A Note From the Partners – Winter 2019

Partner Note - Clearline CPA

Clearline has experienced a significant amount of growth over the last few years. Many of our new corporate clients have joined us from smaller firms where they may have only interacted with one accountant.  Alternatively, you may be a long time Clearline client that has mainly worked with one Clearline representative. With the growth of your own business, you may now need to interact with more than one contact at Clearline.  So why is this?

Simply put: the accounting and tax world is becoming more complex.  The federal and provincial governments have made massive changes to existing tax rules over the last few years and they have thrown in a few new taxes to boot.  You likely have at least some awareness of these changes, not just because of your discussions with us, but because tax changes tend to hit newspaper headlines.  What you are probably less familiar with, which doesn’t make headlines, is the many changes to accounting standards that are constantly taking place. Furthermore, in the last few years we have seen our profession place significantly increased requirements on audit and review engagements that effect some of our larger clients.  In the next few years, there will also be significant changes to the compilation, or notice to reader, requirements which will impact almost all of our clients. These changes have a major impact on how we provide our services to you and ensure that your accounting and tax needs are met. With all of these changes, the expectation that an accountant practices in all of these areas and maintains sufficient knowledge to properly advise you is not realistic anymore.

Many other types of professionals specialize their practices.  For instance, in the engineering profession, there are specializations such as civil, electrical, and mechanical engineers.  Within the legal profession there are many areas of practice including criminal, bankruptcy, employment, environmental, intellectual property law and so on.  Moreover, the medical profession is so highly specialized that many doctors’ practices are limited to a specific body part! Specialization is a normal and understood part of most professions. As clients we understand that we need to talk to the right type of professional for the right guidance.

Back at Clearline, you may be working with two or more contacts from Clearline to meet your business needs and objectives. It’s important for you to understand who they are and how to know who to contact in a particular situation. To answer this, we are going to take this opportunity to introduce, or perhaps re-introduce, our management team at Clearline. We have started the process of reorganizing the firm into groups to build more core competencies in our employees.

Our Private Enterprise and Tax Planning Group is led by Jeff and Bilal and works with the majority of our corporate clients. They primarily provide compiled (Notice to Reader) financial statements as well as the preparation and filing of corporate tax returns and individual tax returns for shareholders and their families. The focus of this group is to meet your ongoing corporate accounting and tax planning needs.

Clearline’s Corporate Restructuring and Succession Planning Group, also led by Bilal, focuses on assisting our larger corporate clients with more complex tax planning and corporate restructuring services. This team will help you determine the best corporate structure to optimize your tax positions. They will also help you plan for the eventual succession of the business, whether that be to the next generation in the family or in a sale to an investor.

The Audit and Assurance Group is led by Tom and Bridget and provides audit and review engagement services as well as other special reporting solutions to our larger corporate clients and not-for-profit clients. These services are typically required by banks, bonding companies, investors, funders and regulators.

Our Personal Tax Group, led by Jeff, ensures that personal tax returns for our non-corporate clients are properly filed with the Canada Revenue Agency by April 30 each year. This group assists individuals, including those who are employees, with basic tax filing needs, as well as those who run a business that is not incorporated.


Jeff Block – Jeff’s primary role is in Clearline’s Private Enterprise and Tax Planning group in our Vancouver, North Vancouver and Burnaby locations. He is also the partner in charge of our Personal Tax Group every tax season. Jeff has clients throughout the metro Vancouver area and spends time in all of our office locations.  

Bilal Kathrada – Bilal leads the firm’s Corporate Restructuring and Succession Planning Group and also leads the Private Enterprise and Tax Planning Group operations in Surrey. If it makes sense to reorganize your corporate structure for tax planning or eventual succession you can bet that we will introduce you to Bilal at some point.

Tom Gillespie – Tom is an assurance partner who provides audit and review engagement services to clients. Although Tom works with several not-for-profit clients, the majority of his practice is in working with Clearline’s largest private enterprise clients. Most of Tom’s client’s are based outside downtown Vancouver and he spends the majority of his time in the Burnaby and Surrey offices. If you require a review to meet the needs of a bank, bonding company or potential investor, we will bring in Tom and his team to get this done right for you.

Bridget Noonan – Bridget’s practice is centered on the provision of audits and review engagements to charities, unions and other types of not-for-profit organizations. Bridget also provides review engagement services to small business clients. Bridget’s clientele is spread throughout greater Vancouver but she spends most of her time in the Vancouver and Burnaby offices.

Senior Managers

Baljit Duhra-Johal – Bal works with a variety of business owners providing both accounting and tax advice.  Bal’s clientele is primarily based in Surrey and she spends most of her time in the Surrey office.

Dan Demerse – Dan’s role has been shifting in the last year to assist Bilal in providing corporate restructuring and succession tax planning services to our larger corporate clients. However, Dan still plays an integral role in our Private Enterprise and Tax Planning Group in Vancouver. He spends most of his time in Vancouver when he is not assisting Bilal in Surrey.

Dave Block – Dave is based in our Burnaby office where he works with private companies and individuals within in our Private Enterprise and Tax Planning Group. However, Dave has relationships with clients in Vancouver and North Vancouver and works with many of them in addition to those based in the Burnaby area.

Richard Konings – Richard works with Bridget and Tom in our Audit and Assurance Group assisting audit and review engagement clients. Richard is based in our downtown Vancouver office.


Justin McLaughlin – Justin is an assurance manager who works with both Bridget and Tom. While his clients are mostly private enterprises requiring review engagements, he also works with many not-for-profit organizations that typically require audit services. Justin works with clients throughout the lower mainland and works from several of our offices.

Andrew Ross – Andrew is an assurance manager who works with both private and not-for-profit clients.  Andrew is primarily based in Vancouver but works with clients from all areas of the metro Vancouver area.

Assistant Managers

Priya Padmanabhan – Priya works mostly with small businesses providing both compilation and corporate tax filing services. Priya is based in our Surrey office.

Gurbir Rai – Gurbir works closely with Bilal and Tom providing corporate tax and accounting services to private enterprise clients. Gurbir is based in our Surrey office.

AJ Joshi – AJ works with assurance clients providing mostly audit services to private and not-for-profit clients as well as some review engagement services. AJ is based in Vancouver but also works in our Surrey and Burnaby offices from time to time.