Home' A Plus Magazine : February 2017 Contents Leadership profile
want to talk to us about this and be
involved,” she says.
Given that in her day job Grimes is
Chief Financial Officer, Group Technology
Finance at Westpac Group, Australia’s
oldest bank, she is well-placed to lead
accounting bodies on this topic.
“I have a front row seat at the cutting
edge,” she says, arguing that although
technology is transforming banking and its
cost structure, it still amounts to a cost, and
accountants have “a role to play in telling
everyone that technology isn’t free. There
is a different set of costs.”
Another one of her priorities is ethics.
As Institute of Chartered Accountants in
Australia president in 2011 she focused
heavily on ethics, so it is an area she wants to
continue to concentrate on as IFAC President.
“It’s changed so much. Before it was
church and state that decided what ethics
were and now it is society, the community.
People decide because of the outrage
when they see something that’s wrong.
Accountants are at the very forefront of
standard setting because they see where
the money goes. We need to assist people
so they know that they’ve got the support
when they need it. Ethics is a key one for
me,” Grimes says.
A world of upheaval
Grimes is nothing if not upbeat – safeguard-
ing the positive stereotype of Australians the
world over – whether it be about the rise of
robots or the upheaval in geopolitics. On the
fear of robots taking over accountants’ jobs,
Grimes sees only the positives.
“I think that there are opportunities for
accountants to eliminate the more mundane
parts of our jobs so that we can be more at
the frontline – expert communicators. I
think it’s really exciting,” she says.
While on the United Kingdom’s decision
to exit the European Union and Donald
Trump’s election in the U.S., she says
accountants will become even more relevant
thanks to their traditional skills of measure-
ment and accounting.
“With low interest rates globally, people
are looking to invest to get a return, and
people may think they want to become
more insular but they always benefit from
capital. When you receive an audited set of
accounts it gives you more confidence as
an investor. Brexit is a fascinating one for
accountants. There’re so many different
opportunities whether people deregulate or
regulate,” she says.
Heading into IFAC’s 40th anniversary
this year, Grimes’ and IFAC’s key focus
“I think that there are
accountants to eliminate
the more mundane parts
of our jobs so that we can
be more at the frontline –
20 February 2017
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