Silvia Jacinto is a tax advisor who’s already made partner at Crowe Soberman, one of the leading accounting & advisory firms in Canada, at just 35. Find out how she did it in today’s profile…
Elevator Pitch: Describe your job in a nutshell.
I am a tax advisor. I advise my clients on tax-efficient planning strategies to meet their financial, and ultimately lifestyle, objectives. In addition to this, I ensure my clients are compliant with their annual tax filings.
Why did you start working at your company? What was the inspiration for this career route?
I joined Crowe Soberman after spending several years at a large national accounting firm. My decision to join Crowe Soberman was driven by my desire to work in an environment that allows me to focus on growing my tax advisory practise and to work more closely with entrepreneurial, private corporations and their shareholders, while continuing to work on challenging engagements.
What is the best part of what you do on a day-to-day basis? The most challenging part?
One of the best parts of my role here at Crowe Soberman is that I get to work with very talented, friendly people. I enjoy mentoring our staff and being part of a team. Teaching and coaching people are aspects of my role that I derive a lot of personal fulfillment from. In fact, in addition to my client work, I tutor tax at national tax courses and conferences and often deliver tax presentations, both within the firm and externally.
One of the most challenging aspects of my job is keeping up with the ever-changing tax rules. In order to be a good tax practitioner, I must keep current by reading daily tax alerts and highlights. There are at least 10 sources of tax news to read on a monthly basis. Another challenge is communicating complex tax rules and strategies in a manner that is understandable to everyone. This is not always easy!
What is one sign that you’ve seen over the years to suggest that your work/life balance is off?
Some time ago, I came to realize that if I want to be successful in my career and ultimately become a partner, I have to accept that I am not going to work from 9 to 5. I am okay with that. I am married and have two children. My family understands that I have a demanding career and that sometimes I am just not going to be “there.” Having said this, I don’t miss any of my children’s important school and extra-curricular activities. It is very important to me that I am present at their events and am involved in their education. It is still a challenge sometimes to ensure the “right” balance for me, but we make it work. It helps that I have a supportive network of family and friends.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
With five years under my belt as partner, I see myself fulfilling the role more confidently. I would like to be fully immersed in the firm’s business development and be able to take our group to higher heights. Also, I see myself playing an integral role in the mentorship of our junior staff, with the goal of building our future partners.
What is one major challenge that you’ve had to overcome in your career? How did you overcome it?
Before joining Crowe Soberman, I was with another firm where I worked for nine years. Over this time, I worked closely with my past colleagues who later became friends. They were with me through my career and family milestones (when I got married and had my two children), and many of them I regard as my mentors. Although I knew it was time for me to move on, it was an extremely hard decision to end those working relationships. I lost many nights of sleep pondering what to do. Today, they remain my friends and mentors. Ultimately, I know I made the right decision and I never looked back.
What does success look like to you? Does Money = Happiness?
Success, to me, is about accomplishing the goals that you have made for yourself, whether professionally or otherwise. No, I don’t think money equals happiness, nor do I think that having money means you are successful. For me, financial independence is important and liberating in that I get to do things I may not otherwise be able to, but I certainly do not have to be rich to be happy. As long as my family and I are in good health and are able to enjoy each other’s company, we are happy.
What is the most memorable milestone in your career?
I would say that becoming a partner at Crowe Soberman has been, thus far, my most memorable milestone.
Do you have any advice for other young professionals?
I know it is a bit cliché, but my advice would be to work hard and not give up on the goals you have set. No doubt, there will be obstacles along the way, but nothing is accomplished without some hard work, dedication and perseverance. You will get there.
Where is your favourite place to wine/ dine in your city and why?
There are so many great restaurants in Toronto. It is hard to pick just one!
When you’re not working how do you love to spend your “Me” time?
I have two young children who are involved in several extra-curricular activities on the weekends so “Me” time must be carefully scheduled. I do enjoy working out at the gym and shoe shopping! People who know me are well aware that I have a shoe obsession!
Where is your favourite place to travel? Why?
It all depends on the type of vacation I am seeking – recreation vs relaxation. Near the top of my list is travelling to Europe. My parents are originally from Portugal so we have travelled there several times over the years as a family. There is something for all vacation types in Portugal – you can experience beautiful sightseeing and historical landmarks as well as take in the wonderful Algarve (southern coast) beaches. Paris and the Turks and Caicos are up there on my list too, but NYC has a special place in my heart! Needless to say, I see more travelling in my future!
If you had to choose a theme song, what would it be?
Whitney Houston’s “One Moment In Time” is an inspirational song. It inspires to me to be confident and to celebrate my success.
If you weren’t doing what you’re doing, what would you be doing?
People often tell me that I have a great sense of style so I think I would be working in the fashion industry. I really enjoy following the latest fashion trends.
Do you support any charities? If so, which one(s) and why is that important to you?
Over the last few years, I have fundraised for, and walked in, the Shoppers Drug Mart Weekend to End Women’s Cancers. This cause is important to me. I know too many people in my circle of friends and family that have been affected by different forms of women’s cancers.
What to you is notable?
This is a tough question. “Notable” to me can have many different looks. Someone who demonstrates compassion for others is up there on my notable list.
Blackberry, iPhone, Android, or Other?
By default, I am use a Blackberry for work, (it is what the firm gives to employees). But at home, we are heavy iPhone, iPad and iPod users. I am due to upgrade my work phone so I will definitely be asking for an iPhone!
#LYNL | (Live Your Notable Life)