Meet Michael Cheung, CPA, CMA, the Senior Director of our Project & Interim Team

Michael Cheung, Sr. Director Project & Interim

Michael Cheung, MBA, CPA, CMA, PMP began his career with equity trading in mind, eventually transitioning into go-to-market planning, advisory, and overall finance transformation. Now, he’s using his extensive financial acumen and business partnering capabilities to help Canada’s growing companies find the top talent they need to scale to new heights.

Tell us something interesting about you that’s not on your resume.

Beyond business, I enjoy and am very active in sports. I play volleyball, basketball and golf regularly. It’s important for me to maintain an active lifestyle, and I actually ran my first and only half marathon at a sub-1:45 time.

What’s the most exciting part about engaging with clients and helping to solve their business’ talent needs… in other words, what do you love the most about your job?

The most satisfying part of my role is hearing back from the client and candidate about how positive their experience has been. Sometimes candidates that have worked with other recruitment firms have said their experience finding their next job opportunity has been less than satisfying. That’s why we make it our focus to create an experience that is great for every party involved. The goal is to help them make their next career step in a role that makes sense for them, with a company that they will love partnering with. So when I get that direct feedback that expectations have not only been met but exceeded, and to hear positive feedback about the overall service that I provided, it just reignites my passion for my work.

As an experienced finance and accounting professional, what advice would you give to someone who is deciding between a career at a firm/practice versus industry?

As a CPA who has worked in both the firm and industry side for the past 20 years, I would say that the firm provides the foundation you need to tackle industry issues. The firm trains and equips you with a set of tools that will set you up for success in the industry and solve many issues that you wouldn’t experience if you just stayed at the firm. Oftentimes, the pace and environment of finance and accounting activity in industry is unstructured and evolving rapidly, so having that foundation from the firm first is a huge advantage. 

What would you say are the most in-demand skills for fractional CFO and finance consultants? What problems are you helping clients solve?

My clients are typically in “early-stage startup mode” where growth is happening fast and decisions need to be made quickly but strategically. Having a fractional CFO with a myriad of experiences in different types of environments will prove valuable in helping clients solve their most complex issues. The most coveted skill is probably the ability to go deep and get into the weeds while also thinking holistically about the organization. This has time and time again proven to be the winning recipe that my clients are looking for. 

We’re always looking for recommendations – what are you currently watching/listening to? (Netflix, podcasts, etc.)

I’m a big podcast listener and often find it soothing after a long day of client meetings. My favourite podcasts are SmartLess, Acquired, 20VC and The Generation Hustle Podcast if you want to check them out!


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Man and woman interview

What’s your favourite interview question?

I love hearing about a person’s journey and story. So naturally, my favourite question is: “Up to this point in your life, what is the achievement you are the most proud of?” It’s a question that can yield a number of responses and can yield a lot of interesting insights about a candidate no matter how much detail they go into.

Michael Cheung Job as Page at Library

What was your first job?

My first job as a student was as a Page at the Toronto Public Library shelving books. As for my first real professional job, it was at the Bank of Montreal as a Futures Derivative Analyst (at that point, I wanted to become an equity trader).

Cabot, Cape Breton Golf Course

What’s your favourite place in the world, or your top vacation spot?

My favourite place in the world is wherever my family is. But my top vacation spot would be at Cabot, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia in sunny July playing the top golf course in Canada.

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