Guide I Want ME Back (Ignition to Recognition series Book 1)

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I don't have an official mentor but I'd love one , but I do love to spend time with and pick the brain of Chris Hooper. He's out there, and I love it! Always pushing the boundaries. One of the first things he ever said to me that really hit home was "Shaye - you're the ONLY one who thinks you can't do it. I knew I was going to be a CPA at the age of 12, following in the footsteps of my grandfather.

After graduating college in accounting and working in public accounting, I ventured on my own and opened an outsourced accounting services practice. I was drawn to education and training and became a speaker in the profession in the early s. I found by helping accountants to learn how they can dive deeper into their accounting systems, it in turn helped more small businesses to get the advice they so desperately need.

That excitement is contagious and so gratifying to see. It has been the same since I started educating and consulting with firms on change management. The intention is there to make the change - but the commitment to doing and allocating the right amount of time to make it a success is always the hurdle to overcome.

It is hard to name just one. That changes over time based on what is going on in my career and what skill gaps I have at the moment.


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I seek people out to get the advice I need. Sometimes it is people in the industry - but many times its people outside of it that I can confide in and have the real conversations that sometimes are hard to do when its at your workplace. My best friends have been great sounding boards over the years that can relate to the similar experiences they face in their work as well.

I followed the example as my mom as a business owner and learned a great deal about being an entrepreneur, as well as being exposed to how to network with others at a young age. I love being able to empower the future generations of accountants, including the millennial accountants, to grow and break through the barriers that previously stopped others from succeeding. I believe that it is imperative that all students and young adults be fully informed of the different options they have relating to their careers.


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Mentoring is my way of giving back to the community and educating the younger generation on the topics of accounting, business and entrepreneurship. I have assisted in our expansion into both the UK and USA, with a focus on ensuring the success of our partners in their respective locations.

I believe that the biggest challenge the industry still has to overcome is the adoption of cloud technology and the way that it is enabling automation of a lot of processes that used to be done manually by accountants. Although adoption is steadily increasing year on year, the way that technology is constantly changing is still quite terrifying to the majority of well-established businesses.

She has shown me that it is important to ensure that you share your passions with others, and in turn has enabled me to grow, and mentor others in sharing their passions. Anna has also been inspirational when it comes to her journey within the accounting space. She has demonstrated her passion for working with technology and how businesses can leverage for growth using technology.

Anna has provided me with not only mentoring, but the ability to mentor her as well. We're currently implementing phase 1 of this strategy and have assisted a range clients in several of our 30 offices so far. Being in the cloud all day long! The impact on their personal well-being is immense - I love seeing how much lighter they feel when they find the right technology that works in their business so that they can keep their finger on the important details and collaborate effectively with their teams from anywhere in the world, really.

The second best part about my job which is still pretty good is seeing how using technology to assist clients has improved the confidence and communication skills of our accounting team - and how they take pride in helping their clients with the new skills they have developed. Definitely being asked to join RSM after working on my own with a small team in my technology integration business. I've gone from assisting clients one by one on projects to now being able to help businesses all across Australia - it has been an honour to be able to bring my knowledge into a large organisation and see the immediate impact.

The reticence to invest in training for accountants is by far the biggest barrier. As technology is more and more embedded in our processes and workflows, and as there are more and more tools available on the market to assist our clients, it's more important than ever to provide our teams with ongoing support and assistance to make the technology work for them and our clients. Although it is not revenue generating we all know how much firms love the billable hour , it shows the person how valued they are and enables them to step outside of their comfort zone and existing ways of doing things, breaking old patterns.

No longer are grads choosing firms because of brand name; they want to know that they will receive a clear training and development track that they will be recognised for. I have had a few great mentors over the years. When I first moved to Australia, Lisa Callaghan gave me my first business advice around picking my own technology for a consulting business I had started. It was the best two hours of my life and I remember thinking, "I want to do what she does for a living!

Tim Hoopmann, formerly of Cornerstone Bookkeeping, took me under his wing soon after that and taught me so much about the industry; he really sparked an interest in me around the power of streamlining processes for businesses. Over the last few years, I've had the pleasure of interviewing heaps of founders and integration experts in the SaaS product space around the accounting sphere for 'Teach Me Tech'.

Learning from the likes of Peter Moriarty from itGenius, Scott Gellatly from Scale My Empire, Ben Carter from Yoonet and Sholto Macpherson from Digital First in the hour-long interviews meant I got to ask all the questions I wanted and find out the real ins and outs of what makes a successful technology advisory service.

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Plus of course finding out about software like PI, Quickbooks, Receipt Bank, Minute It and many more from the founders or key staff themselves has been invaluable. I've felt like I got some amazing mentoring from all of my interviewees on TMT whether they know they were mentoring me or not, haha! Full scale digital transformation is a hard nut to crack; I'd say I rely on the advice from all of the above on a daily basis to keep making the most informed decisions going forward.

The Hidden Dangers in Your Phone Number

Have started my practice from scratch, changing the role of a traditional accountant from the man in the Brown suit in the big office to the friendly accountant working from home. I have worked with both individuals and small business. With individuals, I have worked with some who have not completed tax obligations for several years and who have been quite anxious about the possible fines etc. I have made the process very simple and have dealt with the ATO on their behalf. With small business, I have offered a flexible accounting solution in that I work with clients who are cloud based and those who are not yet ready to make this leap.

I love working with a large and diverse range of people - I love hearing about where my individual clients work and their experiences in their work places. With my business clients, I love hearing about their business and understanding what they are wanting to achieve. I love offering solutions with respect to tax planning which allow my clients to fully maximise their tax deductions.

Setting up and establishing my own practice.

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Fusion Accountants has well and truely started from the ground up. There is still a long way to go, but the growth has exceeded my expectations and is very exicting. Unfortunately I have never had a personal mentor however I have many people who inspire me and I look up to. Its also important as a sole practitioner to have a large network of accountants I can refer to if I need to and luckily I do have this. What I love about our group is that we support each other every month and we look out for opportunities for each other.

I love it when my accounting students ask advice on their job hunt. They tell me the highs, the lows and the no replies of graduate recruitment. It is fun helping students with their resumes so they can go from retail jobs to accounting jobs. By speaking to students, I collate their tips and share with others so we can all laugh and learn from interview tragedies and triumphs. My second joy in teaching accounting is when students who fail the first test go on to excel at accounting.

So satisfying to see someone who thought they were bad at accounting persevere and become financially literate. Especially when students thought they were bad at maths because of their school grades.

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It gives you confidence when you realise you are more capable than you thought. My biggest professional accomplishment to date was when one of my students passed accounting The student had failed twice and if he didn't pass through this semester he was going to lose his scholarship.

He was stressed and felt hopeless. We put some strategies together, identified his strengths to change his negative self-talk, worked on the weaknesses and he finished with a Distinction. He did the work but when I saw his exam result, I felt so proud. The biggest challenge the accounting industry needs to overcome is training the younger generation in useful skills. The younger generation does not want to be trained by a textbook and an exam.

We don't even use textbooks and do exams at work. We now have YouTube, artificial intelligence and big data.

Accounting education needs to adapt as the current methods are uninspiring. My mentor is my audit university teacher, Amanda White. Amanda innovates in accounting education and updates the curriculum to suit changing graduate recruitment assessments. Amanda uses technology and listens to students, ensuring her courses are relevant and practical.

As a member of the Intuit Trainer Writer Network, and previously as a speaker on the Intuit Firm of the Future roadshow, I speak not just about the tools that are being used by progressive "firms of the future," but also the mindset and methodologies needed by the firm leadership. We discuss that they are not just "an accounting firm" but advisors to the very businesses that drive our economies, small businesses. We talk about automating routine tasks not to get bookkeeping and accounting done faster and cheaper, but so that they can focus on more valuable conversations to clients, like how to pay off debt, grow their business, and thrive in the market.

Individually, I coach firm owners that are "stuck" mentally and help them see beyond themselves to a greater opportunity that is waiting for them, capitalizing on their experience and intelligence!

I bring my children to the track. Where are they able to go with me?

Seeing accounting professionals get excited about their work again. Helping them move from an hourly billing model to at least fixed pricing or even value pricing so that they can have the deeper relationships with their clients and really help them succeed, while making more money and working less hours. Experiencing those moments when accounting professionals really understand they are more valuable than they give themselves credit for.