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Posted on 27 July, 2017 in Awards

Winners of the IPA National and SA/NT 2016 Practice of the Year Award

Winners of the IPA National and SA/NT 2016 Practice of the Year Award

Vita, Thanh and I were not fazed at all when Paul Zenkteler, the Institute of Public Accountants (IPA) Divisional General Manager for SA/NT emailed us on 17th October 2016 to say he was going to be in Darwin and would like to pop out to the office for a catch up. Paul rarely missed a chance to touch base when he could, and even though he did mention he had “something” for the whole team, we just assumed it was a nice pen or desk calendar or the like, as Paul usually came bearing some sort of gift.

However, the “gift” Paul was bearing this time happened to be the SA/NT 2016 Practice of the Year award! To say we were gobsmacked would be the understatement of the year! We went from dead silence to squealing like school girls fighting to hug Paul and each other!

We were subsequently advised that our win made us eligible to enter the National awards which were to be announced at the IPA National Convention to be held in Melbourne in November 2016.

We honestly didn’t think we would stand a chance against the other states, however we consoled ourselves by saying the worst we could do was come fifth! We duly turned up at the National Convention and were absolutely bowled over when the announcement came over that we had won the National award as well! We were asked to come up to the stage to collect our award. Vita gave a great speech about the history of our Firm and our journey to get to where we stood today (was that speech rehearsed?). The crowd loved it – especially the fact that we were (then) an all-woman partnership. After speaking with other members afterwards, they really resonated with the fact that we were from a regional area as well.

To be chosen to receive this award from over 30,000 members, has had a tremendous impact on our business, and reassured us that we are providing our clients with a premium product, not least because of the support from IPA.

By Cheryl Mallett

© 2017 Vita Gustafson & Associates

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