Behind the Scenes at First Book Canada: Hany

Hany Mehari is the Finance/IT Coordinator at First Book Canada. He took a few minutes from balancing the books to discuss what he does and why he likes working at First Book Canada.  

What does your day to day look like? 

My day to day is fixated on performing accounting duties so I can accurately report First Book Canada’s financial position. Not-for-profits/social enterprises are highly regulated by the CRA. First Book Canada’s unique business model requires a great deal of attention to detail. However, my duties are not only limited to finance: I also work in close liaison with our First Book US team and oversee any major IT changes. 

How was the transition to a non-profit organization?

Coming from a For-Profit world where everything is set in stone, it was quite a change for me.  I’m very grateful for the support and training I received from prior staff because it really helped me transition into the role and understand the accounting cycle thoroughly. When I first started with First Book Canada it really took a great deal of energy; the First Book Canada Marketplace had just been introduced and various finance functions required attention. As well, we were planning on moving office locations, so I was working with First Book’s IT team to put together multiple contingency plans and ensure we had no down time during the move. 

What do you enjoy the most about your job? 

First Book Canada’s mission will serve generations to come. I enjoy First Book Canada’s process of getting books to kids far more than monitoring the proceeds on a day-to-day basis, but I do understand proceeds are important (No Margin, No Mission). I also get excited when an organization decides to partner with First Book Canada because the combined vision helps scale our mission. The true success is in helping to build stronger and healthier communities through providing educational resources.