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15th February, 2024

Season 2, Episode 1: “Get involved, broaden your horizons”

In today’s ever-changing world, it’s more important than ever to step out of comfort zones and embrace new opportunities.

By doing so, we can broaden our horizons, gain valuable experiences, and make a positive impact on both our personal and professional lives.

In the latest episode of the Fiscal Therapy podcast, Nick Holloway, the chair of the New South Wales Young Chartered Accountants Panel, shares his story and how he sought to make a difference in his chosen field.

Nick’s involvement with the Young Chartered Accountants (YCA) panel began after leaving his previous job at Deloitte.

Seeking a new way to contribute and grow, he joined the professional body of Chartered Accountants Australia New Zealand. As the chair of the YCA panel, Nick took on a leadership role and coordinated various events, including compulsory professional development sessions and social gatherings.

Embrace change and network consistently

Throughout the podcast, Holloway emphasises the importance of being open to change and continuously expanding one’s network. These concepts are crucial for personal and professional growth in today’s rapidly evolving world.

Holloway’s journey after leaving the Big Four demonstrates the value of embracing change. He says he was unsure about what he wanted to do next, but by attending networking events and exposing himself to new ideas, he was able to discover new possibilities.

With different generations, such as baby boomers, Gen X, millennials, and Gen Z, working together, it is essential to find common ground and compromise.

Each generation brings unique perspectives and experiences to the table, and by embracing diversity, organisations can thrive.

This requires effective communication, active listening, and a willingness to adapt to different working styles and preferences.

Accounting and AI misconceptions

The podcast also addresses the fear that AI, specifically ChatGPT, will steal jobs from accountants.

While acknowledging the significance of ChatGPT and its ability to create a storm in the industry, there is a strong view that it will not completely replace human accountants. Instead, AI technology like ChatGPT can automate tasks, such as data entry, allowing accountants to focus on more critical and valuable aspects of their work.

The conversation then shifts to the importance of continuous learning in the accounting profession. Holloway highlights the need to keep learning and adapting to new technologies and industry changes. He emphasises that staying relevant and employable in the future requires a commitment to ongoing education and professional development.

Holloway also highlights the importance of differentiation in a competitive job market.

Encourage young people to explore diverse accounting paths

Accounting is traditionally associated with roles such as auditing and tax preparation.

However, the accounting profession is evolving, and there are now numerous diverse paths that young people can explore.

An important aspect highlighted is the value of work experience, including the benefits of securing placements in different areas of accounting, such as tax, audit, and forensic accounting.

By gaining exposure to these diverse fields, young individuals can better understand their interests and strengths. Work experience also provides an opportunity to network and make connections that can be valuable for future career growth.

There needs to be change within the accounting profession to encourage young people to get involved and explore diverse accounting paths.

In particular, the importance of making accounting more accessible and relatable to young individuals is paramount.

This can be achieved through initiatives such as mentorship programs, internships, and educational outreach.

Accounting leads to happiness and success

Hollway challenges the perception that accounting is often seen as a dry and mundane profession. He highlights the potential for happiness and success that comes with a career in accounting.

One of the main points discussed is the financial stability that accounting can provide.

Money is an essential part of life, and having a solid understanding of finances can lead to greater financial security.

The conversation also touches on the wide range of career paths available in accounting.

Football clubs, for example, need accountants to get involved not only for their financial management but also for advice on generating additional revenue. This highlights the versatility of accounting and the potential for individuals to align their passion with an accounting qualification.

Furthermore, Holloway reinforces the importance of continuous learning and adaptation in the accounting profession. He believes that by embracing change and staying up-to-date with industry developments, accountants can ensure their longevity in the field.

Importance of satisfaction in work

The podcast also emphasises the importance of satisfaction in work and how it contributes to overall life happiness.

Holloway says being happy in his role and feeling satisfied with his work is important. This sentiment reflects the idea that finding satisfaction in one’s job is crucial for personal well-being and overall happiness.

Furthermore, Holloway’s enthusiasm for his profession is evident when he talks about the YCA and encourages others to get involved.

Finding satisfaction in work is not only about personal fulfillment but also about being engaged and passionate about the profession as a whole.

By actively participating in professional communities, individuals can find support, inspiration, and opportunities for growth.

When individuals are able to balance their work and personal lives, they are more likely to experience overall happiness.