2021 President’s Prize winner: Lisa Mead CA
Lisa Mead CA makes a difference to at-risk youth in Christchurch by having charitable giving as part of her business model.
- Lisa Mead CA has been awarded the President’s Prize for her commitment to youth charities.
- Mead donates 10% of her practice’s revenue to help at-risk Kiwi youth.
- Since 2018, she has raised close to NZ$100,000.
By Paul Robinson
Lisa Mead CA, the 2021 South Island Young Regional Member, believes strongly that every child deserves a fair future. That’s why her Christchurch accounting practice, Social Currency Investments, donates 10% of its revenue to rigorously selected charities supporting the most at-risk young people in the city.
As the name implies, social change is at the vanguard of her company’s business model. Mead has donated almost NZ$100,000 since setting up her company in early 2018 and believes the focus on charity has been good for business. Her goal is to use her work time 50% for profit, 50% for purpose.
“At the end of the day, this is a business – we provide clients with services. It’s just that I choose to donate 10% of revenue rather than putting it in shareholder pockets,” she told Acuity in a 2019 interview.
Winning the CA ANZ President’s Prize
That focus on helping others has seen Mead announced as the winner of the 2021 President’s Prize. The award recognises a CA ANZ Young Regional Member aged under 35 who has made an outstanding commitment to the accounting profession and used their skills to serve the local community.
“Being able to combine people and numbers makes working in this profession a really rewarding experience,” she says.
Mead’s path to becoming a CA in 2017 was hardly typical. She left an abusive relationship when her son was 10 weeks old and was a single mother with no tertiary qualifications. She saw first-hand how a lower socioeconomic status can expose children to social stigma and other risk factors.
Mead studied accounting through the Open Polytechnic of New Zealand and worked with KPMG New Zealand (2009-16) and then Kendons Scott Macdonald until mid 2018, before establishing her own firm to deliver positive social impact.
Along with her charitable giving, Mead is involved in the grassroots of her community. She has worked with vulnerable youth in East Christchurch and sat on the Hillview Christian School’s Home and School Association [PTA] for five years.
Mentoring the next generation
Three of Social Currency Investments’ chosen charities are mentoring organisations and Mead’s contribution to the CA ANZ community is equally generous. As well as being a CA speaker for Careers Engagement, Mead has mentored business students from the Ara Institute of Canterbury who have gone on to accounting and finance roles in other organisations.
“Being able to share about having purpose over profit as a working model is awesome,” she says. “Being able to inspire the next generation is even better. I help to develop their skills while showing them how my firm operates to inspire a meaningful connection as part of the accounting industry.”
“Being able to share about having purpose over profit as a working model is awesome.”
Mead says a great thing about being an accountant is being able to support people to have more confidence in their business.
“I think of being an accountant as being a support person, a member of my client’s team – to give them the assurance they have the processes and systems to do what they do best.”
Young Regional Members 2021
CA ANZ Young Regional Members are recognised for their significant contribution to the accounting profession and their community in their capacity as a CA, ACA or AT.Meet the 2021 Young Regional Members