Bethannie takes top prize at accountants’ breakfast

The potential impacts of the federal budget for local tax-based businesses was the focus at the Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand (CA ANZ) western region’s annual breakfast on Tuesday.

CA ANZ tax leader for leadership and advocacy Michael Croker addressed about 40 people at the breakfast, which also saw the presentation of the western region scholarship to Bethannie Cook (Boyce Chartered Accountants).

Western region CA ANZ chair Leanne Smith said it was a privilege to have someone of Mr Croker’s calibre return to the region, and deliver a post-budget presentation so soon after budget night.

“Having the opportunity to have someone of Michael’s calibre face-to-face … you’re able to ask questions,” Ms Smith said.

“The other option is just having a webinar [or reading a post-budget update]. With Michael, you can ask questions that are pertinent to your clients.”

The biggest changes affecting local accountants and their clients would be the proposed changes to the company tax rate, and the impacts on franking credits, and changes to superannuation, Ms Smith said.

“[Michael spoke about] changes to superannuation in terms of allowing first home buyers to contribute to their super and then utilise that money for a home deposit,” she said.

“Also the potential for older people to sell their family home and put that money into super with an exemption. It’s basically trying to encourage people who are older to downsize and free that property up for younger home buyers.”

The breakfast wrapped up with the scholarship presentation; Ms Cook secured the major prize while Katarina McAuliffe (Luke Group) received as special consideration award.

“It’s partly to do with trying to encourage people to participate in the Chartered Accountants program, but also to recognise again that there are costs associated with undertaking it,” Ms Smith said.

“One of the subjects in particular, the candidates have to go to Sydney to do some workshops and while the local businesses are good with supporting them with study leave, they have to bare the costs of accommodation and transport themselves.

“Bethannie prepared an excellent application and ticked all the boxes. We had other candidates who were good candidates … but it’s just a matter of who applies and the relative strengths of each candidate.”