Practical training by accountants, for accountants

The Australasian CA Training Group (ACATG) was formed in 1965 when seven medium-size chartered accounting firms decided to pool their resources in order to provide quality audit training to the staff of their firms.  Today, we have expanded to over 40 member firms in Australia and New Zealand. We operate as a not-for-profit co-operative.

The ACATG works hard to provide the best training we can for our members. Our trainers, who are either Partners of member firms or experienced trainers in non-accounting skills, have significant experience in presenting training courses.

Our members are typically sizeable accounting firms in Australia and New Zealand, and all of them require regular training based on well-proven methodology and content.

Being part of ACATG gives you access to a wide group of trainers who are true specialists in their own area – and who are used to running training courses in their own organisations. An extended network of external trainers means we can also cover additional specialist topics, such as leadership and teamwork.

Your own organisation could go it alone, but the ACATG training approach and content is broader. We cover things you could be doing better – sharing collective wisdom with you. Typically, our training works out to be less expensive than the alternatives.

Proven Methods

All training is face-to-face, practical and hands-on. During more than 50 years, we have found residential-style training courses are best in terms of personal development and learning outcomes. None of our training is offered online. Participants also gain valuable networking opportunities, and mix with peers from other firms across
Australia and New Zealand.

Executive Committee

Nigel de Frere

Chairman Staples Rodway (Auckland)

Nigel joined the Staples Rodway Audit and Assurance Services team in 2010 and was made a Partner eighteen months later. Nigel has over 15 years audit experience, including 4 years working in the financial services sector in London. He is a licensed audit in New Zealand and a Registered Company Auditor in Australia.

Throughout his career Nigel has gained significant experience providing audit and assurance services to clients in a range of industries. He has specialist expertise within the financial services sector, having worked with banks and finance companies, life and general insurers and wealth management providers. Nigel is excited about New Zealand business and being part of its success.

Nigel has expertise in the provision of assurance and transaction services to listed and non-listed issuers across the financial services sector. He is experienced in the understanding and evaluation of controls and understands the assurance needs of Directors in relation to their control environments.

Nigel also has a wealth of knowledge in the interpretation and application of International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) and provides clients with technical guidance on financial reporting issues.

Nigel has been a facilitator of the ACATG Audit 1 training course for graduate accountants since 2014.

Shaun Madders

Deputy Chairman Spry Roughley Services Pty Limited (Sydney)

Shaun is a Client Service Partner at Spry Roughley, having joined Spry Roughley in 1990 as a graduate accountant and has been a Partner since 2003.

Shaun has extensive experience in providing guidance and solutions to significant small and medium sized businesses and professional practices, integrating broad commercial knowledge with a deep understanding of his clients and their businesses to give tailored advice that is responsive, relevant and reliable. His expertise covers accounting, audit, financial reporting, taxation consulting and business advisory.
Shaun is a Chartered Accountant and is also a Registered Company Auditor, SMSF Auditor, Registered Tax Agent and Fellow of The Tax Institute.

Shaun has a keen interest in working with families in business. He understands the special issues that families working together face and he advises on many facets of family business including the transfer of management & ownership to the next generation. He is a Specialist Accredited Family Business Adviser with Family Business Australia.

Norman Neill

Immediate Past Chairman, Executive Committee Member HLB Mann Judd (Perth)

With over 25 years’ experience in the accounting profession, Norman Neill is the Managing Partner at HLB Mann Judd in WA. He is also a proper authority holder of HLB Mann Judd Corporate (WA) Pty Ltd, the firm’s AFS licensed investment advisory arm, which prepares independent expert’s reports for mergers, takeovers and capital raisings.

Norman holds a Bachelor of Business in Accounting from Edith Cowan University and a Graduate Diploma from the Governance Institute of Australia. He is a Fellow of the Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand and a member of the Governance Institute of Australia, as well as a registered Company Auditor and Chartered Secretary, and a Proper Authority Holder under the Corporations Act. Having joined HLB Mann Judd as a graduate in 1992, Norman specialises in audit services, management advisory services, prospectus preparation, investigating accountant’s reports for IPOs, expert reports, financial reporting and governance matters.

Aidan Smith

Secretary / Treasurer HLB Mann Judd (Sydney)

With over 25 years' experience in the industry, Aidan Smith is currently a Partner in the Audit and Assurance Division at HLB Mann Judd in Sydney and serves as head of the Not for Profits sector for the HLB Mann Judd Australasian Association.

Aidan has extensive audit experience in a wide range of businesses, and specialises in providing audit, accounting and advisory services to not-for-profit entities. A results based practitioner recognised throughout the industry for his knowledge and expertise, Aidan is widely regarded for his technical strengths, personal approach and ability to add value to his clients while assisting them in meeting their compliance needs.

Aidan has been the Secretary of the ACATG since 2019 and has been a facilitator of the Audit 1 course since 2015. He is highly respected for his knowledge of Accounting and Auditing Standards, and has given a number of presentations on accounting technical issues to the industry.

Joseph Santangelo

Co-ordinator of Audit Courses, Nexia Australia (Sydney)

With nearly 20 years of audit and assurance experience obtained in both Australia and the UK, Joseph Santangelo is a registered company auditor and is licenced to perform FCM audits under New Zealand regulatory framework in Australia and New Zealand. He is an Associate Member of the Chartered Accountants Australia & New Zealand and holds a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Sydney and Graduate Diploma in Applied Finance and Investment from the Financial Services Institute of Australasia (Finsia).

Joseph began working for Nexia in 1999 and was appointed Director in Audit & Assurance Services in 2012. He works with a wide range of commercial clients, including small cap ASX listed entities and financial services companies, as well as internationally orientated businesses and not-for-profit organisations. His areas of expertise include assurance services, business valuation, corporate advisory, due diligence, external audit and taxation advisory.

Sam Facy

Co-ordinator of Business Services Courses
Accru Harris Orchard (Adelaide)

Sam began working as an accountant in 1994, and prior to joining Accru Harris Orchard, he spent eight years at a mid-tier accounting firm and three years at a smaller boutique firm. He became a partner of Accru Harris Orchard in 2007.

Sam provides advice to a variety of clients in all areas of tax and business services, but he specialises in tax minimisation, superannuation and structuring advice. He holds a Bachelor of Accounting from the University of South Australia and is a Member of the Taxation Institute of Australia and the Chartered Accountants Australia & New Zealand.

Greg Winnett

Executive Committee Member Accru Melbourne

Greg Winnett joined Accru Melbourne in 1986 as an undergraduate and became a partner in 1998. Now with over 30 years’ experience working with in the industry, Greg leads the company’s audit team and works with public and private companies based in Australia and overseas, large proprietary companies, incorporated associations, trusts and other reporting entities. He also serves as Chair of Accru’s National Executive group.

Greg has specialist knowledge of the not-for-profit sector, having worked with a substantial number of Government and stakeholder funded organisations particularly in health and welfare, aged care, education, community housing and sport. He holds a Bachelor of Business (Accounting), Accounting and Finance from Monash University and is a Registered Company Auditor, Registered Tax Agent and a Member of the Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand.

Greg is a former Chairman of the ACATG.