Management Accounting Conference


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Day one

Tuesday 13 August

8.30am - 9.00am
Registration and arrival refreshments
9.00am - 9.05am
Opening remarks and welcome
9.05am - 9.50am
KN1: Economic update
Join the presenter as they provide an in-depth look at the current and future direction of the VIC economy. This session will provide a deeper insight into how the policy climate is driving economic policy and the most likely outlook for the year ahead.
  • Paul Bloxham
    Chief Economist, HSBC

    Paul Bloxham is HSBC’s Chief Economist for Australia and New Zealand. In this role, he is chief spokesperson for HSBC on forecasts and trends for the Australian and New Zealand economies and their interactions with global financial markets and international economies. He is a key member of the HSBC Global Research team, working with 500 analysts across 87 markets to help formulate HSBC’s unique global view of the world’s economy. Prior to joining HSBC in 2010, Paul spent 12 years as an economist at the Reserve Bank of Australia where he held a range of different roles in the economics department, including heading up the overseas economies and financial conditions sections.

Concurrent sessions
9.50am - 11.20pm
A1: Speak up and be heard – presentation and public speaking skills for…

As a successful business partner, you will be frequently called upon to present your insight and information orally – either formally in presentations or informally in meetings and catch-ups.

For ideas to resonate, it’s critical you have the confidence to present and speak in public. How you use your voice, body language and presence is critical to getting your message across.
By working through scenarios, you will develop a crafted and compelling message, build your vocal gravitas and present with presence. A variety of techniques and models will be considered, designed to assist you in preparing for presenting and speaking in public so you can be heard and make your ideas stick.

  • Wendy Teasdale-Smith
    Founder, WTS @ What's The Stuff

    Wendy Teasdale-Smith has more than 25 years of experience as an executive leader. She is known for her strong brand, professional presence and her ability to command a room. The essential philosophy behind WTS @ What’s The Stuff is that the stuff about gravitas and influence can be taught.
    Wendy draws on an extensive executive career in her work with leaders. She has worked as a CEO, director and principal spanning the corporate, not-for-profit and government sectors. Wendy also has extensive experience as a board director. 

    Her qualifications include a Master of Education, Diploma in Project Management, Graduate Diploma in Professional Development and a Bachelor of Education.
    Wendy’s leadership and contribution to the community was acknowledged when she won the Telstra Business Woman of the Year, South Australia (community category) award in 2006, and her influence within the educational sector was recognised when she was awarded the National Principal of the Year award in 2004. She was made a Fellow of the Australian College of Educators by her colleagues in acknowledgement of the contribution she had made to the profession.

9.50am - 11.20pm
A2: Writing with clarity
As business partners and strategic advisors, accountants are routinely expected to communicate in writing with colleagues and stakeholders. But how do you get your message across when your audience is not as fluent in financials as you are?

In this session, writer and editor Andy McLean shares practical writing tips and techniques for accountants working in finance teams. Along the way, he'll discuss everything from business cases and annual reports, to board papers and everyday emails.

  • Andy McLean
    Writer and Editor For the past 11 years, Andy has worked regularly with accountants to deliver written content with clarity. This has included project managing annual reports, technical guidance and magazines.

    Andy has provided content strategy and production services for numerous clients, including PwC Australia, the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants, the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales, and Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand. His other clients include the Financial Services Council, the Institute of Managers and Leaders, Bell Shakespeare, Robert Walters, and Progressive Content.

11.20am - 11.50am
Morning tea and networking break
Concurrent sessions
11.50am - 12.35pm
B1: The role of finance within the Fourth Industrial Revolution

We are at the start of the Fourth Industrial Revolution combining robotic process automation (RPA), and cognitive and AI tools.

In this session, UiPath will address the journey into the future of work and explore RPA, new digital technologies and the relationship between RPA and AI. Practical experiences of successfully transforming an organisation through RPA will be shared. The human dimension will also be discussed, including how RPA is changing the finance function and how you can build your career resilience.

  • Anne La Fontaine FCPA
    Anne La Fontaine joined UiPath in January 2019 as the Director of Commercial Finance for APAC and India. Her role is focussed on fostering sustainable growth in the region together with the sales leaders.

    Prior to joining UiPath, Anne was Asia Pacific CFO and Finance Director for Hewlett Packard Enterprise. Anne was instrumental in growing the business through developing and implementing strategies to promote HPE, managing its financial reporting centre of excellence, as well as providing governance and oversight for the assets and financials of the region.
  • Paul Axup
    Group Financial Controller, Aurecon

  • Tony Nudd

  • Tim Ryan

11.50am - 12.35pm
B2: Modernising your data analytics strategy to drive business results

In today’s dynamic global business environment, it is no longer enough for finance professionals to just deliver timely and accurate financial reports to their business. We need to be analytics-driven, strategically-minded and align the right resources, processes and technologies to leverage financial data, to develop insights that will enable better decision making.

This session will explore what a modern data analytics strategy looks like, how this will enhance the role of the finance professional and management accountant, and what skills are required of accountants to manage this data successfully to drive business results.

  • Fahim Khondaker
    Partner, BDO

    Fahim is a Partner at BDO and leads BDO’s Data Analytics & Insights service offering in Brisbane. He also has extensive experience in providing a range of corporate advisory services including Corporate Finance and Management Consulting. Fahim studied Commerce and Economics at the University of Queensland and is also a Chartered Accountant.

    Outside of work, Fahim is a guest lecturer for the University of QLD’s MBA Program, the co-founder of an App development start up and is involved with a number of charities and community organisations which promote social cohesion and understanding.

12.35pm - 1.30pm
Networking lunch
Concurrent sessions
1.30pm - 3.00pm
C1: Increase your positive influence – five powerful skills that lead t…

Imagine that you had reliable, well researched data and insight but no authority. Would people listen to you or act on your recommendations?

Influencing is the ability to persuade, inspire, assert and listen mindfully. It’s also the ability to know when to back off. Influencing is a combination of confidence, knowing what you want and choosing the appropriate behaviour to achieve your desired result.

During this informative presentation, you will learn how to develop the essential skills and confidence to become more influential. You will learn about five powerful influencing behaviours, and how and when to use them.

Don’t miss this opportunity to become a more influential communicator. People will act on your recommendations

  • Paddy Spruce
    Speaker, Training Facilitator, MC and Coach

    Paddy Spruce is a conference speaker, training facilitator and “influencing skills” coach.

    As a specialist in the art of influence, Paddy works with organisations and individuals to create cultural change through positive influencing, leading to successful outcomes.

    Paddy has worked with public, private sector and not-for-profit organisations for more than three decades, and has spoken at conferences in Ireland, Malaysia, China, Singapore, Hong Kong, New Zealand and Puerto Rico.

    Paddy is a founding member of the National Speakers Association in Victoria, and has been awarded the highest level of international recognition offered by this association.

1.30pm - 3.00pm
C2: Conflict management and stakeholder negotiation

Accountants are now being expected to not only manage data but also communicate the analysis of the data to a range of stakeholders, including those with a non-finance background, or those who may have a different agenda-focus or application need for the data.

Communicating to stakeholders who may disagree or who may challenge the analysis provided has the potential to be interpreted as confronting and difficult.

This extended session will provide strategies and practical tips for accountants to negotiate more effectively, including:

• exploring and unpacking the myths associated with the concept of difficult stakeholders and difficult conversations
• learning how to avoid impasse caused by a focus on adversarial, position-based negotiation tactics
• creating potential solutions for expanded and mutually beneficial outcomes.

  • Catherine Gillespie
    Managing Director, Workplace Harmony Solutions

    Catherine is a qualified workplace trainer, nationally accredited advanced mediator and senior experienced workplace investigator.

    She empowers teams and managers to adopt constructive and ethical communication and interaction styles. Catherine brings a holistic, mindful and curious approach, such that she is able to recognise systemic issues underlying workplace issues and advise on employee relations, human resources, leadership and other factors that affect harmony, productivity, culture, performance and progress in the workplace.

3.00pm - 3.30pm
Afternoon tea and networking break
Concurrent sessions
3.30pm - 4.15pm
D1: Increasing value through effective finance business partnering

Business success today is reliant on the finance team being a trusted adviser to the executive, through the provision of high-quality insight and advice. With technology now able to fulfil many basic accounting functions, accountants and finance teams have a perfect opportunity to focus more acutely on value-creating activities.

This session explores how modern finance teams can meet key expectations of CFOs, senior executives and cross functional teams, by understanding the business, supporting strategy and decision making, challenging performance, and uncovering new opportunities.

Key topics of this session include:
• making a business partnering approach work for your finance team
• adopting the habits of high-performing business partners
• understanding and knowing your business better
• reporting and focusing on the insights that matter.

  • Tamara Leizer
    Director Strategy and Performance, TfNSW Tamara is an accomplished and energetic leader with a career spanning financial management, project and program management and policy, and in the public and private sectors.

    Tamara is currently Director, Strategy and Performance in Safety, Environment and Regulation (TfNSW), and recently was Director Capability at NSW Treasury, leading a program to build sustainable, strategic financial capability across the NSW public sector.

    Tamara was the inaugural Chair and led the NSW Public Sector Community of Finance Professionals for eight years. She has been instrumental in establishing key networks for sharing information and building capability for finance, HR, ICT and change, and was awarded by the NSW Premier for Leadership and Innovation for her contribution. She was the recipient of the inaugural NSW CPA outstanding contribution to finance and business award in 2018.

    Tamara is a Fellow of CPA Australia (FCPA), a Fellow of Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand (FCA), and a member of the IPAA NSW Women’s Leadership Network Executive Committee.
3.30pm - 4.15pm
D2: Project accounting

Being involved as an accountant in a focused project team, regardless of size, requires you step outside your “business as usual” processes and take on a different approach to managing finances, aligned to project management principles and processes. These projects can often be complex, with multiple stakeholders and interests to manage.

This session will provide insight into the lifecycle of a project and the finance touchpoints required to keep things on track, including: 
• building an initial business case
• planning and creating reporting systems
• stakeholder management
• measuring progress and reporting
• post-implementation reporting.

  • Pete Madsen
    Advisory Partner, Bentleys SA Pete Madsen is the lead Advisory Partner at Bentleys SA. His practice focuses on strategy, transformations, risk management and project services.

    Pete has gained his significant experience and expertise from many senior executive roles across a variety of sectors. Sectors in which he has worked directly include:

    • defence and engineering (Head of Project Management, Australia and Director, Project Management and Business Improvement – BAE Systems Australia)
    • professional services (Lead PwC Director, Advisory Practice: Partner, GIRO Advisory)
    • civil construction (GM, Corporate Services – Leed Engineering and Construction)
    • manufacturing (National Business Process Manager – Detmold Packaging Group)
    • information technology (Lead Team Manager and Asia Pacific Transition Manager – EDS Operations).

    Pete has held a number of board positions, and is currently a Board Director of the MS Society of SA and NT, Director and Secretary of Defence Teaming Centre and the Chair of Cornell Design.
4.20pm - 5.05pm
KN2: Storytelling – the new business elixir

As attention is a scarce commodity in the modern world, we’re reminded that successful communication must have the following attributes: clarity of purpose and intention, credibility, insight, and transparency.

Hello great storytelling. In this compelling session, we uncover the remarkable science behind why stories influence our brain and help build rapport and trust.

Sandy will demonstrate how the elixir of purpose-driven storytelling enables people to:
• engage, connect, and boost recall
• promote a willingness to act
• embed culture, because stories cement beliefs in why people do what they do.

  • Sandy McDonald
    Author and Founder of

    Sandy McDonald is an author, TEDx speaker, clarity and storytelling trainer, and coach. She is the founder of and Australian charity, CreateCare Global.
    After 22 years running a successful marketing communication company, Sandy used purposeful storytelling to start a 20,000-strong global community in 60 countries. It continues to work ten years on to warm, comfort and raise awareness of the millions of children orphaned in Africa.

    Sandy’s TEDx talk about this, Tell Your Story. Save a Life received a standing ovation, and her book, Get it right online details the framework that achieved this.

    Sandy is a fierce proponent of sharing our wisdom through story as a legacy to better humanity. She believes that stories elevate leadership, igniting the energy to propagate goodness.

    Sandy is known for helping people convert the complexity of their communication into memorable stories that enrich, transform or even save lives.


Day two

Wednesday 14 August

8.30am - 9.00am
Registration and arrival refreshments
Concurrent sessions
9.00am - 12.30pm
MC1: From data to decision-making: Influencing strategic direction as a…

To become a trusted finance business partner, you need to be able to support decision-making and provide valuable insights in order to strategically influence your organisation. Join Andrew, one of Australia’s leading authorities on finance business partnering, to explore how you can turn your numbers into meaningful insights, including: 

• managing the data – steps to ensure you start your analysis effectively
• identifying the trends, bringing out the insight in the numbers, and finding the right message
• presenting the numbers – data visualisation techniques and tricks to bring out your message
• presenting your insight – finance storytelling and communicating with non-finance peers
• an example of commercial decision-making

Delegates will need to bring to the workshop a recent management report from their organisation that highlights financial information and commentary. During the workshop, this report will be used by delegates as a live example for their benefit only (no confidential information will be shared). Laptops are optional.

  • Andrew Jepson
    Director, Vincero Consulting

    Andrew is a Chartered Accountant with more than 20 years of professional and commercial experience. He commenced his professional career in the assurance division of a mid-tier firm in Melbourne. It was there he developed his passion for client advice providing services to several SME businesses across various industries, including retail, industrial products, not-for-profit, manufacturing, sport and hospitality.

    Since moving into the industry, Andrew has held various senior finance roles over the past 15 years in consumer goods, food ingredients, software, and property and construction. He has worked both domestically and internationally and has a broad skillset in financial and group reporting, management reporting, financial control, strategy development and execution, KPI development and commercial finance.

    In addition to a strong technical background, Andrew has significant business partnering experience with sales, marketing and supply chain in ASX and FTSE 100 listed companies as well as privately held businesses.

    Andrew has become one of Australia’s leading presenters and authorities on finance business partnering and is a published author on the topic, having recently released the book Compliance to commercial: The QUIET approach to finance business partnering.

9.00am - 12.30pm
MC2: Developing your business partnering skills – a scenario-based simu…
Take the opportunity to hone and further develop your strategic partnership skills in this highly engaging and task focused masterclass. As part of a team, you’ll be running a simulated business where you navigate options and make decisions to deliver strong business results and set up the business for long-term success.

Organisations increasingly find themselves having to adapt to rapidly changing business environments. To navigate this complex landscape, business leaders require input from trusted partners and are calling upon finance professionals to support this, people who can assist them in making well-informed decisions quickly. The focus of this masterclass is on developing the key leadership behaviours needed to play an influential and impactful role in driving business results and strategy.

Delegates need to bring a laptop to this interactive session.
  • Michael Schlosser

    Michael specialises in designing transformation initiatives that help organisations and teams develop the mindsets and ways of working that will allow them to thrive in disruption.

    Michael is a speaker, facilitator, mentor and game-based learning expert with more than 12 years of experience in designing strategy simulations for training purposes. Michael has worked with more than fifteen ASX 100 companies across several industries to support strategic alignment and strategy execution. 

  • Carl Axelsson

    With more than 20 years of experience as a strategy and leadership consultant, Carl is recognised as a trusted partner to some of the world’s leading FMCG, technology, engineering, and professional service firms.

    Carl has held senior leadership roles for global consultancies in both Australia and Europe. He has a proven track-record of successfully designing and delivering transformation initiatives at the executive and c-suite level for leading global companies all over the world. Carl is a highly skilled speaker, facilitator and coach and is passionate about individual and team transformation.

10.30am - 11.00am
Morning tea and networking break
12.30pm - 1.30pm
Networking lunch
Concurrent sessions
1.30pm - 5.00pm
MC3: Dashboard reporting in modern Excel, including Power BI

With the huge amount of data available to us every day, a well-built and designed dashboard report is one of the best ways to interpret and communicate large quantities of information.

Attend this practical Excel-based masterclass where you can grasp the tools you need to help create impactful dashboards using power Excel tools. Learn how to synthesise information into a logical framework, summarise it into a meaningful format, and then display the summary in easy-to-read tables and graphs using Excel or Power BI.

This session requires you to bring your own laptop with Excel (preferably Excel 365) and Power BI installed. Download Power BI.

  • Danielle Stein Fairhurst
    Principal Financial Modeller, Plum Solutions Danielle Stein Fairhurst specialises in simplifying financial modelling and analysis. She is the author of Using Excel for business and financial modelling (third edition) and Financial Modeling in Excel for Dummies.

    Danielle helps her clients create simple but meaningful financial models in the form of business cases, pricing models and management reports.

    Danielle travels Australia and globally as a speaker, course facilitator, financial modelling consultant and analyst, was a guest on Excel TV and has interviewed for several industry podcasts. She runs the CPA Financial Modelling discussion groups in Sydney and Brisbane, and founded the Financial Modellers’ Meetup groups with more than 5000 members in seven countries and a LinkedIn forum of 40,000 members.

    An advocate for women in finance, Danielle is on the diversity council for ModelOff Financial Modeling World Championships, and is on the judging panel for the Financial Modelling Innovation Awards. Danielle holds an MBA from MGSM and has taught at Sydney University.

1.30pm - 5.00pm
MC4: Storytelling masterclass: Storytelling is the new business elixir

Storytelling is the new business elixir. Where attention is our rarest commodity, we’re reminded that successful communication must have these five attributes: clarity, intention, credibility, stickiness, and transparency. Hello great storytelling!

But it isn’t enough to just tell stories. Stories must be based on context, the primary principle of which is purpose.

Diving deeper beyond her keynote address, Sandy will explain the remarkable science behind why stories impact our brain to build trust. She will demonstrate how the elixir of purpose-driven storytelling works to engage, connect and boost recall of key messages, how it promotes a willingness to act, and how it embeds business and personal culture.

In this masterclass, you will learn the basics of storytelling and start to apply these skills by:

• refreshing the importance of context (purpose, audience, intention and unique value) for telling stories through the storytelling framework
• exploring personal purpose and how this informs storytelling
• learning how not to misread your audience
• exploring the intersection of experience and expertise to uncover unique value stories
• finding out how to gather your stories
• learning how stories can be used to boost the power of insights (facts in context)
• learning the basics about how to structure, craft and create content for a compelling story
• experiencing telling a story, giving feedback, and developing awareness of how stories make you feel.

  • Sandy McDonald
    Author and Founder of

    Sandy McDonald is an author, TEDx speaker, clarity and storytelling trainer, and coach. She is the founder of and Australian charity, CreateCare Global.
    After 22 years running a successful marketing communication company, Sandy used purposeful storytelling to start a 20,000-strong global community in 60 countries. It continues to work ten years on to warm, comfort and raise awareness of the millions of children orphaned in Africa.

    Sandy’s TEDx talk about this, Tell Your Story. Save a Life received a standing ovation, and her book, Get it right online details the framework that achieved this.

    Sandy is a fierce proponent of sharing our wisdom through story as a legacy to better humanity. She believes that stories elevate leadership, igniting the energy to propagate goodness.

    Sandy is known for helping people convert the complexity of their communication into memorable stories that enrich, transform or even save lives.

3.00pm - 3.30pm
Afternoon tea and networking break


  • Economy, regulation and business

  • Finance fundamentals

    Enhance your core accounting and finance skills in the areas of tax, audit and assurance, compliance, financial planning, analysis and reporting.

  • Operational transformation

    Find out how to transform your business using improved processes and management skills, the latest technologies and shared services.

  • Personal development

    Refine your skills and become a highly productive, effective and well-rounded individual.

  • Sector in focus

    Hear the latest trends and opportunities specific to your sector, including corporate, SME, not for profit and public sector.

  • Strategy and leadership

    Become an outstanding finance leader by enhancing the power of innovation, successfully managing change and driving a high-performance culture.

  • Trends and business impacts

    Understand shifts in the domestic and global economy, the regulatory environment, the latest fraudulent activities, and consumer and competitive markets to build risk mitigation strategies.

Disclaimer of liability
CPA Australia reserves the right to alter any part of this program at any time without notice.