Accountant and entrepreneur receives the Spirit of NAIT Alumni Award
Meagan Schroder knew early in her life that she wanted the independence that comes with being a business owner. She grew up near Slave Lake and was inspired by her father, who was the owner of a successful oilfield company.
After graduating from NAIT (Business Administration – Accounting ’06, Bachelor of Applied Business Administration – Accounting ’08), Schroder spent 5 years with the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). As an auditor for small and medium-sized businesses, she gained valuable experience and knowledge regarding income tax and GST issues. It was a rewarding career, yet the idea of owning her own business continued to percolate in the back of her mind.
Taking the plunge
As a chartered professional accountant, Schroder then spent 2 years as controller at her father’s business, where she learned how to deal with cash flows and budgets in a tightening economy. It also gave her the confidence to take the next big step and launch her own company.
With a former CRA colleague, Tope Roth, Schroder incorporated her accounting firm Roth Schroder Professional Corporation in 2014, providing bookkeeping, controller services and auditing advice. Leveraging their background in income tax and small business, Roth Schroder PC have steadily grown the firm by focusing on building lasting client relationships and hiring accountants with a similar mindset.
Schroder herself takes a personalized approach to building her relationships with her clients, who are from diverse industries. “You really need to communicate with clients and get to know them,” says Schroder. “Every industry I work with has changing needs, so as an accountant, you need to adapt.”
Supporting indigenous communities
Schroder is proud of her indigenous heritage, and as member of the Bigstone Cree Nation, located more than 300 kilometres north of Edmonton, Schroder continually finds ways to support indigenous communities. She is an advocate for small business and enjoys sharing her first-hand knowledge of what it takes to start and grow a business.
Schroder also stays connected to NAIT and gives back to the polytechnic by mentoring NAIT students in the Accounting program and volunteering at events like the 3 Day Startup.
“I feel like I owe a lot for where I am in my career to my time at NAIT,” she explains of her decision to get involved. “It provided me with the tools to accomplish my goals and gave me the freedom to make my own decisions.”
She has been working on funding a bursary at NAIT that would support indigenous students. The bursary will be awarded annually and will assist students who are in financial need and enrolled in the second year of one of the Business Administration programs (Accounting, Finance, Human Resource Management, Management or Marketing).
Spirit of NAIT Alumni Award 2017
For her outstanding achievements as an entrepreneur, advocate for indigenous communities and supporter of NAIT students, Meagan Schroder was awarded the Spirit of NAIT Alumni Award in May 2017 – an award that recognizes alumni achievement within 12 years of graduation.