Newcastle-based Jirsch Sutherland Manager Hayden Asper was recently elected Chair of the Hunter Region’s Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand (“CA ANZ”) Regional Committee, a role that involves chairing the committee organising the highly regarded Bean Counters Ball charity fundraiser.
Jirsch Sutherland has been a sponsor of the ball for the past eight years and Hayden has been on the committee since 2016, including serving as its treasurer. This year’s ball has been cancelled due to the COVID-19 restrictions but the committee will be re-evaluating the situation in a few months and possibly holding a smaller fundraising activity.
“The Bean Counters Ball is an annual fundraiser that supports youth and education in our region,” Hayden says. “The event started as a joint initiative between local members of CA ANZ and CPA Australia and it has grown to be a key date in the calendar and is widely supported by the professional community in Newcastle. To date, the event has raised over $180,000 for education and youth in the Hunter region. We look forward to continuing the great work when the COVID-19 crisis has passed.”
The funds raised support two organisations: Hunter TAFE Foundation, which provides scholarships to accounting students in need, and Wickham’s Samaritans Student Accommodation, which provides student accommodation in Newcastle.
Hayden, who joined Jirsch Sutherland in 2014 as a senior accountant, says he is excited to be involved in such a worthwhile venture and to take the helm of steering the organising committee. “Newcastle is a thriving and growing city and many local accounting firms have prospered, and the ball was started when accountants from CPA and CAANZ decided to hold a joint fundraising event as the accounting profession’s way of giving back to the community,” he says. “The ball has grown rapidly over the years, from less than 100 attendees – predominantly accountants – in the first year, to over 350 attendees from accounting, legal and other financial services practices in 2019.”
Having a voice
Hayden is also looking forward to his role as Chair of the Hunter CA ANZ Regional Committee. “The committee ensures members are supported by, and engaged with, CA ANZ and receive relevant tailored opportunities and communication,” he explains. “In my role, I’m responsible for ensuring the Hunter’s approximately 1300 chartered accountants have both a voice at regional council meetings and that they are provided with opportunities for their own professional development.
“I’m looking forward to engaging with as many local CA ANZ members as possible to ensure that I understand what they want from their professional body and to make sure that I am representing those members’ needs”
Some of Hayden’s aims for his time as Chair include to:
- improve the Graduate Diploma of Chartered Accounting course for current and future students;
- improve engagement with local CAs, at all career levels; and
- partner with local organisations to provide new and exciting events and opportunities to learn.
Getting involved in worthwhile ventures is something that drives Hayden. Since 2016, he has been Treasurer of the Mid North Coast Community Legal Centre (MNCCLC) and Disability Advocacy NSW (DANSW). Both organisations operate as the Advocacy Law Alliance. DANSW provides non-legal advocacy services to people with a disability and the MNCCLC provides legal advocacy to disadvantaged people and groups. “When I qualified as a Chartered Accountant, I knew that I wanted to use the skills not just for my own career but to offer them to support local organisations who offer invaluable services to some of the most vulnerable people in our community,” Hayden says.
Meanwhile, in his role at Jirsch Sutherland, Hayden directly assists the insolvency practitioners with the day-to-day running of matters and helps manage the team in Newcastle. “I am also frequently approached for advice from local professionals and businesses who would like to explore what potential solutions are on the table for their clients when they get into financial distress,” he says.
Hayden says attending the Bean Counters Ball every year since joining Jirsch Sutherland has been one of the highlights of his time at the organisation. “We also have an annual office camping trip, which is great fun,” he says. “But the real highlight is the opportunities I’ve been given for professional development, career progression and to support the local community.”