The YCA Panels (also known in NZ as Emerging Leaders Groups) are advisory groups that consist of members within their first five years of membership, and/or are 35 years or under, who are chosen to represent young Chartered Accountants in their region and ensure their interests are being recognised and represented.
The scope of work these members in contributing to the community is beyond just the broader membership. Elise, who leads the volunteering and community sub-committee, discusses the initiatives she’s been involved in and why being on the Panel is important to her.
Please introduce yourself
I am Elise Stewart (nee Stow), a business services manager at Accru Felsers and my journey with the company started in May 2019. After beginning my career with RSM Albury in 2011 as a cadet, my now husband and I decided to move to the big smoke in Sydney and the rest is history! I joined the YCA panel in September 2017, with the inherent desire to give back to the CA community.
What does the YCA Panel do and what is your role?
The NSW YCA Panel is the voice for Young Chartered Accountants, both provisional members and full members. We host networking and soft skills events and work together to ensure the voices of YCAs are being heard within the CA community. My role in the YCA Panel has been focused on giving back to the community through financial literacy. We have sub-committees to ensure groups of YCA panel members can hone into their passions and give back to the YCA community at the same time.
Elise Stow CA
What work have you been doing in the sub-committee?
As a voluntary and community sub-committee of the YCA, we have developed an engagement piece with Sydney secondary schools. Personally, I believe basic tax knowledge should be a part of the school syllabus. There are two knowns in life – death and taxes, and if one understands an individual tax equation, and holds a basic understanding of what superannuation is, the community will be better placed when making life and financial decisions.
My role in the YCA Panel has been focused on giving back to the community through financial literacy. We have sub-committees to ensure groups of YCA panel members can hone into their passions and give back to the YCA community at the same time.
What impact have you had and what have you learned?
I have had the pleasure of presenting at a few schools, to educate students on basic tax items such as:
- What is a TFN declaration? Hold up – what even is a TFN?
- What is superannuation?
- What should my payslip look like?
- If I get paid A$50,000, what should my tax withheld have been?
- What is MyGov and what are the requirements of completing an annual tax return?
COVID-19 has seen a required change in how we educate students, and we hope to reach out to schools and offer virtual sessions in Term 4.
What do you hope to achieve from working with schools?
Everyone must pay tax, but no one tells you why, or how, or where the figures are calculated.
Superannuation is an employer obligation, a retirement saving, your money! We should educate people to understand this and increase people’s knowledge on the importance of knowing where your super is and knowing how to check that your employer has paid their obligations on your behalf.
Tax is a definite in life. This should be taught in schools, so individuals have a solid understanding of how tax is calculated and where it is going. Education is key and this basic understanding of tax and superannuation is a genuine life skill that all students should have the opportunity to understand.
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