We are delighted to announce new partner Peter Barnikel has joined Grant Thornton to lead our new CFO Advisory services practice as of 5 July 2021.
A Registered Company Auditor with more than 20 years’ experience, Peter started out with EY in London before coming to Sydney in 2005. For the last decade Peter has held a split role – part advisor unpacking complexity and addressing CFO headaches and part Independent Auditor.
CFO’s have been coming under increasing pressure for years. In addition to looking after company finances, they are also responsible for implementing digital transformation and automation of finance processes often while navigating the impact of new reporting obligations that fall under their remit.
“In addition – and this is particularly true for listed companies – auditors are becoming less forgiving of poor documentation. Due to independence constraints those same auditors aren’t providing the hands on support they once did to their audit clients, so having a trusted advisor who can step in to assist is invaluable. Tax teams have tax advisors. Legal teams have legal counsel. Accounting teams should have access to technical accounting expertise as well,” said Peter Barnikel.
Many of the challenges experienced by CFOs have been exacerbated by COVID-19. Working from home has intensified the pain from clunky and manual processes and there is a growing feeling that finance functions “can’t sit still” in the face of uncertain market conditions that require greater flexibility and agility.
“While the last 18 months have been difficult for some companies, it’s been a period of expansion for others. Given my deep accounting, reporting and finance process experience, I’ve supported a broad range of clients on their M&A and IPO activity, as well as supporting CFOs revisit their financial documentation – sometimes going back years – as they have prepared for their first audit or IPO,” said Peter.
National Managing Partner – Audit and Assurance, Andrew Rigele noted that the shortage of accounting and audit expertise isn’t just being felt by professional services, but also in-house teams looking for good people to address their growing obligations.
“We are certain that our clients and contacts will find Peter’s business acumen and technical expertise extremely useful as they continue to respond to regulatory change and variable market conditions. He’s a safe pair of hands and genuinely understands the pain points experienced by CFOs. As we offer a full suite of services across financial advisory, tax, risk, technology and management consulting – we look forward to directly addressing short-, medium- and long-term challenges faced by our clients and contacts,” said Andrew Rigele.
Peter has extensive experience having worked with clients such as AMP Capital Investors, Charter Hall, F45, Foxtel, Goodman Group, IHG, Ingenia, Meriton, News Corp Australia, Origin Energy, ResMed, SAI Global, Sony, Stockland and Westfield as well as various infrastructure service concessions and government related entities.
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