Canada: The More You Give, The More You Get Back
Last Updated: March 23 2015

From March 6-19, 2015, Collins Barrow is highlighting the achievements of several women who continually strive to create value, break equality barriers and empower others.

International Women's Day celebrates the women who make it happen all around the world. The women of Collins Barrow make it happen every day because ours is a workplace environment that fosters the careers of Canadian women. Over the past 20 years, the accounting profession has seen a positive shift in attitudes concerning female advancement. At Collins Barrow, we're proud to report that we have a higher percentage of women partners, and growing, than the industry norm. Meet Karen Sands, CPA, CA, TEP.

As a tax partner for the past 12 years with Collins Barrow SEO LLP in Kingston, Ontario, as well as a trust and estate practitioner, Karen provides tax advisory and succession planning services to individuals and corporations in manufacturing, real estate and financial and professional services. She also serves as an instructor in the CICA Income Tax Practice Course, tutoring practitioners from across the country.  

To date Karen considers her most gratifying professional accomplishment, besides her many significant "wins" for clients on income tax matters, having been tasked with the make-or-break assignment of finding speakers capable of inspiring and captivating an audience of her colleagues at Collins Barrow's most recent annual partners' conference. The overwhelmingly positive response that greeted her choices was, she recalls, "a fabulous and very fulfilling experience for me."

Among her community and church activities, Karen currently serves on the board of Impact Malawi, a charitable organization based in Brockville, Ontario, that works to create sustainable programs in the villages of Malawi, Africa, where people must cope with malnourishment, a lack of clean water and education.

In 2012, she along with her daughter spent two weeks working alongside the villagers there and she is currently in the midst of organizing a similar group mission. "Being able to help to improve conditions for these incredible people and spend time with them is very rewarding and life changing," says Karen.

Knowing your priorities and planning accordingly every day is how Karen describes her approach to making things happen both on behalf of her many Collins Barrow clients and in her community work. "Collins Barrow's mandate, to bring clarity, value and excellence to all we do in the service of our clients, is in perfect keeping with my own approach to life in general," she says.  "The more you give, the more you get back."

A woman Karen admires

"If I could travel back in time to meet with one great woman from history it would definitely be Princess Diana, whom I greatly admired for all her charity work.  I would love to know what drove her to work in the areas that she did and what words of wisdom she would have for those looking to devote time and energy to similar organizations."  

Clarity is seeing the path to your potential. Learn how Karen can help your business by contacting her directly by phone at 613.545.2010, or by email at

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