An unexpected connection between law enforcement and accounting leads to an exciting and rewarding career
When Peter Dent first attended MacEwan to study law enforcement, his plan was to become a police officer. Little did he know that his true calling was as a Certified Public Accountant.
“As a police officer, I became interested in the investigation of white collar crime,” he says. “I realized that in order to investigate complex white collar crime successfully, you need to have an accounting or business background.”
He began a business degree at the University of Alberta (where he had previously received a sociology degree). “My intent was to go back into policing,” he says. “But in one of my classes, I learned about forensic accounting and that really interested me. So I decided to join Deloitte and article for my Chartered Accountant designation.”
Peter is still with Deloitte LLP, where he is a forensic accounting partner and the global leader of the organization’s crisis management centre. In his role, he focuses on conducting investigations and providing advice to organizations that enhances accountability, transparency and governance. His work has taken him to over 35 countries, and he has completed stints with the World Bank and the RCMP’s Commercial Crime Unit.
Peter has served as chair of Transparency International Canada, a global anti-corruption–focused NGO. He also lectures on a director’s responsibility with respect to financial crime risk in his role as a faculty member at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Business.
“Your career isn’t necessarily a strategy that you follow,” Peter says of his path from policing to accounting. “You identify opportunities, pursue them and let them take you where they will.”
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