April 26, 2022

Five in five: Greg Sylvestre

1. How did you get into accounting?

In my graduating high school year, I had the opportunity to apply for a university scholarship offered by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Alberta, so I decided to speak with a chartered accountant. That CA, Brian Ross, gave me a sense of the opportunity and significance that a career in public accounting could offer. In time, I joined his firm and became his partner. My decision to pursue accounting was also influenced by the fact that I won the scholarship. It seemed I owed it to the Institute to give the profession a chance.

2. What are the qualities that make Baker Tilly Canada unique?

The co-operative structure endorsed by the member firms of BT Canada is uniquely powerful. It allows member firms to remain independent, retain their unique cultures and pursue firm-specific objectives. It is a collection of like-minded, growth-oriented professionals who realize the tremendous advantages gained through collaboration and dialogue. Building a world-class accounting practice is incredibly challenging, but BT Canada provides the framework for member firms to do just that.

3. What inspires you at work?

I’m inspired by clients who see opportunities and are willing to pursue them, with a clear sense of what can be achieved and the courage to try and make it happen. I suppose that broadly describes adventurous and ambitious people with an entrepreneurial mindset. I want to help them reach their goals.

4. What industry trends are likely to continue over the next year?

Money has profound psychological implications. Our physical and emotional well-being are tied to our financial well-being. As the world of commerce becomes more complex and volatile, our profession has to find new ways to create value for our clients, to aid them in achieving and maintaining financial health. This requires moving outside our traditional compliance and assurance roles, into other aspects of finance and likely into other disciplines we haven’t previously considered.

5. What keeps you busy outside the office?

Adventure sports – I am an avid backcountry skier and mountain biker. I like to sail, paddleboard, hike and climb. Recently, I took up off-road motorbiking and hunting, two sports I never anticipated enjoying so much! On rest days, I like to read philosophy and biographies.

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