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40 Under 40

Local accounting podcast breaks through perceptions of industry

40 Under 40

Sarah Bartholomeusz is breaking the social stigma surrounding accounting by bringing to life the stories of industry leaders through her “Accountants on Purpose” podcast.

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Bartholomeusz, the author of Amazon number one bestseller “How to Avoid a Fall from Grace: Legal Lessons for Directors” and an inaugural winner of InDaily’s 40 under 40 Award, has hosted the podcast since 2019.

Now in its fourth season, Bartholomeusz interviews accountants who are leaders in their respective fields, with the current season focussing on female partners.

In this week’s episode, released today, Bartholomeusz speaks with Sarah McEachern, the first female Partner of Nexia Edwards Marshall.

An alumnus of the University of Adelaide and now based in the Northern Territory as part of Nexia Edwards Marshall NT office, McEachern is a Partner within the firm’s Business Consulting and Taxation division.

Bartholomeusz said she was excited to speak to Sarah to learn about the challenges she has overcome.

“I ask her about if she ever felt that being a female held her back in her industry and about how relocating to Darwin has affected her practice and her hobbies,” Bartholomeusz said.

Another female accountant featured in the series is Katelyn Adams, a member of the HLB Mann Judd Corporate Division.

Adams told Bartholomeusz about how she had to build resilience when first starting.

“In my mid-20s around a board table they would ask me to take their coffee orders, or ask me to leave because they wanted to swear in the boardroom,” Adams says on the podcast.

“So resilience was built through that,” said Adams.

Bartholomeusz started “Accountants on Purpose” in the hope of changing people’s perceptions of accountants by showcasing the diverse individuals within the industry.

“I interview accountants about what they do in the world that has them having purpose higher than profit,” Bartholomeusz said of the previous three seasons of the podcast started in 2019.

“I feel like they are often seen as the bean counters and boring but they aren’t, this is the whole point of the podcast.

“It’s been really interesting to get to know these accountants on a really personal level about what makes them tick and why they do what they do.”

Bartholomeusz believes now is more important time than ever to tell the stories of accountants following a difficult 2020 for the industry.

“It was a difficult year for a lot of people but it was a difficult year for accountants because the government kept changing the rules about how businesses could access funding during the pandemic,” Bartholomeusz said.

“In the early stages of JobKeeper, it was really difficult for business to work out if they were eligible and who in their team was eligible and so accountants were working day and night to help their clients.

“Groups that I am on now talk about how burnt out they are because they just haven’t had a break because things just keep changing.”

While targeted specifically at a narrow interest group of accountants and business leaders, “Accountants on Purpose” has been downloaded 9,267 times from Apple Podcast since it began.

The podcast also has the ability to grow by reaching the 195,000 accountants in Australia in 2019 according to JobOutlook.gov and the 1.8 million charted accountants worldwide according to Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand.

Bartholomeusz said she hoped the podcast would help other professionals as much as being part of the inaugural 40 Under 40 has helped her connect with more people across the state.

“The 40 Under 40 helped me expand my network across industries,” she said, urging more people to complete their applications for the business leadership awards before the Friday deadline.

“If you have not nominated already, get in quick. And if you have then completing your application is important to have a shot at being part of this exclusive group of leaders in South Australia,” she said.

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