Corporate Vision January 2017

92 CORPORATE VISION / January 2017 , Sarah explains that she is an Accountant by trade, who has participated in the CPA Program and fully embraced the engineering consultancy industry after working with her first significant employer, Meinhardt Australia Pty Ltd, where she was privileged to have worked alongside Mr. Bill Meinhardt, the founding member of the now 50-year-old global group. “Here I learned the practicalities of Business Accounting Functions within the National Consolidated Group, including general ledger and asset management, compliance reporting and annual audit processes and I applied for government Export Grant Funds to assist in setup of the London office. I then felt the need to approach a greater challenge and worked for a very short time with a subsidiary of the AWB, which convinced me to return to the engineering industry. I was very fortunate that a Director who I had previously worked with at Meinhardt had started his own consultancy firm eight months prior, and was now in need of a fulltime bookkeeper as the company was growing fast. “In this role I began my dream job, which offered me the opportunity to grow with the company; exactly as I did with Murchie Consulting (VIC) Pty Ltd. In the first three years, the company grew from eight Sarah Gould: Certified Commercial Consultancy Sarah Gould has been a long upstanding senior staff member at Murchie Consulting (Vic) Pty Ltd, having commenced employment as the Accountant/Payroll Officer within the opening year of operations. We spoke to Sarah to find out more about howher past experience has led her to success, and her ambitions for the future. employees to over 50 employees. Due to the increased workload, my role which had previously included all financial and payroll requirements, was split into two separate positions. We recruited a ‘Financial Accountant’ and I chose the ‘Management Accountant’ role, in which I could focus on project performance and improving the profitability of the business through systems improvements. “Over the course of my 11 years with the company, I worked closely with the Director to maintain and improve the business. This company has been a highly successful building services engineering consultancy and is held in high esteem by the local industry, having survived the GFC, beaten its direct competitors and developed a niche skill set with regards to high-rise developments and high-profile government projects, including the City West Police Complex and the Bunurong Memorial Park.” Unfortunately, as Sarah explains, the company has also experienced difficult times, particularly in the lead up to its acquisition by the owners of the global Meinhardt Group. “The discussions surrounding this acquisition began in late 2014 and took effect in April 2016. During this time, the Director was diagnosed with terminal cancer, hence the succession planning which resulted in the acquisition, as well as a formal Voluntary Administration process. These circumstances increased my workload and job-related stress over the course of this 24-month period, but was necessary in order to secure the desired result and future employment for all staff within Murchie Consulting (Vic) Pty Ltd. During this period, I performed surrogate Director duties between September 2014 and April 2016, as well as having responsibility for all financial processes of the business; I played a pivotal role in developing both current and future business sectors, along with three other senior executives as part of the Leadership Group for the company. “Throughout my career I have achieved many things, but one of my proudest achievements was the development of a business information system which garnered ISO9001 Accreditation for Quality Assurance. I have also been trusted to provide the legal assessment of company terms and conditions, provided reassurance that experience with contract negotiations and management was as satisfactory as their qualified opinion. I am also incredibly proud that the company was afforded the honour of presenting a White Paper about Engineering International Standards for High-Rise Developments at the “Council for Tall Buildings & Urban Habitat” in New York 2015. “The beginning of my business career as an accountant, including business analysis and financial management, system design and deployment, project and business systems management, has given me a leading edge and a distinct advantage in understanding the complexities of business sectors, their functions, systems and the knowledge required. I have specific experience with identifying risk and weaknesses within business frameworks. “My personal values make me an extremely honest employee, and I am respectful of professional relationships and confidential information and knowledge, and I am able to relate with ease to all levels of stakeholders, both internal and external to the firm, as well as developing and sustaining key relationships with those stakeholders. “I am currently seeking new opportunities; I like to think outside the box and as such would love the opportunity to write the screenplay for an animated movie which I would like to be involved in making, and for this I would be willing to sacrifice a lot. I am currently looking for the next opportunity to embrace as my future direction, and am open to a number of possibilities; if you believe that you can offer me this opportunity, please get in touch!” CO160031