Amanda Sinclair Portrait

Luminita Barbu, PCP

Entrepreneur, Yellowknife, NT

Luminita Barbu moved to Toronto, Canada from Romania with her son almost two decades ago. While they originally settled in Toronto, one summer, Luminita decided to take a short vacation to Yellowknife, Northwest Territories and immediately fell in love with the place. She went back to Toronto after a week, submitted her resignation, and moved to Yellowknife, now her forever home.  

“I love it here,” she says.  “It’s the nature and the wilderness and once you go out of town you can really see how big Canada is.” She also loves the laid-back nature of the north and enjoys visiting the Tundra in both the summer and winter. 

As a single parent and with a background in finance from her time in Romania, she decided to pursue a career in payroll once she arrived in Canada. After some research, she realized that earning her payroll designation would open doors for her. Not long after, she obtained her PCP.    

After moving to Yellowknife, Luminita spent some time working as an auditor before moving to a human resource company as a Finance Manager. In that role, she managed the bookkeeping for a number of clients who appreciated her skill and attention to detail.  

When the company announced it would be closing in 2013, Luminita’s clients wanted to continue working with her and urged her to start her own practice.  

“It was an opportunity I couldn’t refuse,” she says. “I already had the clients!” So, with the support of her former employer, she leveraged part of her severance package to start her own bookkeeping and accounting business.  

Now Luminita manages the finances for 15 loyal clients and processes the payroll for around 100 employees between the different businesses.  

With the experience of running her own business and a broader view of finance management, she has a unique vantage point to consider how payroll has changed over the years.  

“Fifteen years ago, everything was printed,” she recalls. “We had to wait for approvals and timesheets via fax or email.” She believes that technological advancements have not only made the payroll process quicker but also more accurate.  

She feels confident that AI will continue to play a significant part in payroll, and payroll professionals will need to have both technical and organizational skills to be able to keep pace with the changing technology.  

Looking to the future, her advice to those considering a career in payroll would be to “adapt to the new environment to be able to develop more effective relations with clients.”  

Luminita is a true payroll success story – and has served as a great example and role model to her son. He’s currently working alongside her and taking his accounting and payroll courses – which Luminita is helping him with.  

“I never pushed him,” she insists. “I told him he could do whatever he wanted to do – but he enjoys it, just like me.” 

Suffice it to say, they make a pretty good team.  

National Payroll Institute

(416) 487-3380