NEXIA Australia has recently appointed Wendy Davies as a business advisory director in its Perth office to focus on strategic advice for small and medium businesses.
Ms Davies, who is originally from the UK, brings with her a range of high-level global experience. In WA, she is at the forefront of a new, innovative approach to accounting – a profession that can no longer rely on simply formatting tax returns.
She works closely with start-ups and owners of small to medium-sized businesses, helping them understand and demystify the numbers side of the business. “It’s about identifying client needs – often focusing on cashflow forecasting and budgeting to help them manage and make informed decisions,” Ms Davies says.
Independent specialist advice can highlight opportunities not immediately apparent and potential problems can be foreseen before they are critical.
As Nexia’s business advisory director, Ms Davies visits clients’ operations, to educate and empower the owners. It is a new field for senior practitioners who have witnessed shrinking tax return work. “Technology enabled business owners and bookkeepers to do more, so those of us with accounting skills have had to adapt and innovate,” she says.
Ms Davies began her career 30 years ago in south-east England. After qualifying, she worked for a small practitioner in the northern city of York and bought him out when he retired. Her clients have the bonus of engaging the services of a former businesswoman. For over a decade in England she co-owned the accountancy practice which had 10 staff.
Her attendance at a migration expo in the UK led to an unexpected job offer in accounting in Perth. She flew to Perth in January 2008.
Here she became the only female director in the Perth office of her new employer UHY Haines Norton, a member of the global accounting network, UHY. She once again found herself as the only female director when the firm merged with rival Moore Stephens WA.
Ms Davies believes networking is key to ongoing success in her profession.
“In the past, the sector has been fairly complacent but a network of key business relationships will be critical to ongoing success, both personally and for the firm,” she said.
Prior to joining Nexia last month, Ms Davies had started a new firm, The Counting Room, to execute her advisory approach. “Before I joined Nexia, I made sure their values and approach aligned with how I saw the future of accounting, which includes advisory work and utilising softer skills to assist clients,” Ms Davies said.
In Perth, Nexia Australia is Western Australian owned and independently operated and a member of the global accounting giant Nexia.