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Beyond the Desk

A look into life away from the office.

Local Business Expands – Dorchester Office

Joanne Haagsma and Bart DeVries of Dorchester welcomed clients, associates and residents to the grand opening of the new accounting firm on Catherine Street: EPR Trillium LLP. It is the evolution of Haagsma DeVries Accountants, which they started in Dorchester in 2006. The new name and partnership launched on January 1. There are five partners and 20 staff members (five full-time in Dorchester) that make up EPR Trillium.

Haagsma says there have already been many positive comments about the new venture, which is located in the former Gordon Hardcastle CPA office. The timing of the Hardcastle merger with Ford Keast and subsequent move to London coincided perfectly with the development of EPR Trillium, which necessitated a larger space than the one that housed Haagsma DeVries on Charles Street. The new office is more than double the size.

In 2009, Haagsma DeVries became a member firm of EPR, one of the largest public accounting groups in Canada, with members in 40 locations. This allowed them to use the expertise of other offices in certain areas, such as taxes, to enhance their practice and better serve their clients. “You really have to get to know your partners to make things work.” Haagsma says they worked with individuals at some of the affiliates in the southwestern Ontario area on occasion and were pleased with the relationships they built. That is part of what lead to the creation of EPR Trillium.

Haagsma explains that Haagsma DeVries had grown, taking on new clients and businesses, and the development of EPR Trillium helped facilitate the growth. Estate work is increasing. Associate partner Scott Snelgrove joined the firm and is the resident tax associate. He has decades of experience and expertise in both Canadian personal and corporate tax, but also has a specialty in US tax and SRED claims.

EPR Trillium LLP, Chartered Professional Accountants formed in January, after five independent partners: Haagsma, Snelgrove, Sandy Kirkwood-Pearce, Chris Button and Don Di Carlo, joined forces to become the largest EPR accounting firm in Ontario. They created EPR Trillium LLP, on November 26, 2015. The agreement combined five separate practices into one large practice. EPR Trillium LLP’s head office is in London. The firm also operates the Dorchester location (led by Haagsma) and an office in Aylmer.

The five combining practices have long histories of serving the southwest Ontario business community and individuals, offering accounting/assurance, taxation, and consulting. These services are enhanced with bookkeeping and administration, tax compliance, estate planning, succession planning, accounting software consulting and training, business coaching, payroll and more.

Haagsma and DeVries started Haagsma DeVries Accountants in 2006 in Dorchester. Haagsma started working for DeVries in 2000 at an office in downtown London. They decided to move to the village. The Charles Street office was a good space, in a convenient location for their clients.

DeVries received his designation in 1977 and has 46 years of experience in public practice. Haagsma earned her designation in 1992. She has 15 years of public practice experience and has also worked in industry. The partners both provide accounting, consulting and taxation services for personal and corporate clients. The Dorchester office of EPR Trillium, works mainly with farms, construction businesses and owner managed businesses locally, as well as London and the surrounding area.

Source: The Dorchester Signpost – Written by Wendy Spence