Change Agent CPA
An interview with Tosin Akinwekomi CPA, CMA
How has becoming a CPA changed your life? I think the biggest thing that it gave me is confidence. The feeling of being part of a trusted profession and to have the initials that confirm you know what you are doing!
How do you use the CPA designation to help others? I volunteer in a few different capacities leveraging my training as a CPA. I’m the Chair of the Finance Committee and the Treasurer for JobStart – a not-for-profit that provides employment services to youth, new immigrants and people with disabilities. I regularly mentor new immigrants who are foreign trained accountants and I help the treasury department of my church once in a while. Come tax time, inevitably a bunch of friends reach out to me to ask for advice on how to deal with their tax or CRA issues.
Describe your day as a CPA. My current role is Change Management, so it’s not a typical CPA role but I like it. On a daily basis, I’m spending half of my days in meetings, discussing some initiative or change that will impact people in my department, and the other half is spent creating strategies or plans or implementing plans to help people transition from point A to point B. Essentially, I’m in a lot of meetings and I create a lot of decks!
What is your passion? It’s cliché but honestly, it is just being able to help. My entire drive is to be the best version of myself, so I can have access to more things to share with others.
What talent would you most like to possess? I’m always amazed by artists – I wish I could naturally draw or paint. I’m sure I could learn how to, but I wish I was just born with it.
What is your greatest fear? What I’d like to say is ‘my greatest fear is not realizing my true potential and dying with pent-up value…but simply it’s just stagnancy. The thought of being stuck…#shudders
Which historical figure do you most identify with? Bob Marley. He had a talent, and he used it to influence and impact millions! #Legend
What is your idea of perfect happiness? This is a very difficult question! I think happiness for me is having choice – not being boxed in – being able to choose a path to go on and walk away from it if you so choose. Happiness is being healthy, of sound mind and having great people around you. Happiness is a lot of different things – something as basic as having a nice cool drink on a hot summer day. But mostly, I believe it is a state of mind.
What trait do you most admire in yourself? I adapt well. There’s not too much in day-to-day life that gets me flustered. My wife, my sister and my mom are probably the only ones that know how to push my buttons. Also, while I struggled growing up with being an introvert, sometimes shy – over the past few years, I’ve learned to really find my voice and use it. It’s made a whole lot of difference in my life, and I am proud of that.
What skill have you yet to master? I’ve had lots of leadership experiences, and I think I’m generally an effective leader, but I haven’t had much experience leading big teams. A mentor recently helped identify that gap, so it’s on my radar for development. You didn't ask for a second skill, but I'll give it anyways: it's balance. I feel like it’s going to be my life long pursuit to try to find balance. I think balance is a skill.