Helen Wiseman, Principal Consultant at Executive Central, non-executive director, professional mentor, philanthropist and a former KPMG tax Partner, will be speaking at the Women in Tax National Congress on 29 November. She reveals what it takes to go the distance in tax.

Helen brings over 30 years of business experience, including 17 years in tax working in small, medium and large accounting firms.  

“I am a former KPMG tax partner where I spent 12 hugely enjoyable years in the mining and energy practice,” she says.

“During my KPMG years, I volunteered as a Lifeline telephone counsellor, studied for a degree in psychology and joined the Board of SHINE for Kids, an organisation that supports children who have a parent in prison. 

“In 2009, wanting to explore what else I was capable of, I embarked on a ‘portfolio’ career that is perfectly aligned to my sense of purpose and my strengths, talents and experiences.”

Helen believes that if you can do tax, you can do anything. 

“In the ten years since stepping away from KPMG, I qualified as an executive coach working with an array of inspiring leaders from the profession and beyond,” she says.

“I had the opportunity to co-launch an online insurance broking start-up and this year, and I qualified as a Certified International Director.

“I have clocked up 15 years’ experience of chairing audit committees of multinational and Australian entities.”

In 2014, she was named one of the Australian Financial Review and Westpac 100 Women of Influence. 

Pretty impressive? We think so too.

Helen says that this unique blend of experiences has given her insights as to what it takes to thrive in a career in tax. 

“As a professional mentor, I work closely with my clients to help them achieve their goals more smartly, more enjoyably and with greater impact,” she explains.

“I am also known for my energy, keen sense of humour and my love of wine!”

Thriving required to perform and grow

Helen says, tax careers are demanding! At the 2019 Women in Tax National Congress, she will discuss the concept of thriving.

“We cannot perform and grow unless we are thriving,” she says.

“Thriving is about how you go the distance in your career, feel on purpose, maintain your sense of wellbeing; and your enjoyment of life, work & relationships.

“I will share a super simple concept called the ‘Five Energies of Thriving’ that you can use to calibrate – and recalibrate – how well you are thriving.”

Attendees will learn about each “energy” and why collectively, they are the foundation to a successful career.  They will also learn which “energy” transcends them all and how the five energies can be applied to lead and inspire others.

Great leaders listen HARD to understand

We asked Helen what it takes to be a great leader.

“A great leader has a clear sense of purpose, they bring a dose of humility whilst being driven to make a collective impact,” she explains. 

“They are real, compassionate and dogged in their determination. 

“Whilst they are serious about their work, they don’t take themselves too seriously - they are always looking for ways to get the best out of others.”

Her advice to emerging leaders is to always make time for building relationships. 

“Whilst we solve problems with our technical knowledge, leadership is all about people and helping them solve their challenges (which are not always what they seem),” she says.

“Be open and listen HARD to understand - ALWAYS. 

“Time invested in building relationships will save you masses of time further down the track.”

The “trusted adviser” model

Helen says she is a great believer in the “trusted adviser” model (see the book by David Maister et al). 

This refers to how you “show up” for your clients (be they internal or external to your company), which will determine yours and their success. 

“Your clients need you to be thriving both personally and professionally so you can do your best work as a tax professional,” she explains. 

“As your career progresses, the more you learn, the less you will know – and this is certainly true when it comes to technology.” 

Helen says it is important to remember that technology is “human” at the end of the day – people will still have problems; they just play out differently. Those who are open to uncovering those problems, and are willing to think creatively to solve them, will always prevail.

Listen to Helen and other skilled speakers at the 2019 Women in Tax National Congress on the 29th November at the Fullerton Hotel, Sydney.

7 sessions across the day will showcase some of Australia's most influential speakers offering insights and provide real takeaways to use immediately in your role:

  •        Learn about effective tools for high performance
  •        Discover how the power of empathy helps contribute to workplace culture and a high performing team
  •        Gain a greater understanding of how to be more aware of the impact on your personal brand.

Hurry, limited seats available. Register now.