Joran Hedley a Business Administration alumni | Assiniboine Community College
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Accounting: It all adds up to more than just numbers

Accounting: It all adds up to more than just numbers

Written On: 05 January, 2018
Category: Academic Alumni Business
Related programs:  Business Administration

When it came time for Joran Hedley to pursue post-secondary education, Assiniboine made it easy for him. He’s not from Brandon, but ACC’s Parkland Campus was right there where he lived, in Dauphin.

Now a senior accountant with BDO Canada, Hedley spent two years at Assiniboine – the first in Dauphin and the second at the main campus in Brandon – then two years at Brandon University. After that, he was hired by BDO and earned his Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA) designation during his first two years of employment there.

“When you’re starting out, you could think, ‘Six years – this is going to be an eternity,’ Hedley said. “But it's two years here, two years there, and then two years in the (CPA) program. So if you just kind of think in those smaller, two-year chunks, time goes by fast enough.”

Hedley got the foundation he needed for his career at Assiniboine, and then built on it. And the memories of his time at the college are all exceedingly positive.

“There was a conference and competition in Winnipeg in 2010,” Hedley recalled. “As a team of four, we were given a case, locked in a hotel room, and we had to come up with a solution to be delivered via presentation to a panel of judges. That was one of my favorite experiences while attending ACC.”

He said in first year, he tried a little bit of everything, and then in second year, he chose to specialize in accounting. Although he was uncertain what he wanted to do when he began the Business Admin program, he had some interest in business because his dad worked at the credit union.

“So I thought I'd try it out,” Hedley said. “I was going to focus on marketing when I started, but I took a few accounting courses, and it just seemed to click.”

So what keeps him excited about his profession? His clients, for starters. And he especially likes working with them to grow their businesses.

“I do different stuff with farmers – with ag – and then there's other small businesses around Brandon, and every business is different,” Hedley said. “So you get to see who's doing what, and what's successful, and try to come up with ways to help them more than just say, ‘Here's last year's financial statements.’ As you grow, you start looking at the bigger picture, and that's when you can really add value to people.”

The presentation courses, computerized accounting, and communications courses Hedley took at Assiniboine were invaluable to him as he proceeded through the training for, and the successful execution of, his chosen profession.

“The amount of stuff we did there that was hands on, you maybe wouldn't be able to get that any place else,” Hedley said. “Just thinking back, there were so many things ACC prepared me for that I do on a day-to-day basis.”

While some people who become CPAs use their skills in other areas, such as becoming a controller for a company, Hedley is very happy with what he’s doing. He’s been with BDO for five years, and his goal is to remain there – and move up the corporate ladder.

“The ultimate goal would be to be a partner here,” Hedley said frankly. “Everybody has different kinds of goals, but I think that if that's not the goal, then you should be exploring other options. Because you can't really fully commit to something if that's not where you want to go.”

What’s great about accountancy, Hedley said, is that his skills are likely to be much in demand for years to come. And the nurturing environment he discovered during his education is something he tries to emulate each day in his interactions with clients.

“Especially at the college, you have such good relationships with the teachers,” he said. “And if you’re looking for help, you can find it. There’s somebody there who’s done it.

“I had a blast there. I met so many good people there that I still keep in touch with today just because of the community there.

“When I started at the college, I hadn't even taken an accounting course before. So if I hadn't gone to ACC, I might still be spinning my wheels somewhere. It provided me with not only the resources and the guidance but different options. They show you what's available, and you can kind of figure out what you like, then specialize, and then you can go wherever you want from there.”

To find out how you can be successful like Joran Hedley, visit and find out more about the Accounting specialization in Business Administration at Assiniboine.

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