Jan Dawson named as accountant of the year; first woman to head big-four firm

Press Release – Institute of Chartered Accountants
The New Zealand Institute of Chartered Accountants (NZICA) last night announced Jan Dawson FCA, independent director and former CEO and Chair of KPMG as winner of the Crombie Lockwood 2011 Chartered Accountant of the Year in its annual NZICA Leadership Awards.

Jan, who became the first woman to head a big four accounting firm in Australasia, has built a reputation over her 30-year career as a leading business executive with expertise as an audit partner and a trusted advisor on corporate governance and risk management.

“Jan’s outstanding achievements as a business leader and chartered accountant at the pinnacle of her career, exemplify the huge value of the accounting profession to our economy,” NZICA Chief Executive Terry McLaughlin.

“A highly skilled business woman and strategic thinker, Jan has utilised her skills and knowledge to deliver truly transformational benefits to her employers, clients and indeed, the accounting profession in general.”

Among the four other winners announced at the NZICA Leadership Awards gala dinner in Wellington on 30 November include Westpac 2011 Outstanding New Member of the Year Joe Hanita CA, Group Accountant at Te Wananga o Aotearoa the second largest tertiary provider in New Zealand; Ernst and Young 2011 Public Sector CFO of the Year, Scott Scoullar CA Inland Revenue’s Chief Financial Officer and American Express 2011 Outstanding Service to the Profession, Kevin Simpkins FCA (full list of winners below).
“The calibre of all our winners is not only a reflection of NZICA membership as outstanding business practitioners, but testament to the opportunities that are available for NZICA members.”

As CEO and Chair of KPMG from 2006-2011, Jan transformed the struggling New Zealand firm into a unified, high-capability network, increasing its net revenue increased by 18% despite two recessionary phases during her tenure.

“For me, winning the award is recognition of what I’ve achieved with KPMG and demonstrated that as a woman I could have a family and a successful career too. It demonstrates to others that it’s possible,” says Jan

As an independent director, Jan currently holds directorships at Air New Zealand, Westpac New Zealand Limited, is deputy chair of Counties Manukau District Health Board and a member of the University of Auckland Council. During her term leading KPMG New Zealand she was a board member of KPMG Asia Pacific Region and KPMG Australia and a councillor of KPMG International. She is currently President of Yachting New Zealand.

A mother of two and a passionate sportswoman skippering an award-winning yacht crew, Jan is a strong proponent of giving back to the community. As well as being President of Yachting New Zealand she is also Chair of the Audit Committee and a member of the Events Committee for the International Sailing Federation.

She is also committed to supporting women leaders as a member of Global Women, along with future leaders, supporting the Committee of Auckland’s Future Leaders programme. She has been on the Board of General Trust Board of the Anglican Church’s Auckland Diocese and Treasurer for Auckland Rotary.

The full list of NZICA Leadership Awards 2011 winners are:

Crombie Lockwood 2011 Chartered Accountant of the Year:
Jan Dawson FCA – Independent Director
Westpac 2011 Outstanding New Member of the Year:
Joe Hanita CA – Te Wananga o Aotearoa
Ernst and Young 2011 Public Sector CFO of the Year:
Scott Scoullar CA – Inland Revenue Department
American Express 2011 Outstanding Service to the Profession:
Kevin Simpkins FCA
Prestige Print 2011 Annual Report by a Public Sector Organisation:
Watercare Services Ltd
Prestige Print 2011 Annual Report by a Not for Profit:
New Zealand Red Cross
Prestige Print 2011Sustainability Reporting:
Christchurch International Airport
Prestige Print 2011 Annual Report by a Corporate Organisation Winner:
Christchurch International Airport