In 2010, Mina founded OnTrack Accounting, an independent, full-service accounting firm providing services to small and medium-sized businesses. As president and director, he oversees the day-to-day operations and is responsible for leading the tax and accounting departments, yet with all that, he still manages to maintain a personable relationship with each of his clients.
“I make sure I review all financial statements and tax filings whether it is corporate or individual before it gets submitted or filed. While this puts a lot of pressure on me, having a second set of eyes, ensures the utmost accuracy.”
How did it all start?
Mina started his professional career working overseas in Egypt, where he was born and raised. After graduating from university, he spent eight years in the banking industry as an accounting clerk, a bank teller, and a sales representative. Then he made a career change into recruitment and HR management and launched his very first business; an HR recruitment agency, when he was just 24 years old. “I must say, after working for years in different capacities in large multinational corporations and having my own business at that young of age, I realized I needed a bigger challenge, a higher level of successes, a bigger dream or as Mathew McConaughey says, “a new hero to chase.”
We had the opportunity to sit down with Mina to learn more about his background, experience, and his secrets to success.
Tell us more a little bit more about your journey to founding OnTrack Accounting.
In 2003, at the age of 28, I immigrated to Canada. Even with a proven track record of success, I didn’t have the least idea of where to start. I was terrified at the thought of not even knowing one single person in this new country, but I was excited and motivated by the new challenge. I jumped at every opportunity, from entry level positions to director of sales and marketing, at one of the most prestigious global companies. Then, I found myself going back to school and returning to accounting, and finally, I launched OnTrack Accounting in 2010. Since then, we’ve not only helped hundreds of clients, but also created jobs, and trained, developed, and enhanced careers for many people.
What is unique about how you do business?
We are blessed to have a large number of clients and I know each and every one of them. I maintain a close personable relationship with them all. They get one phone number and one email—and it’s mine. This puts a lot of pressure on my schedule, but this is how I choose to conduct business. I find knowing my clients gives me more insights into their lives, which allows for better tax planning and having a customized financial strategy for each of them.
You specialize in tax planning and customized financial strategies. Tell us more about this.
The game here is being proactive rather than being reactive, and it all starts with accurate and timely bookkeeping, which allows us, as a team, to review your financial reports long before the year end and make effective tax planning decisions accordingly. When the time comes to file taxes, we know exactly what to expect and there are no surprises. Tax planning is an art/science; it is a dynamic process as it is never carved in stone. Tax planning is an active strategy, and it should be reviewed and changed as financial and personal goals changes.
What advice can you give to other entrepreneurs?
I strongly believe in the Six Ps of success: be passionate, persistent, positive, personable, patient, and pay-forward. I enjoy the entrepreneurial lifestyle and the challenges that comes with it. The fact that I’ve created this company from scratch, and we are here now, I think that is very powerful.
You mentioned ‘Paying Forward’….Why this is important to you?
Throughout my career and life journey, I have been fortunate to work close by leaders and mentors who took a chance on me, and I learned a lot from them. So many people, including family and friends, have shaped my life in one way or another. The most memorable advice I ever received from one of my prior VPs was: It’s not about paying back but instead pay forward. I still remember his words of wisdom, and one way I am following his example is by employing, developing, and giving opportunities to new Canadian immigrants and the younger generation.
President and Director