Meet DeAnn Eckdahl, an award-winning facilitator

CPAWSB recently presented DeAnn Eckdahl, CPA, CA, with the KBH Facilitator Award, which recognizes facilitators or session leaders 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 facilitator in the CPA program?

DeAnn and her family

Facilitating provided me with the benefit and privilege of flexibility to support my children, one of whom faces additional challenges due to an Autism Spectrum Diagnosis.  The flexibility provided allowed me to maintain a connection to the profession I worked hard to join.

Now years later, my children are almost grown, and my favourite part is interaction with candidates and witnessing their growth through the session. 

What do you wish students and candidates would do more of?

Debriefing early is my biggest wish for learners to do more.  Candidates can develop bad habits and miss out on valuable feedback regarding a new strategy for approaching issues if they continue to use the same approach.

What do you like best about the CPA program?

The diversity in candidates surprises me the most about the program.  Candidates are from a number of places, some are young, and some aren’t as young, some have children, some have very interesting non-accounting hobbies. Just this session, I have a candidate whose side passion is cakes, running a cake business in addition to regular work and studies.

What advice would you offer someone starting the CPA program?

Use the resources provided to you to their full capacity, including your facilitator.  Your facilitator is there as a support to help you gain the skills necessary to complete your module successfully.  Ask for help.

I would advise someone starting the CPA program to keep in mind that life is a journey, not a destination.  I found a saying that was attributed to Winston Churchill that resonated with me greatly; to me, it demonstrates that the journey is what is important.  “Success is the ability to move from one failure to another without loss of enthusiasm.” 

We all need to also find balance by including in our plans time to refresh body and mind.  Go for a walk, and enjoy nature, have coffee with a friend, have a nap, workout, read, spend time with family, etc.

Why did you become a CPA?

I developed an interest in accounting in high school and chose an accounting major in University.  When deciding on furthering education, I decided between a Commerce Degree and Education degree.  I find that in the end, by facilitating, I also get to satisfy that desire to share my experience and knowledge.

CPAWSB is proud to have DeAnn as part of its team. Congratulations, DeAnn!