RSM Australia

Get to know our new Principals

From their different interests outside the accounting world to their backgrounds, get to know our new principals who share with us some fun facts.

 





 


Steve Elias - Tax Services R&D | Perth

Meet Steve Elias, one of our newest Principals in the R&D tax team. A former chemist specialising in synthetic organic chemistry with experience in the ICT and mining industries, Steve brings a wealth of knowledge and skill to his clients seeking advice on their R&D tax claims. Resistance is futile. Get up close and personal with this diehard Star Trek fan.

Tell us about your background.
I am born and bred in Perth having lived north-of-the-river (the best location!) all my life. I have a Macedonian heritage, I am a qualified Chemist and worked in the Chemistry field for many years prior to moving into the business world, gaining an MBA and landing in the accounting realm of R&D Tax Incentives

What do you do to unwind?
Catching up with friends, short getaways down to the southwest of Western Australia, binge-watching Netflix but also keeping active which I find quite relaxing. This often includes playing football (soccer) and as I live close to the coast, going for weekly walks or runs on the beach.

What is a fun fact about you?
I am a science fiction fan including shows such as Star Wars and Stargate, but specifically love Star Trek. I have literally watched every single Star Trek episode from all of the series including the Original Series (1960s), The Next Generation (1980s-90s), Deep Space Nine (1990s), Voyager (1990s-2000s), Enterprise (2000s) and Discovery (presently) and all of the 13 movies.


 


Peter Kanellis - Assurance & Advisory | Sydney

Meet our new Principal, Peter Kanellis. A registered company auditor, Peter has significant experience in providing external audit and assurance services to ASX-listed entities, large private companies, foreign-owned subsidiaries and local government councils. A fan of the great outdoors, Peter's fitness routine these days also includes chasing after his 16-month old daughter. Read on to get to know Peter.

Tell us about your background and what led you to a career in auditing.
I was born in Sydney and am of Greek heritage (in case my name didn’t give it away). To be honest, I wasn’t sure where I wanted to end up career wise, until I fell into accounting. I initially studied IT (though that was short-lived) before changing to a Commerce – Accounting degree. Not regretfully, I then followed a few of my friends in applying for positions with audit, and the rest is history.

What do you most enjoy about your work?
I really enjoy the variety that my job in audit offers, both in terms of the clients that I’m exposed to and the traveling that is involved. I always find that no two weeks are the same. I also enjoy the sense of team that any audit job both requires and fosters.

What do you do to unwind?
Anything outdoors. I love spending time with my 16-month old daughter at any opportunity that I get. Whilst I always find myself chasing her around the house, she brings a large amount of happiness to my life.

What is a fun fact about you?
I was the first NSW baby born on Mother’s Day in 1985, and my wife (whom I met at RSM) was born on Father’s Day of the following year.


 

Emily Bowd - Risk Advisory | Canberra

Meet Emily Bowd, one of our newest Principals in Assurance and Advisory. No two assignments have been the same for Emily who has audited the London Metropolitan Police and global defence contractors through to regional councils in outback Australia. This is also one of the many reasons she loves her job. Well-travelled Emily who grew up in central west New South Wales but calls Canberra home now tells us about her background and what you'd find her doing, every summer holiday.

Tell us about your background.
I have almost 15 years’ experience in professional services firms (including the Big 4) in both Canberra and London, United Kingdom. Over this time I have specialised in leading and delivering various assurance and advisory services including control framework assessments, internal audit services (with a specific focus on organisational performance and financial management reviews), business process improvement assessments, project assurance, risk management and assessments, legislative compliance framework development, corporate services benchmarking and financial statement audit.

I grew up in the small country town of Canowindra in the Central West of NSW. It has to be one of the most beautiful areas in the country (yes I am biased). After High School and in an endeavour to follow the big city lights – I came to study at the University of Canberra. I was extremely fortunate to secure an assurance and advisory graduate position within a professional services firm. As a graduate in audit and advisory at the time, I was exposed to a large variety of managers and leaders, clients and engagement types which has always kept me engaged and excited. After becoming a Chartered Accountant I moved to London with my now husband for a number of years, which led to some of our most exciting adventures to date both professionally and personally. This time abroad certainly has given my husband and I the travel bug with our most recent trips to Cuba, Caribbean, USA, Morrocco and Spain. I am researching our next travel adventures as we speak – any suggestions???

What do you most enjoy about being an auditor?
Despite what people might think, every client and every engagement is different to the last. This variety in clients and engagements means that I am constantly learning and challenging the status quo. Some of my experience has included everything from auditing the London Metropolitan Police and major global defence contractors – to organisational reviews across outback Australia and infrastructure project reviews across regional councils – to audits of major service providers to government agencies – to business and organisational performance reviews to identify efficiencies in business processes. What more can I say….. I feel like the luckiest person alive to have a career where I love what I do most days.

What do you do to unwind?
House renovations and associated projects – I love it! From considering better ways of a design layout to choosing tiles and paint colours to refurbishing furniture to shopping for odds and ends. I think it is the creative person in me…. and of course planning travel adventures with my hubby.

What is a fun fact about you?
I have been a social water skier for over 30 years – which always results in an annual family trip to Wyangala Dam (yes 30 odd years worth). You can often find me in the summer holidays near a water source of some description.


 


Simon Brown - Business Advisory | Busselton

Meet Simon Brown, one of our newest Principals in the business advisory team. Based in the idyllic south west of Western Australia, Simon leads RSM's Margaret River office and is also part of the Busselton office's management team. An active member of the community, Simon has held positions of finance director for the Busselton Chamber of Commerce and Vasse zone President for WA Farmers. He is also a volunteer firefighter and a qualified motor mechanic. Is there anything Simon can't do? We find out.

What is your background?
I grew up in a small town in the south west of WA on the family farm. I am a living breathing example of succession planning gone wrong as I was expecting to continue farming. When the family farm was sold, I had to find something else to do so I travelled and worked throughout the US and UK driving trucks. I also ran my own agricultural contracting business for a while until my wife and I decided we should start a family. It was at about this time that I thought that perhaps I should have a go at university. A little to my surprise, I found that I actually enjoyed it and so went on to complete a degree in accounting.

What are your interests?
Family is an overriding interest - we have three young girls and our lives pretty much revolve around them. Outside of family I still have a small farm which I operate with my dad and I find the weekend farming work a valuable circuit breaker from the office. Four wheel driving, camping and riding motorcycles are also other hobbies of mine.

What is a fun fact about you?
I am a qualified motor mechanic and yes I have had a client ask for mechanical advice.


 


Warren Fynn - Business Advisory | Wagga Wagga

Meet our newest Principal in Wagga Wagga, Warren Fynn. Originally from South Africa, Warren works in the business advisory division, providing growing small and medium sized businesses with valuable advice. Whilst Warren will happily spend the week speaking to his clients in the office doing a job he loves, he is also at his most relaxed when outdoors, chasing thrills through endurance sports. Warren reveals more about his background including highlights from a highly memorable 'royal year'.

Tell us about your background and what led you down the business advisory path.
I had no idea what I wanted to do when I left school so ended up studying a general business commerce degree on the advice of my Dad. I finished that and worked out it was too broad, so went back to uni once I migrated to Australia from South Africa and commenced an accounting degree via long distance, whilst working. I had always admired Chartered Accountants growing up as I found most business leaders had some professional accounting background. RSM was my first job at a professional services firm and I actually started in the Restructuring & Recovery division in Wagga where I worked for six months. I found I wasn’t really suited to that division so successfully requested a transfer to the Business Advisory division which is where I am today.

What do you do to unwind?
I find that because I’m in an office for majority of the week I like to get outdoors in my free time. I am a sports fanatic and have had a go at most sports, realising that I'm better at some than others. I enjoy endurance sports so I’m often out running, cycling or competing in triathlons. I also enjoy golf but find that my enthusiasm outweighs my ability.

What is a fun fact about you?
Whilst living and working in the United Kingdom for a couple of years before migrating to Australia, I experienced what I now refer to as “My Royal Year”. It started with me serving the Queen afternoon tea at Royal Ascot Racecourse. I was working for a labour hire company and turned up to work one day to find out that I needed a security clearance as I was going to serve the Royal party in the Royal Enclosure. Also later that year, a friend managed to get tickets to the VIP section of Twickenham to a Barbarian Rugby Union game. I ducked off for a quick toilet break only to work out that the bloke standing next to me was very familiar in the form of Prince William. He didn't acknowledge my presence however the moment stands out as my brush with royalty.


 


Bryan Ting - Assurance & Advisory | Perth

Meet our new Principal, Bryan Ting. With over 15 years of audit experience in Australia, Singapore and Malaysia, Bryan's journey with RSM started decades ago at RSM Singapore. Bryan is also multi-lingual, fluent in both English and Mandarin. An avid badminton player and golfer, Bryan enjoys relieving stress the good old-fashioned way through exercise and spending time with his kids. Read on to learn more about Bryan.

Tell us about your background and what led you to become an auditor.
I was bred and born in Malaysia and completed my degree in Perth. I decided to return to Perth in 2016 after working for a few years in Singapore and Malaysia. At the back of my mind, I always felt Perth is a lovely city to live in and which I now call my second home. In choosing audit as a profession, I would attribute that to a very trusted mentor/housemate whom I met during my college years. At that time, I was studying at college and my mentor was working as an external auditor. He shared a lot of insights with me on the role of an auditor. I’m also fortunate enough to meet my previous audit partner in Singapore during my early days working at RSM Singapore. During that time, he became a great mentor to me, which led me to decide that audit will be a lifelong profession.

What do you most enjoy about your job?
There are two main facets of my job that I enjoy. The first part is the team work environment. My job requires me to work in teams and I feel enthused to see the energy amongst team members as they work together to provide high quality services to our clients. The second part is when clients consider me their trusted adviser, playing an important role in creating and maintaining investor confidence and unlocking valuable insights into their business. A simple thank you from my clients means a lot to me for recognition of my professional skills and services.

What do you do to unwind?
I like to exercise by going to the gym, playing badminton and golf. These activities allow me to reduce stress. I feel refreshed physically and mentally every time after I exercise. Of course, the other thing I do to unwind is play with my kids which is also very fun.