Cordova Street Consulting Incorporated
By Tracey Rayson

Aligning work and lifestyle

Chartered Professional Accountant Jessica Somers, founder and owner of Gastown's Cordova Street Consulting Incorporated, used to work in large accounting firms in Vancouver. Crunching numbers among the corporate suits for the past 10 to 15 years began to be less fulfilling, especially during the last few years.

Feeling her work and lifestyle were not aligned, she branched out on her own and established Cordova Street Consulting, which opened in July 2016. "I now work with people more like myself," reveals Jessica. "Entrepreneurs, artists and people who have social responsibility integrated into their business plan. I'm now in a place where I'm really passionate about the work that I do."

Jessica used to go to Nelson the Seagull, a café at Cordova and Carrall Streets, to strategize her startup. "It's sort of where my business was born," says Jessica. "I think Gastown is a really special neighbourhood, the birthplace of business in Vancouver. There's a lot of change and new ideas in business and a lot of that is happening in this neighbourhood; it feels good to be a part of that," she beams.

Being more aligned with my values allows a lot more balance in my work, and that's an incredible thing. - Jessica Somers, founder and owner
The founder and owner of Cordova Street Consulting, Jessica Somers.
The founder and owner of Cordova Street Consulting, Jessica Somers. Photo by Jackie Dives

Down to the numbers

With a background primarily in tax advisory and business analysis, Jessica works with clients to set up their initial tax compliance to file tax returns, GST returns, PST returns, general correspondence with Canada Revenue Agency, and audit support.

"Sometimes I work with people before their business is off the ground," says Jessica. "Beyond that – in addition to basic accounting services – I also try and plant the seed, to get people thinking about insurance and long-term financial stability within their business."

At Cordova Street Consulting, Jessica's best advice is to be proactive. "When someone is thinking of starting a business, I can help them structure it in a way that makes sense for them and any partners they work with," explains Jessica. "The same holds true when preparing to file your taxes; if we have a conversation in November, you'll be better positioned to file on time in March or April."

This acrylic on canvas by local artist Shauno (shauno.ca), currently occupies the feature wall in the office at Cordova Street Consulting.
This acrylic on canvas by local artist Shauno (shauno.ca), currently occupies the feature wall in the office at Cordova Street Consulting. Photo by Jody Hatto

Giving back

Cordova Street Consulting regularly offers workshops like Art at Work: Tax Basics for Artists, something Jessica loves to do. "The value of the knowledge we have is immense for those people and it's such an easy thing to share."

Giving back is also important to the team at Cordova Street Consulting. Jessica is the treasurer on the board of Reel Causes Society, a social justice and film organization. The accounting firm is also interested in supporting local artists, by showcasing a rotating gallery of work.

Jessica feels rewarded when a client leaves feeling relaxed, even laughing, knowing they've had a good experience speaking with an accountant. "Being more aligned with my values allows a lot more balance in my work," says Jessica. "And that's an incredible thing."

[Header photo by Daniel Chai]

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