Date posted: 23/02/2018 4 min read

Finding the RightWay

Sally Newcombe CA, business partner with RightWay in New Zealand, says understanding people brings success as an accountant.

In Brief

  • Having a great network has been vital in building sales for Sally Newcombe.
  • Good insight is the most important tool to help her do her job.
  • Between two different offices and offsite meetings with clients, no two days are the same.

Tell us about your role and give a quick summary of your responsibilities?

I'm a business partner at RightWay. My role initially was to find clients and then once they come on board, there is generally an advisory portion in their package with us. So Ideliver the advisory work, whether it’s regular growth meetings or strategy sessions. I’m out and about a lot.

What does a typical day look like for you?

This week for example, I've been in Wairarapa one day for meetings and Wellington two days. I'll work from home one day,  then I'll go back to my office. Sometimes I meet clients in their office as well. I like to be out in the field and it makes my job more interesting. 

If someone wanted to be you for a day, what’s the one thing they need to know?

It’s the ability to have insight, so that when you are sitting in front of someone, you are able to understand what is going to make the biggest difference to them. It's very much about understanding people. That’s what gives you successes in the job.

What’s the most helpful tool you have to get the job done?

The ability to analyse and interpret financial data alongside everything else that happens in the business.  Look at it from the client’s point of view,  then put it into a language that they understand.

What’s the best piece of career advice you’ve been given?

To have a network. From a sales point of view in my role, having a network has been really, really important.

It's very much about understanding people. That’s what gives you successes in the job.
Sally Newcombe Business partner with RightWay 

What do you think sets Chartered Accountants ANZ members apart?

I’ve been facilitating for the Capstone programme and the people coming through during the CA program are just shining stars. I have always been really, really impressed with the calibre of people. The ability to use their soft skills as well as the technical skills – it’s that combination, so they are kind of the complete package.

Why did you choose to become a Chartered Accountant?

I went down the accounting track and I didn’t even think about not doing it because my tertiary qualification didn’t seem complete without it.

Does being a CA help you in your current role?

Yes, absolutely. Looking back at what I studied, it’s so relevant to what I’m doing in my everyday job. I’ve also met amazing people through my involvement with CAANZ.

What do you think are the most rewarding aspects of your role?

Seeing my clients meet their goals. They take risks setting up businesses and that takes such courage. So to be a trusted adviser, help them achieve goals and make a difference to their lives and their families – you can’t get much better than that.

If you hadn’t become a CA, what do you think you would have done instead?

I swung from architecture to working with horses and everything in between. I ended up deciding on accountancy because I believed that it was a broad qualification which would support me in all sorts of fields – and of course it is!

If you could work anywhere overseas, what country would you choose?

I've been to a different country every year of my life. It's kind of a lifetime goal of mine, so I've been to lot of different countries and I don't know if I could pick one. In terms of working, I love New Zealand and working here.

What interests or hobbies do you have outside work?

Family, friends, exercise, dining out and working with animals.

What is a priority for you right now: career progression, salary or work/life balance?

Work/life balance, developing my advisory skills, building client relationships and  staying ahead of technology. Some of the work that accountants do is definitely at risk of being taken over by technology, so as an industry we need to be on top of it and thinking of ways that we can add value to our clients.

Related: Success as a start-up owner

Cam Nguyen, CA, owner of Encountr Accounting & Tax talks about starting her own business, what sets CAs apart from the rest and why communication is a key for success.