- Sydney-based Kylie Parker CA has many clients in TV and film production.
- With screen production in Australia going through a boom, she says there is a shortage of production accounting professionals.
- Parker set up her own practice, Lotus Accountants, in 2015 and became a Xero senior account manager in 2016.
By Hannah Tattersall
When did you launch Lotus Accountants and where does the name come from?
I started Lotus Accountants in May 2015. My manager, Lara, joined me in early 2016 – that was when I became a Xero senior account manager. I’d had an unpleasant business split at the start of 2015 with three men I co-founded a practice with in 2005. The idea of something beautiful – like the lotus flower – coming from something that was so heartbreaking felt empowering. I chose the blue lotus because, in Buddhism, it’s the symbol of the victory of the spirit over the senses. It’s a symbol of intelligence and wisdom, of knowledge. The lotus also ties in with the wisdom required to turn data into meaningful financial information that helps tell a story clients can understand in relation to their financial position.
On your website are photos of the Wiggles, Harry Styles, John Farnham... all the greats! How did that come about?
I’ve worked with people in the arts industry throughout my career. My first boss was the son-in-law of photographer Max Dupain. My second boss and amazing friend Robert had a number of clients in film and theatre. My third and final boss, Vince, who now works with me, had a number of high-profile entertainment industry clients who we still work with.
When I was working at Deloitte I met the organiser of the ARIA Awards function. He’s been a client since 2005 (he was Jimmy Barnes’ manager). So, I have been extremely fortunate to attend the ARIAs each year, which is where a lot of those photos come from.
Other memories include going to the after-party at The Great Gatsby premiere and asking the producer of Star Wars what the little thing with pointy ears was standing next to Samuel L Jackson. (It was Yoda.)
Film and TV production in Australia appears to be on the up.
It’s booming! That’s due to a few things: local talent such as Nicole Kidman, Chris Hemsworth and Baz Luhrmann helping bring global productions to Australia; our early management of COVID; government incentives and support through the A$50 million TIF (Temporary Interruption Fund); and there’s our general screen industry expertise. I’m looking forward to some of these films doing well, particularly Baz and Catherine Martin’s film Elvis.
Picture: Kylie Parker CA. Image credit: Nic Walker.
Would you encourage other CAs to get into the production accounting area?
The production accounting industry is a small one and they are desperate for additional staff given the increased filming. Production Incentives are housed in Division 376 of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997, and having a knowledge of what is qualifying Australian production expenditure (QAPE), state government film grants and the interplay between Double Tax Treaties for cast and crew is something that is quite technical. The work though is always different and interesting.
One day, when I am no longer running Lotus Accountants, you’ll likely find me on a set running a fully automated production accounting tech app stack, driving my vintage Lotus car to work. It’s been a good career.
Why did you want to be an accountant?
In Year 10, I thought my end-of-year art results were unfairly marked and I was disappointed. I looked at various careers over the holidays and noted that management accountants earned A$120,000. I thought that sounded good! I dropped art and picked up economics and an extra unit of maths,aiming for an accounting degree.
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