Q&A with Brenda Friedel, owner of Brenda Friedel Professional Corp.

How long have you been an accountant?
I received my designation in 2005 but have been working in the accounting field for over 20 years.

Have you always had a love for numbers? How did you get your start in the accounting business? If you had not chosen the accounting field, what might you have pursued instead?
I have always had a love for numbers. I remember as a child, adding up numbers on my father’s calculator, pretending to do his farm books. After completing a business program at Fairview College in 1981, I started working in their accounting department. My husband and I moved from Fairview in the late 80’s and we started our family. During that time I completed my degree and started on my designation. When I went back to work, I worked in private industry for a few years and then for the MD of Spirit River. I saw a need in the area for a public accountant, so I started my practice in 2005. I really didn’t think about doing any other type of work as there are many facets to accounting.

Are you from the area?
I was born in Fairview and raised on a farm outside of Fairview. We moved to Dawson Creek for a few years, then Cranbrook, BC and then back to the Peace Country in 1998.

What is your favourite time of year work-wise and why?
My favourite time (and sometimes worst time) is the personal tax season. I get to see my clients that I don’t normally see throughout the year. The time goes extremely fast, and I work to get our clients their best return possible and plan for the future.

What is your biggest challenge work-wise?
Constant changes in tax policies and how to plan for them in order for our clients to minimize their taxes are always a challenge.

If there is one improvement you could make in the accounting field what would it be?
A more simplified tax system. It is getting more and more complicated every year, and I don’t feel that it needs to be. It makes it very difficult for an average taxpayer to understand the system.

What would people be surprised to learn about you?
I’m the best wake surfer in our family. (laughs)