Oct 19: “Starting a Consulting Business” ~ Eva Drivet & Rhonda Harris

Perspectives from an independent consultant and an accountant

Tuesday, October 19 2021
12:00 - 1:00pm (MDT)
Register at: CSPG GeoWomen Page 
This is a FREE event - All genders welcome - No membership required.


This presentation is the first of two offered by GeoWomen, on the topic of starting a geoscience consulting business.  There are three main ways to structure a consultancy; 1) individual consultant;   2) incorporated consulting firm that offers an integrated set of skills and expertise; and 3) the hybrid model where an independent consultant affiliates with a larger consulting company on an as-needed basis to collaborate and provide specific expertise on projects.  For this first session, the “individual consultant model” will be addressed, starting with a high level overview on important aspects to be considered, such as:

  • Your goals and vision as a consultant (short term and long term) 
  • Your expertise and the services you would like to offer (specialist versus generalist)
  • Where to start? (e.g. decide on sole proprietorship versus Incorporating – pros and cons from an individual consultant perspective, setup a business bank account, get a business credit card, and GST number)
  • Branding and marketing (e.g. company name, website)
  • Your workspace and time management
  • Cost of running a business (e.g. APEGA professional and corporation license requirements, WCB, equipment, conferences, training, etc…)
  • Book keeping

The second half of this first presentation will be given by Chartered Public Accountant Rhonda Harris to highlight the key steps of starting a consulting business.  It will start by revisiting the “sole proprietorship versus incorporating” options from a tax standpoint as well as provide an idea as to what filing requirements are for each structure.  Rhonda will then discuss key considerations including charging GST, how to budget for taxes and shareholder remuneration (dividend versus payroll) for incorporated entities. 

On November 16, Michelle Saquet (CEO and Founder of Athena Subsurface Ltd.) will continue the discussion, expanding on the subject of starting a consulting firm with her perspectives on how she made it happen during a pandemic.  Amy Fox (Geomechanics Specialist; President and Co-founder at Enlighten Geoscience Ltd.) will moderate, and add her viewpoints to the discussion.  An abstract on Michelle Saquet’s presentation will be published in the October 2021 Reservoir.  GeoWomen welcomes everyone to attend.  


Eva Drivet started her career in the petroleum industry in 1995 at Shell Canada, after graduating from a M.Sc. on the Devonian Leduc carbonates from Alberta, under the supervision of Dr. Mountjoy (McGill University).  She has offered her carbonate expertise to the petroleum industry for the past 25 years, working on exploration and development projects for major to intermediate sized petroleum companies.  In 2008, she founded Drivet Geological Consulting Ltd., offering her services as an independent consultant, generating opportunities within carbonate reservoirs for various companies operating in British Columbia, Alberta and the Williston Basin.  Recently, her portfolio expanded with international and green energy projects.  Eva has published several papers on the topic of carbonate sedimentology and diagenesis, and conducts an industry Carbonate Core Workshop with her colleague, David Hills (www.carbonates.ca).


Rhonda Harris has been providing accounting and tax services to small and medium size businesses since 1990.  Her preferred area of practice is with owner managers, assisting them in pulling together the financial puzzle pieces of their professional and personal lives.  Rhonda was one of the first groups of individuals in Canada to gain the Chartered Professional Planners certificate.  Her interest in accounting was piqued while studying business at the University of Regina, although she took courses at the University of Toronto, York University and the University of Calgary to complete her studies.  She has instructed advanced level accounting courses at SAIT in Calgary, tax courses for several real estate boards in Alberta, and has presented to various groups on taxation.


Maureen Stonehouse is a professional geologist with 13 years of experience and a passion for rocks and the environment.  She graduated from the University of Alberta in 2008 and began her career with ConocoPhillips / Cenovus where she gained expertise in the WCSB and Athabasca Oilsands.  In 2018 she graduated from the University of Calgary Haskayne MBA program and in 2019 she began contract work with Sinopec.  Maureen launched Stone Consulting in 2020 to shape the geologic landscape of the future.  She is currently consulting for O’Chiese Energy, geoLOGIC geoxplorer, and Vermillion.  Stone Consulting’s mission is to flow energy from the earth to society.  In her free time Maureen enjoys volunteering for the CSPG and going on outdoor adventures with her family.  More information at www.stoneconsulting.info