2023 KBH Award Winner Series: Shannon Kroeker, CPA, CA

Apr 2, 2024
Shannon Kroeker, CPA, CA won the 2023 Kouri Berezan Heinrichs (KBH) Award, recognizing her outstanding contributions as a facilitator and session leader. This esteemed award celebrates individuals who demonstrate unwavering dedication and excellence in their roles. For Shannon, this recognition represents not just her dedication to her role but also her journey within the accounting profession. Let's dive into Shannon's story as she shares insights, challenges, and invaluable advice for CPA candidates navigating the Core 1 module.

Question 1: Congratulations on winning the 2023 KBH Facilitator Award. Tell us a little about your journey from getting your CPA designation to when you became a facilitator with CPA Western School of Business (CPAWSB).

It’s an honour to be recognized for my work as a facilitator. After getting my designation in 2002, I worked in Winnipeg in public practice and for a public company, which led me to take up an opportunity in the Cayman Islands and work there for a few years. After coming back to Canada, I facilitated a legacy program for CPAWSB in 2016. The education program has evolved since I went through and since I became a facilitator. I attended a training session to learn more about the opportunity and learn the basics of facilitating. I started by facilitating a small number of candidates and over time have built up my capacity.

Question 2: What has been your focus been facilitating within CPAWSB, and why?

I’ve worked in Core 1, Core 2, and Capstone 2, but decided to remain focused on Core 1 in recent years. Though I only work with candidates for a short time before they’re on to their next challenge, helping them on their CPA exam journey has been the most rewarding for me.

Question 3: What advice do you have for candidates tackling the Core 1 module?
The Core 1 module has a steep learning curve, which can be challenging at first. There’s a large volume of new material, resources, and systems to get used to, so I always encourage candidates to ask questions and get organized early on. It's important to stay on track with studying by creating a plan and reviewing the material regularly, rather than waiting until the end of the module.

Another challenge in Core 1 is learning to write cases within time limits. It’s a tough skill to develop and it’s helpful to start practicing early in the module. Candidates don’t need to be expert writers right away. By sticking to the time limits and then debriefing the approach and technical topics of the case, they can improve their writing skills and knowledge over time.

Question 4: How do you balance facilitating with personal commitments, especially during challenging times?
Facilitating offers a lot of flexibility as contracts are for a set period and I can apply for contracts when it’s a fit with the rest of my life. Several years ago, my son was diagnosed with a serious health issue, and I left my full-time job to manage his care. I was able to stay involved in facilitating as it offered flexibility that fit with my new commitments.

Question 5: Tell us about your interests outside of work. What do you like to do during your free time?
My hobbies and interests include spin classes, music, and recently, I've become a member of a trivia night team. I make it a point to hop on the spin bike a few times a week as it serves as an excellent stress reliever. Additionally, I'm an enthusiastic Pokémon Go player.
Stay tuned for the next installment of our award-winner series, where we will introduce you to another award winner. This series aims to provide insights and inspiration to new and aspiring CPAs, helping them navigate their own CPA journey and discover opportunities to give back to the profession after earning their designation. Don't miss out on the chance to learn from these accomplished professionals and explore the diverse paths within the accounting world.