Date posted: 31/03/2020 5 min read

April-May 2020 issue of Acuity magazine is out now

Rate your earnings in our remuneration snapshot and find out how to help clients cope after a natural disaster.

In Brief

  • Tom Daven CA features on the cover of April-May 2020 Acuity. He has shaped an enviable work-life balance as a solo practitioner on Sydney’s northern beaches.
  • With the damage from Australia’s “black summer” lingering, this issue includes an in-depth look at helping clients recover from a natural disaster.
  • There’s also the annual snapshot of CA remuneration. It’s your chance to see how your pay compares.

Let’s be frank. So far, all that’s missing from 2020 is a locust plague and a quartet of horsemen coming over the hill. The Acuity team put the April-May 2020 issue to bed just before COVID-19 was officially declared a pandemic, Australia’s borders closed and its Reserve Bank reduced the official cash rate to a historic low of 0.25%. It’s a challenging situation for individuals as well as businesses.

Yet 2020 delivered a crisis well before COVID-19 got its name.

The “black summer” of 2019-20 saw bushfires consume swathes of eastern Australia. Ignited by years of drought, higher temperatures and lightning strikes, the blazes swept through almost 12 million hectares. Flames destroyed forests and wildlife, homes and livelihoods.

Although those fires have been doused, the financial damage continues. In “Coping with disaster”, Acuity outlines how chartered accountants can assist their teams and their clients to endure and recover from a natural disaster. It’s an article every CA should read.

On a happier note, this issue includes a snapshot of CAs’ earning power, based on the annual CA ANZ Remuneration Survey. The median income for CAs in Australia is A$160,490 and in New Zealand it is NZ$119,425 – about double what the rest of the population is typically paid. We explore the usual salaries paid for different roles, the skills needed to make it to CFO, and the prickly issue of the gender pay gap. Take a look to see how your pay stacks up.

Lara Ariell FCA, the CFO of New Zealand’s Internal Revenue, measures her success by outcomes. She is using out-of-the-box Oracle tools and video conferencing to slice weeks off project delivery in the public sector.

In her interview with Acuity, Ariell explains how she is making Internal Revenue future ready, and shares her tips for leaders in financial roles.

“I see part of my job as about giving people challenging opportunities so they can grow,” she explains. “When you see people grow into an opportunity that’s energising and they nail something they never thought they could do, it’s magic.”

If you need something else to take your mind off the pandemic, dip into the surfside life of Tom Daven CA. He farewelled corporate roles to go solo in his Beaches Accounting practice in Sydney.
“My business is all about work-life balance,” Daven says. “I have a young family and an interesting group of clients, some of whom I meet for a surf before work. Being a small business, I work with people who are local and I get a lot of satisfaction from watching [their business] grow.”

“Being a small business, I work with people who are local and I get a lot of satisfaction from watching [their business] grow.”
Tom Daven CA

Daven features on the issue’s cover, photographed at his usual surfing spot – South Curl Curl Beach.

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