Stories  /  Stories  /  Top 50 Women in Accounting 2018

This International Women's Day, we're celebrating the contribution of so many women in accounting.

14 mins 10 Feb 2023 by Brooke Kayira
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The time has finally come!

What better day than International Women's Day to celebrate the outstanding contribution so many women have in the accounting industry!

Today, we'd like to recognise 50 of the amazing women nominated by colleagues and friends for the work they do in their respective company and community.

While it's not possible to include every woman in the shortlist, we'd like to show our appreciation for every nominee.

Those included in the list ranked among the highest on our anonymised scoring system which took into account the communication of professional and community achievements.

On behalf of the Ignition team, I'd like to thank you for the impact you have in our global accounting community.

Remember to keep the conversation going with the hashtag #WomenInAccounting.

From the judging panel

Kelly Chard - Growth MD & AccounTEK Global

"What a pleasure it has been to peek into the professional and community achievements of some of the world’s leading women in our industry.

The breadth of skills, projects, backgrounds and passions demonstrated by the nominees illustrates that massive contribution women in accounting make day in and day out.

I won’t lie, it was time consuming and difficult for us to collectively come up with the 50 winners. When I look at the final list though, I am so pleased to see women from many facets of the industry, a variety of countries and at differing points in their careers.

One thing that struck me was the high achieving women that downplayed their achievements via the application process. It is a fact that as women we often tend to downplay our greatest achievements and biggest wins. I have definitely come out of the judging process more aware of this than ever and even reflected on times that I am guilty of this too.

So make sure you high-five the final 50 women – their achievements, their obvious commitment to their work and their final submissions rocked.

And a personal congratulations from me – we are all much richer for having strong women leaders like you in accounting!"

Lielette Calleja - All That Counts & AccounTEK Global

"Taking part in the 2019 Top 50 Woman in Accounting judging process was a great honour. As someone like myself who is no stranger to putting forward submissions for awards it was surreal to be sitting on the other side judging entrants across the globe. One thing I used to take for granted was that the judges reading my submission knew everything about me and if they wanted to know more, they could just google or look me up on social – clearly, I was misinformed all these years (lol!).

Fortunately, Ignition made sure that all submissions were given to us anonymously which made judging the awards unbiased.

The one thing I take away from being part of the judging panel that I’d like to share with all the woman is don’t be afraid to tell your story. Like we use numbers to story-tell a picture to our clients we too need to be able to bring our achievements and aspirations to life by way of storytelling and defining our brand and culture.

We are more than just woman who work in accounting. We are the woman who are at the forefront of doing things in an industry of rapid change that is having a massive impact on people’s lives from your team to clients and the greater community."

Kylie Parker - Lotus Accountants & AccounTEK Global

"Reading my allocated submissions, I was so impressed with the women who told their stories in regards to their professional and community achievements, what they love most about what they do, their mentors and ideas for the industry to encourage young female leaders. These stories were read anonymously and so were judged only based on the responses provided. From experience I know articulating your achievements can make you feel awkward, like your showing off, or even embarrassed and yet without communicating our achievements unfortunately people who are strangers do not know what we have achieved or are capable of. I am sure there a number of women who are deserving of being in the top 50 who unfortunately not in this list. Just like an exam – if you don’t answer the question asked its hard for the marker to provide a high score.

On behalf of us all at AccounTEK Global

This experience has re enforced my goals in co founding AccounTEK Global with Kelly and Lielette and has given us some ideas for events around self promotion and confidence. We look forward to helping women in accounting continue to achieve their ambitions and provide visible positive role models for the generations who follow."

Guy Pearson - Ignition

"I've been surrounded, and had my career guided, by women from day dot. None more so than my mum. I wouldn't be anywhere without her. I couldn't be happier to be apart of this amazing recognition of women in our industry for International Women's Day.

I'm a huge Sheryl Sandberg fan and it was amazing to see so many amazing women lean in and stand up to be recognised.

I can't wait to see this initiative develop to the next level in 2019. Have an amazing IWD and celebrate each other!"

Alexi Boyd
Small Biz Matters

"As a BAS Agent & Bookkeeper myself I've been particularly proud to represent the industry by highlighting the importance of, and advocating for BAS Agents all around the country."


Ria-Jaine Lincoln
Ria-Jaine Accounts

"I love helping people navigate through barriers to reach their goals. Seeing the relief when I take on their request as if a weight is lifted from their shoulders."


Alison Ball

"My entire "reason to be" is to help people in the accounting profession to build their brand on the back of the QuickBooks brand, globally. Its an incredibly rewarding job coaching the people I work with on how to bring their ideas and dreams to life, and then helping them to scale it and reach more prospects and customers via my programs at Intuit."


Loata Mow
Kuna Taberia Kiruwi Accountants & Advisors

"Helping people claim back time by utilising the right system/tools in the right way is so satisfying. Business owners can spend more time on focusing on things that matter like their operations and most importantly, family."


Michelle Long
Long for Success

"We need to continue to provide mentoring, support and encouragement to help women pursue their dreams. I’ve learned that by sharing my journey (including mistakes along the way), it helps other women realize they can do it too."


Peta Smerdon
PS Complete Pty Ltd
"I am a big fan of education as a form of empowerment. The more knowledge we have, the more knowledge we seek and the further we push those boundaries. As an industry we need to be open to new ideas, new technologies and new ways of thinking of things."

Kathryn Harris
Trust 1

"Working with family businesses in a small community is wonderful. We make great connections with our clients that see us looking after multi-generations as kids grow up."


Leanne Berry
Love Your Numbers
"I love the deep and lasting friendships I have made within this industry which I believe, is a testament to the generous and cooperative nature of what we do."

Laura Venables
National Media

"Industry events play a big role in offering an equal playing field for both men and women leaders. Young people coming up through the ranks being exposed to such environments where men and women have an equal share of voice will help to change the culture."


Ingrid Edstrom

"Learn to get past Impostor Syndrome as quickly as possible. You are good enough, smart enough, and if you are in a room it is because you deserve to be there. Doubt just gets in the way."


Sarah Elliott

"I believe women need more courage and confidence, and coaching provides exactly this. I would love to see the accounting profession embrace more coaching for our leaders (women and men alike)."


Tanya Hilts
Cloud Bookkeeping Services

"I love seeing those I help succeed and celebrating in their successes as though they are my own. That is truly my passion when I hear their wins."


Mariette Martinez
Mariette Martinez, EA

"When I can help a business owner reach their version of financial happiness, that is the most joyous reward of all. I became an accountant because I did not want any other business to be left behind due to lack of financial awareness and education."


Helen Brennan
"Working in Audit Quality & Risk Management at KPMG, I have the privilege of support audit and assurance teams through some of their most difficult situations. It's so rewarding when, by listening and empathising, I can help someone unlock their own potential and make the best decision they could make."
Michelle Maynard
Carbon Group

"By showing others in the Industry that my age, gender or position, does not inhibit me from contributing to the wider community, I feel I have made a positive change to those around me."


Debra Anderson
Anderson Tax & Consulting

"I love watching a client's shoulders drop with relief when I help solve one of their stressful issues. Helping people is the most rewarding part of my job."


Meghan Blair-Valero
Fogged In Bookkeeping
"I love seeing others do well especially clients, students, or employees. We have had many employees outgrow our firm and move onto other things including their own practices and we actively support that."

Cherry Chan
Cheery Chan, Real Estate Accountant
"I love "translating" the complicated tax law to simple English. I also love to discuss complicated tax situation with client, explaining to them how they can work."
Cindy Squires
Mile High Books

"One of the reasons I went into business for myself was to help other small businesses become successful. My personal slogan is that "We are all in this together." Therefore, my business was built and has grown by increasing my personal and business network. Sharing knowledge and experiences is beneficial for all parties involved."


Diane Lucas
Direct Management

"Be strong on standing up for what you believe in – often you will do so in the face of adversity as you stand up to narrow minded and self-preserving individuals. Maintain your belief and prove those nay-sayers wrong."


Alice Ruhe

"Insolvency really lends itself to dealing with different people, different businesses and different industries daily. There is so much to learn and so many challenges to overcome. Whilst it can be a very sobering job, the rewards can be fantastic. Whilst I can’t always deliver a fairytale ending, I can help people through the issues they are facing with respect and dignity."


Amanda Kenafake
Power Tynan

"I believe in continual education and striving for a better change. I do that every day in my business and i hope that I am encouraging and engaging the younger generation to stay in the industry and progress to the top. Always question, not one person has the answer so collaborate together and it will be amazing what we can do in the future."


Jo Doye
Alluvia Financial

"I love helping small business owners turn their dreams and passions into financial success and freedom."


Rachel Fisch

"Nobody, not a small firm owner, not a single mom working from home, not a technician at a Big 4 firm, should ever feel like they are on their own. I am honoured to be the one to shout it from the rooftops and let them all know they don’t have to be."


Anna Curzon

"Let’s make sure that there’s diversity at every level of the practice. It’ll help your practice survive and thrive, as every indicator shows that the more diverse an organisation the stronger it tends to be."


Nikki Adams
Ad Valorem Chartered Certified Accountants

"Building a successful business with a happy and buzzing team, is the most important thing to me. So business planning, strategy and team dynamics are my key areas of expertise. Seeing our team develop and grow, and helping other practices do the same, is my main motivation."


Amanda Aguillard
Aguillard Accounting
"I love all the pieces of what I do, from still running my small practice to training to writing. I guess what I love most, though, is that I get to do it all on my terms - when and where I want. That's my dream for all accountants."

Twyla Verhelst

"In a recent conversation with someone that I had just met, she said something to me that really made me pause and reflect. Her exact words were “all young girls, your daughter included, are counting on you to be successful”. And while this comment could lead to feeling a huge amount of pressure, what actually struck me was this… I am an example."


Deb Mirisch
Biz Synergy

"love to keep things real. Early in my career I was shy, easily intimidated, scared to ask questions for fear I'd be wrong and steered clear of networking. Once I let go of that fear and started to step out of my comfort zone I realised all those things I feared were not so scary after all."


Jen Swenson
Enthusia Consulting

"I love that in this industry there is room for everyone to carry on a thriving business. Where in the past there was an attitude amongst bookkeepers of lack and competition, this cloud revolution has brought with it opportunity, collaboration and community."


Della Hudson
Hudson Business Advice

"Those of us in positions of influence need to use this opportunity to influence younger women, fight for our daughters to be seen as completely equal to our sons and encourage employers to give flexible to working to ALL to promote better work-life balance."


Michelle Smith
ValueAdd Business Solutions

"What I love most is actually getting into the nitty gritty of the accounts of some clients. In particular, the ones where it's all become a bit of a mess and it needs unpicking and redoing. I love the feeling of a fully reconciled bank and control account."


Kelly Eke
Precision Taxation

"I feel that I am pursuing my purpose in life. That's a big statement to make but one of the rules at Precision is that we Don't Sugar-coat our message and we tell it like it is. This is how I live my life as well, so this is exactly what I feel I'm doing."


Lisa Martin
Go Fi8ure

"I quite simply love making a difference to not only the core important people doing the accounts work, but to the business owners so they are fully enabled and informed and can make the best business decisions."


Bianca Bowron-Cuthill
Intuit, Australia

"As a female leader in the Accounting industry, I'm passionate about helping to remove barriers for my team and our customers to ensure that we continue to deliver award winning innovative products, solutions & services for our customers."


Melissa Voss
O'Connells OBM

"I’m honoured to now be called upon both internally and externally and share my own, and our businesses experiences to shape best-practice accounting businesses and the accountants who drive those businesses."


Eileen Adao

"Leveraging technology gives time back to the people doing the work. Some choose to allocate that time back to bringing in more clients, while others take that time to spend with family and/or their passions."


Pam MadytianosPam Madytianos
Two Peas

"I love helping SME's transform their business by tapping into their potential, educating them on all things innovation that creates positive outcomes and business growth."


Elaine Clark
Cheap Accounting

"Keeping up and staying relevant can be a challenge at times … I’m more Hip Operation than Hipster. It’s exciting times in the world of accountancy right now. I love being at the forefront of it all."


Amanda Roberts
Mcconachie Stedman

"I love having a wonderful relationship with my clients, in some cases sharing in their financial journey from the start of their businesses to preparing for retirement."


Caitie Copley

"I believe that mentoring programs, outside of the university walls, are a great way to support women working their way up the rungs of the accounting industry. It’s all about supporting and empowering each other!"


Rebecca Mihalic
Aptus Advisory

"A good accountant can not only work the numbers for their clients, but can educate them to understand what it all means and to turn those numbers into a story that makes sense to their business."


Laura Vojtisek
BJV Accountants

"I love that I can combine the love of helping people achieve their financial goal, whilst also having flexibility to enjoy life with my family. To me, this is the biggest success."


Amreeta Abbott
Now Infinity

The finance sector is in my blood. It’s an exciting time to be part of an industry that is undergoing rapid transformation."


Sarah Lawrance
Hot Toast

"Client relations mean everything here. We don’t just meet, we collaborate. We don’t just advise, we teach and empower. It’s become a fraternity where we celebrate each other’s milestones."


Emma Crawford-Falekaono

"As an industry we need to identify talent earlier and then feed and grow that talent and passion."


Olwyn Connolly
Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand

"I love nothing more than being able to connect one idea or individual to another, seemingly unrelated, one, and facilitate the conversation to spark ideas and solutions, that otherwise wouldn't have been possible."


Amy Holdsworth
Clarity Street

"It is my sole purpose and that of Clarity Street, to assist clients understand "HOW" to actually connect their wonderful apps to streamline their internal workflows and processes so they can spend less time dealing with disjointed software, get more work completed, provide more value allowing for happier clients and increase capacity to translate to profits."


Jody Padar
New Vision CPA Group

"Real time and automation that the cloud tools provide allows for work life balance and an opportunity for women to be judged on results not hours spent."


Amanda Newton

"I'm super passionate about the industry, love small business, and know that women have tremendous ability to be extraordinary leaders in this space."


Meet the author

Brooke Kayira

Global Community and Referrals Manager  Ignition

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Published 10 Feb 2023 Last updated 28 Feb 2023