Why choose a Chartered Accountant?

Through rigorous training, professional accreditation and broad experience Chartered Accountants are uniquely equipped to make a difference to your business.

In brief

  • Chartered Accountants see the bigger picture and are uniquely positioned to examine the past and look to the future
  • They are highly qualified to offer advice you can trust
  • On-going professional development ensures their skills and knowledge remain current
  • Our members are bound by the highest ethical and professional standards

Why choose a Chartered Accountant?

Through rigorous training, professional accreditation and broad experience Chartered Accountants are uniquely equipped to make a difference to your business.

Broad experience

If you're looking for an accountant who can offer you far more than technical knowledge, make sure there's a CA behind their name. Chartered Accountants are broadly experienced in dealing with business and financial issues across a diverse range of management and advisory roles. This bigger picture perspective enables them to positively impact businesses, organisations and communities.

Highly qualified

As well as degree-level study, all our members have competed supervised and relevant work experience. They are also required to keep their skills current through significant and ongoing professional development.

Fully accredited

Our members have all met, and are bound by, internationally recognised technical and ethical standards. Chartered Accountants ANZ is part of the Global Accounting Alliance - the coalition of the world's premier accounting bodies.

Future-focused

Whether working in business or practice, a Chartered Accountants are uniquely positioned to offer advice you can trust. Through deep understanding they have the skills to examine the past and guide your organisation into the future.

"Don't just choose an accountant. Choose a Chartered Accountant and see the difference they can make to your business."

Meet the Difference Makers

How Chartered Accounting firms have helped businesses

  • Meet Eli Tagi CA and how he helped a small barber business survive COVID

    Auckland-based WE Accounting are a prime example of the changing face of Chartered Accountants. Founded by Chartered Accountant Eli Tagi and his wife Wyndi nine years ago, WE Accounting partners with their clients to provide a range of offerings geared to help their business thrive.

    "They aren't just the stereotypical 'accountants'. They bring a completely different angle to things," says Adrian Evans.

    Evans is the founder and owner of The Gentry. He says that WE Accounting has enabled his company to be resilient and future-focused in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.

    As a barber business, level three and four of lockdown meant shutting up shop. But rather than wallowing in lost-profit misery, The Gentry worked with WE Accounting to establish strategies that would see them weather the storm.

    "They really came to the party. They helped me focus on the right things, not the struggle," says Evans.

    He says that in the past his business had not undertaken rigorous business forecasting.

    "Before Covid, I'd just look and see lots of clients in the books and think everything was going well."

    "But lockdown allowed us the time and space to identify positioning, understand our practices, and engage in cashflow forecasting. Our accountant provided a template within which to do these things."

    This partnership has paid dividends. The move from level two to level three left the barber shop in a tough position regarding cashflow. Eli explains that WE Accounting and Evans worked together on a system that allowed people to book appointments in advance.

    "The clients paid in advance, and it meant that The Gentry reopened with $10,000 in their accounts."

    Originally published by Stuff limited

The impact CAs have made when employed within a business

  • How CAs kept the Canberra Raiders going

    Keeping a sporting club afloat at the best of times is a precarious balancing act. There are membership drives, merchandise, entertainment rights, sponsorship deals and media to manage. But at the end of the day, everything hangs on how the players perform on the field.

    "It's fickle," says Don Furner, CEO of the Canberra Raiders. "If you're losing on the field, it goes pear-shaped off the field. You can have all the best plans in place – the best marketing, the best strategy – but if you lose on the field, people stop coming through the gates, sponsorship dries up. Essentially, your revenue is directly linked to the team's performance. It's hard to predict, and it's hard to budget for."

    Mr Furner has been at the heart of The Canberra Raiders for some 20 years, making him the game's longest-serving club boss, although still only aged in his early 50s.

    While some Australian sporting clubs tumble into financial strife, under Mr Furner's watch, the Canberra Raiders have always been financially stable. It's his great pride.

    "If the Raiders became insolvent and got closed down, I could never live in the city again. It's more than just a business – it means a lot to the community. Kids dream about their Raiders players, and the fans and members love their club. There is a lot of onus on you to make sure the club remains," he says. "Whoever is in charge of the club needs to have strong financial qualifications."

    Mr Furner knows the harsh reality of financial ruin all too well – before the Raiders, he lived in the US and the UK working as a chartered accountant, specialising in insolvency.

    "A lot of the insolvent companies that I saw were the result of when interest rates went too high because it was the mid-90s," he says. "I'd like to think I've learnt a bit about the strict measures you have to put in place to keep a company solvent."

    After years of working overseas, Mr Furner returned to home soil and took on the role of marketing manager for the Canberra Raiders Club.

    His first year working for the Raiders was during the peak of the Super League war, the fractious $1 billion battle for control of pay-TV rights to the highest-rating sport in Australia. Super League, backed by Rupert Murdoch, competed with the ARL, supported by Kerry Packer and Optus Vision. Some clubs folded to the Super League, and it introduced two new clubs in a move to dominate the competition. The game was shaken to its core, relationships fractured and some dreams sunk.

    "That was a terrible thing for the game," he says "I started at the worst possible time. The game was split, there was a fight over the broadcast rights and it took years to repair."

    Since then, he has watched his club enjoy many soaring wins, and just as many gut-wrenching loses. He has seen players from regional towns live their sporting dream while others, tragically, miss out. Last year was a good one – the Raiders made the finals, and the club secured funding for its impressive $20 million high-performance centre, opened early this year.

    The Raiders' chief financial officer Warwick Burr says Mr Furner is one of those rare men in rugby league who is universally liked and respected for his ethics and interpersonal skills.

    "There's no predictability in his role, not to mention the last six months. He has had to spend a lot of time dealing with members who've prepaid for a season and who can't attend now due to crowd restrictions and sponsors who have commitments," he says. "These are sponsors who've been with us for twenty years. We've had to find ways of meeting our obligations."

    Mr Burr says despite the stresses of his role, you'd never guess because he always manages to keep a cool head.

    "He's also very good at understanding the information I give to him, as you would expect, being a fellow chartered accountant," he says.

    So how does this accountant-turned-rugby enthusiast, whose life's mission is to prevent the Raiders from financial ruin, handle the disruption that is coronavirus?

    "Since the Super League war, this is the biggest challenge, and it will be a big financial hit this year," Mr Furner says. "But there's some solace in the fact that we're all facing it together; it's not just our sport. The whole world is dealing with this. You adapt."

    'Adapting' is a crucial part of the Raiders' plan for the future.

    "Certainly the past six months has been something else. Back in March, all of our licenced clubs were shut so we had to stand all of our staff down, which was very stressful," Mr Burr says. "It was very challenging moving everything remote so we could keep businesses ticking over in the interim."

    Mr Furner and the corporate team worked tirelessly to navigate the ever-evolving JobKeeper and JobSeeker legislation to secure as many jobs as possible. The club also secured state and federal funding for the future, as well as finding ways of meeting sponsorship obligations.

    "Don has excellent relationships and interpersonal skills he uses with our sponsors and dealing with the government," Mr Burr says. "He has an unbelievably stressful job because it's completely unpredictable, not to mention the past six months. We've had to manage the changes, going from: the comp is on with no crowds, to the comp is off, now the comp is on and you're playing home games not at your home stadium, now you're at your home stadium... I wouldn't be the only person to say this has been the most challenging moment of my career."

    Mr Furner was also an intrinsic leader in 'Project Apollo', a herculean-sounding task force designed to get the players back on the field for competition, living in a bubble of sorts. In the bubble, players cannot participate in much except for training and playing. "They can't even watch their kids play sports and go out to lunch," Mr Furner says.

    To get the bubble functioning, negotiations that would have ordinarily taken 12 months to finalise were completed in weeks.

    "There was a certain spirit of cooperation because everyone knew we had to get the game back up and running and to get people's livelihoods back in place. As corny as it sounds, in a time of crisis, everyone worked together – even the player's union, the broadcasters and the media. We were all working towards that one goal," he says. "There were a lot of people waiting for us to fail, but we were back on May 28.

    Even during the good times, managing a sporting club is a high-risk game, and the pressure to win grand finals can send clubs broke. Mr Furner says the skills he acquired as a chartered accountant has been crucial to maintaining the stability of the club.

    "That's not easy when there's pressure from sponsors and fans to spend money, invest in that player and buy that player. But it doesn't matter what business you run; if you haven't more money going out the door than coming in, you won't last long," he says.

    There's the ruthless nature of the media, witnessing the heartbreak of failed sporting careers, the pressure from player agents, dealing with disgruntled players, and the constant pressure to see the team perform on the field. And now, there are the complications of the coronavirus. Is it worth it?

    "This might sound a bit naff, but when the whole town gets behind the team, it's quite amazing," he laughs. "When you're part of it, you see what it does for little kids and families. In a one-team town, the sport brings the community together. I love sport, and I love this club."

    Originally published on news.com.au

  • How CAs helped The Fred Hollows Foundation NZ restore more sight

    The good work done on a daily basis by The Fred Hollows Foundation NZ is celebrated throughout the Pacific.

    But what is less well-known is the cutting-edge financial and operational strategies in place within the organisation, facilitated by a Chartered Accountant with the knowledge and expertise needed to ensure the charity's ongoing success.

    The Foundation is a registered charity that carries on the work of famous Kiwi eye surgeon Professor Fred Hollows and his vision to end avoidable blindness.

    "Tragically four out of five people who are blind in the developing world don't need to be, and this can be addressed often with cataract surgery and if there is access to trained eye doctors and nurses," says The Foundation chairman, Craig Fisher FCA. "The New Zealand Foundation exists to address this issue in the Pacific."

    Fisher, a Chartered Accountant, was asked to join the governance team of The Foundation nine years ago. Fisher says that a large part of his role as chairman has been to progressively improve the professionalism, effectiveness and impact of the organisation.

    To this end, he identified the need for a dedicated chartered accountant to help bring the organisation into the digital age, and who was up-to-speed with the changing regulatory environment, which demanded much more accountability from the not-for-profit sector.

    Enter Sharon Orr. A Chartered Accountant with many years' experience in senior finance roles in the commercial sector. Whilst she had not worked for a not-for-profit before coming on board as finance and operations director in early 2017, she quickly made her mark by incorporating many of the protocols and disciplines adopted in a commercial environment.

    She says "I realised early on that while many charities focussed on minimising administration costs, it often came at the expense of under-resourcing their finance teams who were charged with ensuring the charity met the vast array of compliance, regulatory and statutory reporting requirements. In the case of The Foundation, these spanned multiple countries with complex and often confusing taxation systems."

    One of the more challenging achievements was meeting the Payment Card Industry (PCI) compliance requirements as the standards dictated that the thousands of credit card details processed by The Foundation, had to meet the strict processing standards and privacy requirements.

    "Charities such as The Foundation, who operate across multiple countries also have the added complexity of managing their foreign currency exposure especially when dealing in volatile currencies. Often significant grant funding is received from overseas institutional donors in foreign currencies and the finance team is tasked with managing the foreign currency risk."

    One of Orr's systemic changes was putting in place systems that provided for integrated reporting of financial and non-financial information.

    "Key considerations for all donors are the ability to see where their donations have been spent, the impact that the charity has made in meeting its vision and that the utilisation of donor funding is maximised. Charities must also have appropriate forecasting systems to manage cash flows and ensure that future revenues will be sufficient to meet forecasted expenditure on programme activity."

    With Orr's appointment, the operational and financial arms of the organisation were brought together, allowing for a "big picture" approach that would take in the entire organisation.

    "I found travelling to our managed eye clinics, in the Solomon Islands, Papua New Guinea and Fiji, gave me a real sense of the issues and challenges faced by our in-country finance and management teams. It armed me with the information I needed to be able to support and guide them to success," says Orr.

    Andrew Bell, former CEO for The Fred Hollows Foundation NZ, says that he wasn't aware that chartered accountants could work across both sides of an organisation so effectively; and that Orr's depth of knowledge allowed her to tackle multiple issues facing the charity.

    Fisher says "She has helped our organisation to be more resilient and sustainable. The resilience and sustainability of organisations are two key drivers for me in my governance. "[Very quickly] she became a key member of our senior leadership team and her thoughtful methodological accountant's approach is greatly appreciated by others here.

    Originally published by Stuff limited

  • Meet Mark Twomey CA who is driving greater impact for a NFP

    Ability Options puts its purpose at the heart of everything it does. It’s a not-for-profit organisation, but there’s a good reason why it’s run like a business.

    Bankers, often painted as the most ardent capitalists, aren’t the most obvious candidates for making a significant impact on a not-for-profit organisation. But then again, perhaps they are.

    Mark Twomey CA worked for over 20 years in banking and finance, and later as a Chartered Accountant (CA). But for the past decade, he put his corporate management and CA skills to good use by hopping over to the not-for-profit sector and for the last 18 months has taken on the role as chief corporate services officer at Ability Options.

    “For purpose,” he corrects. “I like to think about this work as the ‘for purpose’ sector. We are constantly asking ourselves, what impact does this have on the people that we’re supporting? Whether that’s through employment or that’s through disability. It’s a good aspect of the job, and it’s a great feeling to have.”

    Ability Options is a non-government not-for-profit organisation providing employment and disability services, with many of their clients funded by the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).

    Dubbed the “ greatest nation-building project on earth”, NDIS is close to its full rollout, delivering $22 billion in services and support to Australians each year. The scheme’s introduction some four years ago changed the funding landscape for Australian charities dramatically, transitioning services previously administered by the government to the participants themselves who have the choice to use organisations like Ability Options, forcing many to restructure their operations and become more efficient.

    Ability Options amalgamated a number of services, now spanning 32 sites across NSW, yet its mission remains the same: to “support people who need assistance to achieve their aspirations and inclusion in the community”.

    Mr Twomey was hired, among others, to help the organisation navigate its growth and development.

    “Change is always a challenge,” he says. “But we’re working well as one group. We’re getting better with our reporting, and better with our IT and infrastructure. This year, we’ll turn over more than $100 million, and we employ over 1,200 people.”

    Not bad, for a sector often overlooked by the media, policymakers and society, despite its important role working in these sensitive and complex policy spaces.

    While the introduction of the NDIS brought widely-welcomed changes to service provision, the industry is still plagued by under-resourcing due to the current payment system, lack of frontline training, and an increasingly casualised workforce, with many staff having to work less than full time across multiple jobs, while also dealing with unstable rostering arrangements and a lack of pay.

    Mr Twomey says it’s an ongoing challenge navigating the complexities and challenges of the industry, and his Chartered Accountant (CA) qualification has been valuable in facing these, head-on.

    “A good CA is somebody who actually questions things,” he says. “They look at the finances, look at the operations and look at the way the business is run as a whole and asks relevant questions about it. They identify the issues and then find a solution to it. The CA course teaches you to do that.”

    Julia Squire, CEO of Ability Options, says the two chartered accountants (the organisation’s group financial controller is also a CA) in the business are “instrumental in developing our decision-making based on data analytics and understanding the services as well as the numbers”.

    “This has added value and efficiency and means that corporate support services are now as integral a part of service delivery, planning and governance as our senior operations managers and frontline staff,” she says.

    Charities and not-for-profits are also something of a hidden powerhouse of the economy, contributing the equivalent of almost five per cent of direct value to Australia’s GDP, which is on par with the retail trade industry and more than nine other industries. Despite their contribution to the Australian economy, Ms Squire says driving significant revenue in the disability and vulnerability sector is challenging because it’s often overlooked by society.

    “That means that when the policymakers do their thing, the people we support aren’t always visible, engaged or prioritised. Because society doesn’t value everyone, the workforce is undervalued, and we drop down the pecking order for funding, visibility and inclusion,” she says.

    Mr Twomey says the not-for-profit sector requires administrative rigour, adoption of technology and accountability that’s the hallmark of corporate business. After all, no matter how worthwhile the cause, if you’re unable to balance revenue and expenses, the organisation will end up in debt.

    “Like any business, we’ve got to invest in our infrastructure, we’ve got to update our systems, and we’ve got to keep updating our tools like the equipment we use. To do that, we've got to make sure we have funds to be able to sustain that. We need to make sure we’re not wasting our money,” Mr Twomey says.

    To have a sustainable impact, Mr Twomey says Ability Options is focused on two things – achieving its goals of growing its service offering and making a modest surplus.

    “It’s really cool in the way that people have embraced the fact that we can be business-like without losing our purpose. We want to keep doing the things that we do and keep supporting the people who want and need our support, for a long time,” he says.

    Managing the growth of the organisation involves streamlining processes and procedures and ensuring there’s consistency across all 32 office sites, whether that’s in the Hunter Valley or Shellharbour.

    “It’s about getting people to understand that it’s not about cutting costs for the sake of cutting costs – it’s about getting things right the first time, so we don’t have to redo them. We’re cutting down on the administrative burden that’s on our staff,” he says.

    Ms Squire says the recent changes to operations have improved efficiency without impacting on quality. “This means that despite the limited funding available, we are developing, growing, improving and are sustainable,” she says. “A high-quality, efficient organisation means we can do more to support people who need us.”

    Originally published on news.com.au

  • The CA helping Adam Goodes grow an indigenous focused company

    "I often say there are three key moments in my career: getting my Chartered Accountant (CA) qualification, getting an MBA at the University of Queensland and meeting with Adam," says Matthew Jones CA.

    'Adam' is AFL legend turned entrepreneur Adam Goodes, who heads up Indigenous Defence and Infrastructure Consortium (IDIC), an initiative supporting Indigenous businesses navigate the supply chain requirements of large companies, helping them win more business and secure major Australian infrastructure and defence contracts.

    Last year, Mr Jones met with Mr Goodes to discuss a business opportunity with the IDIC. He never expected it would land him a new gig.

    "Twenty minutes into the conversation, he pauses, stops, and says, 'Matt, sorry to cut you off, but I think I've got something else for you. I've got a new project'," Mr Jones recalls.

    That new project was Nogard Australia, the nation's largest Indigenous-owned, Supply Nation certified, industrial and safety product wholesale business. Boasting an annual turnover of over $12 million, the company imports over 3500 industrial and safety products through its primary distributor, ATOM. Whether it's 5,000 pairs of safety glasses, 250 pneumatic drills or 4 wheel chocks, they can supply it.

    Mr Goodes is its co-founder, majority owner and chair. His vision is to support a network of Indigenous importers and resellers, as well as reflecting and prioritising Indigenous cultural knowledge and experiences.

    Little did Mr Jones know, he had been on Mr Goodes' radar for quite some time. His background working in the Royal Australian Navy, professional services and corporate banking world, plus his MBA and CA credentials offered exactly the kind of experience and skill set required to drive the trajectory of the business.

    "I was really looking for someone who I knew, who was dependable and reliable and had a good understanding of business. But also a good understanding of numbers and have a really great capability in being able to look at a profit and loss statement and see opportunities," Mr Goodes says.

    Plus, it was "really important" to bolster the company's leadership team with Indigenous management and control.

    "Matt is very connected to his Torres Strait Islander heritage, he is very proud of that. He has a very unique story when it comes to his Indigenous identity and one that I draw inspiration from, his family story. And he is someone who is not only leading through my business, but someone that's teaching me a lot about not only lives but our journeys," says Mr Goodes. "I know that Matt's definitely the person that I want leading the business."

    Mr Jones heads up the national business development for Nogard, pitching for business at a corporate level. He says his CA education and previous accounting roles specialising in tax and later in insolvency offer the kind of pragmatic business decision making and interpersonal skills required in his position.

    "I've got a very wide-ranging portfolio," Mr Jones says. "Problem-solving is a big part of it, as well as forecasting market demands, trying to understand better what market expectations are around that product and price mix, and of course, pitching and converting business leads. Coming from my background, it's really important for me to collect data and utilise those to make decisions.

    "And then also, it's been useful having that banking perspective to understand what they look for with financing and what they consider to be a good deal."

    Starting a new business is hard. Throw a global health crisis into the mix, and you have your work cut out for you.

    "We've only been operational for one year, so the past four months has been a bit of a steep learning curve for myself and for Matt," Mr Goodes says. "But Matt has been a really great reliable team member, he works incredibly well with the ATOM sales managers and the distributors. He's also working extremely hard with indigenous businesses out there in the market to become resellers of our products. So, I know the big success for Matt is in the years coming."

    Mr Jones says Nogard's ongoing success rests on its unique value proposition, which is, of course, crucial for the success of any business.

    "What that means for us, is that we're an Indigenous business that sells quality products at a great price," he says. "It sounds simple, and, of course, the hard part is the execution. But, if you keep the value proposition at the forefront of your mind, that informs the way you treat people and the way you look at the business as a whole."

    The business operates under the model "giving back by paying forward". Three per cent of all sales of ATOM products (Nogard's distribution partner) support three major Australian causes – The Go Foundation, National Breast Cancer Foundation and Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia.

    "They're three charities that I'm really passionate about," says Mr Goodes. "One that's really close to my heart is the GO Foundation, and that's paying for educational scholarships, academic scholarships for kids in New South Wales and South Australia, and we're slowly growing that to a national program."

    Nogard Australia is positioned to leverage the opportunities created by the Indigenous Procurement Policy (IPP) program, a Federal Government policy introduced in 2015 requiring departments to procure a certain amount of goods and services from Indigenous-owned firms – and not just in the traditional areas of arts and tourism. The policy is designed to enable Indigenous businesses across Australia to overcome the systemic challenges associated with the legacy of racist policies and thrive in today's economic environment.

    "It's one of the best government policies that I've seen that is actually making an incredible difference," Mr Goodes says. "It's helping Indigenous businesses, Indigenous entrepreneurs, and Indigenous people be able to engage different sectors across the country through business. And what that means for an Indigenous person is an opportunity to build wealth. It's an opportunity to choose what suburb you want to build your house, buy your home.?"

    A key focus for Mr Jones is leveraging the IPP to drive more business over the next few years.

    "There's a real opportunity for Nogard Australia to grow in the next 24 months by engaging with some of those end clients that do have that indigenous spend that they need to fulfil," Mr Goodes says.

    Indigenous prosperity is key to Closing the Gap. Mr Jones is hopeful the success of indigenous-owned businesses like Nogard Australia will propel Indigenous men and women to the senior roles in the top echelons of corporate Australia, which currently remain overwhelmingly white. According to a study last year by the Human Rights Commission which surveyed senior executives across business, government and universities, just 0.4 per cent reported Indigenous heritage. Still today, Australia has never seen an Indigenous person running an ASX-listed company.

    Mr Jones says playing a crucial role in Nogard Australia's success is an opportunity to "reshape the narrative" around Indigenous business and drive change.

    "It's quite personal for me, and it means quite a lot. When I was growing up, I can't remember a black middle class. Well, we're now developing that, and it's amazing," he says. "Being able to tell a good story, a positive economic story is something that I think we need to advocate for, particularly with Indigenous business. There are a number of business success stories out there, and Nogard is just one of the many."

    Originally published on news.com.au

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