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Chad Davis and Josh Zweig

Josh Zweig and Chad Davis: Digital game-changers

Josh Zweig and Chad Davis co-founded LiveCA, Canada’s first and largest virtual accounting firm. Watch the video to see how they define the Canadian Ideal of Good Business.

Five years ago, Josh Zweig and Chad Davis were two CPAs with a big idea – and no office to hold it in. Today, they have a 45-member firm – and they still have no office. This is because they run Canada’s first and largest online accountancy firm: LiveCA. It’s venturing far beyond conventional business models, introducing new ways of serving clients, and generally pushing the boundaries of what it means to be a professional services firm.

Before LiveCA was created, Zweig and Davis were both operating their own online firms, with Zweig focusing on tax and Davis on technology. Both were frustrated because they felt part of the puzzle was missing. “For Josh, it was the technology and operations component of working with clients, and for me it was the tax and compliance,” says Davis.

Once the two met, however, they quickly realized that they would be a lot stronger if they worked together. As Zweig puts it, “We started combining our forces and very quickly we became the firm that we are today.”

A whole new kind of service

LiveCA does not just connect with clients online; it offers an entirely new kind of service. “Let’s say you’re starting a new business and you’ve got an e-commerce store and you want to know what system to use, how to track inventory, or how to deal with cross-border compliance,” says Zweig. “In the past, there was no one in the industry who could answer all those questions because the accountants would say, ‘Talk to your developers’ and the developers would say, ‘Talk to your accountants.’”

From the start, Zweig and Davis decided to do away with standardized checklists for customers. Instead, they focused on building flexible relationships and providing services that customers truly valued. “When you have a flexible relationship, there’s no manual telling you how to interact or for how long. You’re selling a service that your customers value and making sure they’re always happy,” says Davis. “In fact, when you work in a way that people want to work with you, it’s quite a magical thing.”

LiveCA’s customers are obviously those who want to work online; they recognize that this is a modern way of working. “Generally, this doesn’t have to do with age – it’s a way of thinking,” says Davis. “Some of our most interesting and challenging clients are tool-and-die manufacturers, or business owners who are close to retirement but just want something different.”

The team is No. 1

Staff members also have a chance to work in a different way. “One of the things we emphasize a lot at LiveCA is the concept of putting our team first,” says Davis. “Everyone can work from wherever they want. And, it’s really interesting when you speak to a team member and you can see from the background that they are on a balcony in southern Spain.”

But, it’s not just the prospect of being a digital nomad that attracts employees. “Ultimately, what’s more important is the opportunity to work with really challenging clients, and to apply the background they’ve obtained in the CPA program to real life,” says Zweig.

For the co-founders of LiveCA, building that kind of sustainable business, and ultimately, a “really good place to work,” as Zweig puts it, is what the Canadian Ideal of Good Business is all about.

Watch the video to learn more about how LiveCA embodies the CIOGB.

Video thumbnail of expert interview.