I started at KPMG New Zealand in the business services and audit divisions. I quickly learned I was more suited to building efficient operational models, installing systems and tax work than audit. It was a great place to start my career as they had very strict rules on workpaper quality and client service. I decided to enter practice after university because I wanted to keep learning and achieve my CA. I also wanted diversity of career and business understanding, and felt that working with multiple clients was the best way to achieve that. Diversity keeps my brain happy: without it I struggle and lose happiness.

I was dismissed by so many recruiters because I changed CFO roles if there were no further challenges for me

I’m now a partner at TheBeanCounters in Sydney. We are a team of five senior accountants and engineers working remotely, onsite or from the office. I encourage flexible working around family and personal commitments. We specialise in assisting businesses with system implementation, PowerBI reporting, automation projects and outsourced CFO. My role is sales, project management and a lot of solution scoping. We try to be very agnostic about the system or solution we are recommending and focus on the most suitable outcome. I’m passionate about helping finance, HR and IT teams run more efficiently and add more value to the business.

My biggest career influences are late nights, failure and spending too much time trying to be perfect. I spent so many years not knowing my worth or true skill set and worked long hours to ensure everything was spot on. I was dismissed by so many recruiters because I changed CFO roles if a company underperformed or there were no further challenges for me. They saw me as a risky candidate, and maybe I was, but for the right company I could save them 40% of their finance and IT time and double the output value. I was influenced by trying to find a business that could utilise my obsession for optimisation and automation. And when working in a boutique firm I found that I could add a lot of value to multiple clients per week, so decided to start a business with a colleague and make the variable profit for myself instead of others.

I’m driven by pieces of knowledge from hundreds of people. I grew up a basketball player and was always drawn to the commitment and focus shown by Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant, and the leadership skills of LeBron James. I have a lot of respect for the people who balance high-stress activities, but can still find inner peace, like Alex Honnold. But in business I resonate with leaders who create safe and creative environments, where extraordinary is encouraged and failure is accepted as part of the process for success.

I’m most proud of the people with uncommon or undervalued special talents I’ve found, hired and worked with. I’ve also mentored 10 great humans through the Chartered Accountant (CA) qualification. As we get older, our leadership is our biggest talent and risk. I hold it as the highest professional responsibility I am lucky enough to have.