FEATURE: Local CGA wins highest honours from provincial association
It’s clear that even after 30 years in accounting practice, Jim Burch, is still on top of the numbers. Burch was recently awarded lifetime membership in the Certified General Accountant (CGA) Association, the highest designation that can be bestowed on a CGA in B.C. He was recognized for the many years of volunteer service that he has given on the provincial board, many committees, and to the local CGA chapter that encompasses the Boundary and West Kootenays. “Part of my personal philosophy is that you should contribute back to the people that help you go forward…so I contribute back because the association has been so good to me, in terms of providing me with a career that I enjoy. I’m very honoured to have received [this award]” said Burch. Burch operates a long standing public accounting practice in Grand Forks, Kemp Harvey Burch Kientz, along with his partners – sister Sylvia Burch, and Sarah Keintz. When Burch acquired the Grand Forks practice in 1980, he joined Tom Kemp and Bob Harvey, who were operating a public practice in Penticton, to createthe Kemp Harvey Group. “The idea behind the Kemp Harvey group was for the synergies of operating a practice together, so that we could interchange knowledge and information, sources and standards, and try and provide the best service to our clients,” Jim explained. The Kemp Harvey Group now has 12 partners and eight offices, mainly throughout Southern B.C. Burch is the oldest original member of the group still in practice. “I’ve been very fortunate in my career. I knew from about Grade 10 on what I wanted to do. I decided I wanted to be an accountant and it came very naturally to me,” commented Burch. “This is something I’ve always enjoyed – working with my clients and staff, it’s been very good for me, and Grand Forks has been a wonderful place to live and raise my family.” Burch gives more than professional accounting service to his community. He volunteers for a number of community organizations, including service as a member of the Rotary Club for close to 30 years. One of his favourite activities is putting on the fireworks display at Halloween. “I always enjoy Halloween where we put on a bonfire every year, and we contribute all of the candy. We create a safe environment for the kids and teenagers to come and participate. It’s one of my favourite activities that we do in the community,” he added. Burch is also on the Board of the Abbeyfield Society, which built the Abbeyfield Centennial House, a facility built for single seniors who are self sufficient. The house provides meals, safety and social opportunities for the residents. Significant mentors in Burch’s life include fellow CGAs Tom Kemp and Bob Harvey. “They taught me the value of being highly ethical and of being truthful and honest and having pride in what you [do].” Barry Mottershead, a partner in the firm Burch worked for, also inspired him. “[He had the] same concept of wanting to provide a very high level of service, wanting to provide the highest standards one can.” Burch makes a point to attend the annual CGAA provincial conference to attend seminars and interact with peers to find out what other CGAs are doing that he can incorporate into his practice to improve the service he offers clients. When this active community member isn’t working or volunteering, Jim enjoys spending time with his family at their summer home in Christina Lake. “I love to spend my time there with my wife, our children and their families…I now have 5 grandchildren.” He and his wife also like to go out on the forest service roads on their quads.
So next time you’re out quadding, tuck your tax return in your bag – you might just bump into Jim Burch on the trails!