Michelle Causton


President, 1840414 Ontario Inc.

"The greatest challenge facing CPA today is in determining how to protect and serve the public and our clients, without fracturing the profession. As we address the needs of a rapidly changing work place, we will need to reconsider core competencies and identify differences necessitated by the sectors served."

Short Bio

Michelle’s passion lies at the intersection of the profession and accounting education.  She worked for many years in public accounting with a focus on small business development, management and taxation. She taught for over 20 years in the accounting programs at university and college.

Having served on a number of boards and committees in key positions, her experience and perspective lead to the development of training materials for not-for-profit boards. A frequent speaker, she presented to the Accounting Research Centre of the University of Ottawa on fair and full financial statement disclosure and the importance of corporate governance.

Michelle has a demonstrated ability to add value to strategic thinking and decision making. The breadth of her experiences allows her to view issues from a variety of perspectives.

As an educator, speaker, mentor and advocate for the profession, Michelle would bring a unique perspective to Council and CPA Ontario.

Michelle Causton's Detailed Bio

Voluntary work with CPA Ontario or other professional bodies:

  • CGA Ontario 1992 - 2001 Chapter, Board, Committees - President of CGA Ontario 2000/2001
  • CGA Canada 1998-2003 Taxation Policy Committee, Board Member, Member of Executive
  • College of Respiratory Therapists Of Ontario - Public Appointment, Council member, Chair of Patient Relations

Career achievements:

  • Award of Excellence in Teaching - Canadore College
  • Member of Northern Colleges' Collaborative Program Project and ONCAT transfer project

Other professional accomplishments:

  • Author
  • Content Developer, Presenter, Workshop Leader

Other voluntary service and recognition:

  • Mentor for North Bay Business Centre Mentor CPA Cafe
  • CGA Ontario - Lorna Henderson Mentorship Award 

Candidate Statement

Why are you interested in joining Council?

I believe that I can provide value to CPA Ontario Council in a number of ways. My background, experience and interests ensure that I will actively be involved in the consideration of strategic issues facing our profession. I have a demonstrated ability to add value to decision-making. I am open minded and unafraid to express an opinion or offer a different approach.

I have a background that includes public accounting, management consulting and teaching. I am keenly interested in our profession and find value in involvement.

How do your experiences align with the following skills, attributes and experiences that have been prioritized for incoming members of Council? Please share two to three examples:

  • Board and Governance Experience
  • Business Acumen
  • Emerging Technology
  • Risk Management&nbsp
  • Future of the Profession / Learning&nbsp
  • ESG / DE&I

I have been a board/council and committee member for CGA Ontario, CGA Canada and the College of Respiratory Therapists of Ontario, as well as small local boards. I have developed online onboarding material for new board/council members. I have delivered workshops on effective meetings. I presented at two conferences of the Accounting Research Centre of the University of Ottawa: A Time for Truth, On Fair and Full Financial Statement Disclosure (2010) and Corporate Governance, Everyone’s Business (2003).

I worked in public accounting, helping small businesses grow and prosper. I continue to support entrepreneurs who are struggling to navigate the complexities of taxation, marketing and strategy.

My passion lies at the intersection of the profession and learning. (This also coincides with technology.)  I was an early adopter of Blackboard, D2L and Moodle. As a professor I strove to integrate the best of online content and live lectures. I love using Zoom and other platforms to simulate face-to-face learning with the benefits of the internet. These challenges keep me engaged and curious.

While working at both a college and a university in Northern Ontario, I had the opportunity to better understand issues that Indigenous persons face. I have worked with committees to ensure barriers to program success are removed—without removing rigour.

I also had the good fortune to teach many international students and was a guest lecturer at Zhejiang University in Hangzhou, China.

What is the greatest opportunity and challenge facing the accounting profession and CPA Ontario?

The greatest challenge facing the accounting profession is to determine how best to serve the public interest without fracturing the profession. While a CPA is a CPA, we cannot ignore the various audiences we serve. The ever-changing workplace provides us with an opportunity to reconsider core values common to all accountants and identify the differences necessitated by the sector served.

I believe that traditional learning will be outpaced by the ability to build skills on an as-needed basis and that the value of credentials will be reduced by the ability to perform. CPA Ontario’s program of continuing education provides the opportunity to be a leader in ensuring we maintain high standards of qualification throughout a CPA’s career.