Kate Pope already knew at high school what she wanted to be an accountant.
The 25-year-old just won the 2021 Ted Delahunty Leadership award – encouraging Chartered Accountants to work in the provinces.
Kate was at the CANZ (Chartered Accountants Australia New Zealand) Primary Sector conference last week, when she realised there was another reason why she might be there.
“It was awesome. It took awhile to sink in,” she said, after hearing her name called out in front of 160 people.
Having worked at Malloch McClean for three years, she is involved with multiple groups including the South Island Young Chartered Accountants Panel, and also mentors a work experience student from the Southern Institute of Technology.
After studying a Bachelor of Commerce at the University of Otago, she went overseas for a gap year before realising it was time to come home and find a job.
“I loved accounting at high school and we went to an accounting firm for a visit and I just knew that’s where I wanted to be.”
She hadn’t initially intended on coming back South, but when the job was offered at Malloch McCLean she took it, and hasn’t looked back.
“I’m getting soo many opportunities in the job I’m in. They are so supportive at bringing up the younger staff,” she said.
Admitting over the last six months she has at times been pushed “way out of my comfort zone,” it has also led to new doors being opened, and she is loving those opportunities.
The $10,000 award is for someone still working to become chartered, and Kate sat her final exam last week.
There are no plans for a new car or a holiday with the prize money – she is an accountant afterall, and will be investing it somewhere.
“I just want to knuckle down and work at building my own clients. Malloch McClean has taught me everything I know and I owe them such a lot of credit for this.”
Chief executive John Schol said Malloch McClean has a ‘Roadmap’ programme that supports its young accountants on their journey, with support from a team leader.
He said Kate had taken it “with both hands and run with it,” stepping out of her comfort zone to try new things within the company.
The opportunity for more widespread work and to work closer with clients than you would in bigger firms, was also another bonus of living in the regions, he said.
What’s On Invers Founder Mike Sanford said it was great to see someone young with so much ambition.