By Dwain Wellington Rattray
Pride Contributing Editor
MISSISSAUGA, Ontario – In a seemingly unstable financial climate, a real concern among many small business owners, self-employed professionals and individuals alike, is the prudent provision of sound accounting and taxation advice during every stage of their venture, from start up through to succession planning, by a chartered accounting firm that seeks to serve its clients first.
Enter Green, Meikle and Smith (GMS), a public accounting firm, licensed by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Ontario (ICAO), donning the hats of industry professionals and community volunteers.
January 2013 saw successful Chartered Accountants, Ken Green, Celia Meikle and Sean Smith, partnering to form a 100 percent Black-owned Chartered Accountant firm. The partnership has allowed GMS to service the complete spectrum of accounting needs, while maintaining a unique personal touch with its clients.
GMS describes itself as a licensed public accounting firm that provides audit and assurance; taxation expertise; and accounting, bookkeeping and management advisory services for start-up and established businesses, self-employed professionals and professional corporations, and charitable and non-profit organizations.
The organization prides itself in being able to accommodate the needs of its clients with unparalleled understanding and ease of doing business. In this era of the digital age, GMS is taking advantage of technology to allow servicing of accounts to be accomplished even if a client cannot make it in to their offices.
Also of note is GMS’ Package Pricing, where a service is priced and bundled based on client need, which is determined at an initial consultation – rather than per hour, as is the current practice with other Chartered Accounting firms.
These are but some of the practices that make Green, Meikle and Smith outside the sphere of normal.
Professionalism notwithstanding, it is the synergy between the GMS principals, shared with the consumer, that makes this firm different from competitors.
A conversation with all three partners soon gleans the realization that these individuals are more than professionals in their own right; they are each on a mission to contribute to their communities, one deed and one program at a time.
The easiest method of understanding an organization is to understand its members. This is perhaps the reason GMS is visible in its community, ensuring they can make an impact on lives.
Soft spoken Ken Green holds a Master of Business Administration degree from the Schulich School of Business, York University. Prior to GMS, he worked with PricewaterhouseCoopers (Toronto office) for five years, then operated a part-time Chartered Accounting practice for 3 years providing tax advisory and accounting services to small business, charities, not-for-profit organizations and professionals.
Green previously served as a Board member with A Child’s Voice – a charitable organization based in Mississauga, and two different Ontario condominium boards. He serves on the board of Nia Centre for the Arts and on the executive board of the National Black MBA Association, Toronto Chapter.
An effervescent Celia Meikle served over 12 years in financial controllership and internal audit and over eight years in public accounting, servicing both publicly listed and private entities.
She gained extensive public accounting experience at PricewaterhouseCoopers in both their Toronto and Jamaica offices, before joining a small accounting firm to garner small-business expertise, with mainly owner-managed businesses who were either sole proprietors or shareholders.
Meikle currently sits on the Board of the Hamilton Burlington Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (HBSPCA) where she is the Treasurer and Chair of the Finance Committee.
She is also the Chair of the annual Excellence Conference and a member of the Board of Directors of The Professional Jamaicans Association – Projam.
The passionate Sean Smith has more than 19 years of accounting experience gained working with varying public entities and industries and has a rich mixture of experience across all organizational levels.
He is skilled at providing guidance, to small and medium-sized operations, with the implementation of their financial accounting systems. For him, building relationships is paramount to being able to provide the expert guidance that is needed in the increasingly competitive and sometimes unforgiving marketplace.
Smith understands the problems that business-owners face, having successfully started and managed operations of his own, and he is firmly committed to working to solve those problems, while helping clients build better businesses.
All founding partners are not only Chartered Accountants and members of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Ontario; they are each also actively involved in their respective church communities. But public involvement is only one part of the equation – professional development is also on the forefront of their minds.
They are more than “a professional firm committed to exceptional customer service providing simplified professional solutions to clients’ complex tax, accounting, financial and business issues.”
The trio also wants to “Provide a working environment focused on the professional development of our employees and serve as a training ground to encourage others to become Chartered Accountants.”
It is the company website that shows the meat of GMS, saying that it is their mission to “Be known and involved in the communities where we do business by actively volunteering our time, knowledge and services for the growth and prosperity of the people and businesses in our communities.”
Already cemented in history, the Chartered Accounting firm of Green, Meikle and Smith is poised to create ripples of change in the accounting world. However, more impressive than the ideals of GMS, is the conviction, dedication and love of community involvement found in Ken, Celia and Sean. This is the fabric from which a better society is weaved.
Green, Meikle and Smith Chartered Accountants Professional Corporation is located at 1020 Matheson Blvd., East, Unit 10, in Mississauga, and can be reached by phone at: (905) 919-3543.