Editor's note: Success stories

Okey Chigbo, Editor of CPA Magazine, introduces the features in the March 2014 issue.

Beer, the universal draught, useful for quenching thirst, celebrating hockey and football wins, and washing down comestibles of dubious nutritional benefit; beer, the fun beverage that an estimated 10 million of us Canadians imbibe. Beer-making is an ancestral art passed down in our memes from at least 7,000 years ago. In what is now Iraq, beer delivery receipts from 2050 BC survive, carved in cuneiform onto clay tablets. We Canadians seem to have lots of beer-making in our DNA — we are featured on top-10 lists of the best beer-makers in the world. And according to Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, "Canada has a lengthy history in beer-mak¬ing. Molson, Carling and O'Keefe all had commercial breweries in operation before Confederation."

This month, we have chosen as our cover profile Patrick and Andrew Oland of the Oland family, owners of one of Canada's most highly regarded beer-makers, Moosehead Breweries (see "Brand of Brothers," by Paul Brent). Patrick, the accountant, is the CFO of the company; Andrew, the older brother, is the CEO. They have transformed the company ancestor Susannah Oland founded six generations ago: according to one commentator, they are the "most prolific new brand, new liquid, new brewer in Canada." They are also now the largest independent brewer since Labatt, Sleeman and Molson were taken over in the consolidation of the beer business in Canada. Find out more in this fascinating story of a family that avoided the "shirtsleeves to shirtsleeves in three generations" rule.

If you are a young accountant at the beginning of your career, you may have set your sights on the CFO suite. But you are not sure what immediate and later steps to take. You don't have to be young and inexperienced to want to do that; you may have a few years on the job and yet be wondering what you need to do to become CFO of your company, or any company for that matter. But you are not sure what skills you need to develop. Pamela Murphy and Yolande Chan, both professors at Queen's School of Business, have created a competency map that helps. "First," they write, "it is an easy visual guide to when and how to develop each competency. Second, the map provides rich detail from executive respondents regarding how they built each competency." Read "The CFO Competency Map".

The experts can be horribly wrong — we all know that. But if you are about to launch a cherished business vision, and all the advice you get is that it is a very bad idea, will you continue? Can you carry on if well-regarded experts in the field tell you to forget it, that your idea won't work in a million years? "20/20 Foresight," by Deanne Gage provides real-life examples of visionaries who stuck to their dream despite the naysayers.