Edmonton and St. Albert
(m) (780) 999-2206
Bernard is an accountant with more than two decades of experience serving clients in the public, private, and not-for-profit sectors. He’s passionate about helping his clients reach their business goals through tax and financial advisory services. Bernard’s goal is to provide his clients with long-term value.
Who would you most like to meet?
Simona Halep. She’s a Romanian tennis player who’s been ranked number one a few times in her career. She is gracious in victory and defeat. She is never self aggrandising or pretentious in anything she does. I would love to meet her because I want to know how she prepares mentally and physically in such a competitive sport, without ever seeking to draw attention to her self or put down her opponent. It’s this quality that I try to emulate working with my peers and clients in the competitive business world.
What is your first childhood memory?
Growing up I lived in a really small town with maybe 99 houses in total. When I was 4, my brother and I were sent to get lemons from a neighbour’s yard. We walked over with our toy wheelbarrow and filled it up. On our way back we realized we were lost. Both of us ended up crying in the street, even though we were less than 200 metres from home!
Where do you come from?
I was born in Tzaneen, South Africa. We moved around for my dad’s work when I was growing up. The last decade before moving to Canada I lived in different suburbs around Johannesburg. I came to Canada in March 2005.
When did you learn the value of integrity?
When I was a teen, my father worked as the Chief Financial Officer for a large company. The owner asked him to commit tax fraud, but my father refused. He risked job, and ultimately lost it, in order to stand up for what was right. That has always stuck with me.
Why did you become an accountant?
I studied science and theology after high school, but I always felt like something was missing. A friend asked me what I was good at, and I told her I’d competed in the Accounting Olympiad (a national high school competition in South Africa) and ranked 87th in the entire country. She looked at me like I was crazy, so I enrolled in accounting and never looked back.
How has your experience starting a firm impacted how you serve your clients?
I understand the frustrations my clients experience in their lives because I’ve lived them. I’ve experienced cash flow difficulties, I’ve struggled with hiring new staff, and I’ve questioned my financial decisions. What better way to help people than to understand their situations and give them solutions they can really use?
(w) (780) 434-1771 ext 2
(m) (780) 862-5965
Mary is a senior accountant with Oikonomos, bringing nearly 25 years of accounting experience to the team. Mary’s parents immigrated to Canada from Macedonia shortly before she was born. Mary lives in Edmonton with her husband Brian, and her two children, Emma and Evan.
Who is your greatest role model?
My parents. They taught me the value of hard work, loyalty, honesty, and family. My dad was successful in the food industry because he was a people-person, and I picked up on that while working for him as a teenager. It’s why I chose to stay in public practice in accounting, despite other great offers; my greatest motivator is helping people.
What is the greatest challenge you’ve faced?
Seven years ago, I was diagnosed with stage four breast cancer. I was given 2-3 years to live. I could have curled up in a corner, but I stayed positive through it, and seven years later, I’m still here, still receiving treatment. I live for my kids and my family.
Where would you go if you could vacation anywhere?
Anywhere in the world to experience new cultures with my kids. And of course, I always love to go back home to Macedonia.
When did you get your first car?
Right about when I started as an accountant in 1995. It was a red Pontiac Sunfire!
Why did you become an accountant?
I was always interested in accounting, right from high school. I got 100% in an accounting course, and so it seemed like a natural option for post-secondary. I really wanted to help people, and this was a way I could do that.
How can one person make a difference in the world?
Donate your time and volunteer, be kind with your words – especially with all the judgement going on in the world. Compassion means treating others how you want to be treated. It’s basic human being stuff, but it’s so important. I like the quote from The Five Agreements: “Be impeccable with your words.”
(m) (780) 695-6512
(w) (780) 434-1771 ext 4
Maryna Kirsten has nearly two decades of experience in public accounting. She is a trusted resource for owner-managed businesses, and entrepreneurs. Maryna has provided accounting, tax, assurance, and business advisory services to private sector clients in the oil and gas, construction, and real estate industries, both locally, and overseas.
With experience as an online facilitator for CASB courses, Maryna helps others develop financial literacy skills they can put to use. She works on personalized level so her clients visualize the bigger picture of their financial success. As an excellent communicator, Maryna delivers strategic tax planning, stakeholder management, and risk management in clear and understandable terms.