On So-Called "Sabbatical" Before Returning to Crowe MacKay

Celebrating 50 Years

Bill Gill
Bill Gills 50th Article Image

When I’m out recruiting I also get asked why I stayed at Crowe MacKay.  My answer is the people.

One of my favourite stories to tell is how I got on the path to partnership.

After the 2004 tax season I wasn’t sure I wanted to be in public practice so I decided to start looking for an industry job. I left in June 2004 to take time out for myself and look for a job. After four months of looking and interviewing, I realized none of the industry positions were what I wanted and I really missed working with people. It confirmed that I do actually belong in public practice.  

Initially, I didn’t come back to Crowe MacKay (MacKay at the time) as I felt we weren’t on the same page. I ended up getting a job offer on the spot at my interview with a big four firm. I told them I needed time to think about it. In the meantime they asked if they can call MacKay for a reference, I said “not a problem”. On my way home from the interview I got a call from Hugh Livingstone, the managing director at that time, (at this time I was on the north end of the bridge). He wanted to know why I wasn’t coming back to MacKay; his understanding was I left for industry. I explained to him I want to be on the path to partnership but there were obstacles preventing this at MacKay. The path to partnership was to mentor under Steve Lake. In order to convince me, Hugh had Steve call me right after he hung up. It was a great conversation and before I was home, I had decided I was returning to MacKay. It was an easy decision for me because I really missed working with my family at MacKay. But before I said yes to MacKay, I made Keith Gagnon (other partner in Surrey) wine and dine me at our favourite spot. We started at noon and shut the place down at 2 a.m.  Four years later I was voted into the partnership and have now been here for over 21 years. To this date, we just call those four months in 2004 a sabbatical.

Bill Gill50 years Crowe Logo

Partner, Surrey