Date posted: 23/04/2021 5 min read

We know CAs make a big difference, so we’re telling the world

CA ANZ’s Difference Maker campaign shines a light on the unsung heroes of the accounting profession.

In Brief

  • The CA ANZ campaign showcases how CAs transform businesses and the positive impact they have on the community.
  • It positions CAs as game-changing hires for an organisation.
  • CAs make a difference due to their depth and breadth of expertise across business and finance.

By Jessica Mudditt

As part of Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand (CA ANZ) showcasing the difference chartered accountants make to transforming businesses, the organisation is running a series of campaigns highlighting CAs as “difference makers”.

The campaigns emphasise how chartered accountants use their expertise to transform businesses, as well as the positive impact they have on the wider community, says CA ANZ’s general manager of brand, marketing and creative services, Chelsea Wymer.

“We want to speak to business owners – those who might be looking to hire an accountant – and position chartered accountants as game-changing hires, capable of making a tangible impact to their organisations,” Wymer says.

“We want to … position chartered accountants as game-changing hires, capable of making a tangible impact to their organisations.”
Chelsea Wymer, CA ANZ

Last year, a series of 12 articles ran in national media outlets in Australia and New Zealand including The Australian, news.com.au, stuff.co.nz, The Sunday Star Times, The Press in Christchurch and The Dominion Post. The articles promoted the CA brand to the public with the aim of increasing the community’s knowledge about what CAs do.

The campaign told the stories of chartered accountants who have made a difference in their communities, highlighted their rigorous training, and focused on why employing a CA is a smart option when hiring an accountant.

The next step in the campaign is highlighting two members – one in Australia and one in New Zealand – who are driving a lasting impact. The members will be featured in a large-scale media campaign across social, digital, outdoor, video and radio.

Helping local manufacturing

Australian member Roy Wilkinson CA is chief financial officer for the family-owned Akubra Hats, which is based in Kempsey, about 420km north of Sydney, on the Mid North Coast of New South Wales. Wilkinson has worked for Akubra for the past 20 years, helping the business retain its local manufacturing base.

“It amazes me that many of the general population – including those in business circles – do not fully understand the training and subsequent capabilities that chartered accountants possess,” he says.

“We are involved in high-level decisions every day that can change the fortunes of an organisation – the CA [training] provides us with the necessary tools to effectively navigate these decisions,” he says, adding it makes “perfect sense” to position CAs as difference makers.

“Those of us who are CAs want to protect and enhance the brand. And, again, it is important the community understands that CAs are the most qualified professionals in the marketplace.

“In terms of being a difference maker, you don’t necessarily think about it on a day-to-day basis,” Wilkinson adds. “You are simply doing your job. This campaign has given me a chance to reflect on my achievements over the past 30 years as a chartered accountant with a great deal of pride.”

Roy Wilkinson CA, chief financial officer for the family-owned Akubra Hats.Picture: Roy Wilkinson CA, chief financial officer for the family-owned Akubra Hats.

It’s not all about numbers

CAs are often underestimated, which is why the Difference Maker campaign plays a vital role in highlighting the positive change a chartered accountant can have on a specific business and the community more broadly.

The campaign also highlights the work of Trudi Ballantyne FCA, director at STEM Specialist Rural Accountants (formerly Business Results Group) in Te Puke in the Bay of Plenty region. When her clients’ kiwifruit farms were decimated by a rare vine disease in 2010, Ballantyne worked tirelessly to understand the tax implications, helping her clients to recover and ultimately, thrive again.

“Positioning CAs as difference makers is helpful because the public often perceives us as being all about numbers – whereas in reality, our work is all about people,” says Ballantyne.

Trudi Ballantyne FCAPicture: Trudi Ballantyne FCA (seated at right).

“Positioning CAs as difference makers is helpful because the public often perceives us as being all about numbers – whereas in reality, our work is all about people.”
Trudi Ballantyne FCA

“We ask the big questions and really get under the hood of a business. By describing us as ‘difference makers’ the wider public sees that having a chartered accountant on your side can help a business make better decisions.”

Telling others what we do

Anna Lee CA, chief operating officer for online clothing retailer The Iconic, who featured in a campaign article in The Australian newspaper, says being a brand ambassador for her profession has been “a real privilege”.

“Many people make assumptions about what my job must be like – which is that I spend a lot of time just looking at fashion,” she says with a laugh. “This campaign helps show the impact we have on our customers and how we solve some complex business problems.

“CAs in general are pretty humble and understated, although as a group we are widely respected for our work ethic.

“The campaign has given people a reason to talk about their jobs and their stories,” Lee says.

Anna Lee CAPicture: Anna Lee CA.

What makes a CA different?

Depth and rigour of training and approach

Chartered accountants have skills and capabilities as a result of rigorous, ongoing education. They have the depth and breadth of expertise across all areas of business and finance. Through their training, chartered accountants have the capacity to both drill down into complex details and to zoom out to see interconnectedness.

Future readiness and vision

Chartered accountants’ skills mean they are uniquely positioned to examine the past and look to the future, seeing trends and forecasting impacts. To create financial foresight and help guide business strategy, chartered accountants harness and leverage real-time, continuous and forward-looking information so you can plan for the future. These insights make a difference when you need to convert a future fraught with risk to one full of opportunity.

Leadership and ethical standards

Chartered accountants see that no decision, large or small, is without consequences. They help businesses identify, track and measure those consequences and, applying the highest ethical standards, provide a true compass to guide them to do the right thing.

Care for the community and citizenship

Chartered accountants care about doing the right thing and driving the best outcomes for all. Because they are grounded in ethics, they naturally consider what will be a good outcome for business and their community. That focus makes a difference as organisations address the expectations of government, customers, employees and communities.

The Difference Maker campaign

View the campaign and see what makes a Difference Maker here.

View the campaign