Taking Care of Fundamentals: Francis Michaud, CGA and VP of Finance – Part 1


Francis Michaud, CGA and VP of Finance and Corporate Administration, shares insights on the importance of business fundamentals including hard work, career planning, and personal development.  He also talks about the importance of work-life balance and finding a mentor.

Francis Michaud has learned a great deal about professional development throughout his career.  His honors BComm from Queen’s Commerce set the stage for stops at Deloitte, Canadian Investors Protection Fund, Mutual Fund Dealers Association of Canada, The Home Depot and Total Securities Management Services where he currently serves as the VP of Finance and Corporate Administration.  The causes of his success, though varied and diverse, include a penchant for sound decision-making, hard work and building a strong team. His insights, which he recently shared with us, span across industries and areas of expertise and are invaluable to employees at any level in their career. Read Francis’ insights in our two part blog titled Taking Care of the Fundamentals.

Hard Work Doesn’t Go Unnoticed

If there is one trait that has marked Michaud’s steady march toward career success it has been hard work.  And while the fast-paced day-to-day complexities of the business world can cause employees to feel that their commitment and dedication are all for naught, Michaud impresses upon his team that “hard work, even if unappreciated, never goes unnoticed.

This insight has served Michaud throughout his career, causing him to redouble efforts in his earlier days and to take the time to notice (and appreciate) the extra effort put in by his team as he moved up the management hierarchy.

Whether you are just starting out or managing a large organization, instilling an understanding that hard work and commitment will be noticed and that those who practice these fundamentals will become fixtures and rising stars within your organization will set a foundation for career and management success.

Standing out the Right Way

Starting in a new role can be among the most difficult periods in a career.  Having both experienced and managed roles in new positions and at new firms, Michaud offers these four tips on how to stand out in the right way during these transition periods:

  1. Master Your Responsibilities.  “First, get a good handle on all of the tasks at hand, then add value to your position.”  Mastering your own responsibilities is the most basic element to ensure that you start off on the right foot. Once you have mastered these task, then you will be able to progress on to other actions that will truly allow you to set yourself apart and offer more than is expected.
  2. Take Initiative.  Michaud emphasized that “if you see a problem, raise the issue or if something can be done more efficiently raise your hand and stand out.”  Those who take initiative will be noticed and rise through the ranks much faster than those who wait for tasks or challenges to be assigned.
  3. Provide Solutions.  “Ask yourself what your boss needs and provide it.” Develop a reputation and expertise in providing solutions for unseen or unanticipated problems and your superiors will reward you with more challenge and responsibility.
  4. Double Check.  “Always draw a conclusion and ask if it makes sense before moving forward.  Always Double-check your work before submitting.” To ensure the quality and reliability of your work always take the time to make sure that it is practical, applicable, and technically sound.  Do not trade these qualities for expedience or more glamorous projects.

If nothing else, these four tips will help you start a new finance job off on the right foot.

We’ll share more insights from Francis tomorrow in Part 2 of Taking Care of the Fundamentals.

Let us know what you think! At Clarity Recruitment, we’re always interested in hearing from accounting and finance professionals like yourselves, who are ready for new, exciting opportunities that can take their careers to the next level. And be sure to follow us on Twitter (@clarityrecruits) and connect with us on LinkedIn and Facebook for more great tips and advice.