How accounting threads Olympic gold medalists, premiership and “a small set of rocks in the South Pacific”
In honour of November 10, recognised as International Accounting Day, here are seven incrementally interesting, imputed and uniquely ANZ facts about the profession and its professionals.
1. Accounting professionals are needed—and paid well
According to Payscale.com, an accountant or bookkeeper earns an average of $55,400 per annum. At the start of 2017, professional recruitment firm Hays compiled a list of the most in-demand jobs in Australia, wherein the top three were in the accounting and finance industries.
2. Aussie accountants top global tech chart
In a 2017 independent survey of international accountants, Australia ranked first on the global tech chart, with 82.6% of respondents confirming the use of cloud-based practice management solutions at their firms. Australia is followed by the US, France, Spain, the UK and Canada. Aussie respondents also led the world in acknowledging automating data entry and reporting helps create new services that add value for clients.
3. From accountant to Australian Prime Minister
Sir Arthur Fadden was only the Prime Minister of Australia from 29 August to 7 October 1941. But he was the first successful accountant with offices in Brisbane and Townsville for more than a decade, before being elected to local office. Despite his short reign as PM, his political career did continue in various capacities, as well as his accounting skills. He took the role of Australia’s Treasurer twice in a span of 20 years.
4. First at the Olympics and first in gold
Today, it’s unimaginable for Olympians like Ian Thorpe and Libby Trickett to go back to a day job in the off-season, but that was exactly the case for Edwin Flack. He was the first Australian to compete and win at the 1896 Athens games. An accountant by trade who was working for PriceWaterhouse, Flack would later return to his father’s firm in Melbourne where he worked the rest of his life.
5. From Xero to hero
The New Zealand cloud-based accounting software company was founded in 2006 by Rod Drury and his personal accountant. The two felt the desktop-bound model was outdated and technology should be moved to the cloud. Today, Xero can be found in 180 countries. The company employs almost 1,500 people, and it surpassed 1 million subscribers in March 2017. See what it’s all about!
6. The oldest family-run accounting firm
Thompson, Lang and Associates in Dunedin was established in 1900. It’s often referred to as one of the first New Zealand accounting firms. Kevin Thompson, the grandson of founder T.H. Thompson, remained one of the firm’s partners until 2008, making it the oldest accounting practice with the founding family still involved at the time.
7. Female empowerment
After Mary Harris Smith paved the way as the first female chartered accountant in 1919, female accountants began gaining recognition in New Zealand, with the most popular being the Basten sisters (Caroline and Alice) from Auckland in the 1920s. The Institute of Chartered Accountants New Zealand elected its first female president, Sue Sheldon, in 1999.