Sponsored Content

Beyond the Numbers

Katherine Angus, CFO of the JOEY Restaurant Group, sets BCBusiness straight on the real role of Chartered Professional Accountants, and why it’s never been cooler to be a CPA.

CPAs are typically stereotyped as number-crunchers who hide in their offices clutching calculators. What’s the true story?
The CPAs at JOEY impact multiple areas of the business. Whether it’s visiting suppliers to make decisions on culinary products, reviewing our supply chain management or weighing in on new site selection, they are making key decisions that elevate the JOEY brand and the business objectives.

Name one thing people should change when it comes to their perception about the CPA profession.
Honestly, I don’t know people’s perceptions of the profession. I know that my friends are pretty impressed with, and envious of, some of the things I get to do at work. Maybe people think being a CPA is no fun or not exciting enough. It’s typically seen as a passive role. Nothing could be further from the truth.

An effective CPA must have…
Common sense, trust and the ability to integrate multiple parts of a business simultaneously.

As CFO, how do you strengthen JOEY’s overall business?
It’s a running joke around here that I like to think of myself as the VP of Common Sense. My co-workers often remind me that this is a self-appointed position.

How involved is your team with the JOEY brand development and business planning?
Each day, my team interacts and collaborates with other departments. We’re seen as trusted partners who shine a spotlight on new and improved ways of doing business. We analyze where and when our company should devote efforts and capital. We participate in all business planning, strategy and brand development for JOEY, as well as our other restaurant brands (Local Public Eatery and Saltlik Steakhouse). We sit in on brand and concept meetings and real estate development meetings. We even influence the menu. We’re totally immersed.

Tell us about a significant contribution that your team has made to JOEY outside of financial management.
We developed a finance and accounting course in conjunction with Royal Roads University, which we jointly delivered to all restaurant leaders. Not only did we get to visit each location and build relationships with the leadership teams at the restaurant level, but we also became even further immersed in daily operations.

What do you look for when hiring CPAs?
People who are truly interested in becoming CPAs or pursuing a designation in their field of choice, such as payroll. Also important: people who are fun, make us laugh, and are passionate about their lives outside of work. Each position is posted within the company, and many of our most successful hires started out working at one of our restaurants. These individuals already know and love the JOEY culture, and their knowledge of the operations side of the business always proves invaluable.

Fifteen years ago, you took on the CFO role for A&B Sound. How did that role differ from your current position at JOEY?
I work fewer hours now, but I also work more efficiently. My interests have branched out, too: I’m much more focused on the company as a whole and on creating future value. I’ve moved away from keeping score to being a full team member. Wow–I’ve grown up a lot in the last 15 years!

Photo by Erich Saide