Career spotlight: Amanda Vella CPA, CA, CBV, CEPA, CEC

Written by
Career Services

Feb 6, 2023

Feb 6, 2023 • by Career Services

This is the first in the series of interviews with Chartered Certified Accountants in Alberta to share their insights, knowledge and expertise about their career progression, growth, and personal development. Today we hear from Amanda Vella.

Image of Amanda Vella in her office, learning against her desk

Amanda Vella CPA, CA, CBV, CEPA, CEC


During my career, I have held a variety of roles including auditor, transaction/valuation advisor, management consultant, and finance executive.

Currently, I lead the Business Consulting Practice for ATB Financial. I have the opportunity to advise business owners on implementing strategies to increase business value, scale their business, or plan for an exit. The breadth of my career experience has proven extremely valuable for this complex role.

As a Certified Executive Coach, I have a business where I provide leadership coaching and EQ training to professionals in finance and women in leadership. When I looked for a coach earlier in my career, I didn’t see any that looked like me, as a young ambitious woman finance executive, so I didn’t get support.

I guide my career by remaining open to opportunities where I will learn and grow as a professional. I also believe in serving on boards to give back and grow skills. Currently, I sit on the CBV Institute and FEI Edmonton Chapter boards. Hobbies are also important: I love to fly glider airplanes, trail run, and golf.

In 2014, I was named one of Edmonton’s Top 40 under 40, which was a huge honor.

What stage of your career are you in?

I am at the midpoint of my professional career and I have been filling senior roles in organizations. Three years ago, I made a lateral move which challenged me to build and deepen a whole new set of skills including coaching, sales, marketing, and emotional intelligence. Through this process, I also learned so much more about myself and what I want in my career. I am now exploring how I combine these newfound human skills with my existing accounting skills to really find my zone of genius as a professional for the second half of my professional career.

What inspired you to enter the profession?

I thought I would be a pilot in the military, but due to having asthma I had to look for a Plan B. At that point, besides flying, leadership and numbers really interested me.

I was at a career fair at Acadia University in my second year of university, and the CA representative talked about how CAs make great business leaders and how many of the leaders I had admired were actually CAs. It felt like the perfect match, and I put everything into becoming a CA from that point forward.

Have you had to overcome any career obstacles? If so, tell us about these, and how you overcame them.

Starting my career might have been the biggest obstacle. I graduated from a small Nova Scotia university and wanted to article with a national firm. I started applying locally but there weren’t many roles and I didn’t get hired during the regular recruiting season. It wasn’t until February of the next year that I finally secured a position at EY in Edmonton. I was hired during the busy season from an interview in Halifax, so I had never been to Edmonton until a couple of days before I started with the firm.

I overcame this obstacle because I refused to give up on becoming a CA, so my “find-a-way” attitude helped—and has helped throughout my career. It was my network that really got me a position; I wish I had tapped into that sooner in my search. There have been other obstacles in my career, but this combination of finding a way and leveraging my network always gets me through it.

How has CPA Alberta aided your career?

CPA Alberta provides me with peace of mind, by knowing there are resources that I can tap into when needed in my career. It has been a great resource in building my network and providing professional development opportunities for both me and my designated staff.

What advice would you give to someone just joining the profession?

Stay open to new opportunities and don’t be afraid to explore different career paths to find one that you find fulfilling. Finding the right cultural fit in an organization will increase your career satisfaction and make the day-to-day more enjoyable. Finally, always build and nurture your network—you will see as your career progresses how that is your most valuable asset, especially in those times you do encounter an obstacle or wish to make a shift.