Meet Karen

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Karen Dysart CPA, CA, BBA realized the need for improved accounting practices after many years working and volunteering in the not-for-profit sector.

“So many charities struggle because they can’t afford financial expertise full-time. But if your reporting isn’t clear, or you’re not providing the right kind of information, a charity comes across as unreliable or unstable, and they won’t not receive the grants they need.”

Karen knew that smaller charities couldn’t afford a full time controller or CFO, but she knew if she could “divide herself up into small packages of time”, she could offer service excellence as well as bring sound business and finance principles to charities doing good work in her community.

As the business expanded, bookkeeping as well as financial services, were added. By providing a unique model of highly skilled, part-time professionals who love  to work with charities, the CHARITYacCOUNTS! team benefits from achieving work-life balance working in their own community.  There is also the well documented “heart rewards” of knowing they are helping make a difference in their community.

“Our team loves working with people who are helping others. As accountants, we know we can’t talk someone through a debilitating crisis, but we can help those who are gifted in helping people. In turn, we help them avoid business pitfalls and save them what is often a headache to them. We respect their gifts and ask them to respect our gifts.” 

Karen is a graduate of Wilfrid Laurier University (BBA) and a CPA, CA (Chartered Professional Accountant – Chartered Accountant). After working 15 years in public accounting, she chose to specialize in the not-for profit sector. She founded CHARITYacCOUNTS! in 2002.

Karen is a proud mother of 3 and a new grandmother to 4 so she is again immersed in family.  In her spare time, Karen is a volunteer and participant at the Ignatius Jesuit Centre in Guelph, Ontario and member of the Guelph Walking Pilgrimage Group. Her passion for charity work is balanced with a new found love of travel.  In 2013, it was Newfoundland; in 2015 she celebrated sunsets in Tofino, BC and Cape Breton Island, NS.  She highly recommends the cross Canada train ride for anyone who needs to slow down and breathe for 4 days.  In 2016, she is hoping to add the south of France to the list of trips of a lifetime.

 

Meet Suzanne

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Suzanne Porcellato is a graduate of University of Waterloo School of Accountancy and earned her CA designation while working for 4 years with KPMG.  She spent 14 years honing her management skills with Tennis Canada / Rogers Cup during which the Association doubled revenues and built 2 multi-million dollar tennis facilities in Toronto and Montreal. After a few years with a family owned group of companies in wholesale distribution of household goods, she returned to her love of the not-for-profit sector when she joined CHARITYacCOUNTS! in 2012.  “I am proud to be adding significant value to my client charities and associations.  Delivering timely and accurate financial information allows management to confidently focus on delivering programs and services in our community”

Suzanne is married and the proud mother of 2 beautiful daughters.  The family likes to get away to a family cottage as much as possible in the summer to soak up the sun, catch a few fish and roast a marshmallow or two under the stars.

Meet Allison

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Allison Murray, CPA,CA  joined CHARITYacCOUNTS! in 2014 and provides controllership services focusing on management decision making, solid monthly reporting, budgeting, financial analysis that her charities and associations need to stay on-track.

Allison earned a Bachelor of Commerce at Queens University.  She obtained her CA designation while working for 17 years with KPMG  in North Bay, Ontario.  At KPMG Allison specialized in charitable and not-for profit organizations(NPOs).  She is please to bring her specialty “inside” the management of her organizations and assist CEOs in making the most of their resources.  She appreciates the dedication and commitment of staff of NPOs in supporting so many of our community structures.

In 2008 Allison took a 5 year hiatus with her husband and 2 children while living in Utah.    Allison’s family settled in Burlington when they returned to Canada and Allison was pleased to join the CHARITYacCOUNTS! team as a part-time controller.

 

Meet Peter

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Peter DeGroot graduated with a Bachelor of Business Administration from Wilfrid Laurier University longer ago than he cares to admit and later obtained his CA designation while employed at Clarkson Gordon (Ernst & Young) for nine years. He has also worked in accounting and other financial roles at a credit union, an aboriginal business development company, government, an Oakville chartered accountancy firm and a private healthcare provider. He joined CHARITYacCOUNTS! in 2015 and has very much enjoyed providing part-time controllership services to several of its clients.

Peter is married to Mary and, together, they are the proud parents of four adult children. He has been involved with several not-for-profit organizations over the years which included acting as Treasurer for some of them. Peter is an active member, and Treasurer, of the Rotary Club of West Oakville and also enjoys gardening, home renovations, cottaging, travelling and taking daily walks with his dog, Sadie.

Meet Stephanie

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Stephanie Cooper, CPA, CGA joined CHARITYacCOUNTS! in 2013 and provides accounting management services including month-end reporting, balance sheet analysis, and financial analysis, budgeting, as well as complex bank reconciliation and the numerous day to day accounting tasks suited her client’s individual needs.  Stephanie is a cheerful problem solver for her charities and she has great respect for the work charities do for all of us.

Stephanie is married and a proud mother of a son and daughter who keep her busy with many appointments and activities.  Stephanie is an open-hearted volunteer with Ronald McDonald House Charities Hamilton, a Children’s Wish Ambassador as well as an active member of School Parent Council.  The Cooper family love all things Disney and look forward to their annual trip to Disney World each March.

Meet Tony

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Tony Ruffolo, CPA,CMA joined CHARITYacCOUNTS in May 2015, and brings with him a wealth of accounting knowledge and experience having worked in several industries including banking, retail grocery as well as non-profit organizations. Tony obtained his CMA designation in 1997 after several years of attending evening classes while working full time.  Tony has a “get it done” attitude that helps charities plow through the tough challenges and brings the insurmountable obstacle down to a manageable process.  He respects the work of charities and is proud to commit his mind to causes that improve lives.

Tony enjoys the work/life balance afforded by working part-time, as it gives him the time to tend to his home as well as work on his golf game.  He is an avid sports fan and, along with his wife, enjoys travelling and being in the company of family and friends.

Meet Lee

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Lee Avery joined CHARITYacCOUNTS! in 2013 after spending 14 years at home raising her 2 children.  She is excited to have this opportunity to use her accounting and business skills within the not-for-profit community.   Lee is well organized and adept at juggling many issues at the same time.  She is very committed to helping all staff understand the flow of information and documentation to meet very demanding expectations.  You will be kindly supported by Lee, but you will get your work done!

Lee graduated from McMaster University with a Bachelor of Commerce degree.  She enjoyed a successful career in accounting and auditing which included 3 years as an auditor with Clarkson Gordon and 11 years at CIBC in Corporate and International Audit and Head Office Accounting.

Working on a part time basis still allows her time to enjoy…family, cottaging, cooking, reading and Jazzercise!

Meet Tammy

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Tammy Araki joined CHARITYacCOUNTS! in October 2014 after obtaining her Permanent Resident status in Canada.  She received her Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Hawaii  and then worked for 15 years in the hospitality industry with Hyatt Hotels.  This afforded her the opportunity to gain valuable life experiences in various cities throughout the U.S.  The hospitality industry has also taught her the importance of quality service and great customer relations.  Tammy remains committed to excellent client relations with the staff of CHARITYacCOUNTS!  clients.

Working part time is her dream, as it allows precious time with her young daughter.  When not shuttling her daughter between softball and aikido practices, she plays in various softball leagues within Milton.  Watch out Milton, University of Hawaii had a good softball team.

Meet Jennifer

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Jennifer Moshtagh graduated from Western Washington University with a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration, Human Resources.  For several years she worked at the Bahai World Centre in Haifa, Israel before immigrating to Canada and to work at the Bahai National Centre in Thornhill.

While taking time off to raise her family she volunteered for different charities in Halton and recently attended Sheridan College’s Small Business Bookkeeping program.  In 2014 she joined CHARITYacCOUNTS! as a part time bookkeeper.    She excels at bringing order to the chaos that sometimes happens in busy charities.  She is a calming influence wherever she goes and she enjoys bringing that calm to good people doing good things in our community.

In her free time she enjoys uplifting conversations with friends and relaxing with her family.

Meet Alyson

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Alyson Pocklington joined CHARITYacCOUNTS! in 2014 as part-time Office Administrator.  She is a retired teacher who loves to work with kids of all ages.  She enjoys supporting the CHARITYacCOUNTS! staff to keep them happy and productive.  She was instrumental in moving CHARITYacCOUNTS! to its first public office in 2014 and is looks forward to whatever is new on the horizon.

Alyson is exploring the delights of semi-retirement including babysitting, travel, reading, cooking and anything crafty.  She enjoys the pace of retirement that allows time for family and friends.

 

What Clients Have to Say

“At an important time of growth in our organization, CHARITYacCOUNTS! has been an invaluable resource in providing both a one-time assessment of our financial reporting needs, as well as fulfilling the ongoing role of a part time comptroller. In not-for-profit organizations like ours, programming changes can lead to increased general ledger entries and the risk of complex general ledger is high. CacC’s experience & involvement has helped us to streamline the bookkeeping efforts, create clear reports, and understand and project our financial position more easily.”

“CHARITYacCOUNTS! has provided professional, reliable accounting services to our charity for the past six years. Karen and her staff deliver excellent customer service with attention to detail in our monthly and quarterly reports.  CacC’s vast knowledge of the requirements of the charitable and non-profit sectors is second to none.”