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The accountant’s accountant

Geneviève Mottard, BComm 98, GrDip 99
By Emma Brayley

50 under 50: Corporate leadership

Geneviève Mottard, BComm 98, GrDip 99 “You never really know what you’re signing yourself up for when you take on a role. However, if the position is a good fit for your skills and a perfect fit for your values, usually, things will turn out okay.”

As the first woman named as president and CEO of l’Ordre des CPAs du Québec at only 41, Geneviève Mottard has had a whirlwind career, starting with her education.

After graduating with her bachelor’s in accounting, Mottard completed her graduate diploma in a year while working at Ernst and Young (now EY) to become a CA, now CPA (chartered professional accountant).

It was a difficult year, but worth it in the end: “The program is demanding, and for good reason, but it’s a challenge when you’re also working in a firm which makes money based on how much you bill.”

Biggest career pressure

“My biggest challenge, which remains today, is bearing the responsibility of the public’s trust in the profession. There are 40,000 CPAs in the province and I believe we do have the confidence of the people but, ultimately, whether the Ordre fulfils its mission is on the CEO’s shoulders.”

Best career advice

“Stay true to yourself. Skills can be learned, but your values will change very little. You never really know what you’re signing yourself up for when you take on a role. However, if the position is a good fit for your skills and a perfect fit for your values, usually, things will turn out okay.”

Most inspiring prof

“I am a CPA today mostly because of the late Eleanor Moss-Werbin, a lecturer in the Department of Accountancy. She was so passionate about accounting that I fell in love with it.”

Obstacles during her undergrad

“I grew up bilingual, but it was still a challenge to study in English, especially because of the specificities in accounting. To this day, I count in French instead of English. It was also difficult having to adapt to an Anglophone environment which is different from Québécois culture.”



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