Ninette Bishay CPA, CA
Like so many of our partners here at Adams + Miles, my introduction to the accounting world came in high school: An engaging teacher sparked my interest in an introductory business course, leading me to select other courses that she taught. One of them was an introduction to accounting, and I quickly learned that I had a knack for numbers applied within a financial reporting system. I went on to pursue and complete an Honours Bachelor of Commerce in Accounting degree at the University of Ottawa, and to earn my Chartered Accountant (CA) designation in 2006 and Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA) designation in 2012.
It was serendipity that I landed my first full-time role at a firm, PKF Hill LLP, that had, at the time, about a third of its assurance practice focused on serving charities and not-for-profit organizations. It was there that I discovered the ability to use my education and training to give back to the community and I decided to focus my entire career on helping support the transformative initiatives delivered by charities and other non-profits.
PKF Hill LLP went on to merge with Grant Thornton LLP, and from there, my career evolved to join a boutique firm as a partner, and then move my practice to Adams + Miles, where I continue to have the privilege of serving this ever-evolving sector exclusively, and benefit from a most fulfilling career.
What drives me
Canadian charities and not-for-profit organizations are a significant component of our Canadian economy, and almost every individual will engage with a charity or non-profit at some point in their lives. We all benefit when organizations can operate at their best. What motivates me is to put my very best – in-depth knowledge gained over the years, skills, and breadth of experience – towards helping organizations, including their management teams, Finance and Audit Committees, and Boards of Directors, be their best to fulfil their mission.
To make sure I always maintain empathy of what it feels like on the “other side of the table”, I make sure I also serve on a committee or Board, and it gives me the opportunity to give back. I currently serve Imagine Canada as its Treasurer and Chair of the Risk Management, Finance & Audit Committee; CAGP Foundation as its Treasurer and member of the Finance Committee of the Canadian Association of Gift Planners, which I also served as past National Treasurer; and the Ontario Prayer Breakfast as a Board Director.
I’ve also had the honour to serve and speak at various CPA Canada and CPA Ontario conferences, among others, and contribute to publications. My goal is to bring insight and education to the sector on the most relevant and practical issues, ranging from 15 Ways to a Painless Audit; to topics about creating and communicating about reserve policies; to updates on accounting and assurance standards; and to CRA matters such as charitable activities outside of Canada and GST/HST compliance and opportunities.
What I’m most proud of though is our amazing, sector-focused team at Adams + Miles. We invest in our people and our firm to make this a rewarding place to build their careers, and they in turn give their best to our clients.
Because we serve so many charities and not-for-profit organizations, our team is well-versed on what matters most to the sector; on applying Canadian accounting standards for not-for-profit organizations (ASNPO); and conducting high-quality assurance engagements in the most efficient way possible. The benefits to the organizations we serve are a well-coordinated process, using the latest technology tools, and our best insights and sector connections to help organizations be their best; a trusted partner in their journey.
Advice for clients
“Not following best practices will almost always result in something eventually going wrong. The best way to mitigate risk is to do things in the best way.”
- Creating fun memories with my family and friends
- Making big plans to travel the world
- Carving out moments of time to enjoy the little things in life like playing the piano, taking leisurely walks, and indulging in a good book, snuggled up with our dog, Minnie