Susan Anderson, Controller, FVREB – not your “traditional” accountant

Susan earned a Bachelor of Commerce, Honours (Accounting/Finance) at the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg and articled with the Chartered Professional Accounting firm, Peat Marwick, which is now  KPMG.

In her early years in Manitoba, Susan audited a range of businesses – with the most challenging inventory count in her memory involving farm implements in a snow-filled business yard. She also recalls her most often audited “prairie” business, Cargill Grain, and her favourite audit location in her KPMG days – a gold mine in Yuma, Arizona.

Eventually, Susan joined the Vancouver KPMG office and moved to tax accounting, specializing in owner/operator businesses and personal financial planning.

A move to the Fraser Valley coincided with the arrival of her three amazing children, and a transition to working in their family businesses. Susan recalls the most memorable of the family-run businesses was a Chilcotin Guest Ranch. She says, “Those years taught me so much about tenacity, optimism and the challenges of agriculture, tourism and staying on an agile quarter horse!”

Joining the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board five years ago, as Financial Controller, proved to be quite a transition from her previous role with a fast-growing private health care provider, to a more traditional non-profit professional member Board presented new and exciting opportunities and challenges.

Since joining the FVREB family, Susan has seen positive, Board-wide changes and innovation with advancing technology to improve delivery of services to members. Susan says, “To better serve our Management Team and the Board of Directors, we’ve enhanced internal reporting and forecasting and introduced a robust budgeting process.” She adds, “In the next evolution, we’ll have a cloud-based accounting system that links directly to our new Customer Relationship Management (CRM) System, which will mean streamlined budgeting and forecasting tools, and improved reporting capabilities.”

Of her professional experiences, Susan says, “I like Finance because I like seeing ideas come to fruition, measuring progress along the way and pivoting, if necessary. In startups, when there are finite resources and often conflicting objectives, monitoring results is vital – cash flow forecasting, and tracking are also essential.” She adds, “Everyone needs to roll up their sleeves to get things done.”

Throughout her rewarding career, Susan has learned from each new industry and has especially enjoyed working with business owners who have built their businesses from the ground up – much like many of our members.

Acknowledging that growth and changes in our sector and industry encourage us to stay lean and responsive, Susan’s vision for Finance is to continue to develop improved processes for our Brokers and members. She says, “Refining how we present numbers to demonstrate our health, growth potential and challenges is an ongoing process, and technology will play a vital role.”   

Susan’s happy places are her FVREB office, her saddle and the driver’s seat of her electric car. As a self-proclaimed, “non-traditional” accountant, Susan is outgoing, warm and loves people – and she is just as comfortable wearing heels as she is wearing muddy cowboy boots!  

Source: FVREB Communications