Bernadette Smyth

Bernadette Smyth

Manager, Profit for purpose – BeLLCORP Accountants
LinkedIn Profile

I am a keen philanthropist, a dog lover and an accounting disruptor. I’m the Manager of Profit For Purpose at BeLLCORP Accountants and I genuinely love what I do. Having worked in accounting and finance for over 15 years, I’ve experienced a range of industries from health insurance and mining services to education and charities. I’ve been fortunate to have worked in London and Sydney, with most of my career being here in Newcastle. Being an accountant wasn’t something I aspired to, but it has been a rewarding & challenging career, and today I am a proud member of CPA Australia as well as the Chair of CPA’s Newcastle & Hunter Branch and a representative on their Profit For Purpose Global Network Group. I am also Chair of the Bean Counters Ball Committee which has recently partnered with HYP to deliver the 2019 Young Achiever Award.

1. What 3 words describe you?
Compassionate, enthusiastic, tenacious.

2. What is one thing you couldn’t live without?
My dog – he keeps me sane.

3. What motivates you?
Making a difference. I realised some time ago that my purpose in life is to make a positive contribution, so anything that provides me with the opportunity to make a difference inspires me to get up and go every day. That’s why I work with organisations in the For Purpose sector – I get to help them make an impact on the world. That’s also why I love being part of the Bean Counters Ball Committee – we are making a real difference to young people in the Newcastle region.

4. Where do you see your industry heading etc?
There is much talk that AI and “the bots” will make the role of accountant redundant. I don’t agree. Yes, advances in technology will automate transactional accounting, but the role of accountant is morphing away from number crunching and towards business partnering and advisory. I take a consulting approach to my work now and have equipped myself with a suite of skills not previously associated with accountants, including being trained in suicide prevention. In being more human I’ve got something “the bots” will never have – a heart.

5. What advice would you give to someone 5 years younger?
– Find your purpose and your passion in life and use this information to guide your decisions.
– Stay true to yourself, and surround yourself with people who support you and lift you up.
– Take care of yourself and acknowledge that some days you’ll run out of steam and when you do, make time for self-care.
– Believe in yourself – you’ve got this!