Coming to you live: Mark Pattrick CPA Congress opening address
October 24, 2017

Good morning everybody and welcome on behalf of Synergy to the 2017 CPA Congress.

It is a great honour to again be the CPA State Sponsor, a long-term partnership entering its 5th year. It is also a privilege to be the key note sponsor for ‘Living in a 4.0 world: The impact of emergent technologies for the public sector’. From our perspective, this is a highly relevant topic in the public sector today, as many government agencies are right now embarking on a digital transformation journey that will fundamentally change the way they operate.

Every year Synergy presents a thought leadership CPA theme, and this year is ‘high performance’. Chief Financial Officers (CFO) and finance professionals are consistently elevating their change in role, from ‘scorekeeper’ to a trusted business advisor that informs important strategic decisions, particularly in the area of transformation and technology.

To meet this requirement, the focus of capability within the Finance Function is changing.  Synergy is helping CFO’s and finance professionals through our Finance Function Improvement Diagnostic model by answering questions such as:

  • What is holding you back?
  • Where do I invest to get the best return?
  • Are we appropriately resourced?
  • What do we need to do to take the team to the next level?
  • How do we stack up against best practice and my peers?

We are also right now advising agencies on other topical government policy areas, including transformation, the development of business cases to regionalise, positioning small to medium size agencies to be the receiver of shared services and implementing enterprise performance management frameworks and systems. Many of our thought leadership publications in these areas can be found on Synergy’s LinkedIn page, our website or at out booth for further information on how we may be able to assist.

We will also be running two prize draws; one of which will be drawn at the congress lunch today to win a free team performance assessment. This assessment enables CFO’s to effectively align their teams with organisational goals to deliver on projects and manage conflict. It also helps focus development efforts and identify strengths that can be leveraged.

The second prize is a night for two at the Jamala Wildlife Lodge, National Zoo and Aquarium and will be drawn from Synergy’s Linked In page by following Synergy and liking one of our Congress blogs.

This year has been another remarkable year for Synergy, even bigger than the previous year where we have again seen significant growth and achieved many great things. We are a firm that is vastly different to the one we were even last year:

  • We are fast approaching 200 consultants. We grew 25% last year and are on target to grow another 40% this year.
  • In May this year, Synergy was a finalist in the Australian Accounting Awards held in Sydney for, “Firm of the Year”, “Community Engagement Program of the Year” and “Fastest Growing”. The most rewarding aspect of our achievement was that our growth was organic compared to other firms in our category, reflecting the attractiveness of Synergy as an employer and also trusted advisor to our valued clients.

From a staff development perspective, we are continuing to develop our people to help them be as successful as they are talented. Our philosophy in developing talent at Synergy is unique.
We focus on each and every person, seeking to understand their goals in a holistic sense. We know that when people come to work at Synergy they are seeking more than career, they want opportunities to contribute, be influential, make a difference, grow themselves, support and be with their families and have a great lifestyle. We see our role at Synergy as supporting our people to realise all of their goals, to be their best selves, and to lead in their profession.

We fulfil this important role by investing in professional development, creating a stimulating and fun work environment and by working together as a team to deliver insights, experience and growth for everyone.

As an accountant myself, I have worked hard and been rewarded well for my efforts.
As a Partner of Synergy, I see my role each day as supporting other Synergites to have the same opportunities and successes I have had. I personally enjoy mentoring others to grow their own successful consulting practices.

Last year you met some of our leaders at Synergy including Anthony in Data Analytics and Paulette in Shared Services Readiness. These leaders, like many others at Synergy, are now leaders in our profession, making a large contribution to how we as accountants think about important business challenges. I enjoy seeing Synergites succeed and be as successful as they are talented.

In the area of social responsibility, I am also really proud to report on our long-term partnership with YouthCARE Canberra (YCC), our flagship corporate social responsibility initiative. There are over 900 youth living rough every night on our streets right here in Canberra. Our financial contribution and fund-raising activities meant YCC was able to sustain two full-time social workers who walk the streets at night, and where possible take youth into safe accommodation where they have access to food and clothing.

I also wanted to thank CPA Australia for again going to exceptional efforts to roll out such a professional congress. I would like to thank you for your time and join us and share your thoughts on our Synergy LinkedIn page where will be publishing our contemporary thought leadership pieces on “high performance” and other government related topics. I hope you all have a rewarding and insightful congress.

Thank you.