James Martin, CPA, CA

Founder & CEO

I was born in southern Ontario. When I was nine our family relocated to Saudi Arabia where my father worked as an engineer. After spending several years in the middle east, I returned to North America where I initially attended Trinity College School in Port Hope, Ontario before transferring south of the border to complete my high school career at Wooster School in Danbury, Connecticut.

I began my professional career as a soldier and served as a regular force member of the 3rd Battalion, Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry from 1990 to 1993, including a six-month tour of duty as a United Nations Peacekeeper in the former Yugoslavia. From 2005 to 2010 I served again as a reserve infantry officer with the Canadian Scottish Regiment.

In 1993 I transitioned into the financial industry and worked at two different Canadian banks, mainly in commercial lending, until 2009. In 2010 I entered the Chartered Accountant (CA) program and articled with a large, global, public accounting firm before obtaining my designation in 2014. Every one of these career shifts has meant essentially starting from scratch with all of the intense training and steep learning curves that starting over entails, but I wouldn’t have had it any other way. The continued challenges have added fullness to my life and shaped me into the person that I am now.

My undergraduate degree was a Bachelor of Commerce from Royal Roads University with a focus on Entrepreneurial Management. This relates directly to what I do every day in my professional practice: help businesses and individuals achieve their goals. Combined with the client relationship management experience that I gained in banking and public accounting, I have acquired the skills and understanding necessary to build an accounting practice that effectively meets the diverse needs of my clients.

What I find most fulfilling professionally is building strong relationships. Once trust has been established, everything else becomes a matter of refining and carefully filling in the details. I have learned that the best road to trust is the high road; it may be the more difficult road, but when complete it is the one with the strongest foundation.

I am fortunate to have a close-knit group of family and friends. I have two children: Angus (2003) and Catriona (2007). Angus is a cool nerd with a quirky sense of humor who knows everything there is to know about movies and music. Catriona is a social butterfly who loves art and dancing, and has no problem pointing out to her dad that he has just said something silly. Mikaela, my significant other and adventure partner, helps keep me grounded and offers valuable support during times when life is more challenging than usual. They are all amazing people and I love them very much. Achieving a work and family balance that allows for sharing experiences with those close to you is essential and I work at achieving that balance every day.