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Ontario Tech acknowledges the lands and people of the Mississaugas of Scugog Island First Nation.

We are thankful to be welcome on these lands in friendship. The lands we are situated on are covered by the Williams Treaties and are the traditional territory of the Mississaugas, a branch of the greater Anishinaabeg Nation, including Algonquin, Ojibway, Odawa and Pottawatomi. These lands remain home to many Indigenous nations and peoples.

We acknowledge this land out of respect for the Indigenous nations who have cared for Turtle Island, also called North America, from before the arrival of settler peoples until this day. Most importantly, we acknowledge that the history of these lands has been tainted by poor treatment and a lack of friendship with the First Nations who call them home.

This history is something we are all affected by because we are all treaty people in Canada. We all have a shared history to reflect on, and each of us is affected by this history in different ways. Our past defines our present, but if we move forward as friends and allies, then it does not have to define our future.

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Why accounting is about far more than crunching numbers in isolation

Ontario Tech researcher John Friedlan dispelling accounting stereotypes and inspiring a new generation of students


Society holds many stereotypes about certain professions and occupations. The world of accounting is no exception.

Many outsiders assume accountants are 24/7 math nerds with no interest in anything beyond numbers and balance sheets, locked into a boring and tedious career. But Ontario Tech researcher John Friedlan, PhD, says these myths could not be further from the truth.

“Young people often misunderstand who accountants are and what they do,” says Dr. Friedlan, FCPA FCA, an Associate Professor with Ontario Tech’s Faculty of Business and Information Technology. “Certainly fluency with numeracy is a vital component of the overall skill set, but so is the capacity for high-level critical thinking and problem solving. Accounting is very much about being able to communicate and provide clarity to others about complex information.”

Dr. Friedlan has devoted more than a quarter-century to training future managers and accountants. He’s written an introductory financial accounting textbook widely used across the country, and one of only a few produced domestically. A chartered accountant since 1980, in 2018 he became a Fellow of the Chartered Professional Accountants of Ontario (CPA Ontario), one of the profession’s highest distinctions.

“Interestingly, accounting did not become a passion until after I finished my undergraduate degree in science (genetics) at McGill University in Montreal,” says Dr. Friedlan. “I got into all of this quite by happenstance. But I am sincerely proud of receiving this CPA Ontario career recognition from my peers.”

He completed his master’s degree in Business Administration at York University in Toronto, and his PhD at the University of Washington in Seattle.

His focus now is on ensuring Ontario Tech Accounting students are inspired to be the best they can be.

“The nature of the profession continues to evolve, and technology is a big part of that. I want my students to think critically about balance sheets and net income, and be able to navigate the sea of financial information in front of them.”

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Media contact
Bryan Oliver
Communications and Marketing
Ontario Tech University
905.721.8668 ext. 6709