Synergy highlights from the CPA Congress
November 25, 2016
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The annual CPA Canberra Congress concluded last Friday and left all attendees with a number of strong takeaways.

Events like these are an important part of the professional calendar and we were delighted to sponsor the Congress for the fourth year running.

Here is a snapshot of our involvement across the two days of the Congress.

 

Welcome address

Synergy partner, Mark Pattrick, opened and welcomed the local CPA community to the event. This was a fantastic opportunity to generate more brand awareness and showcase the work we have been doing in the federal government space across the last 12 months. It was also a chance to align the company with other recognised thought leaders and innovators in the accounting and finance industries.

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Business lunch: Unmask your potential

We sponsored the business lunch on the final day of the conference featuring inspirational speaker Turia Pitt.

It was during the business lunch that we drew the winner of our data analytics prize.

Data analytics was Synergy’s thought leadership CPA theme for the year. In Commonwealth Government, we are seeing increasing opportunities to benefit from data analytics, specifically to improve real-time decision making and inform policy design, implementation and monitoring. In the lead-up to the Congress, we published a series of blogs about data analytics. We believe this topic holds real potential for the APS to do some of its best work for the Australian people despite tightening fiscal constraints.

Congratulations to Miok Choi Payne who left her business card in the bowl at our booth and has won a free day of data visualisation advice from one of our experienced consultants.

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YouthCare Canberra Fundraising

We continued our tradition of raising money for YouthCare Canberra (YCC) at Congress, with a contribution from every coffee purchased at our stand donated to the organisation. Since October 2015, Synergy has worked hard to promote the cause of YCC and to provide a more secure financial footing. We have been able to raise over $15,000 from fundraising at events in the past year alone, in addition to an annual donation.

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Synergy Presentations

45 sessions were held over the four days, including presentations by Synergy staff Paulette Robinson, Selina Stanford and Anthony Radik.

Paulette and Selina’s presentation on ‘Taking the pain out of financial statement preparation and audit’ proved popular and key takeaways included:

  • Start planning early
  • Create discipline through project management
  • Get technical accounting, remediation and specific balance issues out of the way early
  • Support/manage the auditors
  • Ensure constant communication to all stakeholders

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In his presentation on ‘Information Dashboard Design’, Anthony Radik discussed good dashboards, bad dashboards and common mistakes. Key takeaways included:

  • Fit on a single screen (without any scrolling) or on a single piece of paper.
  • Focus on visual display methods such as charts (because these are usually the best way to show the ‘big picture’ in limited space).
  • Emphasise the most important information (e.g. through colour, size or positioning).
  • De-emphasise less important information, or exclude it entirely.
  • Wherever possible, include drilldowns, links or references to more detailed information.

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The CPA Congress is one of a number of events held each year which gives professionals in our industry the opportunity to learn from colleagues, share insights and explore learning opportunities to develop new skills and technical capability.

Our staff certainly benefited from the event, with some of the key takeaways including:

“The event was a fantastic opportunity for Synergy staff to reconnect with old colleagues and clients, and also talk about our new service offerings and some of the current thinking in government.” – Mark Pattrick, Partner

“Congress was a great chance for me to catch up with old colleagues and get that little bit of inspiration to take back to work.” – Jonathan Walker, Manager

“Accounting often doesn’t have the best reputation as the most exciting profession, so it’s great to see everyone getting out and networking. Congress has also given me the opportunity to connect with people who want to talk about their business problems and how we can help them.” – Brian Russell, Senior Manager

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We really enjoyed engaging with members of the CPA community not only in person, but through our social media accounts and look forward to continuing this partnership well into the future.

Our involvement in the 2016 CPA Congress is not over however, with our Apple Smartwatch competition still running.

To go into the draw to win the Apple Smartwatch, valued at $1500 simply follow our LinkedIn page. The winner will be drawn on 2 December.

We look forward to sharing more insights from the Congress over the coming weeks.