Sue Voss doesn’t like to back away from a personal challenge. She’s trekked the Kokoda Track in Papua New Guinea (“It’s so muddy you have to watch every step so you don’t end up on your backside”), tried her hand at mountain biking and is now giving Bikram yoga a go. (“It’s harder than I expected,” she admits. “I love it.”)

She also took the bold decision to leave a 20-year-long job tenure because she believed accounting could be more open-minded and embracing of technological change. “The pace of change is too great not to get on board,” Sue advises. “It’s a big opportunity for those moving with the times.”

‘We’re not afraid of change’

Together with her business partner, Craig Robinson, Sue founded the boutique Mount Eliza accounting firm, Robinson Voss Partners, in 2014.

“We started out with nothing but our mobile phones,” she remembers. “Now we have an office, a team of five full-timers and two offshore team members, and a fabulous network of referrals. We’re doing things our way and we’re not afraid of change.

“We’ll listen to any idea from anyone,” she adds. “We might dismiss it if we don’t think it’s the best way to work, but we will always listen. That’s so important.”

Aiming to make a positive difference to everyone that it touches, from community and clients to referral partners and its team of ‘independent, positive people’, Robinson Voss Partners understands the rich depths of value it can offer beyond stereotypical number crunching.

“To do things right, you need to know what’s important to each person,” she says. “It’s not always money. Everyone is an individual.”

Leaving the stereotypes behind

The decision to go cloud-based has enabled Sue and Craig to transform the accounting experience into something more dynamic, forward-thinking, and suited to her can-do attitude.

“If you stand still, accounting can become like Groundhog Day, producing tax returns and financials reports, which are historic in nature,” she explains, with a nod to the stereotypes.

“Having real-time data is a game changer. We run figures for the future, advise on business scenarios and learn what keeps people awake at night. We find ways to proactively achieve our clients’ goals, whatever they are.

“We take a whole-life approach, even when that moves beyond the numbers. We’ve spent a lot of time building up referral partners that we trust. It makes a huge difference to our clients and to us.

“Oh, and I wear Alannah Hill dresses to work,” she adds with a laugh. “I haven’t worn a suit in years.”

The constant challenge in change

For Sue, who chases challenges, there’s no other job she’d rather do. “There’s enough happening in accounting! From the businesses you work with to the people you meet, there’s just so much diversity and opportunity,” she says.
“The only thing that keeps me up at night is whether I’ll find the time to do it all.”

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