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

Norman Neill

Chairman 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.

Norman has been Deputy Chairman of the ACATG since 2016.

Nigel de Frere

Deputy 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.

Darryl Swindells

Secretary / Treasurer
HLB Mann Judd (Sydney)

With over 40 years of experience in the industry, Darryl Swindells is currently a Senior Partner in the Audit and Corporate Advisory Division at HLB Mann Judd in Sydney and serves as head of the Not for Profits sector for the firm. He is also a member and former chair of HLB International’s International Audit Committee, which is responsible for the quality of work within HLB International member firms and the co-ordination of the Audit Peer Review Programme.

Darryl’s areas of expertise include auditing, accounting standards, funds management, forensic accounting, fraud prevention, prospectuses and not-for-profits. He holds a Bachelor of Economics from the University of Sydney, is a Registered Company Auditor and a Fellow of the Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand.

Darryl has been the Secretary of the ACATG since 2009 and facilitates many of their training courses. He also regularly runs presentations on Accounting Standards and Consolidation Accounting for the industry.

Joseph Santangelo

Immediate Past Chairman / Co-ordinator of Audit CoursesNexia 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.