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Alisa Smith
Enrolled in CPA PEP
Associate, PwC

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Alisa Smith successfully juggles two careers: PwC Associate and published author.

As an assurance associate at PwC and a published author with two books to her credit, Alisa Smith leads an interesting life. Deeply concerned about social justice, she navigated from a career in freelance writing to UBC DAP as an entry point to working in forensic accounting and investigating people who commit financial fraud. At the same time, she wrote a crime novel, Speakeasy, which was published by Douglas & McIntyre in 2017.

The Decision

“I considered programs in Toronto as well as Vancouver, and ultimately chose UBC DAP because of its strong reputation and the level of career support provided to students,” explains Smith. “Now I am working for PwC, so the decision really paid off.”

The Transition

After a short stint studying visual arts, Smith completed an undergraduate degree in history. “The transition to the UBC DAP program was initially quite challenging,” says Smith, “but with support from the faculty, I was able to sail through.”

The Experience

“I appreciated the fact that the instructors in the program were very connected to the accounting community and many were teaching at the CPA Western School of Business, meaning they fully understood the requirements for the CPA Professional Education Program (CPA PEP),” explains Smith. “UBC DAP is a trusted brand among accounting firms and many UBC DAP graduates are involved in hiring at PwC which is a definite advantage.”

The Career Path

As a PwC Associate in assurance, Smith enjoys learning how complex corporations work from the ground up. “I also appreciate the flexibility of being able to take a one-year leave to write fiction - the sequel to my crime novel, Doublespeak, will be published in 2018.”

Smith’s first book, The 100-Mile Diet: A Year of Local Eating (with J.B. MacKinnon) was published in 2007.