CPAWSB recently presented Adam Zanoni, CPA, CA, with the CPAWSB CPA Professional Education Program (CPA PEP) Facilitator Award, which recognizes facilitators who have had a notable and positive impact on their candidates and approach their role with a dedication to excellence.
In this series, we ask our award winners five questions about the CPA program.
What is your favourite thing about being a contractor in the CPA program?
By far, it is the people, both co-workers and candidates alike. I have been able to work with some great people during my time as a contractor in the program. As a result, I have been able to form some solid friendships and learn a lot from my fellow contractors and mentors. I have also met many great candidates going through the program. I am amazed by the enthusiasm that the candidates bring not only for the program but also for their careers and the future. That excitement energizes me every time I lead a session or start a new module and helps fuel me to continue to improve both as a contractor and in other areas of my life.
What do you wish learners would do more (or less) of?
Be engaged. CPA provides you with so many great resources, from study notes, e-learning books, interactive discussion boards, knowledgeable facilitators and session leaders and other assistance programs. There is so much available to help you gain the knowledge and understanding that you need to succeed in the program and gain valuable skills that will benefit you in your career. I recommend that candidates be as engaged with the program and with all of these resources as much as they can to ensure they are getting the full amount out of it. I think the program is a prime example of the old saying, “you get out what you put in.”
What surprises you about the CPA program?
The candidates. In addition to the energy they bring to every workshop or module, each one brings a different and unique perspective given their background, experience, and life stage. I am always surprised to learn about the different perspectives and the various ways to approach a case, a business problem, a dilemma, etc. When I think I have seen it all, someone will ask a question or explain an approach or idea in a way that I had never considered before.
I am surprised and inspired by the adversity some of the candidates have overcome to get to this point. Some candidates have gone through so much, such as a job loss, major illness, death in the family, divorce, career change. Yet they have still found the strength, energy and courage to not only get through that but to work their way through a professional program (PEP) as well.
What advice would you offer someone starting the CPA program?
Make sure you have clearly identified WHY you are doing this. The program requires a lot of energy and dedication from the student. There will be many hours of studying, practicing, writing cases, attending workshops, prepping for exams, etc.. These will be hours that could have been spent with family or friends, relaxing, getting ahead at work or pursuing some other recreational activity. There will be sacrifices made along the way, and there will be frustrations as well. You will need to draw inspiration from your WHY to muster the strength to push through to achieving your goal. I have known candidates that have gone through hard times while they were in the program but having an end goal and a reason of WHY they want to get their CPA kept them going. So I think knowing that before you enter the program will help you push through.
Why did you become a CPA?
At first, it seemed like a good fit as I had an interest in numerical analysis and business. But as I learned more about the designation, I was drawn to what seemed like the endless possibilities and options that would become available to me in my career.
I am an individual who likes to have options and flexibility. Having a designation that could allow me to work in everything from public practice to government in various capacities was a designation that I knew I had to get. Having this many options available to me meant that I could have more control over the life and career I wanted for my family and me.
CPAWSB is proud to have Adam as part of its team. Congratulations, Adam!