Cassandra Sharp is a Partner at Maxim Accounting and has a strong desire and passion to understand clients and what is important to them, both professionally and personally. Her background in chartered accounting and commercial management accounting provides her with the solid foundation and knowledge to work with a variety of clients and industries. She was the Chairperson of the Hunter chapter of Chartered Accounts in Australia and New Zealand and is the current President of the Hunter Business Women’s Network.
• Tell us about your career path and how it led you to where you are now?
I think I always wanted to be an Accountant. My idea of an Accountant was more that of a financial controller. That’s what I had in my head back when I was 14 and was trying to make that decision, do I go to university? And if I do, what am I going to study? I always thought finance was interesting. Watching companies grow and helping them facilitate that was something that I was really keen to do. So, when it came down to choosing what I was going to do inyear 12, it was pretty easy, I didn’t really struggle, unlike some of my other classmates that floundered around for a little bit. I think that drive helped me and has kept me on track.
• What motivates and drives you?
I’m a fairly competitive person, so I do like winning. But, apart from that, I get to work with some fantastic clients and watch them grow their business and help them grow. And, not only that, but then watching them achieve their goals. For alot of the clients that we get deal with, we get to deal with their entire circumstance. So, seeing their business and personal goals come to fruition and seeing them win, as well as us win, is really the driving force and what gets me excited about going to work. It also helps that I work with some really great people.
• What has been the biggest learning curve in your career?
I think it’s more getting the knowledge and then you feeling empowered with having that knowledge and being able to communicate that to others. I think that when it comes to the day-to-day application in business and being a female, we don’t tend to back ourselves as much as we probably should. Giving yourself a little bit of a push beyond your comfort zone is important. So, to me, the biggest learning curve, is being confident in yourself and knowing that you can answer a question or just backing yourself at the end of the day. And, that’s probably the hardest thing that I’ve had to do; stepping up and progressing in my role.
• Where would you like to be in ten years’ time?
Exactly where I am. I’ve been driving towards consulting for a while and now I feel like I can only do that. Being a Partner now at Maxim Accounting is what I’ve been looking for. Now it’s growing that client base, watching my clients grow, growing with them and really focusing on that.
• Have you had any significant Hunter-based mentors during your career who inspired you?
I think I’ve worked with some wonderful people. So, without having an official mentor, I think that their mentorship through my development has been really important. The partners at my current office, Christopher Sneddon and Steven Roxby, have really helped me develop, especially in the last two and a half years. They’ve given me the opportunity and support more than anything else.
But, I think there’s plenty of inspiring people just around the Hunter. Sharon Warterhouse is one; she was a previous President of the Hunter Business Women’s Network, which I’m now president of. Working with her and just seeing how she is so respected within the community, but always has time for the community as well and has really built that up to something important has been inspiring. I think that what drives me is being inspired by local people within the Hunter.
With thanks to Hunter Young Professionals who Hunter Headline collaborated with to source this interviewee.