An experienced Chartered Accountant and Business Adviser, Megan Smith’s (Faraday-Bensley) passion is to provide her clients with strategic advice and strong business management skills to enable them to run successful businesses.
Megan leads the Business Advisory Team at Prosperity Advisers Group nationally. Her role as head of this division sees her lead the team with a firm of the future strategy as the business and industry navigates through substantial technological and regulatory change.
Externally, Megan’s contribution and thought leadership is recognised both through her appointment on the Xero Partner Advisory Council and her regular speaking engagements to key industry groups. Testimony to Megan’s strategic outcomes and her commitment to clients, she is integral to the senior management and board of director functions for several of her clients’ businesses.
- Tell us a little about your career path?
I was attracted to a career in accounting through the opportunity to work full time while I studied part-time and went on to further qualifications and education.
I was fortunate to start with Prosperity a week after my last HSC exam. I didn’t know anything about Prosperity when I joined the company, but soon learned that it’s an organisation where hard work and outcomes are recognised irrespective of age and gender.
At the age of 26, I was offered the opportunity to become an equity partner. Today I lead the firm’s tax business advisory team across our three offices.
Through my advisory role with clients, I work with some great people, understand a whole range of industries and business types and every day presents me with a new challenge. I love rising to the opportunity.
- What are the key skillsets leaders need?
To me, strong relationship skills and empathy are critical. Beyond that is also a strong vision and direction for the future and the ability to have the tough conversations and make decisions.
In my client advisory role as well as in our own business I see lots of examples of great leadership, and when these attributes are employed by people, great things follow and so do their teams.
- What is one action or task you ensure you incorporate into your diary each week?
Communication is key for me, so every day in our business we start with a meeting between all of our directive group. That cascades through our business to meetings with all of our team members, attending and communicating about their day.
We live in a really fast-paced world and it’s easy to get out of touch with what’s most important and where people might get stuck. So it’s all about communication.
- What is unique about doing business in the Hunter?
I’m constantly amazed by the depth and diversity of businesses that we have here doing great things. We say that we know we’re lucky to be here, but I often see things happening and I think there’s so much under our radar.
I’m really excited about the new university facility and the appointment of Dr. Sarah Pearson and what that means for our region and our focus on innovation. And I think that we’re really on the brink of another step up in what we’re doing in innovation in the region.
- Which local businessperson do you find inspiring?
Clint Newton stands out to me, in his role in both a sporting and business capacity as well as in his community initiatives. He’s just a great person, he’s got a high level of integrity and he’s one of those people who really walks the talk.
After every interaction I have with him I come away feeling impressed, and I’ve got great admiration for the impact he makes on our region.