Equestrian Canada (EC) is pleased to announce Robert Westgarth has been appointed Financial Controller, effective June 12, 2017.

Westgarth first joined EC in the fall of 2016 in the role of Senior Officer of Executive Services. Skilled and well-versed in both finance and governance, he has been a true asset to EC, utilizing his background in accounting, as well as his experience in creating bylaws and taking on the role of treasurer for a start-up non-profit organization.

Prior to joining EC, Westgarth was an Accountant for Rheaume Williams Kalbfleisch, providing full-service accounting to small and mid-sized corporations, including financial reporting, account reconciliation, corporate and charitable tax preparation, depreciation schedule maintenance, and management of receivables and payables. In addition, Westgarth has been a Board member and Treasurer of the non-profit organization, T-Network International, since 2015, where he has helped to set up the board governance system and complete the CRA Canadian charitable status application.

Westgarth’s appointment to Financial Controller will replace outgoing EC Director of Finance, Mike Mouat.

“When I took on the role of Director of Finance and Administration in early December 2016, I was fully committed to completing the immediate challenge of transitioning the accounting systems within the organization, closing the month ends, and finalizing the 2016-2017 financial statements for the organization,” explained Mouat, a Chartered Professional Accountant with a passion for sport. “The finance team is in now the final stages of completing these tasks. Therefore, after much consideration as to the next steps in my career, I have decided to accept an offer that represents my dream job, and hand over the leadership of the EC finance department.”

Mouat continued, “Over the past year at EC, our finance team faced serious challenges, but I am proud of all that we have accomplished, and I am fully confident that, given his accounting background and relationship-building skills, Robert is the right choice to continue building upon the progress made to date. I wish Robert all the best in his new role, and thank the EC staff and board for providing me with the chance to contribute to this organization and grow personally and professionally during my time at EC by facing the unique challenges and opportunities within the industry.”

EC Chief Executive Officer, Eva Havaris, spoke to Mouat’s hard work and successes in the EC finance department. “Mike has done the job that he set out to do and has left EC in a stable financial position, having implemented a much improved financial reporting system, and provided for the efficient transfer of responsibilities to Robert – whom we are excited to welcome into his new role of Financial Controller to carry forward and build from the solid foundation Mike has built for EC.”

Westgarth has spent the past year working closely with the finance department while also providing vital support to EC’s senior leadership and Board of Directors, acting as a liaison between internal and external EC stakeholders regarding executive initiatives in line with the values, ethics, accountability and professionalism of the organization. In his role as Financial Controller, Westgarth will focus immediately on the following financial priorities:

  • Continuing to close month end financials using the processes that have been put in place, and building a reporting framework for the relevant stakeholder groups that allows them to make informed financial decisions. This process will include tying in the EC Board-approved budget to ensure financial performance is regularly measured and adjustments can be made on an ongoing basis to ensure an acceptable financial outcome for 2017/2018.
  • Reporting unaudited 2016/2017 financial results to the EC Board.
  • Successfully completing all audit procedures with KPMG, and subsequently providing audited financial statements to the CEO, Finance and Audit Committee, and EC Board of Directors.
  • Delivering and reporting on audited financial statements to the EC voting members at the 2017 EC Annual General Meeting (AGM).
  • Delivering timely and accurate month-end and year-end reports.

“I am looking forward to taking on this great responsibility, and humbled to be coming in after Mike and all of the work he has done successfully leading the finance team,” said Westgarth. “Having been working closely with Mike, EC staff and the finance committee for some time now, I have a clear picture of where we are heading as an organization and what we need to do to continue on the path to restoring trust and faith in the great work we do as a federation.”