Stephen Rice is a specialist in our Tax group, and moonlights as a drummer in a rock band. We sat down with him for a brief Q&A where he revealed his creative side and sheds some light on how he applies it, at Fuller Landau.
Q: Why Fuller Landau?
I started with Fuller Landau in 2011, for a 4-month contract position during tax season. At the time, I was in night school, working towards my CA designation. The firm was great at helping me juggle work and school, while getting my feet wet in the industry. At the end of my contract, Fuller Landau took a chance on me, and hired me full time. I’ve been loyal ever since, and I see my future at Fuller Landau.
Q: What do you value most about your role at Fuller Landau?
I love the hands-on work environment at Fuller Landau, and gaining exposure across the entire spectrum. I’ve had the opportunity to work with clients across many different industries and with so many unique financial situations. Every day is a chance to learn something new. I’ve been fortunate to have some great mentors at the firm who have helped me develop both professionally and personally. Now I have the opportunity to do the same for some of our more junior team members. I hope I’m able to make a positive difference in their career.
Q: Has Tax always been your thing?
Believe it or not, I originally majored in marketing management in business school, but quickly realized it wasn’t for me. I returned to school to pursue my CA designation and joined Fuller Landau’s Tax department on a contract basis. When my contract was extended to a full-time position, I had the opportunity to transition to the Audit & Assurance group at Fuller Landau. It was a valuable experience, as I got to understand the bigger picture from the client’s perspective. I learned how to navigate the process of an audit from start to finish, which came in handy when I wrote my CA exams. But, my career started in Tax, and that’s where I knew I wanted to be. So, I switched back to Tax once I earned my designation, and haven’t looked back.
Q: Tell us about your involvement in the Fuller Landau Charity Committee.
I was involved in starting the Charity Committee at Fuller Landau back in 2011. Over the past 6 years, we’ve supported some great charities in Toronto and Hamilton, including the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, The Ride to Conquer Cancer, and the Daily Bread Food Bank, to name a few. As a business, there are so many ways to give back, whether by raising money or volunteering time. I just want to do my part, but it wouldn’t be possible without the full support and backing from the partners at Fuller Landau. We have a lot of fun together, and I’ve developed close friendships with many of my colleagues through our team charity initiatives.
Q: Have you always been so compassionate?
Unfortunately, no. I was a bit of a wild child. My parents would tell you about the time I set my kitchen on fire when I was three years old. I didn’t like some presents I got for Christmas, so I threw them in the microwave, and it exploded. I like to think that I’ve come a long way since then.
Q: What have you learned in your career that you would pass along to other CPA professionals?
My advice to other accounting professionals? Coffee helps. But communication is the most important thing. Be proactive when working with clients and other members of your team, and make sure to understand and manage expectations from the outset. If there’s an issue or delay, be upfront about it, and come prepared with possible solutions. If you have an idea on how to do something better, speak up and get involved. Don’t wait to be called upon.
Q: Any hobbies or talents that keep you busy outside of work?
Outside of work, I write, record, and perform music. I’m a creative person by nature and I see a correlation between writing music and the tax work I do at Fuller Landau. You really have to plan out your ideas and structure a song in a way that flows properly for the audience. Tax is very similar. We organize all the information we get from our clients, plan a tax-efficient structure, and present it in a way that is logical and easy to understand. I’ve also played hockey for about 25 years now, and the teamwork skills I’ve learned on the ice have transferred to the office, every day.
Thanks for sitting down with us and sharing your advice, expertise, and a quick glimpse into what makes you tick, Stephen!
Interested in joining the Fuller Family? Learn more about how Experienced Professionals and Students/Recent Graduates can benefit from a career at Fuller Landau. Be sure to check out our Current Openings, and submit your application. We’re always looking for exceptional talent to join the team!