I was born and raised in the Greater Vancouver area, and my first love is playing sports: from running, to golf, to rugby, to hockey… you name it, I’ll play it!
My love for sports helped me to earn a scholarship to play hockey at Lindenwood University, where I played defense for three years. I enjoyed travelling across the US to remote places I would never go, even if it was on a bus.
I also loved the challenge of keeping up with my studies while keeping up with a hectic athletic schedule. While completing my Bachelor’s, I took a keen interest in business, and went on to earn a Master’s in Business Administration. I also worked as a staff accountant at the university’s accounting office.
I got designated as a CA, CPA in 2015, and just before I joined Clearline, I was leading assurance engagements for not-for-profit organizations and small businesses at a mid-sized accounting firm in the Tri-cities area. I’m looking forward to sharing my assurance experience with Team Clearline and guiding our assurance students in their field work.
Outside of the office, you can find me still living the hockey dream playing men’s league (Beer league) at a local arena, there’s still a chance right?
I was born in Hong Kong and came to Canada when I was five months old. I have lived in Vancouver for most of my life, except for the four years I spent in Toronto to attend Ryerson University. The laid-back west coast lifestyle definitely suits me better than the hustle and bustle of a large metropolitan city.
Prior to working at Clearline, I took on roles as an estimator, production coordinator, and systems administrator at a small book binding and finishing company. While I developed a good understanding of business operations, I felt I was lacking in understanding of the financial side of the business. I decided to attend Langara College part-time to study accounting.
I joined Clearline as an Associate in September 2017, immediately after writing the CFE exam. Now, I help small business owners with compilation of their financial statements and corporate tax filings.
Working at Clearline provides me with a broad learning experience that aligns with my career goals. I also enjoy the family-like atmosphere, where we all know each other and everyone is always willing to help and give advice.
Outside of the office, my guilty pleasure is watching Gold Rush Alaska.
Anybody need an extra hand moving dirt?
I grew up in China and took a big leap by leaving home and coming to Canada on my own to study Business Administration with a specialization in Accounting. After graduation, I focused on the path to becoming an accountant and obtained my CPA, CGA designation.
I joined Clearline in August 2017. While I am fairly new to Clearline, I am no stranger to public accounting having worked for several years as a staff accountant in another public accounting firm. My role at Clearline is to provide guidance, direction, and clarity to the ever-growing, ever-expanding bookkeeping team. I enjoy training and helping new students learn the ropes of working in a professional environment. It makes me proud to know that these students will use the skills they learn with me to become better accountants.
I also love helping clients organize their business activities and interacting with them on a regular basis. Why? It’s very satisfying coming up with a solution for client challenges!
Outside of the office, you will find me at authentic spicy food restaurants. You will know it is me if you hear someone say: “Give me the spiciest item on your menu!”
I grew up in Tsawwassen, and was born with an entrepreneurial spirit. Everyone in the family helped grow the two garden centers my grandparents started. At a young age, I noticed any questions or help my family had or needed, their first call was to their Chartered Accountant. It was that realization that made me want to become a CPA.
I knew what I wanted to become but how to get there was a looming question. I settled on BCIT to complete my Bachelor of Technology in Accounting, a choice I will never regret. I became highly involved in the institute and spent my last year as the president of the Student Association, an invaluable experience!
After three years gaining experience in public practice at a mid-size firm, I joined Clearline CPA. Clearline quickly felt like family as they cultivate a culture that is much like my personality: open, intuitive and caring. Clearline recently did an amazing job of helping me celebrate my most recent accomplishment of passing the 2017 CFE!
When I am not working you will most likely find me somewhere in the lower mainland with my beloved dogs. If not there, you could also try my kitchen where I spend time trying new recipes, or a dance studio learning ballroom.
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Born and raised in Surrey, Deepeka obtained her Bachelor of Technology in Accounting from BCIT in 2015. Prior to joining Clearline Chartered Professional Accountants, she worked as a bookkeeper for two small businesses and later became a junior accountant for a larger organization. Knowing there was a lot more she wanted to learn, she decided to pursue public practice; which lead her to join Clearline in April 2017. Currently, she is pursuing her CPA designation and is primarily focusing on having that completed by September 2018. Outside of the office, Deepeka tries spending as much time as possible outdoors; whether it be hiking, snowboarding, or just being a complete foodie.
Bio coming soon.
Tom, a Partner at Clearline CPA, primarily focuses on the provision of assurance (audit and review engagement) services to companies in sectors such as manufacturing, construction, real estate, wealth management and financial services. Tom is passionate about assurance services and the benefits that these processes can provide to the organizations he works with. Originally from Ontario, he obtained his accounting designation while articling as an auditor at a mid-sized firm in Ottawa working with both private enterprises and not-for-profit organizations. Subsequently, Tom moved to Bermuda where he joined an international accounting firm in their investments and banking audit department. While in Bermuda, his focus was in auditing investment funds, banking organizations, and related service companies.
Tom is also a co-founder of Clearline Consulting which provides file monitoring, professional development, assurance planning and on-going consulting services to CPA firms and practitioners, helping them succeed and build thriving practices.
Outside of the office, Tom enjoys golfing, skiing and traveling with his family and friends.
Bridget, a Partner at Clearline CPA, primarily focuses on the provision of assurance (audit and review engagement) services to not-for-profit organizations. Bridget is passionate about education and helping the organizations members, committees, directors and/or board members in the understanding of all matters related to the accounting and auditing processes. Bridget was with a mid-size firm in Vancouver for 12 years working with both public, private and not-for-profit organizations as a senior manager in the accounting and auditing department.
Bridget is also a co-founder of Clearline Consulting which provides file monitoring, professional development, assurance planning and on-going consulting services to CPA firms and practitioners, helping them succeed and build thriving practices.
Outside of the office, Bridget enjoy traveling and spending time with her family and friends.
Viktoriya joined the Clearline team after providing audit and assurance services for private and public companies with large international accounting firms in Canada and the UK. Most recently, she focused on helping clients grow their businesses and take care of their accounting and tax needs in Calgary, Alberta. After moving back to her home in Vancouver, she was excited to join the team at Clearline where the firm’s services and approach align so well with her long-term goals. She is passionate about ensuring that insightful and accurate tax planning opportunities are in place in order to minimize immediate and future tax liabilities. She is also a strong believer in enabling and working together with teams. Viktoriya will lead some of Clearline’s audit and CFO services for public companies. Originally from Kazakhstan, Viktoriya loves learning about culture through food. She also enjoys spending time with her husband and daughter, who she took on 19 plane rides before the age of one.
Dan joined Clearline Chartered Professional Accountants in 2010 and obtained his CPA in 2014. He graduated from Trinity Western University with a Bachelor of Business Administration and served as President of the Student Business Association. Dan works out of Clearline’s downtown office where he provides assurance, taxation, and other professional services to public and private clients with operations in North and South America. Dan has experience with clients operating in a variety of industries including mineral property exploration, construction, real estate, hospitality, unions, and charities.
Ashley grew up in beautiful Okanagan Falls with her parents and one younger sister. After finishing high school, she decided to relocate to Vancouver in 2011. Ashley began studies at John Casablancas Institute and completed a Make Up Artistry Diploma. She began doing work for short films, as well as working on multiple photoshoots, before realizing she wanted to diversify her skillset. She soon decided to complete the Hair Artistry Diploma program at John Casablancas Institute to be able to better serve her clients. After working in a salon for over a year, Ashley decided it was time to continue to learn and stretch herself. She wanted to apply her people skills to a different career. She took a leap into the business world and began working with the Clearline Chartered Professional Accountants team as our receptionist and administrative assistant in January 2015. In her spare time, Ashley enjoys creating art with makeup, and often takes part in “lip art” challenges on Instagram.
Anvir joined the Clearline Chartered Professional team at the Surrey location, as the Office Administrator in April 2017. She was born and raised in Surrey, while being the eldest out of her two siblings. Anvir is currently completing her Bachelor’s Degree in Business at Kwantlen Polytechnic University. Upon completion, Anvir hopes to continue her pursuit by enrolling into the CPA program. When she is not busy working, Anvir enjoys the sounds of a great music playlist, seeking adventure in her travels, and spending time with family and friends
Hailing from Alberta, Joanne Betzler is Clearline’s Controller and “Writer in Residence”. At least once a month, you will find our Vancouver-based staff captivated as she reads from her novel, What We Can’t Know. Joanne has been with Clearline Chartered Professional Accountants from the very beginning. She started out by supporting her husband, and Clearline Partner, Grant T. Smith, with bookkeeping work and helping him with his CFO work. As the company grew, she took on the role of managing the company’s books on a part-time basis while she continued writing. She is now working on her second novel.
AJ has had a keen business mind from a very early age. At age 10, he streamlined his paper route by establishing a business model and contracting out work to the other neighborhood kids. Later, in his early 20’s he started his own company. With such an early interest in business, it is no surprise AJ is currently pursuing his CPA designation. Born in Richmond, AJ obtained his undergraduate degree in Life Sciences at the University of British Columbia and his Diploma of Accounting at the Sauder School of Business. His work experience includes extensive customer service in the insurance and banking industries. Currently an Associate with Clearline CPA, AJ appreciates the attitude cultivated within the company. His primary focus at the moment is obtaining his designation and further developing as a professional. In his free time, AJ enjoys watching and playing basketball, hiking, reading and spending time with his niece and nephew.
Gurbir joined the Clearline Chartered Professional Accountants team at the Surrey location in January 2015. Born the eldest of three siblings and raised in Surrey, Gurbir was hard-working student and athlete growing up. Playing soccer competitively from the age of eight, his talent and leadership ability put him in a position to captain many of the teams he played for at both the club and provincial level. After finishing high school, Gurbir decided to enroll at BCIT where he completed a Diploma in Technology and subsequently completed his Bachelor of Business Administration Degree. Currently, Gurbir is working towards his designation as a CPA. Beyond his career, Gurbir is an avid traveller, having visited a good portion of Europe, Mexico and the USA. When Gurbir is not working, which is rare, you can find him hanging out with his dog Mary, hitting the gym, playing sports or hanging out with friends and family.
Aziz joined the Clearline team in February of 2016. Originally from Pakistan, Aziz’s family immigrated to Canada in 1995 and has been living in Burnaby ever since. Involved with his family business since he was 12, a career in accounting and finance was a natural calling for Aziz. He graduated from Capilano University with a Bachelor of Business Administration – Advanced Diploma in Accounting. He is currently enrolled in the CPA PEP program and has passed Level 1 of the CFA program. When he is not in the Clearline Chartered Professional Accountants office, you can find Aziz trying to obtain his goal of one day catching a trophy fish.
Ash (not to be mistaken for our receptionist, Ashley!) grew up in beautiful North Vancouver. He began his undergraduate studies as a computer science student at UBC, but one of his first jobs was working at an e-commerce start-up. This experience made him realized he wanted to learn more about running a business. He then decided that becoming a CPA would open up vast opportunities for him. In 2014, Ash graduated with a Bachelors of Commerce and soon after joined the Clearline Chartered Professional Accountants team. Since that time, he has been able to “dabble” in all aspects of accounting: from nitty-gritty bookkeeping, to preparing tax returns, and being involved in the intricacies of an audit team. Outside of the office, Ash can be found playing beach volleyball at Spanish Banks, walking his dog, Kobe, all over Kitsilano, and watching or playing football.
Shehzel was raised in Surrey and obtained her Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting at Kwantlen Polytechnic University. Business was a natural choice for Shehzel, as her whole family is business-oriented, and includes numerous accountants. She started her career at Clearline Chartered Professional Accountants as a co-op student in the Surrey office and, upon completing her term, was quickly hired on as an Associate. She enjoys the team environment at Clearline and being able to see the value added to every client she works with.
Currently, Shehzel’s primary focus is obtaining her CPA. She begins her CPA courses in 2016 and is excited to gain more experience and grow as an accountant. In her free time, Shehzel enjoys cooking and trying new recipes. She plans to travel Latin America in the coming years.
The eldest of three siblings, Reese grew up in Surrey in an environment of academic debate. This flowed naturally into his position on business presentation teams during his tenure at Kwantlen Polytechnic University where he earned a Bachelor’s degree in business with a major in accounting. He has always been naturally drawn to business, and finds that accounting fits well with how he thinks. Reese is very work driven, however, his love of learning once lead him to take a physics and computer science class “just for fun.” Currently an Associate with Clearline Chartered Professional Accountants, Reese joined the company in the fall of 2015. He appreciates how the staff and partners are incredibly approachable and supportive. Outside of work, Reese enjoys going dancing with his significant other and listening to live music.
Amber joined Clearline CPA in March 2016 shortly after completing her Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration with a major in Accounting at Douglas College. Prior to working at Clearline Chartered Professional Accountants, she worked as a bookkeeper for a small business and also volunteered for the CRA to complete personal income tax returns. In September 2016, she will be starting her first CPA module and is determined to complete her CPA by September 2018. Amber grew up in Coquitlam and is technically the middle child of three children, however, her older sibling is only older by 15 minutes. Outside of the office, you can find Amber hanging out with her friends, family or her beloved cat, Oliver. She also enjoys cooking and baking, and is often trying new recipes.
Naveena knew she wanted to be an accountant from an early age. She grew up in New Delhi, India and by the age of 10, was fascinated by how professional and important her accountant father and his colleagues appeared. Wanting to be taken seriously herself, she decided she too would pursue a career in accounting. Fast-forward to today, and Naveena has accomplished her goal. Naveena obtained a Bachelor of Technology in Accounting, as well as a Diploma in Financial Planning from BCIT. She started with Clearline CPA in 2012 and will be writing her CFE soon.
Alzeena, our resident Kiwi, joined Clearline Chartered Professional Accountants in June 2013 after moving to Vancouver from New Zealand. She graduated from the University of Aukland with a Bachelor of Commerce in Accounting and Commercial Law. After graduating, she worked in New Zealand at a mid-size CA firm in the Audit Division. Alzeena loves travelling and fashion. When not at work, she enjoys spending time with her family and friends.
Priya Padmanabhan joined Clearline Chartered Professional Accountants in November 2012 and works out of the Surrey office. She obtained her CGA designation in 2009 and worked with a large accounting firm for four years where she gained extensive experience working with owner-managed companies. Priya can speak Tamil and Hindi, and when work and family life permit, she enjoys reading and travelling.
Lavinia joined Clearline Chartered Professional Accountants in March 2012. Originally from China, Lavinia moved to Vancouver as an international student and graduated from British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT) with a Bachelors Degree in Technology along with a Diploma in Accounting. In 2014, she obtained her CPA, CGA designation. In her free time, Lavinia loves watching movies (especially Marvel action flicks), travelling, and spending time with her family and friends.
Arwen joined Clearline Chartered Professional Accountants in January 2016 as the Operations Manager while Rachel was on maternity leave. Currently completing her Diploma in Accounting Program at UBC, sheis now part of Clearline’s accounting team. Arwen grew up on the North Shore, attended Queen’s University in Ontario and graduated with an honours degree in Political Science and History. She then moved to Banff, Alberta for the hiking, and snowboarding and worked with Parks Canada for four years. Upon returning to Vancouver, Arwen worked with an international recruiting firm before joining Clearline CPA. Outside of work, she enjoys travelling, fly-fishing, and camping.
Dave J. Block joined Clearline Chartered Professional Accountants in May 2010. He currently manages the North Vancouver office where he and the team provide tax planning and assurance services to personal, not-for-profit, corporate and public clients. He received his Bachelor of Business Administration Degree in 2008 from Trinity Western University. After graduation, Dave worked with a mid-sized CA firm for two and a half years where he gained experience working with small-business and corporate tax clients, as well as various not-for-profit organizations. Outside of the CPA, CA world, Dave enjoys traveling, camping, riding motorcycles, and adventuring with his family and friends.
A Senior Manager at Clearline Chartered Professional Accountants, Baljit has over 15 years of public practice experience with a focus on and a passion for serving owner-managed businesses. She provides all aspects of accounting and tax services to her clients including payroll, HST and personal tax services. She has extensive experience in a variety of industries ranging from construction to incorporated professionals to investment holding companies. Her emphasis has always been on ensuring that a client’s needs are being met. When Baljit is not in the office you can find her driving her two wonderful sons from one activity to the next.
Rachel joined the Clearline Chartered Professional Accountants team in 2010 as a staff accountant. She received her Bachelor of Arts from UBC in 2007. Rachel joined Clearline because of the opportunity to work with a great, knowledgeable, dynamic team environment. She brings her outstanding organizational skills, creativity, and enthusiasm to the office. Rachel loves being outdoors and in her free time can be found at the park playing grass or beach volleyball till sun down.
John graduated from the University of Montana’s School of Business in 1972. He obtained his CPA (US) designation in 1980 and his CA designation in 1983. He spent more than 11 years with the international firm of PriceWaterhouse (now PriceWaterhouseCoopers), in three different countries before establishing his own firm in 1989.
Jeff has worked in public practice since 2002, providing accounting and tax advice to business owners, professionals and private companies. He has provided audit and assurance services to private companies, not-for-profit organizations and charities, in addition to acting as Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of public and private companies. Jeff completed his Bachelors of Business Administration (BBA) from Trinity Western University and went on to article at Staley, Okada & Partners, which later merged with PricewaterhouseCoopers, where he earned his Chartered Accountant (CA) designation. In 2009, Jeff, along with his business partner Grant T. Smith, founded Clearline Chartered Professional Accountants. The company started with just two staff in North Vancouver and has since grown to include a third partner, Bilal Kathrada, three office locations – North Vancouver, downtown Vancouver, and Surrey central – and a team of 20+ professionals.
Jeff was born and raised on a 52-acre working farm in South Surrey. He spends as much time outdoors as possible and loves living in Vancouver’s temperate climate; after all it is as close to California as he can get in Canada.
Now I am a CPA and mom and dad are so proud! But it was not always so, my youth was misspent earning a Bachelor of Fine Arts at York University in Toronto. My efforts were focused on revitalizing the theatre and, so I thought, improving mankind through art. That phase, known as the “arts years”, ended when I met Joanne Betzler on the best day of my life and started the “garden years”. For the next decade or so I worked with my mentor, John Zaplatynsky, at GardenWorks, where I learned how to run a business.
I left GardenWorks in 2001 to begin the “CPA years” and went off to work for Staley, Okada and partners, the prestigious chartered accountant firm that taught me my profession. I got to work with some of the finest professionals in the industry in Canada and was privileged to do so. It was not always great though, because there I met Jeff Block, my business partner.
It’s hard to imagine just how important your children can be and I am privileged to have the best four, all of whom have found marvellous partners and in one case have given Joanne and I two amazing grandchildren.
As a CPA I primarily focus on relieving my clients’ stress by helping to build a plan and implement a strategy that allows my client to focus on the things that matter most to them, like raising children almost as great as mine.
Bilal, a Partner at Clearline Chartered Professional Accountants, primarily focuses on income tax and succession planning for Canadian owner-managed businesses in various industries. Bilal received his Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of Victoria and obtained his CA designation in 2005. Prior to Clearline, he worked in the tax group of a large international accounting firm in Vancouver and a mid-sized accounting firm located in the Fraser Valley. An active proponent of community involvement, Bilal volunteers as the treasurer for the Surrey Cares Community Foundation. Outside of the office, he enjoys spending time with his wife and daughter. He enjoys outdoor activities such as golf and spending time with his family and friends.