hand at working industry. In this time I realized I am most passionate about assisting clients with their tax planning and helping them understand different tax strategies and concepts, something I did very little while working in industry. I decided it was time to return to building my practice and left industry after eight months, only to return to the Crowe MacKay Yellowknife office, later transferring to our Kelowna location in February 2015.
Being an accountant was not the original career goal
Believe it or not, becoming a tax partner in Kelowna wasn’t always my greatest career aspiration. I always liked the idea of having an impact on people and teaching them new things, which is the main reason why I wanted to be an elementary school teacher. Although that is not the direction my life took, I've found the same opportunities in my accounting career: teaching people (in this case my clients and colleagues) new things and having a positive impact.
Best experience: An audit with polar bears
I’ve had some great experiences throughout my career, one of the best being when I travelled to Arviat Nunavut in December 2007 for an audit with the Yellowknife office. The client told our team that we couldn't go outside too late after sunset because there were polar bears roaming around. I thought they were joking but the next morning people in the office were talking about the polar bears that had, in fact, been roaming around the town the previous night. We realized this made sense as we were so close to the polar bear capital, Churchill Manitoba.
Another memorable experience in my career started about two months ago. Fellow Partner, Devon Huber and I have started a new tradition – but you’ll have to stay tuned for more details.
A successful accounting career – thank you to family and mentors
My journey and success wouldn’t be everything that it is without my parents. They have always been supportive and have encouraged me to continue to work towards achieving my personal and professional goals. I’ve also been lucky enough to have worked with Crowe MacKay colleagues Gillian Lee, Andy Wong, Celestino Oh, Fred Deschenes, and John Laratta from our Yellowknife office; and Ken Laloge, Brian Sanders, Dan Basso, and Dave Gautier, from the Kelowna office. They all have challenged me, ultimately making me better at my practice. Their mentorship and comradery enabled me to further grow and develop my career.
A family man and sports fanatic
I believe in working hard and balancing it with having fun. I have many hobbies outside of work and am very active. In my downtime I go hiking, running, and play sports of any type. I also enjoy watching sports with friends and family, my favorite teams being the Minnesota Vikings, Toronto Blue Jays, and Toronto Raptors. In November, my son, who is four, and I went to Kansas City to watch a football game. We went with a couple of friends and their boys and had an amazing time. It was a great experience and I will cherish that weekend forever.
Lots of my friends and family know of my sports obsession but what most people don’t know is I have panned for gold in Suomi and met the real Santa Clause in Lapland, Finland. I backpacked in Honduras for a few weeks and met some great people; it is by far the coolest place I've travelled to. I also got my scuba certification while in Honduras, and was so smitten with the adventure that I almost bought a home there!