Finance | Viewpoints

Finance | Viewpoints

View from the top

Global finance leaders on the pace of change, ethical challenges, digital developments and how to be a good leader

Melanie Proffitt FCCA

‘You can generally learn what you need to learn from the business, but you always trust that, as a qualified accountant, you are bringing in a level of expertise that will add value to the business. If you have no experience of a business, you have a very different lens compared to everyone else. Technology is transforming the hospitality sector. Customer expectations have certainly changed. Overhauling the technology and systems here is an important project. The focus at Farncombe is on using it to enhance the brand and customer experience.’

Full interview.

ACCA Council member and CFO at Farncombe Estate, luxury hotel group

Stephen Walker FCA

'The international code of ethics for the accountancy profession is a critical foundation, although that’s currently under real challenge by regulators globally. Some regulators, and particularly independent audit regulators, feel the profession has too much say over audit and assurance and ethical standard setting. In Australia and New Zealand, our members have been quite vocal opponents of a number of the international regulatory Monitoring Group’s recommendations, so we’ll be watching developments very closely over the next year.’

Full interview.

President of CA ANZ

Norman Sze FCCA

‘To be a good leader is to have people follow you, like you and respect you. As a leader responsible for a team of over 4,000, I need to take care of [young professionals] to help them understand the company’s development and how they can bring in values. There are always things I can learn from them; recently they showed me how to use the music video platform Tik Tok for self-promotion. The meetings encourage myself and others to think young and promote continuous learning.’

Full interview.

Northern region managing partner at Deloitte China

Janelle Hopkins FCA

‘No-one can bury their head in the sand around the impact of disruption and the pace of change. Every organisation, big or small, needs to always be thinking about what’s coming over the horizon, who’s doing it well in comparable industries, and saying “well, what’s our response to that and what do we need to do differently to stay ahead of the game”. Because if you’re not considering a change, you are going backwards.’

Full interview.

CFO of Australia Post

Kevin Fitzgerald FCCA

‘Our strategy has always been to win over the accountants and bookkeepers with our teams set up to support, train and educate them. Accounting businesses need to go digital. Our focus is on teaching accountants how to use technology to understand their clients’ needs and capture the opportunity that they’re leaving on the table.’

Full interview.

Regional director for Asia at Xero

John Stewart FCA

‘I think our profession has an opportunity to step in and give the sort of services the startup scene needs. Entrepreneurs need to learn how to develop budgets and forecasts so they can gain a strong understanding of how sales are tracking and who their customers are before they can start building empires.’

Full interview.

Managing director of KPI Consulting