Date posted: 10/08/2021

‘Win work and build your reputation’ – the case for Business Valuation Specialisation

George Whitington CA, says it was a “no-brainer” to sign up for the Business Valuation Specialisation Program when it launched in 2014. Now, he’s encouraging others to do the same.

In brief

  • After 6 years’ experience in the field, George Whitington joined the first Business Valuation Specialisation program in 2014
  • His decision to specialise was based on consolidation of technical proficiency, and marketing and promotional benefits
  • Whitington is focusing on building his name in his areas of specialisation

George Whitington CA, a partner at Nexia Edwards Marshall, says it was a “no-brainer” to sign up for the Chartered Accountants ANZ Business Valuation Specialisation Program when it launched in 2014. Now, he’s encouraging others to do the same.

When Whitington CA finished his commerce (accounting and finance) and economics degrees at Adelaide University in 2008, he landed a graduate role with Nexia Edwards Marshall. He was thrust into the firm’s Forensic Accounting and Business Valuation division and hasn’t looked back.

“I basically did an on-the-job apprenticeship [with Nexia Edwards Marshall] and worked my way up from graduate to partner over a 13-year period. It was a gradual process. The first five years were a hard slog but after getting some promotions, it snowballed from there. I became partner at the beginning of this year.”

Chartered Accountants ANZ launched its Business Valuation Specialisation Program in 2014 and while Whitington already had six years’ experience in the field, he knew the program would be beneficial and signed up.

Four reasons to specialise

Whitington says there were four compelling reasons behind his decision to specialise.

“First was technical proficiency – it was a way to consolidate and expand upon my existing technical knowledge,” he says. “Second was access to ongoing, quality training. Third was personal confidence building.

“And last, the marketing and promotional benefits that come from being able to say you’re a specialist in a particular field. This helps to win work and build your reputation. Having a specialisation really formalises the work you’re doing.”

Though Whitington was an experienced practitioner, there are two pathways available, depending on level of experience. Both pathways cover a range of topics from financial reporting, tax, mergers and acquisitions, to family law and strategic decision-making. 

After finding the Business Valuation Specialisation Program beneficial, Whitington went on to complete another specialisation in 2018 – this time in Forensic Accounting.  . 

“They’ve been equally valuable,” he says of the two programs. “They’re complementary, and in a smaller market like Adelaide, you probably need more than one string to your bow.”

“Having the specialisation distinguishes you,” he notes. “And as a specialist, if you're good at what you do, there will always be demand for your services

A stimulating career path

Whitington finds his work intellectually rewarding and there’s no doubt the specialisations have helped him in his career. 

“Having the specialisation distinguishes you,” he notes. “And as a specialist, if you're good at what you do, there will always be demand for your services.  Doing the programs really reinforced in my mind that this is a good career pathway with plenty of opportunities.”

Whitington’s focus now is to build his name as an expert in his specialisations. “When I started as a graduate, my role was about assisting a senior person in preparing their valuation opinions and expert reports,” he says. “Now I'm starting to become the author of such opinions and publish under my own name. That's something that's very rewarding.”

His advice to other accountants tossing up whether to do a specialisation program is to “absolutely do it”. 

“For it to be really worthwhile, ideally you want to be working for a pre-existing specialist in the field. 

“Having said that, if someone doesn't currently have that opportunity, for example, perhaps they're working in audit or tax but they're considering moving, it may be beneficial to do the course in advance. It just might assist in creating that opportunity.”

Enrol now to become a CA Business Valuation Specialist

Enrolments for our 8-week specialisation program are now open. Becoming a CA Specialist in your field can enhance your personal brand and credibility, gain formal recognition for your skills which can strengthen your reputation, and help to capitalise on opportunities of referrals.

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