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Alumni In The News: Robin Elliott, CPA, FCA

Robin has been an outstanding leader in the accounting profession for over 40 years.

He became a CA in 1969 while articling with Coopers & Lybrand, and subsequently joined the firm's tax group. After a brief foray into industry, Robin returned to public practice in 1977, launching a sole proprietorship. Three years later, he co-founded the firm that has since evolved into Manning Elliott - now one of the largest firms in the Lower Mainland.

Along the way, Robin has given back to the profession through his participation on over a dozen ICABC task forces and committees, 15 years of service on the Discipline Tribunal, and three years of service on Council, which included a 2002-2003 term as president. He was also a longstanding member of both the Canadian Tax Foundation and the Society of Trust & Estate Practitioners.

A dedicated volunteer in the community as well, Robin currently serves on the boards of the Audain Foundation, the Audain Museum Foundation, and the Order of St. John Palliative Care Foundation. His past contributions include serving as president of the Arthritis Society of BC and as a board member of the Central City Foundation, the Vancouver Lawn and Tennis and Badminton Club, and the UBC Alumni Association.

Robin was elected to the ICABC Fellowship in 1991.

This profile originally appeared in the February 2015 Member Recognition Supplement of the Chartered Professional Accountants of British Columbia, published online at www.bccpa.ca. It is republished with permission. Photo by Kent Kallberg Studios.

Manning Elliott selected as one of Canada's Top Small & Medium Employers for 2015!

Mike Corney, Manning Elliott's Managing Partner, to retire

Managing Partner Mike Corney, whose leadership and vision has guided Manning Elliott for the past six years, will be retiring on December 31st. Mike has served the accounting firm for 34 years; the past six of those as Managing Partner. 

In his role as Managing Partner, Mike will be succeeded by Alden Aumann, a Partner in the Vancouver office, and a valued colleague and friend. As Mike says: 

"Managing Partner is a challenging role, but also fun. I know that Alden is going to enjoy the challenges as much as I have. I also know that I'm leaving the firm in good hands. Alden and I go way back. He's a man of vision and a great leader."

Manning Elliott's Very First Managing Partner 

Mike has not only been Manning Elliott's Managing Partner - but its very first Managing Partner, a position created in 2009. The partners decided the firm had grown to the point where it needed a more efficient and responsive management system than the partner-committee model they were using. The Managing Partner would be a leadership position, with the overall responsibility of guiding the firm to achieve its goals and growth initiatives. Looking for a new challenge in his career, Mike put his name forward. 

At the time, he recalls, the financial world was in turmoil. "It seemed like the sky was falling! We were heading into a deep recession and there was tremendous uncertainty everywhere. But I looked at the situation as an opportunity. I was confident that, by doing the right thing and sticking to our principles, we'd come out okay - and we did." 

Vision and Strategic Planning 

One of Mike's major initiatives as Managing Partner was to establish a firm-wide performance-review system. Basing his system on the Harvard-renowned Balanced Scorecard Method, he began by working with all the partners to develop an agreed-upon set of strategic corporate goals. 

Along with that, Mike also embarked on a year-long process of creating and solidifying a vision for Manning Elliott. This led to developing a dynamic strategic plan that extends to 2017. 

Says Mike, "The great thing about what we created is that each partner has his or her own goals, as before - but those goals are now directly related to the current and long-term goals of the firm, which, in turn, tie into the firm's overall vision." 

It's a momentous achievement - one that involved hard work throughout Mike's tenure. A Vancouver Canucks fan, Mike describes his role of Managing Partner as being a little like the captain, coach and general manager rolled into one, working with a talented team to ensure it reaches its full potential. 

Student Recruiting, Training and Development 

Of the accomplishments that give Mike particular satisfaction, one is improved performance of Manning Elliott's Student Recruiting, Training and Development programs. Through this initiative - more careful recruiting, better resources and closer attention to training, Manning Elliott's students regularly achieve a pass rate of 90% on CPA Institute exams. Mike explains,"Our mindset has gone from one of, 'We hope you pass' to a definite 'You will pass.'"

Mike fully credits the Human Resources Department for raising the programs' performance.

Projecting Continued Growth and Success 

Looking ahead, Mike feels good about Manning Elliott. 

He notes that each prospective partner undertakes a three-year training program to ensure they gain a comprehensive understanding of Manning Elliott's methods, standards and values. This helps ensure a strong ongoing corporate structure and culture.

"I'm confident the firm will continue to grow, provide top levels of service and be a top employer for many years to come," Mike says.

Mike's plans for new adventures 

With retirement around the corner, Mike is already making plans for new adventures. Not being a sit-around kind of person, he expects to travel a lot and spend much time enjoying the great outdoors.

Mike's legacy to us is Manning Elliott's success. Please join us in thanking Mike for his many years of service, dedication and innovation - and in wishing him a long and satisfying retirement.

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