February 23, 2022 by Curtis van Son

Five in five: Curtis van Son

1. What’s your background?

I grew up in a small town (Rocky Mountain House, Alberta) where both my parents were teachers. My mother quit her job to pursue her two goals: being a small business owner and starting a restaurant. Working at the restaurant as a young person taught me a lot about business, and I developed a great deal of curiosity and passion in this area. I knew I wanted to go to business school and accounting seemed to be the logical choice, so I jumped right in. I graduated from the University of Lethbridge in 2009 with degrees in both accounting and finance, successfully passing the UFE and gaining my CA designation in 2013.

2. What keeps you busy outside the office?

My wife and I eventually settled down in Calgary, Alberta in 2014, and it has worked out perfectly, as we both grew up hiking and skiing and love the outdoors. Being at the foot of the Rockies, Calgary is a magnificent playground where we spend most weekends. I also spend some of my spare time observing financial markets, and I write an investment blog that focuses on contrarian/asymmetric/deep value investments.

3. How would you describe the contribution you make to your firm?

I would describe it as unique. I'm a pretty open and curious person, so I generally find myself working where I'm needed, whether on the standards committee or as a GST/HST specialist. In the past few years, I've moved into areas where my individual strengths apply. This tends to be on the business development side, as well as leading the construction niche group.

4. Do you see your career as authentically you?

Absolutely. The benefit of the public practice world is that your career will take you wherever you are suited to be, which tends to be where your passions and interests lie. As long as you are pursuing what you find meaningful, you can't really go wrong. In my career to date, I have done precisely that.

5. What’s the best advice you ever received?

As accountants, we often get lost in our ability to control outcomes. One of my favourite pieces of advice is, “Nobody knows what the future holds, all you can do is put yourself in the best possible position to get lucky.” This simply acknowledges that outcomes also include risks, opportunities and threats. Hearing that allowed me to step back and catch my breath.

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Meet the Author

Curtis  van Son Curtis van Son
Calgary, Alberta
D (403) 767-1537
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