Date posted: 15/02/2019 5 min read

Meet a CA | Charles McNeill FCA, Victoria Regional Council Chair 2019

Pushing member engagement is a priority for Charles McNeill FCA, and he wants government to hear CAs’ concerns, too.

In Brief

  • Charles McNeill FCA is general manager of Finance & Actuarial at Australian Unity Wealth. He has been elected 2019 Victoria Regional Council Chair after serving on the Victorian Corporate Advisory Panel and National Corporate Advisory Committee.
  • He says member engagement is a number one priority. He will be focusing on the Victorian members’ Facebook page to find out the top issues and respond to member needs.
  • McNeill also wants to promote greater advocacy on CA ANZ member issues with the Victorian government.

Charles McNeill FCA, the 2019 Victoria Regional Council Chair, is no stranger to advocating for CA ANZ members. The general manager, Finance & Actuarial – Wealth & Capital Markets, for Australian Unity in Melbourne, McNeill has been a member of the Victorian Corporate Advisory Panel for some time, including two years as chair. He has also served on the National Corporate Advisory Committee (now the Corporate Sector Advisory Committee) for four years, spending two years as its chair.

“When I was asked to nominate for the Regional Council it seemed like a natural progression,” he says. “The corporate panel and committee had a focus on the interests of members in the corporate sector, so moving to Regional Council seemed like a good opportunity to give back to the broader membership.”

So what is on his agenda in 2019?

Charles McNeillCharles McNeill FCA

What are your priorities as regional council chair?

Member engagement is always number one. I want us to support our newly formed Diversity Panel, deepen our engagement with academia, and further develop the Victorian members’ Facebook page as a communication channel.

I want to promote greater advocacy on member issues with the Victorian government, and to provide practical help to the Melbourne CA ANZ office to ensure Victorian members receive the support they want and need.

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

It’s the amount of work done by our members within their communities through volunteering, mentoring and other community-related activities. It reminds me that being a chartered accountant comes with responsibilities to the communities in which we live and work, however small our contribution.

What do you think is a top priority for the future of your region?

Effective management of population growth is, in my view, the top priority for Victoria. Key to continued economic and social success for Victoria are transport infrastructure and economic development of regional areas, in order to ease the strain on Melbourne. We need social infrastructure, particularly healthcare facilities, retirement and aged care facilities and social housing.

What’s most important issue for the future of the profession?

Chartered accountants of the future must be ready to embrace new technologies (AI, automation, robotics) as well as deal with the broader skills expected of finance professionals today. In an era when offshoring continues apace, we must ensure trainee chartered accountants still have the opportunity to learn the basics of accounting and controls here in Australia. Above all, though, we must ensure that we maintain and continue to articulate the high ethical standards of our profession.

“In an era when offshoring continues apace, we must ensure trainee accountants still have the opportunity to learn the basics of accounting and controls here in Australia.”
Charles McNeill FCA

What’s a lesson you’ve learnt about achieving strategic goals?

Be prepared to change tack on the journey and learn from your mistakes.

What’s your top tip for visitors coming to Melbourne?

Don’t miss our heritage buildings such as the Old Treasury Building, Parliament House, Melbourne Town Hall, State Library, Royal Arcade, Block Arcade and more. Visit our laneways with their restaurants, bars and cafes, such as Degraves Street. View street art in Hosier Lane or AC/DC Lane.

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

A truck driver or a professional footballer (round ball kind)!

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

Check out Melbourne’s restaurants and bars, enjoy the city’s art galleries and theatres, or watch the mighty Melbourne Victory in the A-League.