For Suzanne Cody and Gwyneth James, it’s all about stress relief — not theirs; yours!
The high-powered pair of accountants is perfectly poised to ensure the client is ahead of the curve not just by offering a full suite of services — everything from financial statements, personal and corporate tax returns, and payroll to bookkeeping — but also by offering those services in a language the average person can easily understand.
“Meeting deadlines, staying on top of government and institutional deadlines, assisting clients in growing their business, even getting their business in shape for retirement: these are all things we do, regularly,” Suzanne says. “Beyond that, though, Gwyneth and I are really trend breakers.”
A lot of the businesses Cody & James CPAs help are in growth stages and it’s important that the owners understand the details, Suzanne says.
“Translating financial details into language that is useful to our clients, whether they are business owners, professionals, retirees, or people who want a professional accurate tax return filed,” she adds. “That’s what sets us apart from other firms.”
Cody & James CPAs is the accounting firm that came into being in 2013 after Suzanne bought half of Gwyneth’s business. Gwyneth had grown her firm to the point that she needed help. Suzanne came on for a year under contract, until it was evident that the pair complemented one another well and created an undeniably effective synergy.
“It’s like getting married,” Gwyneth explains. “You gotta get it right. Business divorce is every bit as painful as personal divorce. Suzanne and I do get along and we are friends, but more importantly we bring different skill sets to the table. She’s more detail oriented than I am; I handle the creative marketing elements. We are true business partners.”
Suzanne moved from Toronto to the area in 2005 after making it her preferred holiday location from early childhood. She has had a family presence in the area since 1973.
“The beautiful scenery and the neighbourly people are why I chose this area,” she says.
She has been in the accounting profession for more than 20 years, working for more than 10 years in a corporate setting as a financial analyst and liaison from the IT department. In addition to being a CPA, she has a diploma in Computer Programming and System Analysis which gives her a unique blend of financial knowledge and technical savvy.
In her spare time, Suzanne is a hockey mom and donates time as a team manager and treasurer.
Gwyneth came to to Peterborough in 1997 after moving around a little — Victoria, BC was home — and she was ready to settle with her two young boys.
She worked for more than a decade for Nexicom as their Controller before starting a consulting business and taking Nexicom along as her first client. In 2009, she bought an accounting firm and her business took off quickly with a second block of clients acquired three years later.
Yet it’s not just about the numbers for Gwyneth; it’s about community.
“Peterborough had offered me so much,” she says. “When you first arrive in a place, you feel completely lost and you’re scrambling, especially with little children, to know what services are available and find some extra help. You feel like you’re constantly taking.”
Once the children were a little more independent, Gwyneth says she wanted to give back.
Which she did and still does in the form of working with not-for-profits and volunteering. Over the years she has served on many Boards of Directors in both economic and social service oriented organizations.
And she loves dealing with new entrepreneurs.
“They are pioneers,” Gwyneth says. “That’s what keeps it fresh for me. Knowing that I have helped some local people realize their dreams and that those new businesses will potentially result in more employees and a better economy for Peterborough.”
She sees her job as helping an entrepreneur understand the potential cost of their dream and to help them temper their enthusiasm, but also to see the million-dollar business that it could become.
“You really need to have solid accounting from the start.”
“I’m an entrepreneur at my core,” Gwyneth says, adding that she hadn’t always wanted to be an accountant. “I had fought against becoming an accountant in my youth. My dad was an accountant, but I always thought I’d go into medicine.”
You might even call Gwyneth and Suzanne physicians of business: they help keep local businesses healthy and thriving.
And when Gwyneth’s not administering to the business community, she doctors her gardens, preferring the broad swatches of colour to the black and white she sees at work.
She loves to see her clients’ companies grow like her gardens.
“That’s where we really shine,” she says. “We will take all your accounting needs off your hands so you can focus on what you do best.”
Cody & James CPAs is located at 260 Milroy Dr. #1 in Peterborough. For more information, call 705-876-6011, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit www.codyandjames.ca. You can also find Cody & James CPAs on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.