Date posted: 22/03/2019

Meet a CA | Anna Nolan FCA, SA& NT Regional Council Chair 2019

“When trust leaves, value leaves,” says Anna Nolan FCA. Is it time for ethical accountants to help steady a changing world?

In Brief

  • Anna Nolan FCA takes on the role of chair of the South Australia and Northern Territory Regional Council in 2019, after being vice-chair in 2018.
  • The SA and NT region has been a leader in diversity and inclusion initiatives within CA ANZ, she says.
  • Nolan wants the regional council to truly reflect the concerns of members, and to promote CA ANZ to the broader business community.

Anna Nolan FCA is not one for standing still. The 2019 South Australia and Northern Territory Regional Council chair loves running and has completed both the New York and London marathons to raise money for breast cancer research.

It’s a passion that syncs with her day job as chief financial officer at The Hospital Research Foundation in Adelaide, which helps fund vital health and medical research that leads to better patient care.

In her almost three decades as an accountant, Nolan has worked in Australia, the UK, France and the Netherlands. She first qualified as a chartered accountant in the UK in 1993, and was at KPMG in London before moving into senior leadership positions at BOC and then France Telecom.

“The key qualities of an accountant are strong ethics and values… When trust leaves, value leaves.”
Anna Nolan FCA

At the start of 2012, she shifted to Adelaide and the world of not-for-profits with The Hospital Research Foundation. Since then she has become a linchpin in her local community, using her skills on the finance committee of Unley Primary School and Unley Kindergarten, and managing the under 10 netball team.

Nolan also brings that sense of community and inclusion to her position as Regional Council chair.

“Member representation is a key council responsibility and I believe my past experience enables me to fulfil this,” she explains.

“Having held senior roles in accounting practices and publicly listed companies in London and the Netherlands, as well as running my own consultancy business and now working in the not-for-profit sector (along with being a working mum), means I understand the broad needs of our member base.”

So how will Nolan approach the year ahead?

What are your top three priorities as regional council chair?

Anna NolanAnna Nolan FCA

  • To hold a “town hall” event for members. They will be invited to hear our exciting plans for 2019 and, more importantly, it will be an opportunity for them to ask questions and raise issues they want the council to address.
  • To continue to promote the CA ANZ brand in the broader business community, using social media channels to extend our reach and influence in the business arena.
  • To build a network between my fellow regional chairs to share their success stories with South Australia and the Northern Territory, and for us to do the same.

What makes you proud of the CA community in your region?

South Australia and the Northern Territory have been leaders in diversity and inclusion. We were the first region in Australia to have its own Diversity & Inclusion Panel, which in 2017 played a role in setting the diversity and inclusion strategy for the organisation and the profession. I have been a member of this panel since 2012 and have seen an increase in member engagement at our events.

What’s an important priority for the future of your region?

Government and CA ANZ support for start-ups and business growth by reducing red tape.

What do you think is the most important issue for the future of the profession?

I am passionate about ensuring the CA brand and qualification stay relevant in this changing world. The role of finance is extending to cybersecurity responsibility, data analytics and big data, and has become pivotal in the implementation and development of automation and artificial intelligence within organisations. The key qualities of an accountant are strong ethics and values, and this in turn leads to a trustworthy organisation. When trust leaves, value leaves.

What have you learned about achieving strategic goals?

There needs to be clear specific and measurable goals that every person in the organisation understands.

When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

A forensic scientist. I loved the TV series Quincy and watching open-heart surgery. However, in the end, I decided accountancy would be far more exciting.

What’s on your reading list?

At the 2018 World Congress of Accountants in Sydney, Michael Woodford (former Olympus president and CEO) shared his story of exposing a billion-dollar fraud when he worked at Olympus. His book Exposure: Inside the Olympus Scandal is top of my list.

What do you like to do for fun or to unwind?

I love running, the theatre, playing golf and spending time with my family.

And what’s your top tip for visitors to Adelaide?

  •  It’s great to visit Adelaide in “Mad March”. The Adelaide Fringe Festival is fantastic. There is so much to see and do for whole the family.
  • The wineries are not far from Adelaide and the beaches are only 20 minutes away.
  • Hop on to a boat and go to a Kangaroo Island to visit the wildlife. There are lots of good gin distilleries, too.