by Stephen Dafoe
Sturgeon County resident Mark Stevens has opened his new business in the 100 Block West building on 100 Avenue, right across the road from A&W where he had his first part-time job back in high school.
Although Stevens has had lunch there since opening, his new business is considerably different than his fast-food days.
Stevens new business, Stevens & Company Chartered Professional Accountants, offers full accounting services for business and individuals, including corporate and personal income tax, bookkeeping, cash flow analysis, tax and estate planning, business consulting, and compilation engagements.
“This is my first office. I’ve been chartered for about a year now,” Stevens said, adding that he opened the Morinville location June 1 after working with PricewaterhouseCoopers for a while after completing his education and articling with a firm in Red Deer. ”
Stevens grew up in Sturgeon County near Bon Accord, attended Sturgeon Composite High School, and started a dog kennel business with his brother while in high school.
It was while running the kennel business, still owned by his father and him that Stevens developed a love for numbers.
“My brother and I started the dog kennel in 2005, and my mom was doing all the bookkeeping,” he recalled. “I didn’t want her doing anything, so I took some bookkeeping classes at MacEwan in an accounting diploma. I was good at it, I liked it, and I just kept moving forward.”
But an entrepreneurial spirit prompted Stevens to hang his shingle once he got the letters behind his name. Stevens is a Certified Public Accountant and a Certified Fraud Examiner, the latter from a background in doing company audits with PricewaterhouseCoopers.
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“My family has always had an entrepreneurial background,” he said. “My grandpa had a contractor company back in the day; my dad still has a trailer shop in the city on Fort road. So we have sort of a line of entrepreneurs.”
Stevens says he most enjoys the planning side of the accounting business, working with clients and business owners to help them get a handle on their financial affairs.
“It’s being able to sit down with an owner /manager, review a full year of work with them, and then, first of all, come up with a tax plan for them for the next year,” Stevens said. “It’s trying to understand people, understand their business as best as I can and tailoring a solution that’s going to put them in some optimal tax filing position.”
Despite the time demands in opening his new business last month, Stevens is spending his free time volunteering with the Morinville & District Chamber of Commerce as a new director at large and continuing to volunteer with Sturgeon County’s Economic Development Advisory Committee.
As a business owner and community member, he appreciates and understands the importance of giving back.
“It’s my way to get involved and take the skillset that I’ve accumulated over the years dealing with large organizations and accounting firms and applying it to some issue or something that’s going on in these organizations,” he said. “One lesson you’ve learned for a big organization is just as applicable to any other organization.”
Stevens & Company Chartered Professional Accountants are located at #102 10507 100 Avenue in Morinville. They can be reached by phone at 780-868-3736. Their website is located at www.stevensandcompany.ca.