People of Downtown - Chandra Deaust

Posted on : Tuesday, January 24, 2023

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Chandra Deaust grew up in High River before moving to Lethbridge to pursue her accounting degree at the U of L. Throughout her student career, she admittingly spent the majority of her time at the school and did not often leave the west side, “never exploring Downtown or taking advantage of what the city had to offer”. Immediately upon completing her program, she began her career at Avail CPA, an accounting firm with a long and rich history within the Downtown community. Chandra grew up through the firm, beginning as an articling student before advancing into supervisory and managerial roles. Fast forwarding into the current day, Chandra is now in her 18th year of working at Avail CPA and has worked her way up to being a Partner. According to her, this was something that required lots of hard work, continual learning, perseverance, and the motivation to take the next step towards more challenging roles, learning the next piece, and building on that. 


Nowadays, Chandra spends a lot more time exploring Downtown and taking advantage of all the different activities and opportunities that one can enjoy in the city. 


“I love the public library, I think it's a great resource. In the summer when Galt Gardens have festivals, we love walking there and checking them out. We like seeing shows at the Yates or when Geomatic Attic has shows Downtown, they are always really good. I like going to The SAAG, checking things out at Casa, looking in the shops and eating at all the really cool restaurants. I love all the independently owned restaurants, there's so many good places to eat downtown!”


Chandra recalled one of her favorite Downtown events, the Wide Skies Music Festival! 


“Unless you use the parkade, you never have any reason to go there right? To go upstairs and have the show on the roof and get a birds eye view of the Downtown, and the city, and the coulees, it was beautiful. It was such a neat venue. I find Geomatic Attic is really good at finding cool venues that utilize the Downtown, which is nice for me because then I can walk too.


She additionally spoke on some of the accounting misconceptions and lessons she’s learned throughout her 18 years at Avail. According to Chandra, one of the major misconceptions about this field is the notion that accounting is all boring and number crunching. “A lot of it is problem solving, critical thinking, and finding solutions so that always interesting and challenging. A lot of times it's a little bit like solving a puzzle and trying to find out where all the pieces go”. Alongside this challenge, Chandra enjoys her job as it allows her to drill into issues while finding solutions, while presenting her with opportunities to engage and talk with business owners. “Sometimes what we do on the numbers side is a bit of a mystery and a bit overwhelming, so I try to explain it in a way that makes sense and I hope I’m approachable enough that if people had questions or concerns they would feel comfortable enough to ask”.


Outside of the office, you can find Chandra spending time with her two kids, exploring and trying new things together! She enjoys ‘sampling’ different activities throughout the city ranging from biking, swimming, and bouldering to cooking classes and pottery lessons. 


We asked Chandra if there were any last things she wanted readers to know about her or Avail CPA, to which he replied:


“At avail, we have a really great strong team culture. We have awesome team members. I like coming to work and seeing the people that I work with. We’re hard workers and we try to have some fun too!”