Kwantlen Polytechnic University’s Vice President of Finance has been elected for the distinction of Fellow of Chartered Professional Accountants (CPA) by the Northwest Territories/Nunavut CPA provincial institute.
Tara Clowes was nominated by two CPA colleagues for the award that recognizes leadership and exceptional performance of a member in their professional career, volunteer activities and the accounting profession.
“It’s an incredible honour because it’s something that you need to be awarded by your peers and it’s recognition for service that’s gone above and beyond,” says Clowes.
Clowes, who joined KPU in 2020, is a former executive director in the Finance department of the Northwest Territories government.
After growing up in Nova Scotia, Clowes moved to northern Canada as an articling student. She moved up in the accounting firm for which she was working to make partner. Clowes went on to become director, finance and administration, in the Northwest Territories Housing Corporation, where she provided strategic direction over the corporation’s financial and administrative functions.
She spent 15 years in the Northwest Territories before relocating to British Columbia to work at Vancouver Island University then KPU.
KPU is the 4th largest feeder into the CPA program in B.C. and the largest undergrad accounting program graduating the most accounting credentials. One piece of advice Clowes would give to students or anyone looking to move up in their career is to get involved.
“If you’re someone who is looking to advance and not in a leadership position right now, getting on boards really teaches you those things that you may not be exposed to in your day-to-day work,” says Clowes.
“I would say that my involvement with the profession really advanced my career. I speak about this when I’m a hiring manager. You can bring a ton of valuable life and work experience when volunteering on boards and when you volunteer within the profession. There are lots of leadership skills you can develop in that way.”
Clowes next challenge is finishing her doctorate, studying GST competency in accountants. She has also received a doctoral scholarship through the CPA education foundation.