Am I really a “thought leader” in the accounting industry…? The definition of a thought leader points to those who are “experts” in their specialised field whose comment is sought on a subject matter.
In August 2014 I accepted the appointment as Xero’s Head of Accounting which sees me delivering industry experience and feedback direct into Xero affecting product design and strategy decisions as well as being the accounting spokesperson for Xero as it leads the accounting profession through this period of digital disruption. I finished with Xero in 2018 after four great years
After driving EFS Strategic’s bleeding edge adoption of cloud solutions to run the practice as well as to deliver leading advisory solutions to our clients I was asked to speak at a number of events as well as write articles for a range of publications (both in print and online).
With co-founding Aptus Accounting & Advisory I have committed to running the business based on cutting edge practices only to ensure I continue to walk the walk and not just talk the talk. In 2018 Aptus was named as Australia’s Most Innovative Accounting Firm at the Australian Accounting Awards. Certainly confirmation that our thoughts and vision that were put into action were at the bleeding edge.
Having made the move to corporate finance work as CFO of Xref Limited I quickly brought my learnings from the public practice Technology revolution to the corporate space and was asked to speak at the March 2018 Sydney CFO Symposium, put on by CFO Series. Since then I have spoken in Melbourne, Adelaide & Brisbane as well as Sydney and now I MC the CFO Series Breakfasts held throughout the year across the country.
I have been sought out by other accounting firms to provide feedback on the cloud transition experience, often with my responses being the final push they need to make the change.
I am actively involved in Beta testing of a range of cloud applications after requests from their developers.
My thoughts and opinions on the disruption taking place in our industry have been quoted and published in industry magazines and I have been asked to provide comment on how I see the future of our profession once the disruption has finished (personally I think the disruption will never finish and our industry will be constantly changing).
Commentators on the IT industry have featured my articles in their own writing and even given Cloud Accountants like me a new name #Accloudants !
In August 2013 I was singled out by ICAA President Tim Gullifer in his keynote speech at Xerocon as an industry leader.
I have been asked to Mentor university students making the transition from student to employee in their final year of study to help them be work ready in this modern practice world.
I am a guest lecturer at Macquarie Uni as part of the Accountants in the Profession Unit (ACCG315) where I describe to final year students what working within Small and Medium sized MODERN Public Practice accounting & corporate teams looks like and that it is COOL. I stand alongside the likes of KPMG, Deloitte, Cochlear, CBA, CIMA, CPA, Pfizer and the Smith Family as an industry leader.
In June 2014, I received the Macquarie University Recognition Award for ongoing commitment to this unit and to the University generally and the PACE program. The unit won a BHERT Award for tertiary studies innovation in November 2014 !
And with my involvement at Macquarie Uni increasing, the Business & Economics Faculty have engaged me to assist with redesigning the course content for Commerce and Business degrees and have asked me to consider completing my PhD with my research area focusing on the changes in the profession due to the technology shift. In addition I was instrumental in the University adopting Xero & Xero Tax as part of the curriculum assets.
With all of these opportunities to speak about the industry my passion for it all is easily witnessed by my audience. This is why I am often questioned as to whether I am actually an accountant..but that is what I love…breaking the stereotype and disrupting the accounting profession !